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Mircea Lobo

(WARNING, RANT): Second Life and the mesh upload academy

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If they really care for this, I would at least suggest a compromise; Keeping those restrictions for a few months (3-4) so enough people see them and take their precious test, then removing them. Or I dunno, something close to this. Or, since that dumb test is easy, another option is making it necessary for everyone. So when you login after the next update, you are required to take it once (and once once) then be done and resume your SL life.

Personally, I don't believe this can last forever as it is. SL has many builders, most of them likely without payment information. I probably won't be the only one saying "I don't wanna be left behind and forced to build with prims (and make lower quality content) while others around me can build with meshes (and create better content) because they're lucky and have a SL compatible credit card". In time, meshes will become an important part of building. And although they are new and it's not the case yet, keeping them back like this cannot work forever IMHO.

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Although I sometimes enjoy the conspiracy theories that people create around LL actions, here are some facts why somethings are the way they are:

Tutorial - it's not a test. It's primarily focused on helping those residents who are unfamiliar with copyright law. Those who already know everything can be done in less than 5 minutes and the jackholes who simply steal don't care. 

Why not add IP tutorial to image (texture, picture, sculpt) upload? - I would like to and we likely will at some point. 

PIOF - oh, the horror of having billing info on file. It is a minimal request that actually does deter a certain class of copybotters (meaning specifically people stealing other SL creators content). Initial billing problems aside, I've heard surprising few complaints. 

 

Mesh is great, and I'm a huge fan of it. Prims are great also (please no more prim cube protests!) ;-). It's critically important that we continue to have engaging in-world creation functionality. That's a core part of SL.

I love seeing what people build and how they do things we never expected. I've seen some beautiful builds in progress, and they're a mix of Mesh and Prims (I've made no secret of how I feel about sculpts).

 

Finally, thanks all for making these posts thoughtful and mature. 

 

Charlar

 

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Pretty tired now, so I'll only comment on the billing issue since I found it most important. It is a minimal request, but some people don't own online debit cards at all. Like I said, I was lucky to get one due to other circumstances in the past. I don't know how many SL-ers own cards overall, but I'm pretty sure many don't. In some countries (I think mine was like that a few years back) you can't even find credit / debit cards usable with Second Life. Or at least I heard that from other users. Over here, Paypal was only allowed about 4 years ago. So I would be thoughtful about this personally, since not everyone uses money online or lives in mighty America :P

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hahaha - 'mighty America'.

I spend most of my days, and nights, talking with creators who are not in the US or Canada. We were concerned that the billing issue would be a significant limitation, but so far it has not. We have more registered for Mesh upload than my estimates. We also have significantly more adoption across the grid than I estimated.

 

Charlar

 

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It's actually pretty straightforward:

  • The terms of service clearly aren't sufficient.
  • Payment information on file means that there's a direct identity to file lawsuits against, if a copyright holder wants to.
  • 70% or more of people have no idea what copyright is let alone what it covers or what they should or should not do (not kidding, it's really that high). A little education is not unwarranted.
  • Going through the mesh-license process comes close to ensuring that you'll get stuck (if you infringe) with wilful infringement penalties (which are treble) in jurisdictions where those addtional penaltiesm are available, since it isn't just a shrink-wrap license.
  • It provides an additional legal protection to Linden Lab. (ie: It can't be shut down for being negligent about this)

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While I find the need for payment information on file for mesh upload reasonable, I've come to the conclusion that LL isn't really aware of different billing conditions in different countries... I've been on SL for more than two years now, without ever been able to get payment info on file, have built, have shared my technical experience with other user where I could...

I've had a Paypal account with verified identity and bank account for years now. It works everywhere else, I have done several purchases where it could just debit my bank account directly... I just never got it to work with SLs payment system. Digging throught the net, I learnt there doesn't seem to be a chance without having a credit card backup on Paypal...

You might not be aware of that, but not everyone lives in the US where a 13 year old can get a CC without credit limit (exaggerating here). In fact, as a university student, the bank people would probably laugh at me if I asked them to get one (you need to give proof of at least 3 months of steady income). For our everyday cash-free payment, we have the "Electronic Cash" system here, which is way more convinient and entirely free, so I see virtually no reason to pay for a credit card just to be able to upload meshes into SL... Well, I've lived with it, bought my L$ through a 3rd party service (where my Paypal works perfectly fine... Strange, isn't it?), but then mesh was announced...

A friend of mine with similar problems got herself a prepaid credit card, but wasn't able to register it with SL. The response of LL's billing support: "No, we don't accept prepaid cards." Point.

Honestly, I don't see any reason for going through the pain of getting a credit card, which I won't ever need except in SL, and whose fees will exceed my mesh upload fees by numerous times...

As I said, I can see the IP concerns related to mesh, but putting uncrossable barriers on legetimate content creators isn't a workable solution either...

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With paypal you should be able to get your verification. It's how I got mine afterall, just paypal, no physical or even virtual card. You do need to buy Lindens I think in order to make it work, the minimum should be sufficient, which is maybe a dollar, two dollars? If it doesn't work, use the support channel, you're more likely to get any satisfying results there than on the forum...anyway, good luck!

