Sunday, November 11, 2012


xelisa, owner of **Lisa**Style** converses with others after  copybotted items were removed.
Her name was on the boxes. Her name was on the sign. I'm quite sure that her name was on all the clothing inside the boxes. Yet, after the copybotted items were removed, she was still wandering the sim. Don't even bother telling her that her account will be banned, she won't be. She laughs when you say that. She has self-appointed diplomatic immunity. The only way we'll wipe that smug smile off her face is to get Linden Lab to pay attention to us. If they don't care that copybots are hurting their profits, maybe the shareholders will:  But we need some help. Read on for more.

Pretty much a noob looking store, but really nice clothes, right?
All photos except for the 2007 photo and copybotter photo provided by Auster Elan of GizzA.

Arguably, the best gift given to us by Linden Lab are the Intellectual Property Rights that were granted early in the creation of SL. To keep this simple, this means that we are given the rights to what we create in the world of Second Life. We own our work. In the case of what happens in Second Life, we're given copyright over our work (since we're artists, not inventors). This is such a great gift because it means that, other than rights Linden Lab retains to use our photography in marketing (which is generally considered an honor) or our work for other matters as outlined in the provisions of their gift to us, we have the ability to take our work and use it in other worlds. Our outfits can cross over into other virtual worlds. A gorgeous photograph of a beautiful sim can be used as the image on one of those fancy create-your-own credit card things, or even printed out, framed and sold in RL (if the covenant allows, of course...respect our artists). We aren't limited with what we can do with our creations.
How many do you recognize?
Enter copybots. Most of us have immense respect for the art created by the designers who bring us realistic clothing, skin (omg skin used to be so bad), accessories, and furniture. We understand the work that goes into each piece. We appreciate how they have beautified the landscape. After all, without the work of our devoted designers, we'd still be stuck looking like this: 

Yeah, them was good times...
To some, copybots may seem like nothing more than those grabbing torrents of movies and software. They don't bother us so why should we bother with them. After all, these designers make so much money. Who cares if they lose some Lindens because someone took their designs and is selling them under her name? Everyone should care, because copybotters don't just copy, they use their ability to copybot to commit a variety of crimes and you could be next. If you own a club, you could find yourself on the losing end of extortion. If you have a small store in a mall you could enter SL to find your items being passed out to anyone who may want them. And if a copybotter is part of a copybot community, they share griefing scripts, theft scripts, and advice on how to use the honest to their own advantage. They terrorize our world, and they create a platform that is not conducive to the creativity that we need to thrive. And they believe they are entitled to all this because they aren't disciplined or can't be disciplined for their bad behavior.

I'm sure you can get these right off the top of your head.
But we have the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), a real life law designed to protect copyrights in the digital age, right? As Auster mentioned to me while we discussed this, he has filed thousands of complaints against copybotters. With the lack of communication from Linden Lab, he never knows what the outcome of his complaint is. He can assume a fax or letter was received and the items removed, but we all know what happens when you assume, right? Additionally, designers have to report each and every copybotter in this manner, taking their time away from creating gorgeous outfits for us.

Thank you for giving us our precious Intellectual Property Rights, Linden Lab, but when we aren't able to feel safe our creativity is stifled. This is hazardous to your profits as well as ours. If you truly believe that "creativity empowers people like nothing else," it's time that you quite empowering the criminals and return to empowering the creative minds that drive what made Linden Lab what is it today. Second Life customers, if you agree that creativity empowers us in Second Life, not just in Linden Lab's new release "Patterns" and that we should have the same environment that feeds creativity that we had before, scroll up and sign the petition. Our voices need to be heard.

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