Home > Socially F*ked-Up > Skin Piracy Scenario = Fashionista Hornet’s Nest

Skin Piracy Scenario = Fashionista Hornet’s Nest

May 11, 2008

[Note: this is part one of the three-part series. In part one is the look at what started this whole mess. In part two we look at how everything “went wrong” here. In part three (this part) I prove beyond a doubt how this all turned-out to be a slanderous witch-hunt.]

Wow.

Simply ‘wow’.

I have done a lot of research. More than I wanted to, but I felt I had no choice in it. Cripes, I feel like an investigative reporter and that’s not in my job description. I am amazed at the web that has been woven [see first article, links below], the length to which some people will go and the ridiculous claims some will have, all on hearsay, and hearsay that was apparently intended to achieve the current end result.

I smell world news-making legal action. Really, I do. And it could affect bloggers all over the planet.

I have invited all three parties in this fray to review this article before publishing. And also have invited they share it with their attorneys. That if an attorney requests any changes, said attorneys can contact me directly, where I will discuss with them via voice telephone for verification.

I want to make this part absolutely clear…again: I don’t personally know the characters involved. It is my intent to remain as objective as possible and walk the middle of the road remaining only on factual evidence I have been able to find. Unfortunately, the way this article will sound, I will appear to be specifically on one side of it. So I implore you to try imagining different names as you read – insert anonymity there and you will see how what I am about to say applies generically, no matter who the participants are.

Sadly, for some people, this is going to hurt them more than it’s hurts me.

I am using names here because these are the actual people involved.

This article is the result of my findings though said research and is fact. All citations are documented and archived. Where possible, citations are linked so that you may review the original material yourself (all open in a new window). I will put tags to indicate where there is fact, opinion and reasonable assumptions. Each ‘tag’ will remain in effect until it changes.

To recap: part one of this story, and part two.

I’ll apologize right now for the length of this article. However, what needs to be said needs to be said and I tend to be verbose about things.

So, let’s get started. Oh, and for safety’s sake, please fasten your seatbelt.

Reasonable Assumption: A wickedly observant ‘Witness’ just “happened” to notice the similarities between Minnu Palen‘s (Second Life name) skin (inside virtual world Second Life) a product called “Manhattan” from Danae Kotsi (Unknown if real name or alias) at the 3D Source web site Renderosity.com. Danae was then referred to Tenshi Vielle of Shopping Cart Disco and the Second Life Herald blogs, hereafter “SLH” and “SCD”. This all according to Tenshi’s story.

Tenshi wrote and published the alleged email from Danae in both blogs, first in SCD then a day later in SLH. The stories were verbatim on both sites, save for the tag that referred SLH readers back to SCD blog by HTML hyperlink. [Note: Tenshi has clarified that, as I suspected, the story was emailed to the SL Herald Editor for publishing. This explains the day delay, and verbatim copy. And, in Tenshi’s defense (as I know how ‘newspapers’ work) the headlines and tags at the SL Herald are most likely written by the editor there and not Tenshi.]

Fact: I read Tenshi’s story at the Second Life Herald, [though it does not appear have been edited for changes as of this writing] and found the story over-the-top and sensationalist as usual. However, there were no citations to sources of fact as there usually are.

[Note: the sensationalism comes more from the quoted email than from Tenshi’s words. Albeit, a more thorough investigation would have been in order. hence, it appears Tenshi was possibly being a simple ‘public voice loudspeaker’ for Danae.]

Opinion: regarding citations in the SL Herald, I am not referring to the unnamed ‘Witness” who made the discovery as even though blogs are not considered part of the ‘Fourth Estate“. I also keep my sources private. I am, rather, referring to citations of End User License Agreements (EULA) and other documentation of interviews and supporting information – as she usually does. For example: how the End User License Agreement at Renderosity makes it ‘theft’. But there is nothing there (and still so as of this writing.) In other words, there was no apparent fact-checking involved. Devastating for any publication that proclaims or tries to appear to be a news-gathering source, and…

Fact: …nowhere in the article is it made clear that it is an Op-Ed (Opinion Editorial.)

Fact: I wrote my first article about how this story appears to be defamatory and possibly slanderous based on this. Not an outright accusation in that article, but rather edification on how not to write a story – blog or otherwise.

Opinion: The premise of my article was that on Shopping Cart Disco, the story was simply rumor and innuendo, because that is the kind of blog it is: gossip. However, the SL Herald portrays itself as a news source, which changes the perspective of the readership dramatically and thus tend to take things a bit more seriously, even if the Herald’s writing style is tabloid in nature. This bothered me.

Fact: Because of the response to my first article, and though I prefer to remain out of any fray, I chose to look into the subject further. I went into the feedback of both my first and second articles, the feedback of the articles at SLH and SCD [noted that as of this writing, the headline has been changed, replacing exclamation points with question marks – a smart move] and the SL Universe forums on this specific situation and the Renderosity forums, also on this specific situation.

Opinion: Amazingly, there are “artists” at either forum, especially Renderosity who aren’t even aware of what their own EULA says and, apparently, the definition of the term “rendering” (below).

Fact: I attempted to contact Danae about this situation, and offered questions regarding her product, what it included in the package, whether her EULA is different from the standard Renderosity EULA and whether she actually understood how how textures are mapped to a digital mesh model in Second Life, et al. The answers are already known and not intended to be conceited, but rather to get directly from her, in her own words. They were asked to see if her answers would differ from the obvious ones.

Danae has returned my contact request and has no comments to make.

I also contacted Minnu in-world for questions regarding her side of it. She quickly returned my contact request and we have discussed her side of the scenario off-record, per attorney instructions. However, I can and will say this: I have obtained and evaluated the EULA that came with her source files for the product in question. I have compared the EULA Minnu provided with the publicly available EULA at Renderosity – there are no differences. Certainly Minnu could have gone and copied what is there now and pasted it to me, but that point is moot because even the current EULA is, well, current.

I have sent email to Renderosity [store@renderosity.com] specifically asking for a copy of their official blanket EULA for any and all merchants and products, freely available and for sale. I have received an email from Kristi Sholl of Renderosity with a link that points me to the current Renderosity EULA. It is the same one I reference in this article.

Reasonable Assumption: All products sold through Renderosity fall under the blanket EULA terms, unless the individual artist who sells through Renderosity includes, prior to sale, a copy of an addendum to that Renderosity blanket EULA with specific other restrictions or freedoms.