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Forgive me if I consider some of those posts ignorant. Because again, in some places it's either very hard or impossible to get a SL compatible card. PayPal in my country was enabled about 4 years ago... till then Romania was blacklisted. Google it if you don't believe me. Thanks to that, I looked into getting a debit card about 3 years back. I was lucky I asked, because I didn't even know you could own one if you don't have a job (I don't work IRL yet). Then I had to look at many offers, and could hardly find one bank in my country that offered PayPal compatibility, and that I could figure how to setup. The one my parents used and I initially applied to had no idea about online usage.

But it's obvious to me that everyone here (including the Lindens) care about playing police and doing justice than the well-being of SL users, which isn't a new thing either. Just like ImNotGoing stated, nobody here has any rights or is given a damn about. I think I'm done with this, so feel free to close the topic. I'm going to use this grid however possible in the meantime, while waiting for a grid administered by more considerate people to become sufficiently popular, when the time will come :)

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Nope, when trying to enter my Paypal information on the SL website, Paypal explicitely asks me to add a credit card to my account to make it work, and this generally seems to be true for everyone over here in Germany... Paypal has a special verification process to be enabled to debit a bank account: They transfer two small amounts of money to your bank account and you have to log into Paypal to enter their exact values... Did that several years ago, and it always has worked for me except for SL and a single payed website I tried to join a while ago. When I joined SL, a friend gave me the hint there's ELDEX for exchanging L$, which accepts my Paypal account and has worked perfectly fine for me...

When mesh was announced, I was really looking forward to it, but currently it's just a huge disappointment... I test my meshes on the beta grid and send them to a friend for uploading, going through the upload windows step by step, lol. But since I cannot sell mesh items on the Marketplace, this isn't a solution either...

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Tateru Nino wrote:

It provides an additional legal protection to Linden Lab. (ie: It can't be shut down for being negligent about this)


On the contrary. The fact that LL has developed a means to deter infringing uploads but chooses to apply it selectively is a perfect display of negligence. The argument that mesh "sticks out more" and is more worthy of protection absolutely won't fly in court. Images and music are not minor forms of intellectual property. Treating them like second-class citizens (when there is no need to do so) is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

The continuity argument doesn't hold up either. Introducing those prerequisites for all uploads wouldn't break any existing content on the grid.

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Again, it worked for me..in the Netherlands, I can't imagine you Germans are treated any other way. Use the support channel, get in contact with a Linden. That will give you a definitive answer whether it is possible or not to get verified without the card. Maybe you are just missing something obvious.

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Masami Kuramoto wrote:


Tateru Nino wrote:

It provides an additional legal protection to Linden Lab. (ie: It can't be shut down for being negligent about this)


On the contrary. The fact that LL has developed a means to deter infringing uploads but chooses to apply it selectively is a perfect display of negligence. The argument that mesh "sticks out more" and is more worthy of protection absolutely won't fly in court. Images and music are not minor forms of intellectual property. Treating them like second-class citizens (when there is no need to do so) is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

You are completely missing the point with the "sticking out". Nobody has ever said mesh should be protected more than any other IP. I also really don't understand what you mean with "it wouldn't fly in court". Are you suggesting anyone who has to go to court for stealing a texture will defend him/herself with "hey it's just a texture, at least i'm not stealing meshes".

The thing with mesh is, it can be very rewarding for infringers. As I said before, one could upload all contents of a game in notime and put it on sale as their own. The original creators are more likely to spot these things quickly, so LL needs to be able to direct them to the person who is responsible. Yes I know if you search for "mickey mouse" you will get hits aswell, but the point is it's so much harder to find a stolen texture in SL than a stolen model. I'm pretty sure out of a good part of all 3d games, there are textures uploaded to SL...good luck finding them though...

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Kwakkelde Kwak wrote:

Are you suggesting anyone who has to go to court for stealing a texture will defend him/herself with "hey it's just a texture, at least i'm not stealing meshes".


No, I'm suggesting that someone may drag Linden Lab to court in order to challenge their DMCA Safe Harbor privilege.

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And they would do that because....they took extra precautions for mesh? that doesn't make sense to me. Even for textures and music you have agreed to the ToS, for mesh you simply had to do something extra, so there can be no mistake about the fact you actually read them. It's a piece of mind for LL and good education for the community.

Even without agreeing to the ToS one is still responsible for their own actions and their own crimes. So legally it really makes no difference at all.

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Kwakkelde Kwak wrote:

And they would do that because....they took extra precautions for mesh?

Because they took extra precautions ONLY for mesh.

Here's what the law says:

17 U.S.C $ 512 (i)

"Conditions for Eligibility.

(1) Accommodation of technology. — The limitations on liability established by this section shall apply to a service provider only if the service provider —

(A) has adopted and reasonably implemented, and informs subscribers and account holders of the service provider's system or network of, a policy that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscribers and account holders of the service provider's system or network who are repeat infringers; and

(B) accommodates and does not interfere with standard technical measures.

