Curio(us)

*** UPDATE: Please read Gala’s latest blog post on this topic ***

I have to give fair warning on this post. It’s going to be long. Like…crazy cat lady long. It’s going to include chat logs with names which I normally refuse to post, except that since these logs are from a public group chat I don’t feel any ethical problem posting them. If you disagree you may want to remove me from your feeds about now. If you have my generation’s MTV attention span you will also want to skip this one.

I have been trying to gather information regarding what I consider to be a terrifyingly important issue for the future of SL content creation — the Curio/Hush situation. I’ve tried to separate the things I’ve gathered into categories like Facts, Side Issues, Common Sense Conclusions, etc. In the section relating to facts, I’ve attempted to keep everything as neutral as possible. You may want to just read that area. Otherwise my snark and opinions will be scattered all over the rest.

Before we get into all that:

One Voice:
Gala Phoenix Legal Defense Fundraising Event

Vivienne Graves is organizing a One Voice event to help Gala Phoenix raise legal funds to deal with issues I’ve blogged previously and will be updating/going over here. As I understand it, Truth Hawkes has donated a SIM to host the event which will take place from July 9 – 15th. Many major names, such as League, Glam Affair, Belleza, One Bad Pixel, Truth, Exile, Gos, Luck Inc, Laqroki, Aura, Bare Rose, etc are participating. Participants will be given the option to donate 50% – 100% of their sales to the cause. Bloggers interested in participating should contact Sophia Harlow.

Gala Phoenix is not officially associated with this event, but she has been informed that the proceeds collected will be given to her for her defense. This is not a plea from Gala for financial compensation, but a united demonstration from many of SL’s top designers to show their support.

I do not normally get involved with charity or fundraising events in Second Life for many reasons:

~ I resent the way a lot of people use a charity as a means of drumming up attention/business for themselves.
~ I often find the charity itself gets belittled while drama flares up over some event-related stupidity
~ Charities are often used as a shaming/bullying device by people who have no other means to make themselves feel important
~ Donating a few bucks directly to the official charity site often generates more than buying some badly made hunk of virtual junk that “donates” a percentage to the charity
~ I rarely, if ever, trust that all the money is going to the right place
~ For smaller/personal charities, I often do not find enough information is provided to convince me of the need for the event
~ Sometimes I just don’t care that person X needs Y dollars because of reason Z
~ I think constantly draining funds from SLers over menial or unnecessary causes leaves less to be collected by those who are organizing genuine events for important needs
~ I think the vast majority of laggy SIM events are outdated and stupid

Although I will generally pass along information about events from sources I trust, I rarely, if ever participate. I am participating in this. Those of you who know me can kindly get up off the floor now. I would also like to say that if you’re not interested in any of the merchandise or attending the event and want to make a straight donation, you should drop your donation directly onto Gala Phoenix avatar, although it is my understanding that donation kiosks will be at the landing point of the event.

Full disclosure: Vivienne Graves is a friend of mine and has been for several years in SL. She will be the first to tell you that I would have no problem telling her no if I didn’t support her cause.

Just in case you live under a virtual rock, here is a far too lengthy run down of the events leading us here.

What We Know
Although I’ve had no direct contact with Gala Phoenix or Hush Darkrose/Verikal Vargas there is a chain of events that observers of this topic can distinguish from all the rabble, rabble rabble. The below points are the closest things that can be called facts at this time.

1. On or around the 25th of May, a blog post appeared from Hush Darkrose on the Hush Skins blog (the original link was http://hushskins.wordpress.com/copyrightinfringement but has since been removed). A screen capture was taken before the post was removed (a transcript appears on my previous post on this issue). In the post, Hush stated that Curio had been stealing content from Hush for at least 3 years. The post stated a court had ordered an injunction against Curio to remove all infringing content.

2. On or about this same date, Gala Phoenix was banned from logging in while the majority of her store vendors were returned to her inventory. A customer service agent employed by the Curio SIM closed the SIM to visitors while the staff figured out what to do. Gala Phoenix was able to log back in a few days later. On or about this same date, Gala Phoenix was issued a 7-day ban due to the fact that she did not realize she had been issued a take-down order that could not be answered as false via a basic DMCA counter filing. During this ban, her vendors, a portion of her store build, and portions of the SIM landscaping were deleted (not returned to her inventory).

3. On May 25th, Gwen Carillon (founder of the Content Creator’s Association) made a post on SLU, claiming:
First: I have seen the court docs in question. They are real. Hush has been transparent in all her dealings.
Second: This is not a DMCA. This is a Supreme Court Injunction directing Linden Lab to remove infringing content. The docs are not what those in US are familiar with since this was issued from Canada. The word “wilful” might have been a typo, or it may be an alternate spelling. The injunction is the result of copyright registration shown and evidence submitted to the court. This was a court order, not a DMCA take down.

Despite the attempts of others to get more information, Gwen Carillon has remained publicly silent since her single posting on this issue.

4. On May 31st, an anonymous blog posted images that indicated there were several artifacts of Gala Phoenix watermarks on Hush Skin Demos. Following the posting of these images, many individuals confirmed the findings for themselves and posted their discoveries in various venues (forums, etc). Because admitting to verifying this information is admitting to violating Second Life Terms of Service Agreement, confirmation is considered by some to be a suspect act.

