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Best way to report fraudulence / theft on MP?


Rosinante Vinson
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I'm sure other people have taken steps to try and prevent this, but it seems to be getting worse, and more prevalent. A search for full perm items on MP throws up pages and pages of 'sellers' who have in fact just stolen full perm items from their creators and are relisting them, sometimes with the original creators' photos. Unless you check the seller name and then check to see if it's the authentic creator, it's very easy to miss these. I have, in the past, flagged items on MP, but now I'm seeing a message that doing this incorrectly is an abuse, so I'm more likely to be locked out of my account than the content thieves!

Does anybody have any advice on the preferred way to report these accounts and get rid of them from MP stores as soon as possible?

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The best way to get rid of a listing is to report a uncovered nipple, because that gets a listing offline in hours :) Stolen goods however stays for weeks in some cases.

Its flooding the full perm mesh categories in the meanwhile, and Linden doesnt seem to care. The whole DCMA procedure just doesnt work, and Linden does nothing. It sux. Less and less full perm creators If you look now, the first few 100 items are all stolen (with one or two exceptions). 

What Linden doesnt seem to realize is that creators can choose between grids these days. If Linden doenst do something fast, it is going to affect the Sl economy, and thus Linden itself. Maybe then stolen items can be taken offline faster than a uncovered nipple.. 

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With all the issues of the new Marketplace, the gacha spam and the pirated items, Linden Labs seems to not care much about the Marketplace anymore.  Reminds me of a mall in disrepair or a dilapadated flea market.

 

Truly sad.  It was once a place to preview new items, driving myself and other customer into stores to make more purchases.  Now, it is forcing legitimate merchants further and further away.

 

Linden Labs - please, I beg of you, fix the pirated mesh issues.  The first two pages tonight in both the clothing and the shoes are almost 100% spam/stolen goods.

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As explained by Pam, the creator or whoever owns the copyright on the goods must file a DMCA before LL can do anything.  That's the RL law that governs these things.

There is a possiblity that some of these sellers have obtained a license to sell the items.  LL doesn't know if that's true or not.  If they started taking things down just because someone other than the copyright holder says to, they could be open to law suits and large liabilities.

If you really want this to stop, report the item to the original creator or copyright owner.  They are they only ones that know if the seller is licensed, permission was given, or if it's theft.  Of course most of you that complain won't do this as it's too much trouble for you and you just want to pass the buck to LL. I know this because there are numerous threads on this forum that explain what to do, yet very few ever follow through.

This would stop if three things happened. 

  1. People reported the item to the copyright owner every time they saw something they think was stolen. 
  2. People who know something is ripped off from other games, websites, or other SL creators wouldn't buy it anyway
  3. People who see items they think are suspicious, check with the creator or copyright owner before they buy it.

Everyone has a vested interest in doing the above.  If you do buy something that was stolen, whether you knew it or not, and a DMCA is filed, you will most likely lose the item from your inventory without any compensation or recourse.  If consumers don't do what they can to help stop this, legitimate creators may just give up in disgust and stop selling, thereby limiting your choices of quality goods.

As a rule of thumb go by the old saw of "If it seems too good to be true it probably is."

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Thanks Amethyst. I'll start contacting the original creators, then ... there are a LOT of them. It's not too much trouble for me to do that, because it's something that I want to see stopped, but I'm sure it's a very tedious task for the creators and takes a lot of time away from them doing what we want them to do.

I by no means want to pass the buck to LL and I understand the restrictions on them, too. It's just a nuisance that is interfering with the MP and perhaps a better 'flagging' system can be developed which would allow a one-click report of possible stolen content. Better for everybody, LL included, to stamp this problem out.

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Kudos to you for vowing to report suspicious things!  Every person that does this will help solve this problem. 

I too wish there were a better way to stop this.  But the only way that will happen is if the law is changed to allow it.   You can also educate yourself about the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act or whatever similar laws exist in your country if you are not from the US, or treaties between countries that govern IP rights and lobby your government representatives for changes you'd like to see.

