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Harrassing store owners by filing DMCA reports against them?


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Hello, I'd like to get some peoples insight and opinions on this. I own a well know store in SL. I sell mostly full perm clothing templates. All my clothing templates are made from me, from scratch either by rl clothing inspiration of just something I come up with from my OWN brain.. So, a few months ago I heard from a girl that many high priced template store owners are mad because since my store opened they have lost sales because I sell my products at very low prices even though they are very high quality. I blew it off until last week. I recieved a DMCA notification for one of my outfits claiming that the bikini in the pack was owned by some other store owner. She imed me and told me she did this so me being stupid and nieve about DMCA's I took it very lightly and instead of taking the product down I gave it away for free to my customers in my midnight board, so I got suspended over that. That's my fault. Now, yesterday I got yet another DMCA from someone and I don't know who the person is who filed this one yet. But, it was on one of my older templates which I give away in my lucky chairs, it was also for sale in my store and on marketplace. In the dmca email it only requested that I remove it from my lucky chairs thought o.O and also it said that if I recieve more DMCA's that my account will be terminated from SL another words my store will be closed. 

My question is, has anyone experienced anything like this? With these reports being so close together and because I know for a stone cold fact that all my templates are in fact mine and my creations alone I am pretty positive that this is the act of other store owners harassing me through DMCA reports. 

I know when you file one you don't even have to show evidence... you only have to put the location of work and the name of it in the notification. So, what stops people from reporting litterally ANYTHING!??! Just to harrass others for their own greedy agendas... 

 

So, how do I report this. I am faxing my counter notifications for both dmca reports today, but how do I report the harassment.. I want LL to be aware of the false notifications and harassment so that I won't get terminated if someone decideds to do this again. Also, I won't know who the second notification came from until after I file my counter one... I just don't know what to do. I have gone as far as to legally trademark my store brand last night, I've also made a youtube that I am going to use to record every single template I make so EVERYONE can see that yes, I do in fact make my own templates. I think that will help guard me in the future some but I just see a lack of communication on LL's part as far as DMCA's go, plus if anyone can claim that anything on the marketplace or sl is theres what stops people from tearing a store down when they want them gone? 

 

Someone please help and give me some insight... thank you much

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People can't file these anonymously. they have to use their RL names and contact info. If people are frivoulouly reporting DMCAs its the same thing as frivolously filing police reports.

They can be sued for lawyer and court costs and every other thing involved with clearing up a fraudulent claim. If someone is doing it to try to boost SL sales then they are SERIOUSLY stupid.

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DMCA is the most abused and misunderstood collection of laws ever passed.  I know this as this is what I do for RL.

Here are the actions I recommend when fighting a DMCA take down notice.

1.  Always have a back up of your work as the PSD file or equivalent to show that you not only own the images, but that you created it.

2. Post them on a website or other medium to prove first use.

3. Copy all of your images to a CDRom or DVD and file them with the Library of Congress. The cost is very low and even though you legally have protection for any digital image you create, this is your assurance to prove you own it.  It also allows you to seek treble damages should you ever have to litigate.

4. When you get a take down notice, you have 48 hours to respond or risk having whatever you have shut down.

5. Take responsible action and address the persons sending you the notice (not the content creator but LL in this case).

6. Send the demand a copy of your files with the evidence of their first use as well as anything you may have on file with the library of congress.

7. And as a side note, never give away anyone else's full perms as full perms..This is just a courtesy and it assumes they have their ToS in place that someone else violated.  You may have the right to use it full perm but you may not have permission to extend those rights.  More a policy of respect to the content creator.

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I have to do with copyright laws in my own country (as far as I know cannot registrate at Library of Congress because my designs are not US origin). But I think basicly US law works the same as in my country. Registration is not necesairy to become be protection of copyright. As the maker you are automaticly the copyright owner.

Registration is handy, because it provides an easy way of proof that you are indeed the copyright owner.

But another way of proof, that is as much valid for court as registration, is to keep your workfiles in several stages. When you have for example 4 or 5 versions of your design in different stages, that is proof enough. Someone who claims your copyright, can never show the workfiles in court, while you can.
I'm not sure if this also counts as proof in the USA, but in my country this is as much proof as the registration of your works.

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It does count as well which is why I mentioned that first.

1.  Always have a back up of your work as the PSD file or equivalent to show that you not only own the images, but that you created it.

If you are in the EU, you too have a similar document to the DMCA known as the EUCD.

Nearly anyone in the world can file a copyright in the US and gain that protection granted to anyone else under US law within the jurisdiction of US law.

Any work that is protected by U.S. copyright law can be registered. This includes many works of foreign origin. All works that are unpublished, regardless of the nationality of the author, are protected in the United States. Works that are first published in the United States or in a country with which we have a copyright treaty or that are created by a citizen or domiciliary of a country with which we have a copyright treaty are also protected and may therefore be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. See Circular 38a, International Copyright Relations of the United States, for the status of specific countries.