5. On June 5th, the anonymous Excinerator blog also made another post showing what appears to be a League watermark on a newer Hush skin release.

6. On June 6th, Gala posted a brief statement on the Curio website, affirming her innocence and maintaining that this entire situation is the result of a vindictive response from an individual who was reported for infringement.

7. Hush disappeared from the grid for a brief time as did the vendors selling the skins indicated to contain a League watermark, but both the Hush account and the vendors appear to have been returned.

8. Despite many individuals searching multiple public records databases in the US and Canada, no one has been able to locate a court ordered injunction regarding this issue. No one has provided this information in a public format — which would be a matter of public record — to end the rumors and speculation.

9. Gala Phoenix remains unable to sell her work and her SIM remains closed.

10. Hush is still open.

As far as I know, none of the above statements are in dispute. Please feel free to leave corrections in the comments section.

I am putting a blog cut here. Read on only if you can handle ugly drama issues and crazy cat lady length information details.

Rumors From Reliable Sources
This section is for information I have heard from reliable sources — defined as people I trust to tell me the truth. I don’t expect anyone else to take them at face value and encourage everyone to consider them as they would any other rumor.

1. Curio issued a DMCA against Hush first. Hush responded with a counter and then took the extra step of filing an intent to file an injunction with a Canadian court.
2. League issued a DMCA gainst Hush. Hush responded with a counter and told League to “sue me.”
3. Prior to this (as in a couple years back), Verikal Vargas (Hush Darkrose) was confronted about using stolen Truth Hawks sculpt maps in Vixen Hair creations. Verikal/Hush claimed to have purchased the sculpt maps from another source, but could not remember the source. The hair using the offending sculpts was removed from sale.

Common Sense Conclusions
1. There is no logical reason Gala or League watermarks should be visible on Hush skins or demos. Even if there was some possible explanation, it has not, as of yet, been offered. As of right now, until something else comes to light, all available evidence points to Hush skins being unauthorized derivatives of Curio and League skins.

2. As it currently appears, Hush has been able to bar Curio from selling products based on the mere claim of intending to seek court involvement outside US borders.
Vaki Zenovka, a lawyer who takes keen interest in copyright and virtual goods legal cases and often gives talks on the subject in SL (and, I’ve since learned, is now Gala’s attorney), took part in the 50+ page long thread about this issue on SLU. In it, she made a very important observation:

Let’s talk about the DMCA. The DMCA — the takedown and counter-notice part, anyway — is found in 17 USC 512. Now, bear in mind that this section is all about service providers, like Linden Labs, and it’s talking about the things they have to do to qualify for safe harbor from infringement actions. Let’s look specifically at 17 USC 512(g)(2)(C). It says that a service provider who has removed someone’s content will not be liable for removing that content, provided that it:

Quote:
replaces the removed material and ceases disabling access to it not less than 10, nor more than 14, business days following receipt of the counter notice, unless its designated agent first receives notice from the person who submitted the notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) that such person has filed an action seeking a court order to restrain the subscriber from engaging in infringing activity relating to the material on the service provider’s system or network.

What does that mean? It means that on receipt of a counter-notice, a service provider (like Linden Labs) has to return content within 10-14 business days, unless it receives notice of a court action seeking a court order. LL doesn’t need an injunction. It only needs a court action.

[Emphasis mine]

As Gala’s vendors have not been returned and there is no record of an injunction being filed, it is the logical conclusion that Gala’s current situation is the result of nothing more than a notice of intent from a foreign country. There is no proof that anyone has had a day in court.

3. Linden Lab has possibly violated their own guidelines by accepting an international court filing. If Gala filed a DMCA first and Hush filed a counter, Linden Lab’s own DMCA page states the counter-claimant must:
State that you consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which you reside (or San Francisco, California if your address is outside of the United States).

So, if Gala filed first and Hush countered, wherein Hush agreed to US Federal jurisdiction, why has a Canadian court document been honored by Linden Lab in this case? Granted, this pertains to DMCA (which is my understanding always handled in US Federal jurisdiction) and not necessarily to IP civil issues. But Linden Lab’s own TOS also says:
13.1 Second Life is a United States-based service.
Linden Lab makes no representation that any aspect of the Service is appropriate or available for use outside of the United States.

So this is baffling. What we can draw from this is:
1. Gala’s vendors should not have been removed by a Canadian intent letter as part of DMCA procedure because the jurisdiction would be US Federal only.
2. Linden Lab is choosing to act on a letter of intent from a foreign country which has no court action behind it, even though all their own TOS and documentation asserts US jurisdiction in all cases.
3. If Linden Lab is acting on an actual court ordered injunction, there is no record of it on any publicly available database.

(This is the part that opens up the door to dogs and cats living together — mass hysteria.)

Why This Matters
If Gala Phoenix is the original creator of all her work, then she has been barred from selling her products for over a month now. She has lost her Second Life income while still being required to pay for her Second Life holdings. All of this may be based on nothing more than an act of obstruction by a competitor who seems to demonstrate a history of obtaining source material from places that bear questionable provenance.

