Sunday, August 10, 2008

Who has our backs ?

In the past months, and most recently, it has come to light about yet another DMCA filing between designers. That's not what this post is about. What we'd like to address here is the "keeping things quiet" aspect of these situations.

We completely understand the need for silence when dealing with said issues. However, one thing that has consequentially occured from doing so is that many, many bloggers are continuing to post on items they are unaware may turn out to be stolen. This is painful in the end for not just the designer - and we totally share your pain in this - but also for the many bloggers who have showcased/reviewed the products, filling their blogs with praise for the items, only to feel let down in the end and ultimately have their own values questioned.

Such widespread covereage on the SL blogosphere also leads to more customers/readers considering the products in question for purchase, and again the bloggers do feel very responsible for that. As many designers know, if a blogger at any time suspects an item's integrity, they will immediately contact the designer to make them aware of the situation. In a lot of cases, this is what leads to DMCA's being filed. Not everyone can have eyes everywhere to see their own content has been stolen.

But who looks after us?

Second Life fashion bloggers are valued and sought after to showcase items for many designers, but that is where the respect seems to end. We hold designers in such high regard. If we were told via IM or notecard that something was amiss with the content of one creator over another, we would be perfectly capable of keeping that to ourselves should you request that. Naturally, further blogging on the items in question would cease to occur. We understand that designers dealing with the trauma of having their work stolen may not have considered alerting the bloggers as a course of action in the past, but now is when it is crucial to stand united in this and feel more like a community than ever before.

Keeping it to yourselves is what is letting many content thieves get away with thier thievery. Without an undisputable display of theft, these "content creators" are able to continue producing, and in doing so they will inevitably use bloggers and fashion feeds as tools to spread the word. Bloggers, like designers, also spend many, many hours behind closed doors compiling blog posts and genuinely working hard on their own written content. We don't always see and hear everything. In the past, too many newer bloggers have been attacked in comments on their own blogs because they weren't aware of theft with a particular store. That in itself is reprehensible. If you know something the blogger doesn't, IM THEM and let them in on it. If you don't want to consider it as helping the blogger, at LEAST think of it as helping the designers that have been stolen from.

We hope that people will help us in the future by letting us know, privately and anonymously if necessary, that there is questionable content making its way around the blogosphere. We have no interest in spreading gossip! But we DO have interest in, as well as obligation to our readers to know about, content theft. Hopefully, in the end, we will not feel like we have to rip our blogs apart and delete older posts (which will consequentially punish other designers who were mentioned and linked to) in order to hide what has been done innocently.

Ryker Beck and Sasy Scarborough


Anonymous said...

/me signs her name with an emphatic flourish

Unknown said...

I agree - but I think that it could be abused too easily. Just think of how many times you've heard that so&so made a copy of so&so when really they have similar tastes. Anyway - I get your drift and I'll certainly let you know if someone bots my stuff - I trust you, I just don't trust everyone else.

Chic Aeon said...

This newest skin drama is the second time I have come into contact with a DMCA item that I have blogged. I am going to assume you saw my post this morning. I did in fact delete all references to the skin involved as credits in my daily posts, but didn't take out any posts at all or any other designer references. It was a hassle but the evidence did indeed look compelling. We can't know everyone's work and we can't suspect all designers -- especially the ones with large shops that look successful and legit. We can only do our best to report what we like and what we think our readers would want to know about. I don't know WHO is right in either of the instances I became involved with, I am only erring on the side of staying out of the fray. I have had RL graphics work stolen from me
and sold, so I know how disheartening it can be. Thanks for this post. It is important.

Unknown said...

/me signs the letter

Anonymous said...

I really agree with what you're saying here about how designers should let bloggers know about theft, but I talked with Mallory about this a while ago and she told me she had tried contacting one of the people who blogged PXL skins and was basically told that they didn't care. I've also seen some bloggers refuse to take any action when they're given proof of theft, so that can be really discouraging for the designer. I know that there are a lot of bloggers who do care and want to know so they don't mistakenly blog something stolen but its still a hard situation for a designer too.

Ketsy said...

WOW Sasy,

Likely at the same time you were writing this, I was writing something very similar. ( ) This is on my mind too, the whole thing is really making me think of the responsibility that comes with blogging in syndications with any sort of readership. We are responsible for what we say & do, but how can we know we are contributing to the problem when we are left in the dark.

