Sunday, May 27, 2012

make the same mistake, I'll be here awake

Couple baffling things for today.

First, I'd been hearing about people receiving a blackjack HUD for something over the past couple of days, and asking around if anyone else had received something like this. I hadn't--then--and said as much--and life went on.

Today, I got this:
[18:04] Object: VGA - http://www.slvga.com has sent you item(s)/notecard(s) named: VGA Multiplayer Blackjack v2.1 (1 Week Trial), VGA Multiplayer Blackjack v2 Trial Info (www.slvga.com).


These items will not be resent to you again as they are limited to 1 per SL user account. If you would like to unsubcscribe from future VGA Product Trials and Promotions go to: http://www.slvga.com/unsubscribe.php
Now, I have a couple issues with this.

First, near as I can figure, whomever's behind VGA is doing this completely blind--just finding names at random and mailing them this object.

Second, I didn't want it in the first place:
[18:05] You decline 'VGA Multiplayer Blackjack v2 Trial Info (www.slvga.com)' from Object (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Fairview/224/44/15).
[18:05] You decline 'VGA Multiplayer Blackjack v2.1 (1 Week Trial)' from Object (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Fairview/224/44/15).
Third, how do I go to the website to unsubscribe from the future offers I don't want if I don't know who's behind the website, and I don't trust some sparkly idiot who thought massively cold-calling the entirety of Second Life was a good business strategy?

Bah.

In other annoying news...there's a tiff currently between Curio (you can't go there at present), and Hush Skins. I should state up front, I have a bias. Based on what I know of the designer behind Curio, I'd be hard-pressed to believe, especially considering how new Hush is on the market, that Curio's the one violating Hush.

The problem, though...

[17:30] Cxxxxxx Nxxxxx: Does anyone know the story on Curio?
[17:30] Sxxx Cxxxx: no, sorry
[17:31] Rxxxx Kxxxxx: there was an accusation that Curio copybotted Hush. As I understand it, Curio has to stop selling things until the DMCA issue is resolved to LL's satisfaction
[17:32] Cxxxxxx Nxxxxx: wow
[17:32] Rxxxx Kxxxxx: it doesn't mean they did. It just means there's something going on
[17:32] Rxxxx Kxxxxx: hopefully it gets resolved soon.
[17:33] Nxxxxx Txxxxxxx: It's pretty confusing since that isn't how DMCA usually works unless curio didn't contest it. Since curio hasn't made any announcement and hush only said the one announcement its such a mystery.


...is basically that we have so little information. What's going on? We still don't know. Though this comment from SL Universe has me worried--has Gala Phoenix been banned? Is it temporary, or permanent? Why? What's really going on?

Because the farther I read in the SL Universe posting, the more confused I get. (And my apologies to this commenter--while you say you've seen the court documents, and I have no specific reason to assume you're lying about doing so, then why can't they be found by anyone else? Why did the Hush blog take down the post mentioning Curio's alleged copyright infringement? If she's actually received a court injunction, then you'd think there would be some validating information circling by now; at the very least, an archived copy of the court documents filed as a public record.)

And, as far as I've been able to find, at least--there's just not. While I finally located a cached copy of Hush's original blog post, it raises more questions than it answers, frankly.

Essentially I am tending to agree with Miss Fate and others--if there really is provable copyright infringement going on, it may well be on the part of Hush. Not Curio, but at present, we just don't know who's at fault, and what's going on.

Miss Shichiroji put up a great post containing a video link (NSFW due to nudity, and on Flickr, which means you'll have to be signed in to see it) that takes on the skin differences side by side, with explanations. As I've stated, we still don't know what's going on, but empirically, it looks fishy.

But ultimately, it all comes down to--we just don't know what's going on. Hopefully, more information will be coming, but right now? It looks odd on all sides.

14 comments:

AliceInChains Arun said...

Great post, and it's very sad. I've been confused with all this speculation around the case and hoping that Gala Phoenix will have a word soon. I don't know her, I'm not freak Curio's insane woman but I'm a customer, I have alot of her fatpacks and for a very long time already, like most people watching the whole situation I do agree that Curio is the creator and it would be impossible the 'copybot' item be better and much more detailed than the 'original'.
-Forgive my broken english-
Awesome blog!

Emilly Orr said...

Thanks! And hey, you're doing a lot better than most for whom English is not their primary language.