Fact: Most designers and artists work from base material. “Base” material is material that is already available and used to build upon to create the new work. In fact, Boris Vallejo, world renowned painter, worked from model photographs he took, then painted against them. The photographs are the ‘base’ he started his painting from. It is not uncommon for designers and creators in Second Life, Renderosity and others to obtain base files to work from. Even Danae’s product in question is created from sourced base files (below).

Renderosity is specifically designed to be a community for digital artists and provides a market for obtaining base files for new creations.

From the Renderosity “about” page [emphasis is mine]:

Renderosity Merchandise:
“Each product in The MarketPlace undergoes testing before being released and must follow The Marketplace’s submission criteria before being offered for sale. The MarketPlace products have been used in a variety of venues from personal artwork to commercial projects.

Reasonable Assumption: unless the EULA specifically forbids the use of these base files and products in any specific application, or includes the use only in a specific application, it can be easily and reasonably determined that the material available in the market are specifically for use in the creation of any other art.

Opinion: art is in the eye of the beholder and completely relative. In this case, the term is used to describe any intangible ‘visual’.

Fact: even if Minnu obtained her base files from Renderosity, the EULA provided clearly allows her to use those files in any way she pleases as long as she is within the terms of the EULA and any addendum applied by the original copyright holder: Danae.

Renderosity EULA
Notes: dimmed marking is mine and is done for the purpose to highlight the area specific to this scenario; bold is used to highlight where the purchaser is legal in using materials inside Second Life and italic is solely for emphasis – the rest is a given and assumptive. Red is the ‘kicker’ statement.]:

LICENSE FOR ITEMS PURCHASED THROUGH THE MARKETPLACE AT RENDEROSITY

This license only applies to items purchased through The MarketPlace at Renderosity, not to any items from the Free Stuff area. It is the Buyers responsibility to read and understand this license. If you are unsure about anything, please send an email to store@renderosity.com.

The Artist (Author) retains all copyrights to the enclosed materials. The Buyer is not purchasing the contents, only the right to use the contents. The Buyer may not redistribute this archive file, in whole or in part. The Buyer may not store it any place on a network or on the Internet where it may be referenced by a third party. Buyer acquires the copyright to any derivative works created using this work, provided none of the original materials can be extracted from the derivative work by any means. If Artist can show that any of the original material can be extracted from Buyer’s derivative work, Artist can demand both the original and derivative work, and all copies thereof be deleted. For example, Buyer cannot make an image of a texture map mapped to a flat plane, such that the original texture map can be cut & pasted from the image. This is designed to protect the Artist from Buyers releasing work, which lets other users obtain the copyrighted material, and is not meant to infringe upon the artistic endeavors of the Buyer. Buyer may not make any MetaStream animation files with the enclosed materials, until this format can protect the original materials from being extracted. Items sold at Renderosity may not be used for illegal purposes.

In the event a Buyer is not satisfied with the product a refund may be issued. Issuing refunds is at the discretion of the Artist and / or the Renderosity MarketPlace staff. Refunds will be issued only after the Buyer has worked with the Artist to fix the problem. When a refund is issued, the Buyer is responsible for deleting all files using the product and may not distribute the product.
To protect the Buyer: Buyer is hereby granted a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use all of the contents of the encapsulating archive file. Artist maintains that all items in the archive are their original work, or are derivative works from something found, and verified, to be in the public domain. Artist maintains they legally possess the power to grant the Buyer this license for all enclosed materials. Buyer may use the materials in any personal projects or commercial projects, as long as the Artist ‘s work is protected from extraction and none of the items above have been violated. Buyer may make a single backup copy of this archive file, for personal archival purposes only. Buyer retains this license, even if the Artist stops selling this work at a later date, or decides to charge a different price. The Artist may only revoke this license, if it is shown that a Buyer has previously violated the terms and conditions above.

Note: before those ‘in the know’ about Second Life “copybot” and other ripping tools – A) the buyer has no control over this. B) Even if extracted, it still is not the “Artist’s Work”. Rather it is only the derivative of the work. It is the buyer’s derivative work that is extrapolated.

Furthermore, before purchase, there is information provided about the product so the buyer is fully informed. The alleged product in question is called: “The Metropolitan Collection – Manhattan” as created by Danae. The available “read me” file is linked to from that page.

The contents of the “read me” file for review before purchase as accompanied specifically with the product in question is presented here,
Notes: dimmed marking is mine and is done for the purpose to highlight the area specific to this scenario; bold is used to highlight where the purchaser is legal in using material inside Second Life and italic is solely for emphasis – the rest is a given and assumptive – Danae’s email address removed for privacy]:

“The Metropolitan Collection – Manhattan –

Product Title: The Metropolitan Collection: Manhattan
Author: danae
Author E-mail: [REMOVED FOR PRIVACY]
Product Date: October 2005
Product Copyright: Danae Kotsi
————–

————–
Needed Files List and System Required:
Poser 4.01 or higher. DAZ’s Victoria 3 available (free) from http://www.daz3d.com
————–
Detailed Installation Instructions
Extract the zip-archive with your zip program:
– Open WinZip and press the button -Extract-
– In the window -Folders/drives-, select the folder that contain your
Poser program.
(ex. c:\program files\Poser4\ ).
– The check box -Use Folder names- must be marked.
That way, all files will placed in the correct path.
—————-
Conversion and/or application instructions
Mac users need to convert files using Maconverter (free)
————–
Usage Tips/Limitations
– To apply the character’s morphs and textures just load your default DAZ’s Victoria 3 character from your figures folder. Then go to your Poses / Manhattan folder and load the full body injection poses or use the head/body only injections available. To load the main textures click on the Manhattan Setup Mat.
– All face, brow, lash, eye and lip textures are interchangeable. Create many varations by choosing a make up MAT and changing the lip make up and lash, brow, eye or / and pubic maps.
– This package contains head maps with painted on brows or no-brow, transmapped options. To use the transmapped feature load one of the face maps in your Poses / Manhattan folder. You can then use the default eyebrow color or use one of the color MATs to change the color.
————–
Ownership statements or list of licensed source material:
All of this product’s content was created by Danae Kotsi using the following sources of digital photographs:
levius (RMP) and from http://www.3dsk
xil and nagus
nicu 1
and my own personal collection of digital photographs
————————–
These files are copyrighted. The product can be used for commercial and non commercial renders. Do not redistribute in part or whole without the author’s written consent.
Thank you for choosing my work.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any suggestion, comments or feedback.