(2) Definition. — As used in this subsection, the term “standard technical measures” means technical measures that are used by copyright owners to identify or protect copyrighted works and —

(A) have been developed pursuant to a broad consensus of copyright owners and service providers in an open, fair, voluntary, multi-industry standards process;

(B) are available to any person on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms; and

© do not impose substantial costs on service providers or substantial burdens on their systems or networks."

Linden Lab has now "adopted and reasonably implemented" a method to identify repeat infringers -- but only for one asset class. If you happen to be a texture artist rather than a 3D modeller, LL's enhanced protection policy is not available to you, although LL could easily apply it to all uploadable assets.

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And they should, that does in no way mean people can now use copyrighted textures.

That piece of law will not apply in all cases. Imagine I put a sign on my door saying "No shooting allowed", then someone decides to stab someone else in the neck.... You can't honestly believe I would be responsible ....

EDIT... English not being my first language makes it rather difficult for me to completely comprehend the text..but from what i understand the quiz..the quiz I mentioned doesn't make any difference. It is not a way to stop people doing anything. It is simply making people aware of what's legal and what is not. It's extra. People can't use ignorance of the law as an excuse for doing illegal things.

You might have a point when it comes to the payment info, since that makes it much easier to identify a person.

Anyway, we agree LL should implement the quiz for all uploads. If you scroll back you will see I was the first to post that in this thread. And Charlar agrees aswell, so chances are it will happen.

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"are available to any person on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms"

That's referring to copyright rights holders, by the way. It means that you don't impose any undue barriers to rights holders like shutting them out of a service, or making them pay a lot of money or treat them otherwise differently to other users when it comes to their checking things out to see if their rights are being infringed.

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Tateru Nino wrote:

"
are available to any person on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms"

That's referring to copyright rights holders, by the way. It means that you don't impose any undue barriers to rights holders like shutting them out of a service, or making them pay a lot of money or treat them otherwise differently to other users when it comes to their checking things out to see if their rights are being infringed.

"As used in this subsection, the term “standard technical measures” means technical measures that are used by copyright owners to identify or protect copyrighted works and {...} are available to any person on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms"

The payment info requirement is such a technical measure. It is a strong deterrent against repeat infringers, but the Lab isn't applying it in a nondiscriminatory way. Imagine YouTube introducing fingerprint technology to identify copyrighted music in uploaded videos -- and then making that technology available only to one major music label, locking out all the others. If YouTube did that, they would risk their DMCA Safe Harbor privilege too.

Linden Lab is aware of the infringement that happens on their platform on a daily basis. A great deal of the DMCA takedown notices they receive is about stolen avatar skins. There is no excuse for denying texture creators the same level of protection that mesh creators already enjoy.

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Ah, no - having payment information on file is not directly relevant to 17 U.S.C. § 512(i). I was talking more about the process for ©(1)©.

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regarding the paypal question - if you're in a country that you're allowed to use SL at all, setting up paypal should be valid. 

You say that paypal is requiring a credit card. I'll talk further with our billing team, but obviously if paypal has some rule there's very little we can do about that. If it's operating differently under SL than other cases, please file a ticket so we can learn why.

As for billing info being required, I think other posters have explained the reasoning quite well (which makes me happy :-)).

Charlar

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Well since everybody here explained pretty well why the need for the billing i'll talk about the test. First it's not really a test since you are not being tested at all, first because in a test if you fail you fail, means you coudn't finish it right and you can not go on (like in school you have to redo the class). The mesh test is merely a way to make sure that every single mesh uploader is going to read the rules, because let's agree, nobody reads rules. Have you read that enormous txt that stands right before you creating your SL accont? 99% chance you didn't but in this case you have and you will read and the reason why it's not really a test is that once you pick the wrong answer the page warns you and lets you switch beteen all the options until you find the right one. So is the test ridiculously easy? Hell yeah cuz it's not a test it's a TOS presented in an intelligent way.

By the way, about the billing info, if you think that TOS on SL is not really important you clearly haven't heard of all the problems TOS caused. We know that many brandmark's owners don't mind having their stuff represented in here, some like because it rises the popularity, I mean if every brankmask's owner attacked SL because of their icons being used in here half of SL would close like those Anime based sims (naruto bleach etc) but there were companies who wanted to sue Second Life or/and the users for using their stuff, and it wasn't just a few unknown ones but big companies, such as Disney, yep Disney attempted to sue a builder a few years ago for ripping textures from a game they were part of, Kingdom Hearts. The user stole and used the textures inworld, as result he was almost sued and had to remove all of his stuff. Another example was the company creator of the Taser, that eletric gun used by the police to imobilize hostiles, thwy wanted to Sue Second Life itself because of the taser's representation in world that was being used in adult sims as guns to imobilize people in order to rape them.

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I don't aim to be an ass, but this is the last thing I have to say on this thread: Both those who sue a 3D space (or people on it) for silly copyright reasons, as well as those who get so paranoid about them and do what LL did, need to get a life and need to get laid during a romantic month of spring. Overall, that is my conclusion and that is all *resumes my first and second lives*

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