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Trinity Yazimoto wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

Also a lot of mesh is stolen not just from SL creators but from all over the Internet. Some of it by some of the most heavily blogged SL sellers, not just the fly by nighters.

THIS ! 

10 gazillion of times THIS. And not only heavily blogged but also holding a good part of the market... 

Is there a way to find out which merchants do this? I spend a lot of money in SL and would prefer if it goes to genuine and honest people who make an effort and create things on their own.

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oh it's easy !

just go and visit some of the website with mesh stocks and you will recognize a lot of what u see in sl ... (and on top they think we wont notice. I shop tons ! and i have a excellent memory... i had to notice)

Im not going to post the url of those websites here but if you want some example IM me. 

But, i first noticed because i saw the exact same item released at a different time by 2 diff designers. Both claming original mesh and texture. Then it happened again with 2 other brands... and on and on... so this did hit my curiosity and i went to visit some websites in order to check... and well at first, i couldnt believe what i was seing... but well.. it was there... in front of my eyes.... 

I find it ironic that finally 3 years ago we were fighting against SL tos for they dont steal our intellectual property and finally we are here, 3 years ago, and instead of ours, its the intellectual property of tons of creators outside SL that is stolen thru SL ... .

Well ppl may have bought the mesh in all legality. But still, SL TOS forbide to upload everything you have not done yourself. So this is not allowed. 

But who cares ? 

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Tamara Artis wrote:

Is there a way to find out which merchants do this? I spend a lot of money in SL and would prefer if it goes to genuine and honest people who make an effort and create things on their own.

I can't see how unfortunately. There are some signs to look for of course:

  • Style: We all have our individual style whether we like it or not. A wide variety of distinctively different styles made by a single builder is definitely cause for suspicion.
  • LOD and LI: Mesh made for other environment can't be effectively imported into Second Life because of our peculiar enforced LOD model system and the much stricter item efficency required in the more crowded scenes we have. "Creators" who don't make their meshes themselves aren't likely to be able to decimate properly or make good LOD models either and if they are, they aren't likely to bother.
  • Obvious borrowings: Copyright protected Real Life brand names, items also found at Turbosquid or other online 3D stores, items from computer games, textures found at CG Textures or other sites that specifically forbid use in SL - these are dead giveaways.
  • Identical items for sale by different merchants, well obviously but there's always a chance one of the merchants is the honest one so be careful before you condemn them all.
  • And of course: if an offer seems to good to be true, it probably is.

 

There is at least one website dedicated to exposing this kind of fraud on SL. I don't remember the URL and I couldn't have posted it here anyway of course. If you stumble across sites like that, check them out but take what they say with a grain of salt. Even if the siteowners are sincere, there's no way to be sure they've checked the facts well enough before posting.

SLOCCA could have been valuable here. Unfortunately their policies and their lack of capacity processing new applications alienated so many potential members they're not in any way representative of SL's original content creators. (I know many people here disagree but I still maintain that SLOCCA was a genuine and well meant - although not very well-thought-out - attempt to help this situation and I'm really sorry it failed.)

 

Edit: two things we have to be clear about here:

Some of the "borrowed" content is actually legal. For example I can (but won't) name three texture sellers (none of them among the best known) who seem to have never made a texture themselves. One is selling Linda Kellie textures (which of course anybody can get for free both on the internet and in-world), one is selling Filter Forge factory presets and one textures she bought from a texture site that doesn't place any limitation whatsoever how their customers use the content they buy. They certainly have no right to call themselves content creators but they're not crooks either, what they do is perfectly legal.