A. Creators. If this precedent holds, as a content creator you will need to come to terms with the reality that the next tiff with a belligerent customer and/or competition with another creator you’re unaware of could result in an instance such as this. Someone filing a court document of mere intent (not action, just intent) in a foreign country will be enough justification for Linden Lab to remove your goods from the grid until you put forth the expense, time, and effort to remedy the situation. Regardless of whether you’re able to recover expenses, your tier and other fees will be due to Linden Lab while this issue is under review. Let’s say that one more time: anyone in any country with an intent to file form gets to obstruct your business indefinitely.

B. Consumers. If you’re a consumer who enjoys the diversity and quality of products Second Life has to offer, you should be concerned about how this may affect the future of content creation. Even the most successful creators in SL do not make beyond a middle class living;; the vast majority of creators sell items for only a small secondary income source. If creators are made to feel their work can be banned without just cause and/or that they will have to incur the expense of international litigation just to be able to sell their products, you can bet your bobby socks there will be far fewer people looking to create. Second Life already has a bad reputation with professional creators for harboring theft, adding the reputation that they allow nuisance suits to remove legitimate creators will not go over well.

None of this is intended as scare tactic, and I certainly don’t mean to imply that simply because you’re concerned about this issue that you should participate in the One Voice fundraiser. But if you’ve been waving this issue off as Second Life fashionista dramaz, you might want to spend a little time fretting about it. I don’t mind telling you that it has been a sobering issue for me and, as someone who continues to hope against hope that Second Life will continue on, I find this entire situation chilling.

I intend to keep compiling and providing information here on my blog as any comes to light if for no other reason that is gives me a place to keep everything together.

Side Issues
A couple side issues have arisen from this scandal. While they have mostly served as distractions from what I consider to be more important matters, they are significant and worth mentioning.

1. Skin Addiction Group Fail
It did not escape the notice of group members that the timing of this issue came up just as Hush skins were getting a lot of promo from moderators of the Skin Addiction group and the Skin Showcase — an event organized by those individuals. Group chat logs show the moderators of the group making statements in support of Hush while bullying members who raised questions or expressed disbelief that Curio could be guilty of theft.

This raises questions over the group’s ability to remain a neutral aggregation of information (the group’s stated cause is to keep consumers aware of new skin releases) when they must also be concerned with collecting fees from designers for their events as well as promoting featured designers over others. Hush was in attendance at the Skin Showcase event as a featured creator at the event’s landing point.

Lest you feel this was just a few badly behaved moderators, Voshie Paine, the founder of Skin Addiction had this to say:

[2012/05/24 17:03] Master Source: ive heard of vixen hair
[2012/05/24 17:03] Voshie Paine: tams it is true
[2012/05/24 17:03] Tamsin Starbrook: no words
[2012/05/24 17:03] Tamsin Starbrook: I am
[2012/05/24 17:03] Sparkysgal Blackheart: i have alot the hair hiding in my mess inve now lol.
[2012/05/24 17:03] Ramses Meredith: tamsin of coruse now i go and i place some mumbers that dont’ exist abotu ruling that was never made just for fun
[2012/05/24 17:03] Tamsin Starbrook: for reals vosh?
[2012/05/24 17:04] Ramses Meredith: tamsin las allow u to take a copy of the court papers
[2012/05/24 17:04] Tamsin Starbrook: you can write what ever you want on your blog. that doesn’t make it true
[2012/05/24 17:04] Voshie Paine: A court made a decision……. everyone bitches about how if somebody copybots that they need to take action and yet when they do, you still don’t believe. WTF will it take you guys to start believing?
[2012/05/24 17:04] Voshie Paine: and since when is gala fucking god?
[2012/05/24 17:04] Anabella Ravinelli: I second that Voshie
[2012/05/24 17:04] Liliandra Baxter: I think we should let Hush and gala settle things.
[2012/05/24 17:04] Voshie Paine: everyone makes mistakes.

On June 6, 2012, a notecard was sent to the Skin Addiction group from Vosh, which read:

Hi all,

I am going to state this once and only once. This group was created with the idea of having all your skin makers in one spot. I also loved the idea of helping each other out, and is a huge aspect of the group that I have come to love.

However. This is NOT the place to bring in drama. There is to be NO chat on any potential legal issues involving ANY designer..skin maker or not. The rules clearly state: “We do not love members disparaging our skin designers or any other content creators in this group.” (Rules and Mission « Skin Addiction)

If you feel the need to discuss some of the current situations, there are plenty of platforms to do it on. THIS is NOT one of them. If it continues after this warning, chat will be shut down for a period of time.

I don’t want this to happen, but designers are in this group to share their designs with us, not for the drama.

I love you all, I really do, and I know we all have strong feelings, just keep them to yourself in Skin Addiction’s chat.

Voshie

Presumably she and the other moderators decided to take their own advice and keep their feelings to themselves on the topic after they had their say and collected their fees.

It should be noted that members were kicked from the group for asking questions about the Hush/Curio topic and pointing out the one-sidedness of the group’s actions on this topic. This happened despite the group’s Rules and Mission page which encourages members to talk about skins so long as the tone remains calm and there is no active disparaging of creators.

To the best of my knowledge no one at Skin Addiction has apologized for their shameful handling of the situation. I welcome a correction in the comments if that happened after I left the group.

