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Paul Hexem
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So, I understand that LL requires DMCA reports to take down content someone stole/copy botted, but there's something I'm still confused about.

How is it they can get away with obviously stolen content being uploaded and listed, and not do anything about it? Game characters ripped and uploaded, for example.

YouTube tries to detect movies at the time of upload, because they got in trouble for allowing stolen uploads. Why isn't it the same with LL?
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Because LL hasn't been caught and fined for IP right infringement and the content being ripped off is seldom stolen from some major producer of digital content like Sony, Paramount, Universal, Fox, Capitol Records, AMI etc.  SL is very small time compared to YouTude so the owners of that content probably don't even think about SL with it comes to infringement.  Disney has taken down content in SL as has Coca Cola but, in reality, those take downs were more symbolic than anything (but it did get the point across......you don't see much Disney Stuff or Coke stuff on SL anymore).  Adjusting the upload software for content to check against IP rights already in place would be a massive and expensive undertaking.........LL does not have the resources that Youtube has.  Ultimately it's the person uploading the stolen content responsibility to comply with IP rights of others..........not the service's responsibility.  YouTube chose to monitor the uploads for convenience.........not because the law says they have to.  Just because YouTube got fined by some court action does not make it YouTube's responsibility.  Fines and lost lawsuits happen all the time to the people with deep pockets and those people with deep pockets often put into place practices that they do not legally have to put into place but to avoid court actions in the future they do it anyway.  LL probably feels the cost verses the gain is not enough.  Some day, if SL gets big enough (and LL get rich enough), some form of checking will be put into place.  Until then LL is relying on the content creators to take the actions on their own.........and, I think that won't change anytime soon (if ever).

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The reason youtube does that is because they was getting thousands and thousands of DMCA's from the music industri at a constant rate, introducing their automatic system means saving manpower to deal with it for Youtube, which means saving money.Also I belive it was so crazy with youtube in the early days that they were close to loosing their "safe habor" status (liability limitation).

Ripped mesh in Second Life does exists plenty, but I'm guessing the actual copyright holders either don't care enough to waste time with takedowns, or just don't know about it - which again, probably means they don't care too much ;-)

Even with some things getting DMCA'd now, I'm guessing LL doesn't think it's a big enough strain on their company to handle the current DMCA notifications for it to be worth a more "proactive" line of action.

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Some copy/paste from wiki:

 

Viacom Inc. v. YouTube, Google Inc.

On March 13, 2007, Viacom filed a lawsuit against YouTube and its corporate parent Google for copyright infringement seeking more than $1 billion in damages. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Viacom claims the popular video-sharing site was engaging in "massive intentional copyright infringement" for making available a contended 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom's entertainment programming. Google relied on the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act's "safe harbor" provision to shield them from liability.[6]

On June 23, 2010, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton granted summary judgment in favor of YouTube.[7] The court held that YouTube is protected by the safe harbor of the DMCA. Viacom has said that it will appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as soon as possible.[8]

On April 5, 2012, the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Judge Louis Stanton's ruling, and instead ruled that Viacom had presented enough evidence against YouTube to warrant a trial, and the case should not have been thrown out in summary judgement. The court did uphold the ruling that YouTube could not be held liable based on "general knowledge" that users on its site were infringing copyright. The case will be sent back to the District Court in New York to be tried.[9]

Also on an interesting side note this:

 

Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.

In 2007, Stephanie Lenz, a writer and editor from Gallitzin, Pennsylvania made a home video of her 13-month-old son dancing to "Let's Go Crazy" and posted a 29-second video on the video-sharing site YouTube. Four months after the video was originally uploaded, Universal Music Group, which owned the copyrights to the song, ordered YouTube to remove the video enforcing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Lenz notified YouTube immediately that her video was within the scope of fair use, and demanded that it be restored. YouTube complied after six weeks—not two weeks, as required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act—to see whether Universal planned to sue Lenz for infringement. Lenz then sued Universal Music in California for her legal costs, claiming the music company had acted in bad faith by ordering removal of a video that represented fair use of the song.[17]

In August 2008, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel of San Jose, California ruled that copyright holders cannot order a deletion of an online file without determining whether that posting reflected "fair use" of the copyrighted material.

On February 25, 2010, Judge Fogel issued a ruling rejecting several of Universal's affirmative defenses, including the defense that Lenz suffered no damages.[18]

 

Guess it just goes to show that copyright enforcement can be a **bleep**, for everybody involved ;-)

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Gadget Portal wrote:

How is it they can get away with obviously stolen content being uploaded and listed, and not do anything about it? Game characters ripped and uploaded, for example.


