40 Meter Wall of Shame

“If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary” ~ Mark Twain

So yesterday afternoon I found out the Excinerator blog had made a new post.

As I had theorized in my first posting on the topic, the Hush skins and demos that appeared to contain Curio and League watermarks have been removed from Hush’s store. Anyone could have seen that coming. The interesting thing that I discovered when I went by her store today is that Hush has completely redesigned her system so that the demos are delivered by script. This way you can’t go to the vendors, view contents, and check the upload dates (although a little bird tells me you can do an area search for the delivery device on the SIM and check there). I was expecting that. After all, there really is no excuse for her to have re-uploaded all her skins.

What I wasn’t expecting was that Excinerator went a step further and provided the UUID and a script to view the old Hush Demo legs texture. So I went in world and tried it out on a 40×40 prim.

40 Meter Wall of Shame

40 Meter Wall of Shame

The red boxes indicate artifacts from other skins. All the red boxes on the left are the ones shown to line up with Curio watermarks. The rectangle in the lower right beneath the Hush *cough* trademark statement is where you can clearly see letters spelling out the first half of the word League. All this was known.

What I didn’t realize from the previous photos that had been provided to me was how sloppy this texture is and how clearly it demonstrates issues beyond the mere watermarks.

So, let’s talk about the area in the upper right. I’m not sure if the Excinerator person could see this at their previous resolution or if they just didn’t understand the significance of it, but the background does not line up. What should be a clean background layer is anything but.

This is a demo skin, so to avoid confusion, let me try and explain. There are many different sets of horizontal lines at work on this image. There should only be two:

* One set of blinds should be the bottommost layer — this would create a consistent watermark pattern beneath the other layers.
* The other set of blinds would be the topmost layer — added to make the demo skin undesirable enough that someone would be encouraged to buy the release version.

For anyone who knows how to use Photoshop (especially on the level that would be required to create a skin) this skin would be a single file on several layers. Highlights might be on one layer, shading on another, freckles on yet another, etc. But these layers are like panes of glass stacked atop one another creating a complete image when looked at from the top down. And at any time one of those layers could be removed to another file without the background lines. There is never any reason to cut and paste a section of a skin file with the background layer. Even if you were transplanting it to another file, you would do so with a transparent background.

But if you look in the upper right blue box, you see that someone has clearly copied and pasted so that the background pattern does not align. A professional creating a skin with this level of detail would have a uniform background. The only way you get those uneven lines up in the left is by Frankensteining different pieces from a separate source together and doing a lazy job of it.

Further if you look at the areas between the knees, you’ll notice an off-color fill. I’m wondering if this means that she didn’t actually know how to erase to a transparent background at the time and she thought coloring those areas in was the only way to hide the watermarks. No creator would ever put in a sloppy fill like that. There is simply no reason for it.

When these images were previously ent to me to look at outside of SL I didn’t really notice these other areas; I was focused on the watermarks. But it’s amazing what 40m and full bright will reveal.

It’s worth mentioning that since the Excinerator person uses SLU to get their information out, I was able to read a few people who felt this is an unethical step over the line. I can appreciate that point of view, but I don’t share it.

My reasoning for anyone who cares is this:

This is only a violation of TOS if the texture is, in fact, from Hush Darkrose. Many people have claimed the Excinerator images could have been faked. So this forces the question.

1. If theses images are fake, then there is no way of knowing if there is an actual TOS violation. Excinerator may have used Eloh Eliot skins for all we know. So if you believe this is a fake and this image is not pulling from a Hush Darkrose texture, it does not necessarily follow that it’s a TOS violation and you certainly can’t prove it without getting Linden Lab to verify the creator name on the texture.

2. If these images are what they are represented to be then they are clearly the work of someone who has appropriated unauthorized copies of League and Curio skins (as evidenced by the watermarks) and done a crappy cut and page job. No original creator would produce a texture that looked like this. This texture is the artistic equivalent of a ransom note with pieces cut from different sources and pasted to form a whole.

This texture comes from a demo and it is only one section of the three sections required to make a whole skin. Even if the other two pieces were available, it would still be a demo with lines all over it that no one would buy. There is no opportunity to steal or encourage others to use this texture as a product for profit.