Excellent Post, Coherent and Well Thought Out. Thank You!

~ Ketsy

Sasy Scarborough said...

Hugs Efe , and thank you Sioxie for that trust ♥ you are right Chic we cant become jaded and freak out when someone new lands on our doorstep, because we would miss out on gold, it is hard to go back and change what is for most bloggers a wide range of items in one post, losing the post for many not just the one that may or may not have done something.

Hugs Ana, I am really really upset to hear that happened to Mallory when she did approach someone.

Jhuzen if you wrote yours at 6am ish or whatever time that situation was posted then yes , Ryker and I and a few others discussed it first thing and wrote it up but were going to wait until tomorrow to post, but then realised that that would just bring it all up again and maybe be misconstrued by those absent today ,Read your post and its great.

It is getting so hard to know what to do anymore but this is about all of it not specifics, its todays specifics that just prompted this needing to also be said as it had an impact on so many bloggers at once.

xox Sasy xox

Stephanie Misfit said...

Disappointed to hear that Mallory got that response from a blogger, but frankly not surprised at all. I've contacted bloggers in the past to point out that items they have blogged are stolen, and basically been told that they don't have any proof of that so wont remove pics or links to the stolen stuff. If an item is questionable, don't promote it until it's cleared up. But I guess some people just don't care as long as they are getting their free stuff.

However, most bloggers are more honest than that and care about creators rights, so to those of you who did blog or purchase these skins, I understand how you must be feeling right now. But please be aware, no-one is going to think less of you for promoting or wearing them.

Ashia Tomsen said...

Being relativly new, touch wood I haven't had an issue yet. But Free*style the blog has in the past. So we are super careful now about what we post,although theres always a crack somethng can slip through. Bravo Sasybum

Annyka Bekkers said...

I think this is what blog comments are for. I'm personally a little leery of anonymous messages and private blacklists. There are too many false complaints. It would be too easy to find yourself on some secret blog blacklist with no idea why none of your stuff is getting reviewed. I'm all for airing complaints in public where they can be seen and challenged if they're wrong.

That said, I do respect Mallory's choice to handle this issue in private. She gave Hart many chances to stop using her skins without having his reputation damaged. I hope he realizes she was doing him a huge favor, and if he had just stopped, nobody else would have had to know.

Thaumata said...

I disagree. When I file a DMCA, it's merely my way of notifying the proper people in writing that I suspect my copyright is being violated. It is in NO WAY a judgement or confirmation that it IS being violated. That's a very important difference.

Mentioning to the blogging community of SL that you are filing a DMCA against someone is the nail in the coffin as far as the suspected thief goes. They will be blogged as dishonest, untrustworthy and slimy within 24 hours - long before they've ever had the chance to respond to the claim and defend themselves. For the guilty, this will happen anyway, but I shudder to think what this would do to a fledgling business if it was blogged erroneously or even maliciously by a competitor.

It doesn't have to be like this, but until the blogging community itself starts to behave better by encouraging impartial reporting, I don't think they have the right to complain about things like this.

I should mention that I'm not specifically aiming this at you, Sasy. I just mean as a whole, our entire community could do a lot better. And anyway, in the end, most big designers probably file dozens of DMCA notices a month, along with trying to create content and run a business. They probably just don't have time to even READ all the blogs out there, let alone notify them of a potential upcoming decision about theft.

Anonymous said...

I am going to add a comment on this to my own blog as well. Thank you for your thoughts. I do my best to keep an eye out for stolen products but its becoming so far spread that its hard to even keep up anymore. Anytime I find stolen/ripped items being sold in SL I immediately file the report and let my friends know who file as well. I would definitely want to know as a blogger myself, of anything I"ve blogged that is stolen and would be sure to report it as well.

Kiara said...

Why is the victim of a repeated theft (Mallory) being attacked here? Seems to me she has handled the matter with good grace and tact, even giving the thief a chance to do the right thing.. which he didn't. I imagine she is so busy filing DMCAS that there's not so much time to come here and protect the numerous bloggers.

I have seen her work stolen so many places, including her own shop where those wankers stand there passing out landmarks to their own store... selling her stolen skins.