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So cool to have you  and Madeliefste (/me waves to cousin Oh) actually dealing with this stuff in RL.  I think we should all point out that LL are legally obliged to act on any DMCA claim/counter-claim that they receive.  They are not expected, required or even allowed (I believe?) to judge whether the claim has any merit, they must simply comply.  That's one reason it's so easy to file a counter-claim.

Assuming claim and counter-claim it's all out of LL's hands - see you in court

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If this is your original work and the DMCA filings are being done to you to harass you for competitive business reasons, then the people behind this are nuts.  Nor only can they be held liable for for a false claim, which can cost them plenty in punitive damages if you sue them, but LL may ban them from SL because abuse of the DMCA process is grounds for that.

Since you are filing a counter notice, the filer must now take you to court to pursue this.  If they don't within a limited time, then LL will restore the content to the grid that they took down.  At that point it is up to you if you want to sue them for damages due to false claims.

You may want to tell LL about what you think is going on here too, so that it is on the 'record'.  If your account does get terminated by LL there is an appeal process for that which should be pretty straight forward if no one takes you to court.

There is no lack of communication from LL on this.  LL has clear information about the DMCA and SL on their website here: http://http://secondlife.com/corporate/dmca.php.  There are also links there to the 'official policy and guidelines' documents of LL.  However LL is not able to give you advice or tell you what to do legally.  They only tell you how they will act in the matter. You should probably talk to your lawyer, as advice is his or her job.

Good luck to you

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I feel for you.. In my experience to say that if this person is doing it they must be stupid totally underestimates the kind of people there are in SL ( thankfully very very rare ) But once in a while you get reminded that the guy who rapes grandmothers and the kids who set fire to kittens are in here too. Filing false claims may seem insane ..but some people REALLY are insane.

Never underestimate the depths some people will stoop too .. If they can, they will, for reason utterly beyond comprehension.

Good luck :)..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been there fought this. Like what was stated earlier make sure you have all your .psd burned to CD or DVD. Hopefully you saved them all and they are dated. (Windows has a bad habit of changing dates to the more current one if you moved files from one hard drive to another learned that lesson at a bad time.)

If things did get re dated from the original creation date as long as you have all the layers and the complainant  does not , that helps prove you are the creator. Then take it to court.

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  • 3 months later...

no there are plenty of people who file false DMCA reports seings as all they ask for is a fax and that can esaly be sent from just about anywear so no way to track these morons,i can only assume its competition who dont want you selling better items for less money on marketplace. i have several stores on marketplace selling several types of items and i get DMCA complaints fairly often the prosses is pretty frustrating and LL seams to make fighting one a pain and wont give you any infomation on who filed it.

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  • 4 years later...

i have a store owner harrassing me and accusing me of selling items that i paid for she says i didnt but will not! show me proof so she files a DMCA file on me ...

 

<Removed> 

i got all items off SL Market Place !! all have her name on them as the creator!! i can not look up the payment info as the history only goes back to nov 27th ...  someone has stole her items and selling them as her! on Market place  .. so now she is harrassing me and filing a DMCA a false DMCA report wants me to buy all the items listed again! i refuse to pay all the items twice!! 

 

paid for it ..i got them the way i always get my items off market place it said it was a holiday sale i remember because i went back the next day to get more and it was gone .. was on the first log in page

the person's name on the uploads is... Uploaded by <Removed>

i tried looking for my payment info in my history but only goes back to nov 27th.. some one stealing your stuff and putting it on sale. i did not steal anything no one gave me anything i paid for it on market place! i don't know what to do.. only reason i got it because it said on sale along with some other stuff of yours .. i went back the next day on MP to look for more but they were gone .. but it was on the front page of MP so im sure alot of people got it .. but we all paid linden for it! i love your clothes i buy as much as i can when i do shop .. but if im going to be out money for a item i got on MP with your name on it .. and be accused of stealing .. its not worth using your product .. if you like i will delete the items but i will not pay for them again or anythiing else at your store .. i have contacted LL and filed a report on this accused action and i have the right to demand a copy of your files with the evidence of their first use as well as anything you may have on file with the library of congress. .. if you do not show me proof that i got your items buy non payment! if i don't get this info i have just asked for i can file a TOS Harassment Report on you for False allegations .. and being that i got it from LL Market Place .. as for the person selling your Items on Market Place is a TOS Law they are deal with them.. so please send me all proof that and the name of the accusing party of your item that i paid for..Note that filing a false DMCA is committing an act of perjury, itself a criminal offence all of the items you listen are all uploaded by you! no other name only you the creator i will send you the full package i got from MP with your name on them! <Removed>

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You bought stolen goods.  Even though your transaction history only goes back 32 days you still have a record of purchases on marketplace; you can go to your orders and retrieve the details.  Valentine is absolutely correct that using stolen goods is grounds to issue a DMCA.  It was your responsibility to only buy from the genuine creator.  caveat emptor.

You can open a ticket with LL to try to retrieve the money you paid the thief, but it's highly unlikely you'll get anywhere with that.  At least you will know better in future.

