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