Opinion: for all the people who proclaim it is ‘unethical’ for Minnu to use sourced materials in the creation of her product, it is apparently perfectly well and fine that Danae use other’s work as base file to create her product, which she sells at Renderosity.com. But it is not fine and well that Minnu do the same?

Fact: there is no addendum to the blanket Renderosity EULA with special restrictions regarding the buyer’s use of these materials from Danae regarding this particular product. There is no restriction that the materials must be used in any specific application for a specific purpose or in a specific final format, tangible or not.

Opinion: Additionally, Danae’s public profile on Renderosity includes several friends. I find it funny how there is one friend whose profile is blank. That friend has only one friend (Danae) [Renderosity Staff seem to be friends with everyone] – this person has no files for download and their “artist page” is for all intents and purposes – completely blank. Possibly just an account for the purpose of private communication with Danae. I won’t make public my suspicion of whom it might be. I’ll leave that for your own speculation.

[Update: to be clear, I am not accusing Danae of anything here. But rather I suspect the unnamed Witness is likely stringing Danae along, and Danae is the innocent possibly, even likely being misled in all this.]

Fact: in the debate in blog feedbacks and the forums at SL Universe and Renderosity, it has come down to some people splitting hairs over the definition of the word rendering”. I have been creating 3D art since I had my first Amiga computer and the software application called “Sculpt 3D’ [I may be misremembering the actual name as it has been that long ago.] [UPDATE: I found it listed here.]

However, for the edification of those who are unclear, I will provide references from several dictionaries and encyclopedias here.
Notes: If you wish to review the complete entries, they can be found here: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rendering
I also have referenced my hard-cover versions of Oxford Dictionary and New World Encyclopedia.

Definitions of “rendering” [multiple dictionary and encyclopedia sources – dimming and italics are mine]:

ren·der·ing /ˈrɛndərɪŋ/
–noun
1. an act or instance of interpretation, rendition, or depiction, as of a dramatic part or a musical composition: her rendering of the part of Hedda.
2. a translation: Chapman’s rendering of Homer.
3. a representation of a building, interior, etc., executed in perspective and usually done for purposes of presentation.
4. Building Trades. render1 (def. 21).
[Origin: 1400–50; late ME (ger.); see render, -ing1]

ren·der (rěn’dər)
tr.v. ren·dered, ren·der·ing, ren·ders

1. To submit or present, as for consideration, approval, or payment: render a bill.
2. To give or make available; provide: render assistance.
3. To give what is due or owed: render thanks; rendered homage.
4. To give in return or retribution: He had to render an apology for his rudeness.
5. To surrender or relinquish; yield.
6.
1. To represent in verbal form; depict: “Joyce has attempted . . . to render . . . what our participation in life is like” (Edmund Wilson).
2. To represent in a drawing or painting, especially in perspective.
3. To perform an interpretation of (a musical piece, for example).
4. To arrange: rendered the composition for string quartet.
7. Computer Science To convert (graphics) from a file into visual form, as on a video display.
8. Music
1. To perform an interpretation of (a musical piece, for example).
2. To arrange: rendered the composition for string quartet.
9. To express in another language or form; translate.
10. To deliver or pronounce formally: The jury has rendered its verdict.
11. To cause to become; make: The news rendered her speechless.
12. To reduce, convert, or melt down (fat) by heating.
13. To coat (brick, for example) with plaster or cement.

n. A payment in kind, services, or cash from a tenant to a feudal lord.
[Middle English rendren, from Old French rendre, to give back, from Vulgar Latin *rendere, alteration of Latin reddere (influenced by prēndere, to grasp) : red-, re-, re- + dare, to give; see dō- in Indo-European roots.]

ren·der·ing (rěn’dər-ĭng)
n.
1. A depiction or interpretation, as in painting or music.
2. A drawing in perspective of a proposed structure.
3. A translation: a rendering of Cicero’s treatises into English.
4. A coat of plaster or cement applied to a masonry surface.

rendering
noun
1. a performance of a musical composition or a dramatic role etc.; “they heard a live rendition of three pieces by Schubert” [syn: rendition]
2. an explanation of something that is not immediately obvious; “the edict was subject to many interpretations”; “he annoyed us with his interpreting of parables”; “often imitations are extended to provide a more accurate rendition of the child’s intended meaning” [syn: interpretation]
3. the act of interpreting something as expressed in an artistic performance; “her rendition of Milton’s verse was extraordinarily moving” [syn: rendition]
4. a written communication in a second language having the same meaning as the written communication in a first language [syn: translation]
5. a coat of stucco applied to a masonry wall
6. perspective drawing of an architect’s design
7. giving in acknowledgment of obligation

[Dictionary of Computing]
rendering graphics, text
The conversion of a high-level object-based description into a graphical image for display.
For example, ray-tracing takes a mathematical model of a three-dimensional object or scene and converts it into a bitmap image. Another example is the process of converting HTML into an image for display to the user.

Rendering
Ren”der\ (r?n”d?r), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Rendered (-d?rd);p. pr. & vb. n. Rendering.] [F. rendre, LL. rendre, fr. L. reddere; pref. red-, re-, re- + dare to give. See Datetime, and cf. Reddition, Rent.]
1. To return; to pay back; to restore.
Whose smallest minute lost, no riches render may. –Spenser.
2. To inflict, as a retribution; to requite.
I will render vengeance to mine enemies. –Deut. xxxii. 41.
3. To give up; to yield; to surrender.
I ‘ll make her render up her page to me. –Shak.
4. Hence, to furnish; to contribute.
Logic renders its daily service to wisdom and virtue. –I. Watts.
5. To furnish; to state; to deliver; as, to render an account; to render judgment.
6. To cause to be, or to become; as, to render a person more safe or more unsafe; to render a fortress secure.
7. To translate from one language into another; as, to render Latin into English.
8. To interpret; to set forth, represent, or exhibit; as, an actor renders his part poorly; a singer renders a passage of music with great effect; a painter renders a scene in a felicitous manner.
He did render him the most unnatural That lived amongst men. –Shak.
9. To try out or extract (oil, lard, tallow, etc.) from fatty animal substances; as, to render tallow.
10. To plaster, as a wall of masonry, without the use of lath.

