Combatting I.P. Theft

iprightsclogneutral2.jpgSome time ago it was brought to our attention that a resident was selling, not only furniture designs that looked dangerously close to Colleen’s work, but misappropriated copies of custom textures that were made specifically for Loft creations. These textures were never distributed outside of the business partnership.

She maintains that the texture work was wholly created by her. And, though the world is filled with unexplained phenomenon, the likelihood of two far-removed and separate people creating the same texture with the same exact wood grain patterns in the precise shade, color and hue using an identical Photoshop filter/effect process is highly unlikely. Not to mention the two others that happen to be the same as Colleen’s – same threading lines, same speckle patterning – everything. Coincidence? We think not.

Loft (left) vs. seVan (right)What the delinquent failed to account for are the many times, we, as a creative team, have been in Skype talking and helping one another by offering Photoshop tips, tricks and solutions for texture outcomes, such as the prominent wood one was stolen from Colleen. It’s very much a collaborative effort around here and that wood was a result of such a session.

To prove her innocence and clear her name she sent The Loft designers the .psd file that she claimed would show that the work was hers, however, it’s quite apparent that the content from the file she sent and the texture she actually uses in-world are two completely different fruits. Colleen’s texture is simulated wood and was custom-made from scratch. Her .psd files contain a photographic reference.

Members of her business partnership have been reasonable and helpful, within their power, to influence the delinquent to replace the textures in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and we thank them. The delinquent has not only infringed upon Colleen’s rights as a content creator, but caused much strain on her business partners, who feel duped in all this. Especially now that Emma Gilmour of Sand Shack Surf Co. has become a victim of this individual’s unabashed theft.

Stolen work is prevalent across the grid and Linden Labs’ silence and inertia has caused many to question why there seems to be no initiative to protect the work of those who have made this particular so appealing to new registrants and organizations looking to establish a virtual worlds presence. Was the creative freedom and ownership promised by this “brave new world” a farse?

For a long time Naughty Designs has been a victim of content theft. Custom texture makers and builders alike have been affected – Barnesworth Anubis Pre-Fabulous Homes, Celestial Studios, ETD, FNKY!, Minnu Model Skins, Philotic Energy, Redgrave, Sand Shack Surf Co., X2:Exotic and so many other content creators have been faced with the ugliness of theft. These people have all invested lots of their time, effort, talent and personal resources into making Second Life better by providing diverse content.

Please continue to support Intellectual Property Rights in Second Life.

If you see dodgy content, please contact the individual whom you believe has had their work stolen to notify them of the relevant details.

The Loft staff want to thank Aeryn Toland, Miabella Foxley, Tenshi Vielle and Vanya Rennahan for their efforts in direct support of this situation.

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