"Get away with" isn't really the right choice of words, and it's hardly fair to say they do "not do anything about it".   LL complies with the exact same set of laws as every other online service provider, in this regard. 

Here's how it works, for all OSP's, including LL, YouTube, and everybody else.  If and when the provider is alerted to the presence of allegedly infringing content, via a properly submitted DMCA takedown notice, they take the content down.  And likewise, if and when they are alerted to content that a user feels should be restored, via a properly filed DMCA counter-notice, they put the content back up.  This is what the law requires, and it's exactly what LL, YouTube, and all the others do.

In both types of cases, the provider is required to act without prejudice.  When they take content down, they're not saying the accuser was right, and when they put it back up, they're not saying the accused was right.  In each and every instance, they're simply complying with the terms of each notice, as is required of them by law, nothing more, nothing less.

 

There are two important reasons why LL doesn't (and shouldn't) try to police these things in advance.  One is technical, the other legal. 

I'll cover the technical first.  There's simply no way for the system to be able to automatically determine whether or not a 3D model happens to look like any particular thing.  That would require some really scary AI that isn't even close to having been invented yet.

Now the legal, which is far more important.  The simple truth on the ground is that LL has no way of knowing in advance what is authorized and what is not. If they were just to go around arbitrarily deleting stuff that looks like it MIGHT be infringing, they'd inevitably end up interfering with legitimate business.

Over the years, I've done work in SL for CBS/Paramount, NBC/Universal, SyFy, Sundance Channel,  and countless other companies, all of whom hired me to produce content that was highly recognizable as their properties.  LL had no way of knowing that I had permission in any of these cases.  Imagine if they had just gone around arbitrarily deleting stuff, on the assumption that I was infringing, when in fact, I was not.  That would have been extremely bad for everybody.  I probably would have sued them for it, and I'd imagine my clients would have, as well, since we all would have lost a ton of time and money.

The bottom line is it's not LL's job to decide who might or might not be infringing.  That's what we have courts for.  LL's role, just like that of all service providers, is to remain neutral at all times, and comply with all legal notices they receive.  That's it.

 


Gadget Portal wrote:

 

YouTube tries to detect movies at the time of upload, because they got in trouble for allowing stolen uploads. Why isn't it the same with LL?

As far as I know, YouTube won't preemptively take anything down.  They merely provide certain tools to help copyright holders to identify potentially infringing content.  From there, it's up to each copyright holder to determine whether or not to act.

In other words, when something gets taken down from YouTube due to copyright concerns, it's not because YouTube itself has decided the content has to go.  It's because the copyright holder has asked them to take it down.  The accused is free to file a counter-notice to have the content restored, just like with any other provider.

The only difference between YouTube and LL in this regard is that LL doesn't and can't have the same kinds of tools YouTube has to help with detection.  A 3D model isn't like a song or a video clip, that can be easily compared with an existing library of sounds and videos for analysis.  Models are far more nebulous than that.  There's no good way to automate the process.

The actual legal processes for take-down and restoration are the same for both services (and all online services).

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Chosen Few wrote:


Gadget Portal wrote:

How is it they can get away with obviously stolen content being uploaded and listed, and not do anything about it? Game characters ripped and uploaded, for example.


"Get away with" isn't really the right choice of words, and it's hardly fair to say they do "not do anything about it".   LL complies with the exact same set of laws as every other online service provider, in this regard. 

Here's how it works, for all OSP's, including LL, YouTube, and everybody else.  If and when the provider is alerted to the presence of allegedly infringing content, via a properly submitted DMCA takedown notice, they take the content down.  And likewise, if and when they are alerted to content that a user feels should be restored, via a properly filed DMCA counter-notice, they put the content back up.  This is what the law requires, and it's exactly what LL, YouTube, and all the others do.

In both types of cases, the provider is required to act without prejudice.  When they take content down, they're not saying the accuser was right, and when they put it back up, they're not saying the accused was right.  In each and every instance, they're simply complying with the terms of each notice, as is required of them by law, nothing more, nothing less.

 

There are two important reasons why LL doesn't (and shouldn't) try to police these things in advance.  One is technical, the other legal. 

I'll cover the technical first.  There's simply no way for the system to be able to automatically determine whether or not a 3D model happens to look like any particular thing.  That would require some really scary AI that isn't even close to having been invented yet.