Encyclopedia Britannica
http://www.britannica.com/bps/home#search=tab~TOPICS%2Cterm~rendering
See “rendering (computer science)” [subscription required – free trial available]

And, since some people believe Wikipedia is the end-all of unshakably accurate information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendering

Artistic rendering
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rendering in visual art and technical drawing means the process of creating, shading and texturing of an image, especially a photorealistic one. It can also be used to describe the quality of execution of that process. This is synonymous with illustrating.
Another common use for the term, is to cut an object from a background.
The emphasis of the term is on the correct reproduction of light-and-shadow and the surface properties of the depicted objects, not on the emotional impact, composition, or other more generic qualities. Unsurprisingly, most often it is used in relation to the more exacting, meticulous techniques like pencil or airbrush.
In an artistic rendering visual information is interpreted by the artist and displayed accordingly using the chosen medium. The non-photorealistic rendering area of computer graphics develops tools and techniques to enable interpretive rendering in digital media.

And the most damming of all the references cited, as far as the debunkers are concerned with the definition of the word “rendering” as it applies to Second Life is right here.

Rendering (computer graphics)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2007)
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed.
An image created by using POV-Ray 3.6.
An image created by using POV-Ray 3.6.
[emphasis is mine]
Rendering is the process of generating an image from a model, by means of computer programs. The model is a description of three dimensional objects in a strictly defined language or data structure. It would contain geometry, viewpoint, texture, lighting, and shading information. The image is a digital image or raster graphics image. The term may be by analogy with an “artist’s rendering” of a scene. ‘Rendering’ is also used to describe the process of calculating effects in a video editing file to produce final video output.

It is one of the major sub-topics of 3D computer graphics, and in practice always connected to the others. In the graphics pipeline, it is the last major step, giving the final appearance to the models and animation. With the increasing sophistication of computer graphics since the 1970s onward, it has become a more distinct subject.

Rendering has uses in architecture, video games, simulators, movie or TV special effects, and design visualization, each employing a different balance of features and techniques. As a product, a wide variety of renderers are available. Some are integrated into larger modeling and animation packages, some are stand-alone, some are free open-source projects. On the inside, a renderer is a carefully engineered program, based on a selective mixture of disciplines related to: light physics, visual perception, mathematics, and software development.

In the case of 3D graphics, rendering may be done slowly, as in pre-rendering, or in real time. Pre-rendering is a computationally intensive process that is typically used for movie creation, while real-time rendering is often done for 3D video games which rely on the use of graphics cards with 3D hardware accelerators.

This is not a secret, people. In fact, for anyone that has marginal 3D creation experience, this is called “duh.”

Conclusion (Opinion):

This is a witch-hunt with intentional defamation and slander.

…or a bunch of really ignorant people whose education was too simple to have taught them to open a simple book of reference and spend a few minutes of doing a little research, more so since it is so much easier and faster via the Internet, including an artist who does not know her own EULA. Do I really believe any of these people are that ignorant? I honesty wish that were the case. Anyone and everyone who tries to fall-in on the “definition of rendering” argument is either pretending to be really stupid or they really, really are stupid. It is far too easy to get the information if you don’t know it already.

So, in my opinion. the Herald and the original “witness” who contacted Danae, and possibly Tenshi, by extension, slanders Minnu. Danae is swept-up as an unsuspecting pawn in an SL drama-fest and many of those throwing-in their two-cents have no idea what they are talking about, and Tenshi intentionally throws fuel to the fire. Frankly, that’s the way I see it.

The so-called unnamed “Witness” who originally, and miraculously discovered the similarities between Minnus creations and the product sold through Renderosity is either completely ignorant of how the 3D artists industry works, or has a serious axe to grind and was out to grind that axe intentionally looking for dirt that really isn’t even dirt – or both.

I had written a paragraph here where I outright accused Tenshi of being the unnamed witness. In the preview version I had given her the opportunity to review, I made a note to Tenshi, that if she could give me a reasonable doubt about my accusation, I would delete the paragraph and publicly apologize. I am satisfied with what she has provided and this is my public apology, specifically: I am sorry, Tenshi Vielle for my accusation that you were the so-called ‘unnamed Witness’.

[NOTE: Tenshi did respond to me. Though she had the opportunity to read this article, she did not make it clear whether she did or not. She specifically stated she has no further comments to add regarding this story. I consider the rest of the conversation off the record and so it will remain.]

Furthermore…

To the artists of Renderosity: get your acts together. Update your own EULA file addendums and stop accusing someone of theiving your products when, in fact, they are not. The use of your products in the world of Second Life is fully legal according to all EULA files regarding this particular situation. It can only become illegal use if the resulting product hampers or otherwise competes with your own sales – according you your own EULA. Is it the way you wanted? I don’t know. But if it’s not, then get to changing your Read Me files to add an addendum to your EULA. Perhaps you, too, should create your own Second Life account and market your products there. Then, at least, you’ll have an even stronger leg to stand on besides your EULA alone. Unfortunately, if you become successful in Second Life, your name and method of content creation might be dragged through the mud, too. It is sad that you, too will jump on a smear campaign bandwagon, knowingly or not, without researching the facts of the case.

Shame on you.

I know that you are designing your materials for the typical ‘scene’ generator applications such as Bryce, Poser, Maya and so on. But as computers grow more powerful and the the 3D area far more diverse, your products will be adapted into a far more diverse set of application and uses. You really should think about this. Personally, I would think you’d be happy as that could translate into more sales. But if you feel the need to restrict the use of your materials, then restrict it.

To the participants in the SL Universe and other forums and blog feedbacks:
Note my message to Renderosity artists. Though you are mature in your debate and, for the most part, non-inflammatory posts, you also should do a bit of research rather than just taking what others say at face value, adding to the heat that causes the water to boil.

To everyone else who reads these articles:
I stand firmly behind this and the previous two articles on this sad, pathetic drama-fest unless you can convince me through factual citations that can be referenced and verified. In which case, I will gladly evaluate and recant or change whatever is needed to correct things so they reflect fact and truth.