Hush Darkrose was, apparently, removed from the group at some point after I left. I cannot confirm if she was removed or left of her own accord, but indications seem to be it had something to do with the League issue and not the Curio issue.

Vosh asked to be allowed to join and is now participating in the One Voice fundraising event for Gala. One assumes she mistook the event for supporting “gall” as opposed to “gala,” but that’s simply my own theory.

Here’s a novel idea. When you open your mouth and your ass comes out, apologize and show a little humility instead of harassing your members and trying to silence them.

2. Content Creator’s Association
Remember way back in the facts section when we pointed out that “artist” Gwen Carillon made a post on SLU saying she’d seen the legal documents and this was all legit, but hasn’t been around since the damning photos of the watermarks were posted? So here we have another group — this one a group that claims to be all about supporting content creators and protecting their IP — where the group founder has come out boldly to defend Hush and then crawled back under their rock of silence.

The not-updated-since-2009 site reads:
CCA ‘s goals are to support, inform and assist creators in protection of original content and other content related issues. We are stronger together. Let’s stay positive. We can work together to insure SL remains a haven for creativity. “Witch hunts” and personal attacks are discouraged and will result in a member being ejected from this group. CCA policy: Innocent until proven guilty.

Oh, where to begin. Let’s start with the fact that Hush Darkrose is still in the group. One assumes that’s because of that whole innocent until proven guilty thing. However, the “proof” part of that raises an interesting question. How would anyone prove anything one way or the other? How about stolen watermarks posted on a public blog and independently confirmed by several sources? No? Well then, I guess that’s those court documents that were shown. Except any attempt to get a case number on the “Supreme Court Injunction directing Linden Lab to remove infringing content” can’t be found and all attempts to get the case number go unanswered. Since court proceedings are generally a matter of public record that’s a bit…odd.

This group having any validity was always a bit…amusing. At this point it seems clear it’s a vanity group without any way to carry out its stated purpose. Which did not stop the group founder from voluntarily weighing in on this issue.

3. Harper Beresford (Also related to 1, but entertaining enough to be its own subject)
Having been forced to interact socially with Harper a couple years ago, I would like to say I can offer an unbiased opinion of her actions in this matter, but that would be a fib. Anyone reading this section should know I have a mild bias against her and find it kind of entertaining when her hypocrisy and ego are laid bare before the court of opinion. Entertaining or not, I would prefer to let others highlight her blunders, but unfortunately she wiggled her bum into this issue right at the start and ignoring her part would be unfair after holding others to task.

Harper was a strong supporter of Hush Skins both on her blog and in the Skin Addiction group prior to the Hush/Curio scandal. She blogged Hush skins about a half dozen or so times leading up to the Skin Showcase event and used it in her high profile Marketplace Masquerade photo (which still appears splashed all over the Marketplace landing page as a constant reminder of this issue). She also removed several comments from her blog, without explanation, from individuals challenging why she was continuing to support Hush despite the growing controversy during the Skin Showcase event.

Harper, a moderator for Skin Addiction, shared the link to the Hush blog post in group chat not long after Hush first posted it and assumed the role of informing members that Curio was gone and that proof was the end of the story. If you need to see it in print to believe it, here are excerpts from the public group transcript:

[2012/05/24 16:07] Harper Beresford: and I am not going to give it to you because it will come out soon enough
[2012/05/24 16:07] Harper Beresford: Loona, you need to get the full story

[2012/05/24 16:07] Liliandra Baxter: Never had problems with her skins so I am happy
[2012/05/24 16:07] Pugbug Bing: which one is the hush demo?
[2012/05/24 16:08] Harper Beresford: boo
[2012/05/24 16:08] Harper Beresford: no blog links in here
[2012/05/24 16:08] Harper Beresford: well excepot me
[2012/05/24 16:08] Harper Beresford: let me share with you
[2012/05/24 16:08] Harper Beresford: http://hushskins.wordpress.com/copyrightinfringement/

