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Jez Ember

MP scammer and what to do about it

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I received an IM from a well known creator of animation systems a couple of weeks back, bringing to my attention a group of sellers (all obviously alts) on the MP who were selling cloned and fake products. He uses SlySense so was able to prove that items of his on sale there were cloned (no mention of how). He had DMCA'd the sellers and had his stuff removed, so obviously LL were aware, but had not banned the seller nor taken down the store.

The stores are also selling some of my games, in particular a card game called U-Know. Since then I've had complaints from people who have purchased the game from those stores but received only the game HUD, which is a copy/trans item that anyone can get for free, and is useless without the game table.

I've established that he also, occassionally, sells a complete table. This has me even more concerned, since I'm aware that he's selling cloned items. However, since I don't currently have a licensing system, I've no idea how to prove that. I've no idea how it's even possible to clone a scripted item in SL these days, other than a rollback. It's making me very paranoid about sending redliveries and replacement no-copy items to my customers!

You'd think it would be easy to do something about this...  but what?  I've AR'd the sellers, no response, no action taken that I can see (in that the seller is still active). I tried to flag the item but there's absolutely no category for scam listings, and I assume my efforts were ignored. The stores are full of items that are widely pirated within SL (search U-Know and take a look, right now all the listings other than mine are, I believe, the same person). I can't in good faith file a DMCA without being able to prove that these items are stolen, and the selling of free HUDs as something else would seem to be a TOS issue, not DMCA. In the cases that I've been contacted about I've urged the buyers to file a report.

Any thoughts?  Anyone else affected by this?

Jez

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Hello i checked some of the found items, one has a review that only the HUD got delivered the others are "limited quantity". Could it be that they are sold 2nd hand ?

No idea how that all could be pirated, build scripts .....

Funny is the seller had copied exactly your description what alone is wrong.

Sorry i have no further help. DMCA is a USA thing and not well known outside.

Monti

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I think he's reselling some of his old transfer items. I looked through this listings and see lots of recognizable items and they are all transferable and all with limited quantitys. Sounds like he is just having a marketplace yard sale.

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Delivering only a free HUD when the listing is for a full game is not a yard sale. I did notice that the listings are limited quantities - whenever they run out they get topped up within a day or two.

I guess I'll DMCA the listings for using my descriptive text.

Jez

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 You mentioned rollbacks. It's possible that he owns legitimate transferrable tables and owns a sim. He might be able to take the tables into inventory and then request a rollback to a time when the tables were on the land instead. which would restore the copies on land and still leave him copies in his inventory that he could resell.

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On one of the other items he/she has for sale is written:

This Platform Heel is not my design. I am cleaning out my inventory and claim no rights to this product.

So it does look like its a ''Markedplace Inventory Sellout''.... That can't be legal what so ever.

I wish I could tell you what to do, but I am also outside US and I am not understanding the DMCA concept at all..

Blessings

Lis / madam

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Jez Ember wrote:

Delivering only a free HUD when the listing is for a full game is not a yard sale. I did notice that the listings are limited quantities - whenever they run out they get topped up within a day or two.

I guess I'll DMCA the listings for using my descriptive text.

Jez

 

i agree that's pretty shady but I was reffering only to your suspecion of it being a "cloned" item. not weather he was actually delivering what he says is delivering.

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My suspicion of cloning came from a communication from a well known creator of animations, who I guess I can't name without breaking the TOS (not that he'd mind).  He was certain his stuff had been cloned as he acquired one and checked it against SlySense.

A few years ago this went on all the time, but I thought the holes for content duplication were closed now, other than rollbacks which we can only hope LL perform with due diligence.

I don't believe an inventory clear out would yield a continuous stream of product over a number of alts which replenish each time they sell out, unless the one actual game delivery I'm aware of was a one off and all the rest are scams. I have no problem with people selling on their old games that they no longer require, and I'm aware of a few second hand product dealers who trade trans items, but I don't believe that's what's happening here.

I guess I can't prove anything, so the question remains, for the obvious scam (delivery of a freebie item instead of the advertised product) what does it take to get a listing taken down? I thought LL would be all over that kind of shenanigans, considering how aggressively they police legitimate content creators who make an innocent listing slip.

Jez

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Hi Jez,

If he is selling entire tables,  they are either no/copy transfer ones (the nicest possible explanation could be that he once owned a club, and legitimately owned a pile of them that he no longer needs so is yardsaling them)..or...they are copybotted/cloned versions, and not neccessarily containing your scripts (which I don't believe can be copybotted).

Pity you can't get your hands on one of the purchased tables to do an inspect of the prims and inspect of the contents. Because that would answer a lot of your questions. Perhaps a customer of his might oblige you if you happened to bump into one?

The sale of the huds is pretty damning. There is an inworld AR category for fraud..does that apply to MP stores too?

I like your games, Jez, and know you've worked pretty hard to deliver great quality to your customers. I really hope you find the solution you need.

 

 

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With regard to remote he is selling, that is clear fraud IMHO, but the person who would need to file the AR is the person who was defrauded, namely the buyers.  You can encourage them to do this when and if they contact you.

As to the games, if I were you I'd buy one and inspect it.  Use an alt or a friend if you don't want it known you bought it.  If it shows someone else  as the creator, then its copybotted.  You have strong case for a DMCA provide you can show proof that you created the game before him,which I assume you can.  LL will take them down, however if he files a counterclaim they will put them back and you will then have to take him to court.  This is the ONLY way LL will act on this.  AR's are not sufficient for LL to remove them  The law requires the DMCA filing.

If they show you as the creator, you would then need to prove he somehow stole them.  It is possible that he's going around and buying them at yard sales or directly from their former owners.  However if there is proof he stole them the person(s) he stole from would then have to file the AR got fraud. 

To my knowledge there are only three ways he could have gotten them that didn't involve copybot.  The first is that they were given /sold to him by the original owner; entirely legal..  The second is he had someone's mod rights and was able to take it into inventory: a gray area because because presumably when you give someone mod rights you voluntarily take a risk of loss. The third is that he hacked someone's account, and  gained access to their inventory to transfer things to his own; clearly illegal.

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It is not really necessary to prove anything to file a DMCA. The proof and evidence etc. are necessary if you are going to go to court. 

 

Here is all you need to do http://secondlife.com/corporate/dmca.php  -- which involves a simple statement that you hold the copyright. There are severe penalties for falsely filing a DMCA or counter DMCA.

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Welcome to SL, where you can sell an empty prim for $5k claiming it's a fully furnished skybox and completely get away with it. The worst that will happen (and it pretty much never happens ) is they ban your account, then you just create a new one and start scamming some more. As for copying/cloning, that's really secondary as pretty much nothing in SL is original anyways.

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make sure your not setting your items as "transfer" if you do not want them sold on marketplace otherwise soon as someone gets tired of the item they are going to sell it on marketplace and there will not be anything you can realy do about it.

if you want the item to be giftable send people to your marketplace were they can have the item sent directly to the person they want it to go to with "no transfer" applyed.

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