To Tenshi: I have not quoted all your vicious, vitriolic postings at the Renderosity.com forums, except for this – the most revealing of all of them:

TenshiVielle
“Hi there. I am one of the Second Life users who have been interacting with Danae on this issue, and I would like it if the community here will please check this Second Life user’s contents for any more Renderosity rip-offs. You can view some of Minnu’s skin faces without having to sign up for Second Life here: http://shop.onrez.com/Minnu_Palen For viewing the rest of the bodies, I think signing into Second Life if only for a minute to check the Glam World sim (SLURL, click this if you have Second Life installed to go directly there: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Glam%20World/96/179/23 If you need any help, please feel free to email me. [EMAIL REMOVED FOR PRIVACY]”

If there ever was a question of harassment and defamation in any form: question answered.
Done.
Slam-dunk.

It is a pitiful shame that anyone would sound the trumpets to intentionally defame someone else, to rile-up the throngs, throwing torches and pitchforks into their hands and then to lead them in the charge to the “monster’s” gate with intent to kill. Especially when that “monster” is no monster at all.

Thus, even if Tenshi did not start the fracas, she has (in this posting at least) taken up the banner and lead the charge.

I am not Minnu.
I don’t know her.
However, if I were in her shoes in the middle of this scenario I would do the following:

First: immediately obtain legal council [according to my conversations with Minnu – she already has. Hence, her silence in this matter according to council. I have yet to hear from Danae to discuss her side of this story.]

Second: obtain on my own all the information I can about this, (i.e. what is provided and cited above [Ha! Already did it!],) then archive it and print all of it out on paper, organize and prepare it for legal deposition and legal discovery. I’d save a lot of legal fees by doing as much legal groundwork as possible beforehand.

Third: Save copies of and print the pages at Renderosity forums for legal archiving, ensuring dates of archiving and printing are included. Contact the administration of Renderosity.com and send the copies of these pages to them and file complaints against all participants of these forums who are inciting defamatory action and specifically request the entire threads regarding this situation be locked and removed on threat of legal action and that, additionally, the thread be archived for legal reference during deposition and legal discovery.

Fourth: repeat the same thing done with Renderosity.com for SL Universe.com. I wouldn’t bother with Shopping Cart Disco, since it does not portray itself as a news-gathering site. Though I would certainly archive what is there and print it to paper because Danae has made comments that might prove useful in legal discovery.

Fifth: contact Linden Lab, both electronically and manually via post to file complaint against those involved. This can be done in this way: even though everything here has happened outside of Second Life, the Tenshi forum post quoted above brings it into Second Life, thereby possibly, even very likely violating Linden Lab Terms of Service. Hence, the reason to demand administrative action as Linden Lab sees fit under the TOS and also the “Community Standards” clause.

Linden Lab will not and should not be directly involved in this situation at all. The purpose is to ask Linden Lab to investigate this situation as it pertains to action inside Second Life, where Linden Lab has eminent domain.

Sixth: contact the SL Herald and provide the evidence found (as provided above) and demand they print a full-featured retraction and public apology on grounds of defamation and evidence of intentional slander. It is easy enough to prove flagrant carelessness with regard to fact-checking before the article was published. Specifically: the headline and tag that proclaims [and still does as of this writing] “Minnu Model Skins PhotoSourced from Renderosity??? Metaverse shocker — pirated skins being sold in SL!!! [if the headline contained my name, course – Second Life alias or real name does not matter.]

Seventh: contact any and every Second Life and Legal blog I can find, present the evidence found and ask them to write an opinion on it.

Eighth – (and this is the really big one): Contact real world newspapers and blogs such as Virtually Blind, Wired, CNET, PC World, PC Magazine and all the rest. Then, go to television stations including CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC, CBS and others in as many different countries as possible. They always look for sensational news and this is it. They all will jump on the opportunity for a story of this type, especially since it deals with: 1) Second Life, 2) Digital I.P. Rights, and 3) the reliability of information spread through the internet (i.e. how lies and misinformation spreads like wild fire with out any citations and facts to back it up.)

And finally: pass around a notecard to anyone and everyone in-world that will take it. All my customers, anyone who visits my store in-world, send it through all my groups (any group I am a member of) and get the word spread. Put up a sign in my store, maybe even rent mall spaces and put nothing but a sign there that gives the same notecard out.

The notecard would simply say something to the effect of:

“Defamation and slander are real: visit [SL Herald URL] and [web address that debunks it] to see how it can happen to YOU.”

I would include the URL to a web page where I have put all the evidence I have gathered to debunk the nonsense. I also would put this into my profile and the web address into the “web site” tab of my profile, too.

I would do all this unless and until I got a printed full-featured retraction from the SL Herald and a public apology from those involved.

So, do I sound pissed-off? Damned right I do. I don’t know Minnu. I don’t care. I am looking at this as a “somebody done somebody wrong song.”

Now, I know there will be a lot of people in the feedbacks proclaiming I am only, even if just slightly and unmasked, really just giving my advice to to Minnu.
All I can say about that terrible accusation is: Ummm…. “duh.”

I don’t know if Minnu used Renderosity materials in this case. The comparison images I’ve seen, though compelling, are still inconclusive. The only way to know for sure is for Minnu and Danae to trade source files and compare that way. Common, people, aren’t we all supposed to adults?

However, even if Minnu did use Danae’s materials, as long as she acquired them legally, she is fully legal to use them as she sees fit – according to everything I’ve found and analyzed, which is far more work than if I were just a casual customer considering the purchase of the same materials, as long as the original materials do ‘get out into the wild’.

So, that’s what I’d do.

What would you do?

[Hopefully, we can now return to our regularly scheduled programming.]

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  1. Jennifer Brightman
    May 12, 2008 at 4:53 am

    Hoooray! seems like the license does protect our talented Minnu!!! So all she needs to do is provide evidence of her purchase to prove her innocence…
    Quote EULA – “This license ONLY APPLIES TO ITEMS PURCHASHED through The MarketPlace at Renderosity”.
    Therefore, if Minnu can’t provide evidence of her ‘purchase’, prior to her skin release, then the license agreement becomes void, and essentially her derivative works then belong to Danae.

  2. Caliah Lyon
    May 12, 2008 at 6:22 am

    Thank you for your exhaustive research and investigation of this mess. While I feel for what both Danae and Minnu are going through, ultimately, I do think that good will come from this, namely the improvement of Renderosity artists’ EULAs to better cover cross-platform licensing and use, extra publicity for Renderosity merchant resources, and more judicious use of said resources in SL and elsewhere. It’s just a shame it had to happen this way, when it could have been easily avoided if this mysterious unnamed third party had made the right judgement calls, or been conscientious enough to make them instead of acting in what appears to be nothing more than malice and a desire to see serious harm done.