Now the legal, which is far more important.  The simple truth on the ground is that LL has no way of knowing in advance what is authorized and what is not. If they were just to go around arbitrarily deleting stuff that looks like it MIGHT be infringing, they'd inevitably end up interfering with legitimate business.

Over the years, I've done work in SL for CBS/Paramount, NBC/Universal, SyFy, Sundance Channel,  and countless other companies, all of whom hired me to produce content that was highly recognizable as their properties.  LL had no way of knowing that I had permission in any of these cases.  Imagine if they had just gone around arbitrarily deleting stuff, on the assumption that I was infringing, when in fact, I was not.  That would have been extremely bad for everybody.  I probably would have sued them for it, and I'd imagine my clients would have, as well, since we all would have lost a ton of time and money.

The bottom line is it's not LL's job to decide who might or might not be infringing.  That's what we have courts for.  LL's role, just like that of all service providers, is to remain neutral at all times, and comply with all legal notices they receive.  That's it.

 

Gadget Portal wrote:

 

YouTube tries to detect movies at the time of upload, because they got in trouble for allowing stolen uploads. Why isn't it the same with LL?

As far as I know, YouTube won't preemptively take anything down.  They merely provide certain tools to help copyright holders to identify potentially infringing content.  From there, it's up to each copyright holder to determine whether or not to act.

In other words, when something gets taken down from YouTube due to copyright concerns, it's not because YouTube itself has decided the content has to go.  It's because the copyright holder has asked them to take it down.  The accused is free to file a counter-notice to have the content restored, just like with any other provider.

The only difference between YouTube and LL in this regard is that LL doesn't and can't have the same kinds of tools YouTube has to help with detection.  A 3D model isn't like a song or a video clip, that can be easily compared with an existing library of sounds and videos for analysis.  Models are far more nebulous than that.  There's no good way to automate the process.

The actual legal processes for take-down and restoration are the same for both services (and all online services).

The big hole in almost everythjng you just said: It's not detecting what a 3D model looks like.

A lot of these people don't even rename it. They literally upload a model of Batman from the Arkham Asylum game, and name it "Batman from Arkham Asylum".

Other games/platforms already auto-detect names at the time of creation (no matter what the content), to protect themselves. I just think it's odd that LL hasn't been made to yet.

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Actually all of Chosen's points still stand and are correct.

Even when you upload a model with the name of some game character. LL can not determine whether or not you are a legal copyright holder for content of this kind.

And even if all users of SL would decide to pay monthly for using SL, and financing a team that would do nothing else then requesting copyright / or intellectual property right papers from every single person trying to upload a mesh with a questionable naming, plus a team creating and continuously updating this needed intense database with all possible names and naming for objects that 'could' be questionable ..

.. Including the whole film-, game- and every other kind of -industry, every Brand, company names, every A or B-prominent person.. Simply everything where copy or IPR could become a question.. well I guess you get the idea.

And if we are on it, the same would have to go for graphical work, as in images, logos, slogans, copies of artwork, images of known people.. etc.

This all includes a lot money no one is willing to pay, and a lot effort that would not make sense either..

Because in that case those people would just rename their objects to 'fluffy puffy bunny' and upload it anyways. No matter the huge database of names your mesh or image would have to go through while you are then having to wait 30 minutes for it to finally upload.

SL is, as Chosen said, holding up their needed rule-sets just as any other OP provider. They state clearly what  is allowed and what not, therefore exists the Terms of Service. You are also requested to make an IPR test before uploading your content, being clearly informed that even similar naming is already - in case you are not a copyright holder - a break of the terms, and thus the fact you accepted and have been informed can be held against you should you be found guilty of doing such a thing.

And the regular way things have to be handled is still this: 

- random person or copyright / IPR owner sees the infringement
- Person informs Copyright / IPR holder
- IPR holder / copyright owner decides to not do a thing, or ;
- IPR / copyright holder makes a complaint against the person and objects in question towards the provider
- Actions are taken, if enough proof exists. 
- Action from the side of SL contains only the removal of the object in question, not to start any legal actions against the person in question, with repeating complaints against a certain person they can decide to ban this person permanently from this Online service.
- The IPR / or copyright holder takes legal action against the person in question or decides not to.

I know it's frustrating when something got stolen. But the best you can do, if you find anything being in question of breaking copyright laws or IPR, contact the assumed IPR or Copyrights Holder and inform them, with as much valid proof as possible. It is however completely up to them how and if they take action.