Then there is ... what-cha-call-it? Manual copying? One of our best known and most succesful landscape item creator has specialized in making mesh versions of old sculpts. As far as I know, that is perfectly legal and personally I don't see anything wrong with it as such, as long as the copy really is made from scratch and not absolutely identical to the original. Of course you may question the sensibility of buying and using a 5 LI mesh in place of an equally good looking 1 prim sculpt but that's a completely different matter, many buyers just love mesh for mesh' sake and that's their choice. ;) (Btw, I should mention I've made quite a few such copies of old builds myself but I always make sure they are genuine improvements to the original, I always give clear credits to the original designer and I sell them for a symbolic price.)

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Pamela Galli wrote:

Search mesh police ripped content 

Thank you, Pamela!

I'm shocked to find my favorite plant maker there. But at least it seems he hasn't done anything illegal. Selling open source freebies may be unethical but it doesn't break any law as far as I know. He certainly makes proper LOD models and all too so it's not jsut mindless uploading.

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Pamela Galli wrote:

Oh yes, probably the same one I bought nice plants from, cheap

Cheap, yes and to be fair they're not just plain uploads. He must have put quite a bit of effort into adapting them for SL. Even I would have had a hard time getting good LI and LOD from models as detailed as those.

Anyway, this thread is about fraudulence and theft and selling CC0 content is neither no matter how we feel about the ethical aspect of it.

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I dont know who you are talking about. Maybe the one i bought plants too. 

If that's this one, well, he doenst claim doing original mesh, so that's ok.

If that's not that one and claim doing original mesh THAT'S NOT OK.

Doing original mesh is starting from nothing, from a cube, a vertice, a curve, a plane, well whatever you will use to start smth from scratch in your 3D software.

It gave me nausea, after spending 2 years learning Blender (with a lot of pain), to notice now that most of the ppl claiming everywhere they can they are doing original mesh that they are finally uploading models taken from other plateform and not done by themselves. 

And they are among the persons selling the most in sl. 

Not to mention ppl who are maybe doing the original mesh but who have zero originality in the design as they are copying rl models without any modification either.

And to come back to the plant maker... 

its ok, if they dont say its original mesh but its not ok with SL tos.

You cant uplaod things u havent done bec the TOS forbide it since 2013.

Same with textures.

 edit typo

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I agree of course but we have to be a bit careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater here:

 


Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

Doing original mesh is starting from nothing, from a cube, a vertice, a curve, a plane, well whatever you will use to start smth from scratch in your 3D software.

That would exclude everything made with Celzium and with MeshGenerator's add-on shape collections.

It would of course also exclude everything made with full perm parts. I do sell full perm building modules and I have to say I'm often impressed seeing the innovative builds some of my customers make from them. Some works I would definitely regard as original there.

 


Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

Not to mention ppl who are maybe doing the original mesh but who have zero originality in the design as they are copying rl models without any modification either.

An exact SL replica of an RL object may not be original but it would certainly be a remarkable achievement. ;)

There is no such thing as true originality. Everything we create are to some extent inspired by something we have seen of experienced. Reminds me of ICTM (International Council for Traditional Music). When they first tried to define esactly what "traditional music" meant, they ended up with a definition so narrow they couldn't find a single piece of music ever played or written that qualified. They had to change that of course but ti illustrtaes the problem with defining originality. The best definition I can think of is to start with the known and take it into the unknown.

 


Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

its ok, if they dont say its original mesh but its not ok with SL tos.

You cant uplaod things u havent done bec the TOS forbide it since 2013.

Has that ever been established? A strict interpretation of that particular part of the TOS would have killed off many, maybe most, of the testure stores for a start.

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ChinRey wrote:

I agree of course but we have to be a bit careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater here:

 

Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

Doing original mesh is starting from nothing, from a cube, a vertice, a curve, a plane, well whatever you will use to start smth from scratch in your 3D software.

That would exclude everything made with Celzium and with MeshGenerator's add-on shape collections.

It would of course also exclude everything made with full perm parts. I do sell full perm building modules and I have to say I'm often impressed seeing the innovative builds some of my customers make from them. Some works I would definitely regard as original there.