And, let’s be practical. If justice prevails, this texture will be removed from the grid along with many others.

In the meantime, if you are the “I have to see it myself to believe it” type, I suggest making your own 40 meter wall of shame and looking closely.

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  1. Masami Kuramoto
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 5:23 AM | Permalink

    Some things to consider:

    1. You have the texture and its UUID. Do you have the uploader UUID as well? If you have that, and if it points at Hush, we’re done. No more questions.

    2. How do you explain Hush appearing in the destination guide at this very moment? It seems LL is firmly on Hush’s side and trying hard to let everyone know. Why would they do that? Are they just incredibly stupid, or are they trying to tell us something? We know that Rodvik keeps an eye on SLU, right? Are we supposed to believe he isn’t aware of what’s going on? He didn’t see the Curio thread recently while he was posting right next to it? And no one is reading the comments in the destination guide? How likely is that?

    There is a lot at stake for Linden Lab, because if they were caught openly siding with copybotters and ignoring all the red flags presented to them, they could kiss their safe harbor privilege goodbye. And Excinerator’s evidence, if genuine, looks like the mother of all red flags, a smoking gun if there ever was one. However, if it turns out to be fabricated to help Gala’s fundraising campaign, that would be a disaster. LL for obvious reasons cannot make any verbal statements about the case, so what are the conclusions you draw from their behaviour?

  2. Vivienne Graves
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    @Masami: http://excinerator.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/hush-uuid-12.jpg

    The screenshot there shows the inventory window open with worn item properties; it shows Hush Darkrose as the creator. So as far as your first question goes, it kind of looks like there aren’t any more questions.

  3. Vivienne Graves
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    And @Masami, again: As of today Hush is no longer in the destination guide, a look at the website under the “Skins & Shapes” category, and an in-client search for “Hush” in destinations, fails to show her at all, so obviously someone at LL said “oh shit” and removed her. So perhaps that answers your questions?

  4. Posted July 13, 2012 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    @Vivienne, not exactly. Hush is still on Destination Guide. Only the link under the category has been removed, the page is still there: http://bit.ly/N0ZUUJ

  5. Vivienne Graves
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

    Sure but you only bring up that destination guide page by clicking the direct link; it’s not accessible by any of the category filters, nor is it in the in-world destination guide search.

  6. SadieMae
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 1:16 AM | Permalink

    I don’t think you can copybot a skin, although i am not sure. I do know there is another way to copy textures.

    Great post, just more proof in the pudding for me.

  7. Aeva Nikolaidis
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    Salome, great post. I really hope LL gets their heads out of their asses soon and sets things right.

  8. Elisabeth Milneaux
    Posted July 22, 2012 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    Pssshh are we still arguing about this? It’s super-easy to grab textures in SL, no copybot required. Do a little research on the interwebs if you must find out. Just about all of my friends who are original content creators have had their exact textures show up someplace else and I’ve had to demonstrate for them how this happens. LL hates touching these things with a … 40m prim pole. But the longer it goes on the better for Gala (in a copyright, not necessarily business, sense). I’m sure this girl thought Gala would just fold because of the bother; as someone who has been wearing Curio skins exclusively for about two years it’s an incredible bother (erm, okay, inconvenience) for me, but I’m glad Gala is fighting it because this is just plain stupid. I don’t know this Hush girl and neither do I know Gala but I sure as heck know Gala’s skins.

  9. ashley
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 2:13 AM | Permalink

    For me I didnt even need all this to believe. Though this is icing on the cake. The day it happened i went and got myself demos of hush and examined the skins side by side and it doesnt take a dummy to see that hush is a blurred copy of curio.. Every detail is crisp on curio’s skin and blurred on hush’s.. But then who said LL was smart. In my opinion I put my money on LL being lazy about it in the beginning.. i’m hoping all this will wake them up to stop being so self assured and use their brains again.

  10. Trixi Tiponi
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    Salome, have you heard any updates from Gala?

  11. Posted November 21, 2012 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    No official updates, no. It’s my understanding they are in negotiations which means it might be considered a sign of bad faith to release public statements at this time.

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