 

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First you are not allowed to name names on the forum in connection with a dispute. It is against the rules.  You are also in violation of the TOS for sharing private chat without permission.  You can get in a lot of trouble doing both and could be banned from the forum and SL.  Edit your post to delete all the names other than your own.

You received a valid DMCA notice.  It isn't harassment and you can't file an AR against the creator.  The creator does not have to prove anything to you under RL law. 

If the avatar that is selling the content bought the items on the marketplace, you can produce proof of purchase.  Log into the Marketplace and go to My Marketplace (at the top of the screen) > My Account > Order History.  There you will find all the transaction information for everything your avatar bought on the marketplace.  These transactoins must show you paid this creator, not someone else.  Unfortunately you will have to go through it page by page and get the information as there is no way to search it.  Copy and paste the information in a word processing document, in case you are taken to RL court as proof you had a valid license.  You can also do it on a note card to send to the creator in SL, but she may prefer you to email it to her. 

What you will need to do is file a counter notification with LL against the DMCA notice.  You must do this even if you send the information showing valid purchase to the creator as LL can not restore your content without this counterclaim. See this link for information about how to file your counter notification.

Once LL receives this notice they will be required to restore the content.  They must also give the creator your RL information so if she chooses she may sue you in a RL court of law.  If you send her copies of each valid transaction from the MP, she may choose not to do so.  However she's within her rights to take it to RL court if she wants to if she thinks there is any violation of her IP rights. 

LL does not decide if the original claim is valid or not.  Only a court of law can decide and there are no damages available if the court finds she filed the claim in good faith.

If the creator sues you, she'll have to prove her IP rights to the court (not to you). She does not have to prove she didn't receive payment. You will have to prove that you bought the items from her and resold them under the license you obtained and didn't violate that license in any way (to the court).   A lawyer may be able to obtain her evidence ahead of time, once a lawsuit is filed, but you'll need to speak with your lawyer to find out for sure.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If the avatar that is selling the items, is you, is not the avatar that bought them from this creator (your alt or anyone else), then you are in violation of the license you got and are indeed subject to the DMCA.  If you are selling stolen property than you are also in violation.  That's because the licenses of creators to buyers applies only to the one account that bought the item, unless the license specifically says otherwise or you had contacted the creator and gotten written permission to transfer them to your alt.  If this is the case I'd run and hire an RL attorney specializing in copyright law.

I'm not a lawyer but do know a bit about the DMCA process and contract law (which I studied at the graduate level in RL).  You should seek your own legal counsel about this matter if you have any questions.

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  • Administrators

Hello  suezanne Shuffle,

 I'm sorry to hear that you have had a negative experience within Second Life. Unfortunately, topics such as these and posting issues that are occurring between Residents is not appropriate for the Second Life Forums. We ask that you keep any and all issues that you may have with another Resident between you and this person. Due to this I have removed Account Names and other private details (Chat/Notecards) from your post.

You can review our posting guidelines here: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Discussion_guidelines

 

If you feel you are being harassed in-world by another Resident we highly encourage you to try the following tips:

 

• Consider using the Block/Mute feature. The Second Life viewer, as well as all Third Party Viewers, has the ability to block/mute other residents. This will not only prevent you from seeing what they are saying, both in public and private chat, but will also completely block their avatar so you will not see them at all.
• If you are a land owner, adding their account to the ban list of your land will also prevent them from accessing your personal space.
• If you feel that the person is following you from place-to-place, it may be that you are visiting your regular locations and the person knows this.
• If you are using a Third Party Viewer, you may wish to make sure that RLV is not enabled, as this can allow a person to track your location as well (the location for turning that off is different depending upon the viewer, and you will need to access that specific viewer's documentation for further assistance in this regard).
• If, after the above methods, the resident continues to harass you, please file an abuse report under Harassment - Verbal Abuse and provide us with as much detail as possible—including as complete a list as possible of accounts used in the situation—so that we can better review the report. Including this support case number will help us to investigate.

For more tips on how to deal with harassment, please visit our website: http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/How-to-deal-with-abuse-and-harassment/ta-p/1339983

As with any harassment, if you fear this may have an impact on your real life, such as threats of personal harm or putting your actual safety at risk, we encourage you to also notify your local authorities so that they can assist you in taking the appropriate steps to ensure your real life safety.

 

When completing the report, please provide as much detail as you can and include a screen shot if possible. If an account name is not available, please file the report as using the account name of "Governor Linden" and include an explanation in the details.

For more information on Abuse Reports, please read our Guide to Filing an Abuse Report in the Second Life Knowledge Base.
http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Filing-an-abuse-report/ta-p/700065

If you have already filed an in-world Abuse Report, we thank you. For privacy reasons, we're not able to update you as to the result of the report once it's been actioned, but you will receive an email confirmation that the report has been received by our Governance team.

Since this thread has been brought back from the grave, and these types of issues are not handled via the forums I will be closing this thread.

Thank you for your assistance, and we hope that your future interactions in Second Life are pleasant ones.

 

Sincerely,

Kristin Linden

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