 
Talent may be everywhere and its possible to make beautiful things using parts from other persons like u said. But in any case it falls under the definition of "Original mesh content". Original mesh content is smth that has been done by the person themselves using whatever software or machine they want but still they did it from scratch.

of course i m not going to say using parts or templates is bad, bec i still do and im one of the most fervent defenser of the theory saying that texture is way more important than the mesh itself.

but one has to call a cat a cat. An original mesh is not smth you made using parts done by other ppl.

Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

Not to mention ppl who are maybe doing the original mesh but who have zero originality in the design as they are copying rl models without any modification either.

An
exact
SL replica of an RL object may not be original but it would certainly be a remarkable achievement.
;)

There is no such thing as true originality. Everything we create are to some extent inspired by something we have seen of experienced. Reminds me of ICTM (International Council for Traditional Music). When they first tried to define esactly what "traditional music" meant, they ended up with a definition so narrow they couldn't find a single piece of music ever played or written that qualified. They had to change that of course but ti illustrtaes the problem with defining originality. The best definition I can think of is to start with the known and take it into the unknown.

 

I, of course agree that "true originality" doesnt exist bec mother nature have already created everything we could create now. 

but there is replica and replica. When all your creations are the EXACT replica from rl models, it's a bit disappointing for me. YOu may do exceptionnaly, if you are doing smth about a theme for instance (i did with  a blindfold  inspired from a D. Bowie video) but you still try to add a bit of yourself in it. and you dont build your Whole collection on that. That's not what i expect from a creator having the word "original" on their adpic.

Of course, if you dont say original, you may do anything... eh

Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

its ok, if they dont say its original mesh but its not ok with SL tos.

You cant uplaod things u havent done bec the TOS forbide it since 2013.

Has that ever been established? A strict interpretation of that particular part of the TOS would have killed off many, maybe most, of the testure stores for a start.

well, as you know im well aware of this part of the TOS for having been N° 2 (for several months) of the group fighting them.

Everytime u add smth to the grid from the outside, Everytime you upload smth, whatever its a texture, a sound, an animation or a mesh, or whatever else, YOU MUST GRANT TO LL A FULL LICENCE meaning you are in capacity to grant such licence.

For being in capacity to grant such licence it means you have either the copyright, either a full licence yourself. 

AFAK creative commons and 99 % of the licences given on those mesh web plateforms are not Full licence, but limited licence.

and most of the texture in sl are breaking the tos yes.

but as we know, LL do not enforce anything in sl

So well, i even why wonder we all have been fighting 3 years ago bec well... this is like this tos section never existed :smileylol:

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My newly standard practice is simple enough. If I find something on MP I really want I first check the mesh repositories before buying it. If I find the item on a 3rd party site I would rather just pay the upload fees after I've done the modifications I wanted in blender. If it's something like a rigged or scripted item I will buy it but I am only paying for the work put in.

You can save tons of L$ by just doing some background research on the items. Most of the time you can get them very cheaply. Usually a fraction of what the MP offers.

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Yes, it's not easy to find all things that have been lifted from the Internet, but if I find a few things that were ltaken straight from the Internet, I assume it all was. Someone posted in this forum recently that had 800 listings, all using the exact same listing template, and -- I assume all lifted from the Internet, since I found several easily enough. I doubt she bothered to optimize them.

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Now, here are two slightly different questions.

There's this guy who specialises in uploading cars he's borrowed from various car games. He sells them full perm, complete with textures, disastrous LOD and everything, just like we love to see them on the Linden Roads. All you need to do is add a crappy motorcycle script to make sure it crashes on every other sim crossing and you have a car store on MP. This guy obviously thinks what he's doing is all right, he even tried to put a box with free - still full perm - samples at the Stillman Bazaar once.

But how about his customers? Should they understand they're reselling stolen goods and how much responsibility do they have? I noticed at least one of them listed in that discussion Pamela didn't give us a link to.

And how about Linden Lab? They were very quick to remove that box from Stillman so they certainly know about it and they are certainly willing and able to do a little bit even without a formal DMCA.

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