To then hold her responsible and bring her under attack is simply adding insult to injury and she deserves better.

Sasy Scarborough said...

Mallory isn't being attacked at all, this post was to open up what has happened to different points of view, and it has done so.

If you think Mallory is being attacked by me you would need to ask her if she herself thinks so , as it was me behind whats new blog who went to her early this year and asked her if someone who was being accused by others had stolen her skins , she said yes and I immediately removed all their posts their ability to post and that was that.

This is again not an attack on Mallory or any designer just a post to show that we do care and we do want to stand firmly and if you do want to tell an ear that will hopefully be open but not abused or taken advantage of , we are here.

xox Sasy xox

Anonymous said...

Hmm why does Phoenix Chapman have her nose out of joint because of these blog posts? Just because she decided to knowingly support and defend a stolen skin doesn't mean the rest of us have to. I'm sure people are entitled to post what they like on their own blogs, syndicated or not.

Anonymous said...

What a hypocrite post when you blog some posts back minnu model, when everybody knows what she did. PXL did the same as minnu, use a base.

Redgrave skins are posted everyday, when they have lot of possibilities that are infringing NARS copyright.

There are lot of bloggers still blogging designers that had stolen, but bloggers just don't care, they just care in be beauty and show
their photos to everybody.

So stop doing stupid posts, in the end is not bloggers fault, in the end bloggers don't care if it's stolen or not, they just care if they are beauty or not, and in the end they will continue do what they do best: lick designer's ass for free items.

Unknown said...

I deeply agree with you. But I never understand if I've promoted some designers stolen from content creator. But I will take it off since i noticed that is illegal stuff.
I really don't want to promote small head that can't create, too no sense earning easy money, these peopla are crap and they really don't deserve any promotion, lol they do deserve a deleted account.

Please let me know if I can spread the word on my blog (quoted), leaving your credits of course.

Marni Grut said...

At Anonymous 2 (i think)

I'm really sick of hearing this Minnu did not do the same.

I wont got into full detail but can some one else PLEASE go look at the way redorsity skins are sold? half of the body would fit onto the SL shape. Its not the same mesh.

Small sample images here

That isn't the exact one but that's the generic Poser skin shape i do believe so?

SO cant we just leave the MMS debate out this isn't about that. And in fact by bringing it you its just pushing RAC aside and saying its happens so much blah blah blah.

Also: post under your real names..... its just a wee bit lame

Cajsa Lilliehook said...

I would want to know if there's a theft. However, I also know that there are many false accusations of theft - enough that I changed our comments policy to state we would delete all accusations - and that some accusations of theft are merely accusations of similarity in design or in makeup. It's very confusing. I haven't the skills to figure out if such an accusation is true. I can generally tell if it's way off base and crazy, like the peson posting a link to a Frederick's of Hollywood catalog and accusing a shoe designer of stealing their design or the skin designer who accused a friend of mine because she had the same number of lines embellishing her lips as he did - even though every bit of the skin was different except that small make up similarity - so color me confused and frustrated.

Still, I totally agree with wanting to know.

Tenshi said...

You're joking, right? People blog stolen content all the time on fashion planet, sometimes even knowingly.

They won't stop now.

Tesla Miles said...

Hey Sassy, great post :)

Dove Swanson said...

I don't know what the solution to this problem is. But I do not think that unleashing suspicions of theft on the blogging circles is a good idea. There's just waaaay too much grey area there for me to be comfortable with it.

Drama? Imagine what it would be like if people were going around whispering little birdie msgs every five seconds about so and so stealing from such and such. You would have this person believing it, that person disbelieving, this one siding with that person and this one siding with the other.

And no, I wouldn't trust most bloggers (not just bloggers, read: anyone) to keep anything to themselves ...there's a select handful I might, but definitely not the majority.

I personally think that from reading her post on the matter, Mallory handled things as best she could as they were laid out to her.

It's great that the bloggers want to take responsibility, want to do right by designers, but really, how much more can you expect from the people that *aren't* stealing from others? They create original content, they run a business, they deal with customers, they deal with theft, they deal with LL (lord help us)...not much time left for anything else...

Just be really pissed at the thief, let them know that, let everyone you can know that and then deletedeletedelete.