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Well stated, Codewarrior.  The long and short of things like this is that people just don't take the time to think about what might be involved.  It all sounds so simple.  Others do it so what's the problem?  It's seldom as simple as it seems.  I'll use an example that is related to my real life line of work.  Someone wants a door put in a room to make it easier to get to the bathroom at night......what's so hard about cutting a rectangular hole in the wall and hanging a door?  Actually, that's not hard at all...........but if the building or home is going to fall down because of that rectangular hole in the wall, things get complicated and EXPENSIVE.  There comes a point where it's just no worth the effort......especially when a door already exists that will lead the same bathroom.  If it were easy and cost effective, LL would have already done it..........a long time ago.

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Gadget Portal wrote:

The big hole in almost everythjng you just said: It's not detecting what a 3D model looks like.


I'm not sure how isolating one point from all the others constitutes a "hole in almost everything."  A hole in one thing, maybe, if you happen to disagree with that particular point, but certainly not a hole in everything.

Notice I devoted all of just two sentences to that point.  The rest of my post was about other points, which were completely unrelated to that one, and which I stated were far more important than that one.  Did you read those?

 


Gadget Portal wrote:

A lot of these people don't even rename it. They literally upload a model of Batman from the Arkham Asylum game, and name it "Batman from Arkham Asylum".


I'm glad that this is important to you.  It's certainly very important to me, as well.  Unfortunately, when it comes to combating it, there's just no preemptive policy that can truly work.  The only one that is practical is the one that is prescribed by the law, which is for the IP owner, not the service provider, to call the shots.  Service providers are required to remain neutral, lest they risk losing their safe harbor protections, under the law.  Silly as that may seem when infringement is so painfully obvious, it still remains the way it has to work.

As for the subject of names, they don't necessarily carry as much weight as you might want them to.  The problem needs to be looked at from all possible angles.

What if I'm working for Warner Bros., and I'm uploading that Batman model as part of a promotion the company wants to do in SL?  If LL were to just arbitrarily bar me from using the model's proper name, I'd have a problem, my client would have a problem, and LL might well be in some legal trouble because of it.

If you think that sounds far fetched, it's not.  When CBS tasked me with making Star Trek content for them in SL, LL had no way of knowing I had permission.  If they'd had a system in place like the one you propose, I'd never have been able to do that project.   Ditto for when SyFy wanted me to explore the feasibility of a Battlestar Galactica game in SL.  I made a bunch of content for that, which wouldn't have been doable under your proposed rules.   There was also  "Smokin' Aces", and "I am Legend", and "Beowulf", and "CSI:NY", and "The L Word", and "Laguna Beach", and tons of other TV shows, movies, and games, around which SL content was created either directly by me, or by people I was working closely with at the time.  None of them would have been possible had LL just gone around arbitrarily blocking anything that looked like it MIGHT be infringing.  They didn't know we had permission.

If LL were ever to adopt the kind of 'shoot first, ask questions later' policy that you propose, little if any legitimate business in SL could ever get done from that point forward.  Curbing piracy is important, but it's not as important as ensuring that those of us who are not pirates can do our jobs as effectively as possible.

 

Another angle to consider is fundamental fairness, regarding the uniformity of application of such a policy.  In order for any policy, especially an automated one, to be fair, it has to be universally enforced.  It's easy to know that Batman is a trademarked character, but what about lesser known properties that aren't so easy to spot? 

For example, I'm doing some artwork right now for a soon to be released new comic book, the main character of which is named Subject K.  Subject K is a trademarked character, just like Batman is a trademarked character.  Legally, they both enjoy all the same protections.  If LL were to disallow the upload of Batman models, they should likewise disallow upload of Subject K models.  But since nobody's yet heard of Subject K (and very few ever will, if this particular comic doesn't sell well), how is LL supposed to know about him?

In order to make the policy universally enforceable, LL would have to magically know about every single copyrighted and trademarked item in existence, at all times.  If they were just to police for big companies like Warner Bros. and not equally police for smaller companies and individuals, can you imagine the endless accusations they'd have to face, about only caring about the rich, and not protecting the little guy?  

If you think the SL conspiracy theorists are bad now, hand them that little gem, and see what they cook up!  (No, I'm not saying the conspiracy theorists should have any say in policy, or that LL should adjust its policies to try to shut them up, so don't worry.)

 

Also, what about cases of fair use?  That's a whole other can of worms.  There are circumstances under which it's legal to use protected IP without the owner's permission (parody, education, research, etc.).  It's not inconceivable that some of those circumstances could exist within SL.  How would your proposed block-by-name system handle that?