I'm trying not to take sides, but the rumor (unsubstantiated) is that Curio filed a DMCA cease-and-desist order first, to force Hush to take down copyright-infringing skins.

And that the court case--wherever the court case happened--was Hush's retaliation. If there is a judgment somewhere, then yes, LL must comply, so Gala's on a ban (temporary or permanent is as yet unknown), and her current crop of products are stripped from sale.

I think in the meantime, we're just waiting around to see if we hear more.

Anonymous said...

While I do not wish to take sides, I want to correct a though people are coming out with, about a copied item being better.

Quite often subsequent version are better than an original because they have taken a base and improved upon it. And example is the multitude of people using Eloh Eliot bases, which they have VASTLY improved upon and created very different products from.

I do not claim this is true for this particular case, however it IS possible. Ading defining features and things like pores etc is not at all impossible, and many graphic designers add things like this to pictures and photos for print quality publication.

Additionally, Hush is not new to the market, she is just less known. There are many people with her products from pre-2009 when she was trading under the Vixen label. Unfortunately for the Hush owner, she is considerably less well known as Gala, and has not been as involved in mass promotion of her product.

Again, this is NOT to say (just in case anyone thinks this is in defense of Hush - it's not) that this makes her the original creator.

Emilly, you have done a wonderful job and asked all the right questions while remaining as neutral as possible despite your bias!!

It is unlikely that LL will remove the textures from the asset server for EITHER party, and if this was to happen purchasers of the products would be able to participate in a class action suit against the guilty party (on either side, depending on the outcome) to retrieve their money as spent.

More than likely one or the other will be forced to stop trading, could potentially be banned depending on the outcome and proof they are able to offer as to where they obtained their originating textures (3d.sk etc)

The faces are distincly different for each seller, it is the body which is in question.

We can only hope that this is resolved quickly, as i'm sure anyone purchasing products from EITHER side is a little worried about their inventory.

Emilly Orr said...

That's actually not a common impression--that "copied" items are better. Usually they're worse, and that's part of the problem, I think. If it's accurate that Phoenix filed the DMCA first on Darkrose, then Phoenix was claiming she was the injured party. Which would make anything Darkrose did after retaliation, not honest defense of IP.

But as said, we really don't know what's rumor and what's solid truth, yet.

Chain and Vine said...

Thanks for the info. I've been looking for information on this case and it's difficult to find. I want to express my support for Gala any way that I can. The superior creative process from Curio, and now Tricky from Belleza coming out publicly in support, I hope Gala knows there is love out there and it's not just a flash in the pan. I support Gala 100%

Emilly Orr said...

You mean this? Though there's not much there other than "we stand in support of Gala".

Then again, Belleza is pretty big in the skin game. What they're effectively saying in so few words is "We think she's in the right, and we are silently urging others to take this view as well".

I'll keep looking for more information.

Anonymous said...

I won't be taking any sides either because these things can either way. Also there is often so much more to these stories than anyone knows. I will say this, if you were issued with a DMCA takedown there is no way anyone in their right mind would fire back with court documents if you were in the wrong. Even a false counter file to a DMCA is perjury. So I'm not taking sides despite what looks like the obvious I think there is a lot more to this than meets the eye

Emilly Orr said...

Well, unless you were irretrievably stupid and didn't think these things through. Not saying that's what happened, either, but I've watched too many court shows over the shoulder of one of my loves to really set an effective depth to how dumb people can be. Especially if they feel threatened.

Still--if we posit that view out--forcing Linden Lab's hands for what may turn out to be fraudulent documents would open Ms. Darkrose up to some fairly serious allegations, and international ones, at that. Allegations that--if proven, and not settled out of court--would carry jail terms.

I guess what's really at issue is, how intelligent is Ms. Darkrose? I like to credit people as being better than they usually are, but I'm also a cynic--I know they usually turn out to be far less worthy, far less intelligent, far less insightful. So...how far would Ms. Darkrose push a false claim, if it is false?

Anonymous said...

Is it not possible that hush genially believes they are in the right, is it not possible they are not lying, cheating and thieving. Is it possible they simply bought a template that was originally ripped from Curio and in good faith they had no clue it was stolen.

It seems a lot of people are assuming they simply stole from Curio and are in the wrong. Why would anyone go to such lengths to protect their brand if they were thieves, it makes no sense to m. I will reserve any judgment without the actual facts

Emilly Orr said...

