Tuesday, September 6, 2011

just leave the hot bright trash in the shopping malls, leave the hawks of war in their capitols

(Continued from part I.)

More oddity regarding the JLU:
Archangel Mortenwold, you all need to add that name to your watch/banned lists. This person was caught copybotting stuff by the Doctor Who community on SL a while back. Currently he has suddenly become a big defender of the JLU and has called out one of the Dr Who groups as a griefer group. So unless you want somebody who will tell everything to the JLU (or just copybot your stuff) around then be sure to add him to your lists.
And there was a link, which led here. Does anyone know for a fact that this person has definitively engaged in copyright infringement, a, and b, has accused a known and active Dr. Who fan group in Second Life as a griefer group? I'm not finding anything, searching on my own. I found this but all it paints Mortenwold as is a fellow Whovian. The hell?

[Note from the Editrix, prior to publication: tracked down Mortenwold's account of the infringing incident in question. Seems that yes, he's guilty, but he contacted the original maker, paid him, and then withdrew the pirated items. So stupidity 1, trying to make it better 1, outright evil 0?]

(Though I can't help but agree with Ryokashi's reaction to Zen...)

And, on more RedZone-centric matters, it seems zfire Xue was released from prison? Why on earth was he released??

Anyway, getting back to the JLU crisis, I honestly started plowing through the thread on SLU surrounding the issue and hit tl:dr pretty damned quickly--the thing's over four hundred pages long at this point and wanders ferociously. Thankfully, Axi Kurmin is willing to put her sanity on the line in a summary thread, so now I'm reading through that first.

Some pertinent points in the conversation:
"It should be noted, with no small amount of irony, that the JLU is violating the copyright of DC comics, for which they do not have official sanction to use. This would not normally matter, as DC is usually pretty mellow as long as you're not acting like a jackass under their label, but in this case it's an important note."
-- Axi Kurmin
She's absolutely right: especially if accusations of copyright infringement are part of the fiasco in question, infringing on copyright themselves does not make the JLU look good. I'm not even sorry for stating that one--it's bare, unvarnished fact, though I will grant, most of the JLU's general mission statement seems more concerned with protecting people from griefing attacks.

Now, general paraphrases (and I'm struggling with this whole 'no real names' issue, because these are all coming off of other sites, so...how does this policy apply in this case?) from the summary thread.
"Phantom Zone is free. You can set it to "trust" other PZ nodes, in which case it will ban anyone who they have on their list. If you don't turn on the trusting, it will only ban people you have on your node's list. It works well, and I would be happy to rez it and demonstrate it for anyone who's interested. I tried to enter a sim that had me on a ban list when it was undergoing testing, and at most I was able to fly around for 6 seconds before it kicked me out."
Okay, I get the general principle behind the PhantomZone device, but I have a couple problems.
  1. Why are they globally linked? Why isn't it simply an extension of the ban list on a per-parcel or per-estate basis?
  2. Why did they tie it in with RedZone (because seriously, yes, I get the Superman reference, but RedZone/GreenZone/PhantomZone, they're all going to hit people the same way, because they're all banlist supplemental programs)?
There's another point in the summary thread. Seems, after the last wiki leak of JLU-related material, Kalel Venkman filed DMCA takedowns against people who hosted that list of IPs and/or names. Several JLU members have come forward and stated boldly that they don't and never have collected IP addresses; they've also stated firmly that all the wiki 'leaks' purporting to be from their wiki site are scams, mockups, not their work.

The only problem with that? The DMCA filings. If you file, you're claiming you own the work. If you're filing about presumed fakes, you are now claiming them as truthful hacks of your system. The thing with DMCA is that it's primarily designed, even now, to be the first step in the legal paper trail that ends in court. It's still only supposed to be used by major corporations against other large entities; it was never designed to be used by private citizens. Moreover, it was never designed to be a moral trump card: "You're being bad, now you hafta stop! Nyaah!"

Whether or not the original leaked information was actually from the JLU's servers, or wiki page, or not, the inescapable conclusion of Venkman filing DMCA c&d notices is that he has now, legally, formally, claimed all information so leaked as his. Because that's the catch-22--the law doesn't care if you were simply trying to stop the spread of "bad" information, or trying to stop the spread of necessary information--once you file DMCA, it's yours by law.
"Let me back up for a moment and be clear: I don't condone the serial harassment and stalking of SL residents, including "outing" the alts of SL residents, creating alts to further harass specific residents and circumventing account bans, or breaching SL resident privacy by publicly connecting their real life identity to their SL identity -- which, BTW, are all against SL Terms of Service. (More on that later).