 

I could go on all day listing more and more use cases in which it could be perfectly legal to upload a model that happened to have been used in a video game.  There's absolutely no way any automated system, or even any human-based system, could possibly screen for them all with any degree of effectiveness.  So, once again, the only policy that makes any sense at all is for the service provider not to take any action until and unless an IP owner asks them to.

That's why the law is written the way it is.  It's just the only practical way to proceed.

 


Gadget Portal wrote:

Other games/platforms already auto-detect names at the time of creation (no matter what the content), to protect themselves. I just think it's odd that LL hasn't been made to yet.


If you're talking about the fact that you can't name your World of Warcraft character Darth Vader or something, that's a pretty different thing.  Those kinds of games are not open ended platforms like SL, they don't depend on user-created content, and they don't have third party companies doing business in them.  Disallowing a character name is whole different animal from disallowing an entire asset, or even the name of an asset.

If you're talking about something else, please explain.  I'm not aware of any other UGC-dependent platform which has the restrictions of which you speak.

 

 

The bottom line is that IP theft is a social problem, not a technical problem.  Trying to impose a technical solution on a social problem simply cannot work.  History has show that, time and time again.

In the early days of desktop computing, we had copy-protected floppy disks.  They caused no end of problems for legitimate users, right up to the day they were discontinued, and in all likelihood, they never stopped a single pirate.  Fast forward a couple of decades, and the launch of writable CD's gets delayed for years, in an attempt to curb music and software piracy.  Again, legitimate users are penalized, while pirates just keep right on trucking.  Move up another couple of decades, and we get DRM-protected music on iTunes, and encrypted DVD's.  Nobody who wants to steal music or movies is stopped, but those who atually do buy it are inconvenienced at every turn. 

Now you want to add some kind of Skynet system to SL that would somehow magically analyze what people are uploading, and block anything it doesn't think is Kosher.   I see no reason to expect that that from of DRM would be any more successful than any of the others.  Legitimate users would be alienated, while thieves would still steal.  DRM doesn't work, period.  It never has, and never will.

 

Look, I'm right there with you in agreeing that stealing IP is wrong, and that we all have an obligation to do what we can to help put a stop to it (which, by the way, includes having these kinds of very important conversations, like the one we're having right now).  However, I simply can't agree that any service provider, be it LL or any other, should try to impose iron-fisted draconian DRM policies to try to see it done.

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I think the most relevant point here is that it is frustrating to see blatant copyright infringement and not be able to so much as report it.

In the end, however, LL would just drown in the deluge of reports they would immediately get and summarily have to research the validity of. Honestly, do we want to see -more- of LL be dedicated to conflicts of interest? I imagine their IT and Customer Service departments must live an endless hell as it is. I can think of no other game with the complications that Second Life could have with user uploaded content and a centralized marketplace and currency and everything.

I'd rather see them focus more effort on actually improving SL, not arbitrating justice to pirates, irritating as they may be.

Let's just do our parts and not buy their crap, yeah?

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Rahkis Andel wrote:

I think the most relevant point here is that it is frustrating to see blatant copyright infringement and not be able to so much as report it.

I'm not sure why people feel they can't report it.  There just seems to be tremendous misunderstanding about to whom such reports should be delivered.  It's NOT Linden Lab.

The proper thing to do, not just in SL, but in all cases of suspected infringement, is to report it directly to the IP owner.  I do that all the time, and I don't find it frustrating in the least.

As an example, not two days ago, I discovered that a local comic book shop in my area was selling their own in-house produced Superman comics.  So, I called DC, and told them what I saw.  I assume DC will take action to stop it, but it's really none of my business whether they do or they don't.  It's for them to decide what happens with their property, not me.  In reporting it to them, I did my civic duty, and that's where my role ends.

By the same token, if I were to come across the "Batman from Arkham Asylum" models that the OP mentioned, I'd alert Warner Bros., as they're the ones responsible for that particular property.  And again, that's where my role would end.

Would it be satsifying to know that action was indeed taken, and that the ripoff artists were shut down?  Sure.  But if DC, or WB, or whoever, decides not to pursue it, should that bother me?  Not at all.  It's none of my business what they choose to do or not do in defense of their own property.  My concern is strictly to ensure that they be made aware of it, so that they can decide for themselves.

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I submit to you that "theft" in this context is a deliberately misleading misnomer.

