Saturday, January 12, 2013

I left a thorn under your bed, I'm never gone

Speaking of copyright infringement...

This is Vanille, from Final Fantasy XIII:

(from the Comparisons album; the character of Vanille from Final Fantasy XIII, All Rights Reserved,
Copyright Square Enix)

As far as I'm concerned, she's the second most annoying character in the game, but hey, at least she's memorable. Or something.

This is Vanille as an action figure:

(from the Comparisons album; the character of Vanille from Final Fantasy XIII, All Rights Reserved,
Copyright Square Enix; figure is sold by Kirin Hobby, among others, for $39.95 plus shipping.)

This I tracked down less for the Vanille doll options, and more for the full-length outfit/accessories shots.

I'm thinking we're all on the same page so far, yeah?

This is the "Hippie Girl" avatar from 'Fantasy Mesh':

(from the Comparisons album; the character of Vanille from Final Fantasy XIII, All Rights Reserved,
Copyright Square Enix; mesh avatar made by Alternate Lastchance for Fantasy Mesh on the SL Marketplace.)

Gosh, but that entirely coincidental resemblance is uncanny, innit? Well, not so much, because Ms. Lastchance also features the entirely coincidental mesh avatar rip-offs of the Elementalist from Guild Wars, Bayonetta (renamed "Ninja Girl") from the game Bayonetta, plus Lightning, Tifa, Rikku from Final Fantasy games...do I need to go on? Essentially, every damned thing Ms. Lastchance makes is infringing on someone's copyrighted creations.

There's not one original thought in Lastchance's head. It's sickening.

Perceive this. We all violate copyright, at one point or another. For some it's music; for others, movies or software. Some people copy paintings. Some copy furniture styles, or fashions. No less an august personage as Michelangelo knew this well--a famous saying is attributed to him:
"Where I steal an idea, I leave my knife."
Even back then, inspiration came from other artists, and influenced the work.

In Second Life, since it is, in essence, all virtual, it's just easier to have what we want. Remember: wanting isn't the bad thing. It's not a flaw, it's not a weakness of character, to want. And, RL or SL, it's not always a weakness of character to have--consider cosplayers, for instance.
Where the ethical lines are drawn is generally in making a profit on the creations of others. And this is where we as individuals need to decide--are we honorable, or are we thieves? And if we're thieves, is it going to bother us to be thieves?

And if we are thieves, we cannot remain ignorant of the consequences of being thieves. Because, while SL violations rarely result in RL consequences, they can. It depends on the violation. And even if RL consequences never manifest, if we do not do our own work, so to speak, we risk losing access to those works, losing temporary access to the grid, or a permanent ban from Second Life forever.

So is it worth it? Is it worth the brief and temporary financial gain? That's the question we should consider. Especially if we're Alternate Lastchance.

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