  3. Desidelia
    May 12, 2008 at 6:45 am

    wow, I really don’t know from where start, I really don’t know if I should comment since I am doing skins.

    But there are lot of things that worries me. I don’t know if I read well cos english is not my native languaje, so correct me if I am wrong but u are saying that Minnu used Danae’s rendorosity textures as base but she didn’t make anything against law. Ok, but is a fact she used? This is ine topic

    Another topic is the law, I think u are not a lawyer and u can’t say if she did something agaisnt the law or not. is there a veredict alredy? And also I want to point a thing, one thing that confuses (I think) people is the Render word and here I think there are 2 views, for one side I really think Danae never imagined things like SL or that her textures could be used for real time renders, so maybe is why is not especified, so yeah maybe her TOS is old and should be rewritten, but even if this is true is Minnu really selling renders? Or is selling a texture and is the people that renders, cos a skin is not anything else that a protected texture that u render with ur machine in the end, is not Minnu that renders other people skins, or is she? Well I think all this is vague and will be something i suppose will discuss their respectives lawyers.

    For other side I really think minnu is innocent or I think she never pretended do anything against the law or would be a big hypocresy for her side do campaings agains theft and piracy. So i think all this is a bit unfair for her and I really wish never stay in her skin.

    Then leaving the law topics, even if Minnu is innocent or not. the questions are, is all this moral? Ethic? Is what SL comunity wants? U said is how 3D insdustry works, and is here when I was offeneded or I think lot of designers should be, cos I know many real 3D artists, and belive me they work hours, hours and hours to make their 3D art, and when I say hours I have seen them sometimes working more than 12 hours a day, but well they work for 3D movies and its another level, but even this I think is not fair say this is how 3D world works, and maybe is what u cant understand why Danae should be so pissed, is my opinion, but how many hours u think Danae did that skin and how many hours u think Minnu did her skins if its true she used Danae renderosety textures?
    And well I will say that the skin is not all, I know the marketing, the ads, the store is also lot of work that people dont see and its really lot lot of work and is something for what I admire Minnu.

    But again, is all this right? Is not ur article like saying, Minnu didnt make anyting wrong, so go to renderosety, buy some textures, create a skin, in how many time? 10 days? and start to sell it cos is what all 3D designers does.

    I am really fighting to show people that photosource is not bad, that is the same work do a good photosource as do a good painting, but all this.. meh I don’t know the words, is not u, is not tenshi, is not minnu, none of this names are helping cos the fact is that people starts to see photosource=copy and paste

    Maybe people should start to go chip mindnights store or skinlabs and learn from them what is photosource.

  4. May 12, 2008 at 6:57 am

    @ Desidelia –
    You are posing some very good questions. And they are questions that will have to be legally answered in a court of law.

    I know how much hard work it is for 3D Artists to create their work. I’ve done it. And I fully understand why Danae is upset over this. Unfortunately, the EULA and her “Read Me” file as they were at the time of this writing, does allow Minnu or anyone else to use that material as they see fit, within the confines of that EULA.

    Danae, and all other artists should reevaluate their “Read Me” files and update an addendum to the EULA as they choose.

    I am not saying Minnu used Renderosity material in this case. That was never divulged to me as to whether she did or not. Has she used Renderosity materials before? Most likely. Anyone who even dabbles in 3D would know about Renderosity.

    As for as for the legal nature of using Danae’s or anyone else’s materials from Renderosity – that would have to be decided in court. The reason I took this approach with my article, was to debunk the nay-sayers that were proclaiming the issue to be THEFT, based on the EULA alone.

    I am only saying that based on the EULA alone, it is NOT illegal. However, the questions you have raised are really good ones that only lawyers and a judge and possibly a jury can answer.

    So, why write this story and write it like this? Because people are making false accusations against another person without any PROOF. They are claiming theft, when there is no evidence of theft. That is very damaging to the person they are accusing. On a forum or other paces where it is obviously opinion, that’s okay. But as the story of a blog that appears to be ‘reported news’ – it’s a dangerous tack to take. Had the original story simply included the word “alleged” paired with “stolen”, “rip-off”, “piracy” and all the other inflammatory words, I would have just rolled my eyes and kept on reading and moved-on.

    However, because that word was not used, it was perceived as being stated as fact – without citation or proof. That arguably equals “defamatory”.

    And that is just plain wrong, no matter who it is on either side.

  5. CLT
    May 12, 2008 at 6:59 am

    One thing – can you actually slander a character in a “game”? Minnu Palen is an avatar it’s not her RL-Name….where does the definition of roleplay/characters sit in a court of law. That may sound like I am being stupid (I am not) but it’s a question I have had for a while and hold interest in. Where does it become RL serious. Where does it hold RL legality. I did have a look at the Glamworld website and again only character/avatar names – no RL business address, limited company details, etc. Are they even a business, I guess financial records/tax information comes into play if they go for discovery on income made from the alleged work that breaches the EULA.

    I am sure if what has been alleged has occurred, a simple DMCA will remove the asset from the servers upon court ruling – or not.

    Blogging about her avatar is one thing, if bloggers published her RL details – I suggest different.

    I always wondered this so if any lawyers on board feel free to put opinions on.

    If you can I am going to utilize that myself! Thanks CLT

  6. May 12, 2008 at 7:10 am

    @ CLT –
    I believe you can. The precedent was set in the lawsuit against John Doe by Eros. “Stroker Serpentine” in Second Life. The suit was settled, but in the process, the judge ruled that because real businesses and real money can be made and lost in SL – then real life business laws should apply – at least with regard to Intellectual Property rights.

    Since that precedent was made, it opens the door to cases like this one.

    And it is a good question. :)
    And yes, though I have real life names due to my private communications with these people, that is private and I will not divulge for any reason.

    In the end, Minnu and Danae need to handle this between themselves and take it out of the public stage. And everyone else should just drop the debate with these names involved. If the debate continues – it’s a good one, but let’s all speak hypothetically instead of dragging people’s names (RL or SL) through the mud.

  7. May 12, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Jennifer is right that your analysis really depends on Minnu having legally purchased the texture package and using it in a way that she believes is in accordance with the license she had.