[2012/05/24 16:08] Harper Beresford: please read thkis
[2012/05/24 16:08] Liliandra Baxter: and that is why I love Harper.
[2012/05/24 16:09] salmenah: I’m lost ..what happened?
[2012/05/24 16:09] LittleOneRiver: i cant bring it up
[2012/05/24 16:10] Harper Beresford: this blog link explains some things.
[2012/05/24 16:10] Myndi Meredith: oh holy crap…
[2012/05/24 16:10] Liliandra Baxter: So is that why curio is not around?
[2012/05/24 16:10] Loona Deezul: thx but that hush store is new
[2012/05/24 16:10] Anabella Ravinelli: ouch
[2012/05/24 16:10] Loona Deezul: that avatar is 500 days old.
[2012/05/24 16:10] Harper Beresford: Read the whole thing
[2012/05/24 16:10] Anabella Ravinelli: read the post
[2012/05/24 16:10] Harper Beresford: this was a legally binding action. as in RL
[2012/05/24 16:10] Ramses Meredith: eh that’s why people dont’ have to follow a well know brand only…
[2012/05/24 16:10] Harper Beresford: as in RL courts
[2012/05/24 16:11] Ramses Meredith: but being sure abotu creativity
[2012/05/24 16:11] Harper Beresford: as in this is why you have to be careful what you think
[2012/05/24 16:11] Harper Beresford: and see and hear
[2012/05/24 16:11] Anabella Ravinelli: good for her for getting her stuff backed up and showing proof in RL
[2012/05/24 16:12] Ramses Meredith: but the worse part is that she had to do this
[2012/05/24 16:12] Anabella Ravinelli: yep
[2012/05/24 16:12] Anabella Ravinelli: I HATE thieves, but dont’ get me started, I won’t stop
[2012/05/24 16:13] Anabella Ravinelli: I equally hate those who accuse others of theft just to get the sales Glad that the courts helped her out here
[2012/05/24 16:13] Jewell Infinity: and i love the kelis skin kinda glad i got it already
[2012/05/24 16:13] LittleOneRiver: click click click! I cant get it!
[2012/05/24 16:13] Liliandra Baxter: Well I find it hard to dislike anyone…the problem seems to be getting resolved…hopefully we’ll have curio back one of these days and hopefully hush doesn’t go anywhere
[2012/05/24 16:14] Adora Whitesong: eeek what’s happened?
[2012/05/24 16:14] AngeliqueLaAngel: curio has left sl?
[2012/05/24 16:14] o0Nani0o Adored: what?
[2012/05/24 16:14] o0Nani0o Adored: what?
[2012/05/24 16:15] Anabella Ravinelli: well hate is a strong word, I don’t mean I hate the person, I hate what they do when that happens
[2012/05/24 16:15] Ramses Meredith: no curio seem have copybotted skins
[2012/05/24 16:15] Nadja Baxter: lol thats a joke
[2012/05/24 16:15] Nadja Baxter: be carefully what you say
[2012/05/24 16:15] Anabella Ravinelli: its real Nadja courts proved
[2012/05/24 16:15] salmenah: but a lot of skins look alike so how do they know?
[2012/05/24 16:15] Ramses Meredith: nadia i am carefull i explain why i told this word
[2012/05/24 16:15] Sparkysgal Blackheart: here what harper posted a min ago..
[2012/05/24 16:16] Sparkysgal Blackheart: [16:08] Harper Beresford: no blog links in here
[16:08] Harper Beresford: well excepot me
[16:08] Harper Beresford: let me share with you
[16:08] Harper Beresford: http://hushskins.wordpress.com/copyrightinfringement/
[2012/05/24 16:16] Ramses Meredith: since he have used same things of hush he can have only copybotting the skin
[2012/05/24 16:16] Nadja Baxter: cala phonix is a great and wonderful skindesihner since 2005
[2012/05/24 16:16] Nadja Baxter: designer
[2012/05/24 16:16] salmenah: that’s not what it says…it say curio had an injuncetion put on hush
[2012/05/24 16:16] Liliandra Baxter: I never thought they looked alike to be honest but then again its been awhile since I actually bought a curio skin
[2012/05/24 16:16] LittleOneRiver: ty Sparkysgal
[2012/05/24 16:16] Ramses Meredith: lili this show how many peopel think to love a skin more than another but are form same source
[2012/05/24 16:17] Ramses Meredith: i heard people telling curio skisn was better than hush skin but since are from same source…
[2012/05/24 16:17] Croon Nandahar: It’s fair to say that I’m completely freakin’ shocked.
[2012/05/24 16:17] Anabella Ravinelli: just makes me sick, i really loved curio skins
[2012/05/24 16:17] Liliandra Baxter: I didn’t say one was better than the other….I’ve just been a shopper at Hush more
[2012/05/24 16:18] Ramses Meredith: anabella well u have lvoe skin s fo somebody else then haha
[2012/05/24 16:18] o0Nani0o Adored: wow that is bonkers
[2012/05/24 16:18] AngeliqueLaAngel: thank you for the information im numb
[2012/05/24 16:18] Nadja Baxter: never hear anythink from hush skins
[2012/05/24 16:18] Anabella Ravinelli: haha I love skins from many places!
[2012/05/24 16:18] Ramses Meredith: sorry if i seem harsh but what is killing sl is all these dramatic situations that make many great creators to leave every day
[2012/05/24 16:18] Anabella Ravinelli: I agree Ramses
[2012/05/24 16:18] Jewell Infinity: Hush are always advertising
[2012/05/24 16:19] Nadja Baxter: cala was a imported skindesigner since years
[2012/05/24 16:19] Anabella Ravinelli: Hush used to be Vixen
[2012/05/24 16:19] Anabella Ravinelli: Vixen was around before Curio
[2012/05/24 16:19] Ramses Meredith: hush had to battle to show she was right
[2012/05/24 16:19] Jewell Infinity: wdf i say
[2012/05/24 16:19] Master Source: this stuff isnt killing sl. THere are juist not so many new people joining SL, which makes the amount of potentional customers lower..that makes it hard. Not some stuff here… that 99% of the customers are not aware of
[2012/05/24 16:19] Ramses Meredith: wdf means
[2012/05/24 16:19] salmenah: who knows if what the blog says is even true and it even went to court??
[2012/05/24 16:20] Arica Storaro: How come it takes a person 4 years (first release of Curio skins was in 2008 if I remember correctly, the current line) to realize her stuff was ‘stolen’? O.o I kinda don’t get that. Really? 4 years?
[2012/05/24 16:20] Jewell Infinity: typo lol
[2012/05/24 16:20] Nadja Baxter: oh wow this skinshowcase has a realy great start
[2012/05/24 16:20] Sparkysgal Blackheart: well im lost whats all going on. but i think it is best to leave it to the main ppl that was in it. and for all of us. we go on and buy the items we like………

later on:

2012/05/24 16:33] BellaRose Melody: does that mean any skin bought from curio will be removed from our inventory ?
[2012/05/24 16:33] Hideyuki Ichtama: More than likely, Bella.
[2012/05/24 16:33] Harper Beresford: no Bella
[2012/05/24 16:33] Harper Beresford: nono.. she directed them not to remove existing skins

[2012/05/24 16:33] Anabella Ravinelli: I’m going to delete mine just to be safe, I don’t know if they delete accounts or not that have that stuff? or do they just delete the stuff?
[2012/05/24 16:33] BellaRose Melody: I would be really mad,
[2012/05/24 16:33] Harper Beresford: but Curio can no longer sell
[2012/05/24 16:33] Harper Beresford: no they delete the stuff.. and do not panic

[2012/05/24 16:34] Anabella Ravinelli: ok lol
[2012/05/24 16:34] Harper Beresford: you legitimately spent money
[2012/05/24 16:34] Harper Beresford: and you did not know

[2012/05/24 16:34] Anabella Ravinelli: well i’m still going to delete it anyhow
[2012/05/24 16:34] Anabella Ravinelli: cause i won’t wear stolen skins

[2012/05/24 16:35] Harper Beresford: well Nadja.. do you think she didn’t have compelling evidence?
[2012/05/24 16:36] Harper Beresford: the proof is
[2012/05/24 16:36] Harper Beresford: the skins are off the grid for sale
[2012/05/24 16:36] Harper Beresford: end of story

2012/05/24 16:38] Harper Beresford: they are off the grid for sale
[2012/05/24 16:38] Nadja Baxter: i don´t belive that
[2012/05/24 16:38] Master Source: where?
[2012/05/24 16:38] Harper Beresford: well go look, Nadja
[2012/05/24 16:38] Harper Beresford: Go to curio

[2012/05/24 16:38] Sparkysgal Blackheart: go look thre nothing there …..
[2012/05/24 16:38] Harper Beresford: go to truth
[2012/05/24 16:38] Master Source: other grids?
[2012/05/24 16:38] Master Source: the MP?
[2012/05/24 16:38] Harper Beresford: who knows
[2012/05/24 16:38] Harper Beresford: off mp yes

[2012/05/24 16:39] BellaRose Melody: oh yeah there a few places like SL..they could go to lol
[2012/05/24 16:39] Mackey Macchi: who was she stealing from so i can go buy from that person now >_>
[2012/05/24 16:39] BellaRose Melody: Hush
[2012/05/24 16:39] Master Source: hush skins
[2012/05/24 16:39] Master Source: (not even sure which store that is …ill just act like i know it)
[2012/05/24 16:39] Master Source: yeah..hush is good stuff!
[2012/05/24 16:39] Maxxi Toxx: lol
[2012/05/24 16:39] BellaRose Melody: which I didn’t think they looked the same, but apparently they were
[2012/05/24 16:40] aida Ewing: people…. Please open your eyes
[2012/05/24 16:40] Master Source: always get my stuff there!
[2012/05/24 16:40] Sparkysgal Blackheart: LM in my picks Master. can go check it out lol.
[2012/05/24 16:40] Master Source: cool.. Im gonna be such a hot hush chick soon when ive went there
[2012/05/24 16:40] Jewell Infinity: lol master
[2012/05/24 16:40] Sparkysgal Blackheart: hehe .. can i have pics? master
[2012/05/24 16:40] Ramses Meredith: aida are u going to do a strip tease?
[2012/05/24 16:40] Anabella Ravinelli: lol
[2012/05/24 16:41] Harper Beresford: let the courts take care of this… it’s a legal issue.. in RL
[2012/05/24 16:41] Harper Beresford: and it will do its work

[2012/05/24 16:41] Master Source: gossip is fun though

[Emphasis, Mine - some comments, not pertaining to the issue were removed from transcript]

Please note that at no time while Gala is being disparaged does anyone bring up the fact that such comments aren’t allowed in the group chat — just that Harper is the only one allowed to post links — which she does, to Hush’s now removed blog post. Also worth noting is Harper stating that “she” (meaning Hush) directed someone not to remove skins from people’s inventories. As that didn’t appear on the Hush blog, Harper was either communicating with psychic friends or was getting information from Hush.

When asked if Glam Affair pulled out of the Skin Addiction Showcase event due to Hush being allowed to display, Harper denied it, despite the Glam Affair creator making it clear that was the reason for their withdrawal.

Harper attempted to do a little clean-up PR by posting in the comments section of a blog that called her out the bad behavior in the Skin Addiction group. Harper states:

I would like to comment in reply.

I would like to say I supported and still support the process by which copyright laws work.

I was happy to see LL respond to a presumably legal document that was sent to Linden Lab on behalf of Hush against Curio. I am very skeptical Linden Lab would respond to anything except a fully legal injunction.