"But 'griefing,' as subjectively defined by the JLU, is a pretty broad spectrum of objectionable behaviors -- even something as simple as disagreeing with them (which for U.S. citizens, is a First Amendment right) -- in fact, by my writing this, I'm very likely now listed in their logs as a griefer, if you can believe that.

"My definition of griefing is obviously far removed from the JLUs: When residents are purposely disrupting the livelihood of SL merchants and land owners, that's griefing -- oh, except most people call that copybotting, not griefing, which is a far greater disruption to the grid than self-replicating penises."
Miss Astolat Dufaux said that on her recent JLU-themed entry, and I vehemently agree with her. Because this:

(from the Solace Beach album; the griefer attack on NekoZone with boxes marked VR6-KABOUL.)

is griefing, particularly, shouting boxes spawning randomly over NekoZone (for no reason we could ascertain).


(from the Solace Beach album; these were spinning particle forms that emerged from an
invisible rotating prim; each of the particles spawned said "BAD LAB OPEN CARTEL".)

is griefing. And this:

(from the Solace Beach album; each of the
zombies we had to specifically hunt down and delete)
is griefing; hordes of single-prim headcrab zombies that cried like children and giggled like clowns, attached to invisible prims that the sim never properly saw rez. None of them showed up to any form of sensor, and even when selected, the sim was so lagged from other attacks that it would take some time to delete them.

What happened on NekoZone a few weeks back? Griefing. What happened in Rivula for the first few years of my SL experience? Griefing.

Simple protest, or speaking out, or having doubts or concerns? Not friggin' griefing.

More from Miss Dufaux:
"Before all this information became public, I probably would have welcomed a group that was devoting time reporting copybotting to merchants and to Linden Lab.

"So why doesn't the JLU monitor alleged instances of copybotting? That would be a far greater service to the SL community. That absence of concern would seem to speak to the collective mindset of the group's membership... their 'policing' methods are more closely aligned with those of totalitarian regimes than it is a selfless effort at true community service."
It's a damned good question.

What I'm taking away from this is that there are really only two categories within the database itself (and please, I'd love to hear differently, leave your comments after this entry): either "G" for Griefer or "P" for Noteworthy P Person. First, how is category G separate from category P, or am I getting it wrong? Because it seems to me, how I'm reading it, is G is for Griefers and P is for potential griefers.

Am I right or wrong?

Of course, the problem at this point is one of perception, too. Taking this picture for instance: I don't see a group of concerned citizens clustered around a Linden asking for answers. I see two vaguely normal-looking avatars surrounded by griefer avatars (or at least generally annoying avatars) who belong to shady groups that might contain griefers on their own. I realize that's just a short visual jab, but that's what I get looking at that image.

I realize this is wandering, but the problem is just bizarrely huge, and seems to have sprung up only in the past couple of weeks. I'm beginning to think my current spate of isolation is actually something good for me now, because I haven't been to most of the places that these recording devices seem to be placed; and I never say anything in main chat (or much in IM) that I wouldn't bat an eye saying in front of a group of disparate souls--after all, email's only as secure as the number of stops it makes, and various purveyors of ill thoughts and ill deeds can hear things and see things at random on SL.


Edward Pearse said...

Having known Victor for some time I'm far more likely to believe his account of the copybotting than Mortenwold's.

As for JLU, I think once Desmond Shang comes in to say your practices are bad, you know you've stepped over the line.

Emilly Orr said...

Pretty much. Also, new information surfaced, and that's coming out in the next entry. Essentially: yeah, Mortenwold outright lied, deliberately, and seems to be one of the new poster boys for the JLU, which just tarnishes the whole situation further.

Potosi Abonwood said...

On the why is zFire getting released part.

Most likely he was re-incarcerated for parole violations. From what folks have gathered using the internet without informing his parole officer what exactly what he was doing is part of it. He also got busted for keeping an animal as a pet that the local laws prohibit. Lastly running a business without the proper license.

Now all of his criminal record seems to be non-violent so that sets him up for early release pretty easily in todays overcrowded prisons/jails. I would also bet that he is a model prison who crosses all of his T's and dots all of the i's.

He's still going to be on parole. This time with some better supervision but you never know.