    It’s been alleged that Minnu has claimed that she did not use the texture package, and instead came across similar sources via sites such as 3d.sk, and that all similarities are due to this or coincidence. I don’t know the truth of whether Minnu did in fact make this claim, nor do I know the truth of the claim itself if Minnu made it. It’s not for us to decide, in the end.

    I would not say it’s legal based on the license, if the license is relevant to the case. I would say instead that it _might_ be legal — I can certainly see the case for it being legal, based on the fact that the nature of the permitted derivative works is not clarified, and that “renders” and “original materials” are vaguely defined at best.

    Only a court can make the ultimate determination of whether it is in fact legal or not, though. It’s presumptuous to suppose otherwise. This holds for Renderosity sellers, of course — I know many of them are absolutely sure that the licensing terms are air-tight and only give away very specific rights, but I don’t share their confidence that a court would see things exactly their way.

    As far as the ethic of it all, if a seller sold something in a way that a court find allows certain uses, and if the purchaser used that material in good faith and within the terms of the license, I would say it’s ethical. Claiming it’s entirely your own work, of course, strikes me as less ethical — but I don’t know that Minnu Palen has said that every single detail of it is “hers”.

    In the end, it’s between the two parties. I hope for both of them that they find an amicable solution that does not require the expense and stress of court proceedings and leaves both of them happy with the results. That would be the ideal situation.

  8. CLT
    May 12, 2008 at 7:35 am

    Cool thank you although that is US law. I wonder in Europe – the joys!

  9. CLT
    May 12, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Oh and if then real life business laws should apply that website from Glamworld should have RL contact information and company registration code on (if they were in my country)…and you can put their company accounts (which are public).

    Not sure how US law handles that, or as Minnu is not American her local laws.

  10. Jennifer Brightman
    May 12, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Also, I’d like to add that if the EULA was written before Second Life allowed users to create their own skins, or before the Renderosity was aware of Second Life custom skins, then the EULA may not be considered applicable in this case.

  11. May 12, 2008 at 7:42 am

    @ Ran – I concur. I don’t know if this particular case has to do with Renderosity files or not. And if it does, yes it does depend on whether she actually purchased them. As for what Minnu said about anything in the past; I don’t care. And that is fair game for debate. I only care the someone has started a vicious smear campaign and it was plainly obvious to me. So I acted on it.

    However, I refer you back to the top of the article where I state that this is not any attempt to defend Minnu. But rather an attempt to make clear that it doesn’t matter who it is. Anyone in this situation, with these accusations placed against them could claim legality and, in the case of “opinion presented as news”, defamation.

    The real point is that someone started the ball rolling because (apparently) they have an axe to grind against Minnu and decided to start the ol’ ball rolling. That is where the slander and shameful defamation begins. Danae is simply the vehicle with which this person carries their agenda.

    And it works. The problem is that there are too many people with unscrupulous agendas. I felt this time, it just went way too far.

  12. just a bit Mad
    May 12, 2008 at 7:46 am

    People often forget that there is other side to every story. We have heard from Danae it is good to have something that supports Minnu as well.

    It is good to feel passionate about what you believe in guys as long as it does not hurt others in the process. I am not certain passion was the motive other’s acted from and these are some sad times for all of us, as this is our community.

    Your post is intelligent and mature while it remained partial and supportive of both.

    I do not believe that anyone has the right to “educate the buyers” unless they are completely sure that designer has done anything wrong. The post at SCD is clearly not got all the facts and is posted prior to any conclusions were made.

    That in my opinion is slander and pretty mean thing to do.

  13. morph
    May 12, 2008 at 7:54 am

    This huge post is a shame. It is a big excuse for a big lie.

    With each sentences you wrote about EULA and legal stuff related to copyrights the big talent and unique Minnu Palen shrinks a bit more.

    “So, why write this story and write it like this? Because people are making false accusations against another person without any PROOF.”

    People are using the same kind of proof Minnu and other “designer” and people of the community used. There is absolutely NO difference.

    The community wants to hear or read from Minnu Palen:

    “YES, I bought this package from Danae, painted a X on it and sold it as an original, unique and big big fashion thing created by myself. But if it was legal or illegal will be decided by a court.”

    You are not a lawyer. We are not interested in legal education because it is not OUR concern nor YOUR concern to pretend being lawyer even with researches.

    But it is our concern to get to know if Minnu Palen, who wanted to educate us in fashion, did COPY from Danae.

    We want the truth on that point!

    And we want an official statment from the Minnu Model Skins management in their “press center”!

    The whole Glam World lost all this glam in the last few days because the one who wanted to educate us in fashion remains silence!

  14. May 12, 2008 at 7:57 am

    @ Jennifer – that is true. The EULA and the individual Artist’s “read me” files do not take this stuff into account.

    However, a EULA cannot be retroactively changed. I do believe (I may be wrong) that has already been decided in court – applicable to U.S. laws, of course.

    I recommend the Renderosity and any other 3D Artist who does not want their materials used in places like Second Life, IMVU, There.com, MyCosm and other virtual worlds and games should immediately update their EULA addendum’s.

    Unfortunately, it will only apply to current and future purchases. But if they wish to restrict their content, they need to act now.

    As for the assumption of legality in my article, based on U.S. laws (where Renderosity and Linden Lab are located) – burden of proof is on the accuser. The accused is assumed innocent until proven guilty. I have not seen that proof as of yet. Thus, proclaiming this is theft, is defamation according to U.S. laws, if that proclamation is (as I continue to say) made in what might be considered an authoritative source, such as a news-gathering service.

    The SL Herald at the very least, gives a very strong impression it is one of those. Hence, the story posted there is the catalyst for all this nonsense.

    I am only hoping to debunk the fervor in it all and let the two parties work it out themselves.

  15. May 12, 2008 at 8:04 am

    @ Morph –
    “People are using the same kind of proof Minnu and other “designer” and people of the community used. There is absolutely NO difference.”

    There is a difference.
    The difference is that this time the accusation was made where it shouldn’t have been made. Or, it should have been clear that it was as accusation (using the word “alleged”) – but that wasn’t the case.

    Rather the accusation was presented as fact in a public “news-gathering” source, which changes the rules dramatically. I’ve worked for a large newspaper (McClatchy) for 7-years. I am very familiar with what is and isn’t “defamatory”, “slander”, “libel” and so on.

    This difference here is in the place and way the story was told.