Now we have seen a separate legal injunction work against Hush when League took action. Clearly again it was legally done and supported by the courts. I understand that Hush’s work has been pulled for sale from the grid. I am glad to see this legal procedure work once again.

At no time did I disparage Gala Phoenix’s work nor Hush Darkstone’s. During all this time I have not truly known who is in the right. All I know is that legal action has been taken, and I champion that process.

I hope everyone respects Voshie’s right not to have the legal matters discussed in her chat in the Skin Addiction group. She has worked very hard on the Skin Showcase amidst all this trouble and has worked very hard to keep Skin Addiction together, building a community of folks who love skin content.

If you’re confused because you don’t see anything like “I’m sorry I was so quick to assume” or “I’m sorry if my hasty assumptions influenced other group members” or just “I’m sorry…” join the rest of us. We are, of course, assured that she did not disparage Gala Phoenix’s work. Which is correct. She didn’t say anything about Gala’s work. Except that it was proved stolen. So I guess she only disparaged Gala’s reputation by claiming the “poof” was in the removal of content from the grid and that was the end of the story. One assumed that makes her okay under the Skin Addiction group rules.

Apparently she didn’t learn any lessons from her RFL team’s Name-and-Shame fiasco. Here’s hoping this time around something sticks.

Issuing an apology: L$0
Keeping your mouth shut: L$0
Following your own group’s rules: L$0
Demonstrating a painful lack of integrity before your peers: PRICELESS

4. Jurisdiction Confusion
Who has jurisdiction over international IP disputes between two individuals? At what point does a service provider have to comply (I’m not talking about DMCA)? What courts will Linden Lab recognize as having authority over them and us? These issues seem important to Second LIfe, virtual worlds in general, the future of virtual goods and the creators of those goods. But no one seems to be able to answer these questions. Anyone else find that to be a big field of oopsie daises in full bloom and begging to be picked?

5. I Am a Racist
Against all logic, I registered on SLU to post on the huge thread about this issue. I did so because I kept getting people insisting I read things posted there and because it seems the vast majority of these posts were missing the enormity of the situation. In my post, I used the following lines:
“For those of you in the cheap seats, if what appears to have happened actually happened, then it’s open season on any SL creator. Any Joe Blow from Winkandasmile, Brazil can engage in bringing a complete halt to any vendor’s ability to sell their goods. For the high level content creators that means a serious bite out of the living they bring in for them and their families. For the small guys it may mean the difference between keeping a SIM and having to give it up. “

Following this post, an SLU member stated she didn’t like my citing a fictional place in Brazil. Hilarity ensued.

Originally Posted by AliceInChains Arun
I did not like the brazilian example.
Yes I’m brazilian, not everyone here copybot, not everyone live in favelas and oh, guess what, some of us spend alot of money in SL.

Originally Posted by SalStrange
I did not use a real place in Brazil for that very reason, and my initial post made no mention of favelas. Obviously there must be quite a few Brazilians who spend money in SL. Unfortunately, an awful lot of Brazilian based SIMs used to have a reputation for harboring stolen content. I’m sorry if that fact, or the fact that I made mention of it bothers you, but I wasn’t attempting to slam an entire country, just that demographic of it.

Following this clarification I was accused of offering half-assed apologies, not knowing what I was talking about, not knowing fact from rumor, being xenophobic, disparaging all Brazilians, having personal issues against Brazilians, being a racist and eating babies. And not just any babues. Gorean furry babies.

So, this is my blog and I’m going to clarify. A few years ago, I ran a texture store that was very popular. I sold my textures full perm so they wouldn’t be useless. Frequently I would log in to notecards from people telling me they had seen my textures for sale in other places. When I went to check it out, the vast majority of the SIMs I encountered where my textures were being resold were designed to cater to Brazilian residents. The people who owned the SIMs who communicated with me were frequently Brazilian. In comparing notes with other content creators we often found the same SIMs providing safe harbor for the same thieves over and over.

Those are personal experiences, but they are also facts. They actually happened. As opposed to being a play I watched about content theft or an urban legend I heard from a friend of a friend.

Ironically, the reason I knew the SIMs I encountered were Brazilian is because I’m familiar with many flavors of Latin Culture. Having grown up in Miami, I know the difference between Mexican culture, Cuban culture, Puerto Rican culture, South American cultures, Central American cultures, the Dominican Republic, and Spain. If someone speaks Spanish with an accent I don’t know, I assume they are Russian spies. For what it’s worth, even though it has nothing to do with Latin cultures, I can also tell a Trini from a Virgin Islands brat in five words or less.

A friend of mine from Brazil is fond of saying “you know, we are the New Jersey of South America, right?” To the best of my knowledge, laughing at that joke and repeating it to people who get it, is the extent of my racist views on Brazil. Okay, and laughing at Joe Rogan’s Toxoplasmosis stuff.

So you should all probably be aware of this gap in my credibility if you’re going to consider my crazy cat lady views on anything.

Crazy cat lady. Toxoplasmosis. See what I did there?