I think you meant "generally", not "genially". That aside...

It's absolutely possibly that Hush could believe she's right--people believe a lot of very silly things, me included. It's perfectly possible she's not--by her own rules and ethics--"lying, cheating and stealing". How'ver, it's your last line in that first paragraph that's important, from where I sit.

"Is it possible they simply bought a template that was originally ripped from Curio and in good faith they had no clue it was stolen."

Yes. Yes it is. But here is where life as a responsible adult comes into play. Let's assume this is exactly what happened. Hush bought a template from someone she thought was legitimate, overjoyed to have a way to better her own line of skins, and didn't know until after the DMCA was filed by Gala that she'd bought such a template. At that point, a responsible adult would have apologized, pulled their skins that used the improper template, possibly apologized to Gala, and gone on with her career and SLife.

Instead, she sent what to all intents and purposes, is a false court notice. This means felony time. This means she's either going to jail or being put on probation, which is nearly as bad. At what point, then, does she finally come forward and say, Okay, I'm sorry, I was in the wrong, what can we do?

Because the longer she insists that she's right on this issue--when all evidence so far revealed proves that she's in the wrong--the worse it's going to be. Far better for her to admit she made a mistake and try to fix it, then hold onto her increasingly shaky moral superiority. Because, sooner or later, she's going to sink...and those waters are very cold, and very dark.

Anonymous said...

I agree the honest thing to do in those circumstance would be to withdraw your product, apologize and its end of story, if that’s the case. Perhaps Hush is not convinced.

But please lets keep it real no one is going to jail over this. At best Curio will take Hush to court, that’s if they have a LOT of cash to waste and IF Curio have copyrighted their skins they can claim back all the court cost and recoup everything, Hush will be ordered to pay for loss of income and possibly defamation etc. But lets not get carried away, no one is going to jail over this, why do Americans (and I’m making that assumption) always think everything is about suing, lawyers and jail time.

Emilly Orr said...

Well, two reasons, actually. First, America is a very litigious country, which I agree is a detriment. How'ver, specific to this instance, I, personally, am bringing up the felony count because falsifying court documents--which is exactly what this was--carries a felony conviction if prosecuted in Canada.

And hey, let's push aside the RL consequences--you're right,Ms. Phoenix (and Ms. Janus of League skins, who Hush also went after) may not have the money to fully prosecute this. You're right.

Let's just talk the SL consequences. Hush Darkrose no longer has products on the marketplace. She no longer has products in-world. And she has been banned.

Effectively? She, her products, and her skins are gone. That's still a consequence.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Emilly, it is a felony and IF that’s what she did she’s a fool, but we still don’t know for sure that she did. There is no actual proof that she falsified the documents, or that she stole anything, which is why I’m trying to stay neutral. I’ve never bought either skins or even heard of them until this, so I take no bias.

There is absolute consequence to everyone involved in this, like you say Hush is gone and so is Curio (not sure if they are back). Both designers suffer loss to their business, reputation and revenue, consumers lose out, nobody is winning at the moment and that’s the very sad consequences of this whole situation.

There are two things I’ve considered.

1/ Curio from what I’ve read have a long standing good reputation, they provide quality products which are sourced from original content, so they have no reason to rip anything and it just doesn’t seem that they would.

2/Hush is so vigorously defending themselves I can’t help but think they must wholeheartedly believe their innocence. In all the years I’ve been in SL I don’t think I’ve seen anyone caught red handed who didn’t back down and quietly disappear, I’m sure it’s happened but I’ve never seen it.

Perhaps it’s my undying faith in human beings that makes me want to believe this is just a great big misunderstanding and neither side is wrong.

Emilly Orr said...

I see her insistence on the two DMCAs filed against her (Ms. Phoenix' and Ms. Janus', specifically; I don't know if there have been others) being supposedly wrongful attacks, or jealousy, or people who had copied her designs trying to exact revenge upon her as a malicious act, but you may be right--she simply may be that stupid.

I don't have much faith in any of us, really; maybe somewhere, something in her is telling her--in spite of all evidence to the contrary--that she is right, or that she must press this as far as she can rather than to lose face. It takes a very secure person indeed to commit a wrongful act, and then accept it and apologize for it.

Maybe we're all simply expecting her to act like an adult, and she doesn't have the capacity to take responsibility for her own actions, or to realize that she might have made a mistake anywhere along the line.