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Stolen intellectual property on Second Life. Harmless fun or an issue that needs to be addressed?


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Now, more so than ever, I've noticed a large increase of items and avatars ripped from other games being sold on MP. I happen upon them inworld from time to time too. Partially due to the places I frequent and my interests.  

I know that copyright is being breeched here, and sometimes I worry perhaps unnecessarily about Second Life getting into trouble due to what people upload here. When I brought this subject up to a friend, they told me that in their belief having copyrighted material on Second Life is no different than a social hub like VRChat having it. And it is true VRChat is littered with it. Though it may not make any difference to the law, I've always viewed VRChat a bit differently as there is money (or Lindens, or Lindens equivalent) being exchanged for the avatars and assets there. No one is profiting off of someone's else work. No less illegal, but probably not as high on some company's sue list either.

But then there's Second Life. I recently saw a 1-to-1 rip of a game avatar posted over on Market Place for well over 2,000 Lindens. It seems shady.

But then again Linden Labs is, as of now, is allowing it so I'm probably just being a Sensitive Susan. 

How do you view this? Should LL intervene or do you view it as harmless? What are your thoughts on the buyers or, more interestingly, the uploaders?

Differing opinions are always welcome on any threads I post. Most of the time I prefer them. 

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10 minutes ago, kirishimarabbit said:

How do you view this? Should LL intervene or do you view it as harmless?

It's similar to any other platform where IP infringement runs rampant (Etsy, YouTube, etc.). I'm pretty sure action by LL would require the copyright holder to first file a DMCA takedown notice in writing.

*Insert "I am not an attorney, this is not legal advice" notice here * 😁

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1 minute ago, Ayashe Ninetails said:

 I'm pretty sure action by LL would require the copyright holder to first file a DMCA takedown notice in writing.

I believe that is how it works as well, now that you mention it. I'm surprised that no copyright holder (to my knowledge) has targeted Marketplace yet. Copyright holders have gone berserk for less, a la the House of Mouse. 

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2 minutes ago, kirishimarabbit said:

I believe that is how it works as well, now that you mention it. I'm surprised that no copyright holder (to my knowledge) has targeted Marketplace yet. Copyright holders have gone berserk for less, a la the House of Mouse. 

They wouldn't necessarily know their property was stolen unless someone told.them.  

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Companies tend to turn a blind eye to the actions of the "fandom" till such time as their lawyers decide it's time to go on a purge and clean everything up. The StarWars fandom has suffered particularly badly from this over the years.

Edited by Coffee Pancake
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1 minute ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Companies tend to turn a blind eye to the actions of the "fandom" till such time as their lawyers decide it's time to go on a purge and clean everything up. The StarWars fandom has suffered particularly badly from this over the years.

I suppose that does make sense. It also makes sense that the StarWars fandom has faced that strife. Being owned by a certain Mouse tends to do that. 

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1 minute ago, kirishimarabbit said:

I believe that is how it works as well, now that you mention it. I'm surprised that no copyright holder (to my knowledge) has targeted Marketplace yet. Copyright holders have gone berserk for less, a la the House of Mouse. 

Oh, the Mouse House has even launched a project inside SL a long time ago, I believe, so I'd always just assume they're always watching 👀.

They lurk around Etsy a lot from what I hear, as well, though that really isn't stopping anybody. It should, though. Stores do get closed there from time to time.

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1 minute ago, Bree Giffen said:

Youtube has an algorithm that automatically checks for copyright violation and applies a copyright strike without needing a copyright owner to ask for it. Three strikes and you are out.

Yeah. And I would imagine any Copyright checker in Second Life would be near impossible, unless other games got savvy and wanted to curb game rips in general and began encoding something in their models just to start with. It's probably more trouble than it's worth for many companies. 

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A long time ago I noticed some art work on the MP that was the same as a RL piece that I own.  I did some more searching and found many items by the same RL artist are on the MP.  Not knowing whether or not the seller is indeed the RL artist, I went ahead and notified the RL artist.  Nothing was ever done, so I figure either the RL artist is the SL MP seller, or the RL artist doesn't figure it is worth dealing with.  I'm sure it is not negatively impacting his RL sales, so it might just not matter much to him.

That said, LL does keep folks from using the name Harley in any way and most of the time Disney is pretty fanatic about shutting down folks that try to sell imitations of their stuff.  However, there are probably lots of other folks that just don't figure it is worth all of the trouble to constantly try to get stuff taken down.

Edited by LittleMe Jewell
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6 minutes ago, Ayashe Ninetails said:

They lurk around Etsy a lot from what I hear, as well, though that really isn't stopping anybody. It should, though. Stores do get closed there from time to time.

A certain wizard franchise is well known for bringing the hammer on Etsy, even when there is zero IP infringement; Etsy just dutifully purge whatever they ask for and then lock people out of their accounts and income for a while.

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3 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

That said, LL does keep folks from using the name Harley in any way and most of the time Disney is pretty fanatic about shutting down folks that try to sell imitations of their stuff.  However, there are probably lots of other folks that just don't figure it is worth all of the trouble to constantly try to get stuff taken down.

I think this probably sums it up well. Most companies, with some exceptions, just don't care. 

1 minute ago, Coffee Pancake said:

A certain wizard franchise is well known for bringing the hammer on Etsy, even when there is zero IP infringement; Etsy just dutifully purge whatever they ask for and then lock people out of their accounts and income for a while.

That has to hurt. I know that some people depend on their Etsy income. I'm aware that for some making sales for your hard earned work on Etsy sometimes means the difference between making rent or not for the month.

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4 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

A certain wizard franchise is well known for bringing the hammer on Etsy, even when there is zero IP infringement; Etsy just dutifully purge whatever they ask for and then lock people out of their accounts and income for a while.

This is very true, too. Buuuuuut, just hop over there and run a search for *insert any random character here* and you'll find it. Titles and all. I'm sure Etsy strikes innocent people, too, but there are still a large number of sellers there who give no... 

I just searched "Ariel." TONS came up. I mean, maybe some of them have permission to sell those $2.99 printables but ya know. Probably not all.

SL is not quite *that* bad, so that's good at least!

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This is one thing that struck me about VRChat, people are dumping copyrighted content like there is no tomorrow, I'm sure it wont be like that forever.

In a way, it's a sign of a strong creative urge on the platform .. and not everyone has all the skills in place to make everything from whole cloth.

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4 hours ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

LL does not want to lose the safe harbor act with the DMCA process,  it could be them in direct legal situations,  it's why it must be reported with proper channels before actions can be done.

It's a bit of a paradox that DMCA actually punishes platforms for trying to prevent IP violations.

But even so, do we really want a world where a private enterprise can appoint themselves as judge and jury in a legal case?

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5 hours ago, kirishimarabbit said:

Frankly I didn't know this was a common subject. I haven't been around these parts all this long, and I've been gone for a few months to boot. 

No worries, everything has been discussed over here.
There are basically two possibilities:
Someone replies to an old thread and then we get the necro post ladadee ladadaa or someone makes a new thread and then we get the song that is played this time here.
One can't win that, just ignore or place a laugh reaction.

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