This entry was posted in Second Life, SL - Business, SL - Social Dysfunction, Virtual Living. Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Curio(us)

  1. Misha Selene says:

    very well thought out, and cuts through the ton of rumors and dreck surrounding this issue. Thank you

  2. SadieMae says:

    I can’t beleive i read the whole thing, rubs eyes. hahahahahaha
    Im very confused about parts of this , but i need to say one thing. I have been in sL since 2004, Gala’s skins have been out there nearly as long as me and until this i never heard of HUsh….just a thing to make you go hmmmmmmmmm.
    Truth Hawks i have known a long time,
    Been buying stuff from league since she only had 4 total outfits for sale. My intution is telling me they are the victims in all this.
    Will be interesting to see how laws of 2 different countries get involved. I thought US law prevailed as Linden labs is in USA. At some point i have always felt there needs to be a worldwide internet court to handle when different countires are involved in an internet dispute. Hahahahaha i guess im the one that wants world peace too.
    My love and prayers go out to Gala…..Truth….The League…and anyone else hurt by these actions.

  3. A very well laid out timeline of events. Thanks for posting this Sal.

  4. Meg Box says:

    You’ve got to be kidding. Drama at its best. I knew there was a reason I left the Skin Addiction group… Annoying little snipes who judge without evidence. I have many Curio skins, many league skins and clothes, never heard of this Hush person. Doubtful we’ll ever get the truth. LL will perma-ban Gala, Hush will make an alt and carry on anew, nothing will be solved. If it could be scratch n’ sniff; it would smell less than rosey.

    Good luck Gala… hope to see you and your wares back in world soon.

  5. Pingback: Healthy Competition | MetaReality Podcast

  6. Pingback: MetaReality Week 27

  7. Pingback: Copyright Infringement, Skins - Page 54 - SLUniverse Forums

  8. Vaki Zenovka says:

    Hi, Salome. Great post — you’ve laid things out very well from what information you have. If you like — for disclosure’s sake — you might amend the sentence mentioning me to state that I am actually Gala’s attorney.

  9. Salome..just *wow* awesome, captivating editorial and a fabulous summary of events.

    You know it was Linden Lifestyles that got me into blogging. I always thought I was learning from the best, and that holds true to this day.

    Cannot wait for the events to kick off in support of Gala; hope it raises lots of juicy funds to give the girl her day in court and put this sorry mess behind her.

    And most importantly..get her back on the grid creating her wonderful skins again for all of her many fans. I’m proud to be included in that vast number.

    Kitty =^..^=

  10. I was able to obtain a copy of the copyright and complaint filed by Hush. Links are posted here: http://www.sluniverse.com/php/vb/general-sl-discussion/73040-copyright-infringement-skins-53.html#post1589432

  11. Sookie Ophelia Perlmann-Marbach says:

    I have NEVER EVER heard of Hush skins and I have been buying Curio since I first got here in 08….how can it be that everyone is so quick to believe that Gala is the offender? Really there is something called Due process, and until I see actual proof the skin I’m wearing is stolen content, I will stand behind my skin creator 150%

  12. Pingback: This is another reason why SL will NEVER succeed, prosper or rebound « GoSpeed Racer a Virtual World Avatar

  13. Pingback: I Support One Voice « Whiskey Shots

  14. Pingback: I Support One Voice « Colleen Criss's Weblog

  15. Pingback: Seriously | xeriko's attic

  16. Pingback: Fairy Tales: Tableau Vivant | Lourdes Denimore

  17. Adora says:

    Wonderful post Salome, thank you

  18. Pingback: Indian Summer « Kittywitchin'

  19. Pingback: One Voice | Virtually Vanilla

  20. That Linden Labs cannot issue any sort of public statement, at this time or any other time beyond Grid maintenance, is why I haven’t been active in SL for over a year. They make me sick when I think of this, don’t they have every advantage to support their long-term, revenue-generating content creaters? Is it any wonder that SL’s future could be at risk?

  21. Emilly Orr says:

    You’re right, this was a very long post, but excellently done. Not that it’s needed in any way, but I can vouch for what Voshie said–over and OVER again–in the Skin Addiction group because I was still a member of the group when she said it.

    More than once.

    What kills me is that in all of this, Hush hasn’t had her vendors returned, hasn’t had her store on the Marketplace deleted, hasn’t been banned from her sim–even though she’s quite *clearly* at this point in the wrong, and even though Gala filed a DMCA first. That’s just baffling to me.

  22. Pingback: One voice | My Fictional Insanity

  23. Jaylah says:

    All i got to say is Go gala, i hope you win and i hope lindens perm band Hush from the grind for good. people need to learn form this, that lies and cheating and stealing others work will not get you a free pass to the hot spot, You got to work at being on gala lvl and stealing is not going to do that. so I wish you luck Gala and i back ya up 100%

    And another thing Hush should had been pulled out and her shop sent back also. because what is best for one should be best for both, and if they left her shop up they should had left Gala up also.

    If they really looked at facts Hush don’t have a leg to stand on and if it was not for the fact that LL closed down gala shop she would already had it settled in court and Hush would had to wright a formal apology to her for all the problems she has done and started before Ll perm banned her from Second life altogether. and Gala i hope you sue her for all the money lost and all the pain and suffering i’m sure your feeling, because its a sad day when someone work is demolished by a cheat and someone that has no common sense..

  24. Pingback: OOC: Content Thieves « Tea and a Whisper

  25. Pingback: OOC: SL Legal Catfight « Tea and a Whisper

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

pHiYX

Please type the text above:

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>