Mesh theft would involve, for example, breaking into the offices of Ubi-soft or Blizzard, taking all their harddrives and backups with meshes, and then making a run for it with the booty.  In this situation, we'd have the meshes, and they no longer would. This would be theft.

In the case of meshes being uploaded by punks into SL without permission it's only "unauthorized replication" that we're talking about, and not at all "theft".What if the owner of the copyright doesn't actually mind it being ripped for SL? Or simply doesn't care either way? The unauthorized uploaders would then be off the hook (as if they ever were really "on" it),  even if some people get a bit cross-eyed from being forced to admit to that fantastically awful-unlawful reality.

Copyright is a nebulous abstract thing of real relevance only to lawyers, and only the most schoolmarmish of fools would want to willingly upgrade the issue of feeding this worrying parasitical overgrowth - to become some kind of  an "ethical issue",  effectively chanting to the same tune as the lawyers.  It's like we already accept, without proof, that HEALTHY COMMUNITIES are only those that are nicely fenced up by copyrights, and the consumer sheeple are paying the IP owners, and live in abject fear of overstepping their bounds on this issue. Who would want to? You become a BAD PERSON if you do it, didn't you know? We need to remember that such lawyer ideologies(and lawmakers who support it) are not our (the creators') friends, and they never will be no matter what tunes they're "singing". Thus, in a community of creators, it is certainly not anyone's civic duty, but is perhaps a telling personal choice, to tattle-tale to IP owners.

If the thing that inspired the original post is a frustration of the "how can they do this? If it''s not allowed??" kind,  then I can't help but offer some illegal advice in the spirit of punk rock and pure conjecture, that surely also inspires those "IP thieves" we are all supposed to slander and hate, and rat out these days. Why don't you take it upon yourself to rip a mesh, any mesh, from a game of your choice, and upload it to SL.  You could rip a single triangle that the engine renders the game's particles onto. Possibly an enlightening and inwardly liberating experience could be instore for you. Experience the thrill! Yes, boldly break the TOS! Dye your hair neon green and spike it! All things are still possible, even if someone says they are forbidden to you, unless you pay up.

Remind yourself, God did not write the TOS, and what it contains is niether perfect nor just, but merely expedient for LindenLab Inc. And it's all only too similar with the USA Copyright laws.

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Chosen Few wrote:


Rahkis Andel wrote:

I think the most relevant point here is that it is frustrating to see blatant copyright infringement and not be able to so much as report it.

I'm not sure why people feel they can't report it.  There just seems to be tremendous misunderstanding about to whom such reports should be delivered.  It's NOT Linden Lab.

The proper thing to do, not just in SL, but in all cases of suspected infringement, is to report it directly to the IP owner.  I do that all the time, and I don't find it frustrating in the least.

As an example, not two days ago, I discovered that a local comic book shop in my area was selling their own in-house produced Superman comics.  So, I called DC, and told them what I saw.  I assume DC will take action to stop it, but it's really none of my business whether they do or they don't.  It's for them to decide what happens with their property, not me.  In reporting it to them, I did my civic duty, and that's where my role ends.

By the same token, if I were to come across the "Batman from Arkham Asylum" models that the OP mentioned, I'd alert Warner Bros., as they're the ones responsible for that particular property.  And again, that's where my role would end.

Would it be satsifying to know that action was indeed taken, and that the ripoff artists were shut down?  Sure.  But if DC, or WB, or whoever, decides not to pursue it, should that bother me?  Not at all.  It's none of my business what they choose to do or not do in defense of their own property.  My concern is strictly to ensure that they be made aware of it, so that they can decide for themselves.

Honestly, it never occurred to me to do that. There you go, folks.

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Are you being sarcastic? Your comment so flippantly disregards all logical reasoning that I find myself wondering if you could possibly be serious. I'd love -- love-- to pick apart your "arguments" but I can't shake the feeling that by doing so I'd be the buzz-kill ruining the joke.

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You are cordially invited to try your best Rahkis.  Or worst!

 

Whilst I too think it's probably not OK to make money off others' work,  I feel maybe one should start with the worst offenders in their quest for world justice.  Instead of  targeting the helpless SL punks, why not go for the bigger fish in the pond. I suggest starting with the Queen of England.

In dong so, you would soon find there is a whole class of extremely wealthy people who do nothing but make money off others' work; and those are the same people who would feign dictate to you what you are and aren't allowed to do in the intellectual sphere also; because now this is called "intellectual property", and capitalists can own that too.

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