  16. Mark
    May 12, 2008 at 8:08 am

    The writer of this article comes across as rather self-righteous, and more pretentious than knowledgeable. Sounds more like a fourteen year old acting out an episode of Law & Order :D

    All I saw was NOT an objective presentation of facts, but an opinionated list of presumptious and arrogant ideas. The furthest you can get from a neutral view IMHO.

    I agree with Morph… why is Minnu’s photo evidence against copy thieves acceptable, but photo evidence comparisons against Minnu are not regarded as proof??

    The whole thing reeks of double standards to me! There is obviously a cover-up going on, and it might not be an Enron scandal, but the people involved are just as pathetic with their lies!

  17. Desidelia
    May 12, 2008 at 8:09 am

    Mmm well Ari maybe u are right in all the law topic that Minnu don’t deserve all this, and I repeat I really think Minnu never had bad intentions or at least is what I want to think.

    But really the law is what really interets me less in all this, and as I said this is something that should resolve Minnu and Danae and their lawyers.

    Besides this all this opens lot of topics and closed doors since now, the repercussions arent only in law, and some of them interests me. I wil ltry to enumerate most of them:

    -Danae and Minnu Issue
    -The law in virtual worlds
    -Tenshi and Minnu issue (this I suppose should be relationed with ethics and morals of bloggers)
    -The power of information
    -The power of comunities
    -The rights of customers in virtual worlds (relationed with if they should have know all the info about the product they buy, and also relationed with false advertaisment and also customer service)
    -The ethics and moral of designers
    -Photosurce and painted material
    -The role of people that sells goods (artists? designers? publicists? professionals? agencys?sellers?)
    -The role that Linden Lab plays over their product (since now they seem avoid all the responsabilities and seems will continue like this, but I am waiting they day that someone will sue them to not provide good tools for comunication and tools to guarantee the protection of the work created in their enviorment and tools to gurantee good transactions since they are allowing real money in their enviorement), in the end when Linden Lab will be more responsable in their own plataform?
    -The thin line that divides virtual worlds and real world

    And well there are more topics that should be discussed properly and well I am waiting the day that some blogger really discusses it entering more in moral and ethics of the comunity than any other thing else.

    Cos in the end i think all this issue, all this drama created is not for violating the law, is more about (again) ethics and moral. For me there is 2 main questions in all this. Minnu acted well? The bloggers acted well?

  18. May 12, 2008 at 8:19 am

    @ Mark – thank you, Mark. I appreciate it. really, I do. :)

    @ Desidelia – You are bringing up outstanding questions. All of which are really outside the scope of this particular article, but outstanding questions just the same.

    Hell, you should be a blogger if you aren’t already one. Want to write for Common Sensible? ;)

    (Don’t think I’m kidding) LOL

  19. May 12, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Okay, I feel driven to leave a comment after reading this rather bizarre post.

    Ignoring the crux of all everything here which seems to me to be entirely irrelevant as at the heart of the matter Minnu has claimed she didn’t take anything at all from Danae, so I don’t see what difference the EULA has to do with this, I have to stop you from your ridiculous accusation that Tenshi was the one who contacted Danae and is this super-secret anonymous source.

    Before Tenshi wrote the post on SCD she contacted me with a forwarded email from Danae because last year I created and operated the “Content Creators Vigilante Guild,” a group that helped content creators who had their content stolen secure action against the perpetrators. Tenshi asked me for advice in responding to Danae’s email, which as I was given the entire thing (headers and all), was totally unsolicited by Tenshi.

    I wasn’t sworn to secrecy on this so I’ll cut and paste the following relevant passage:

    “Hello,

    My name is Danae Kotsi and I am a professional digital creator vendoring at Renderosity.com for many years. I create photorealistic skin textures for applications such as Poser and DAZStudio and I have been a Top Selling artist in the 3D community for many years.

    It has recently been pointed out to me from a member of the SL community that a certain member – seller of your community is using my original, licensed products as their own.”

    I haven’t seen any place where Tenshi claimed to be in contact with anybody but Danae, though I haven’t followed this with as much obsession as you seem to have. But I can state categorically that Danae contacted Tenshi herself and Tenshi didn’t get in touch with her. Tenshi is prone to drama and definitely goes for the sensational aspects of “reporting,” but I have never known her to just outright make anything up. The email in question came from Danae’s address listed on Renderosity, matches the headers of that email, and I really think it’s beyond Tenshi to fabricate any of that.

    So I hope this will address your ridiculous conclusion that Tenshi contacted her.

    I know Tenshi peripherally through SLU and the defunct-Second Citizen. I don’t know who Minnu is, I’ve never bought a female skin, and until this happened I didn’t even know what Renderosity was. So I have no vested interest in any of this, but I think it audaciously hypocritical to claim that Tenshi is organizing a witch-hunt after I just read this horribly formatted, excruciatingly long blog post that calls for, among other things, legal harassment of Tenshi’s RL identity because you don’t appreciate her excercising her right to free speech on her site and the SLH.

    On a peripheral note someone needs to take your WYSIWYG editor out behind a barn and beat it to death.

  20. Desidelia
    May 12, 2008 at 8:37 am

    lol, my english is not so good to write articles I do spelling mistakes all the time and sometimes I cant express myself like I want.

    But if someday I change opinion i will let u know ;)

  21. May 12, 2008 at 8:50 am

    @ Joshua –
    Yes, we have seen the letter dozens of times by now. Also, if you’d have read the article instead of glancing or glazing over it, you would clearly see that I retracted my accusation against Tenshi – even before this article was published.

    So, please, give us something new instead of rehashing what has already been rehashed. As for the EULA business – that was the original ‘reason’ it was ‘theft’ as proclaimed by all the detractors. I’m not saying Minnu is legal. I am saying that based on the current EULA as written, it is legal to do what Minnu is alleged to have done.

    Everyone will have their opinions. For example the posters in SL Universe who proclaim my look at the EULA as written does allow someone to do what Minnu is alleged to having done as “horseshit”. – and then jumping over to Renderosity forums to copy and paste the exact same post over there.
    [Correction – my mistake as I was looking at SL Universe in a second window – so I do not know if the comment was posted over at Renderosity.]

    Hey, that’s all fine and good. It opens dialog. Hopefully now the focus won’t be on whether or not Minnu actually “stole” content without permission (that really needs to be decided legally,) but rather whether the EULA in it’s current form is sufficient to protect the artists the way they want to be protected. As it is written now, it is a reasonable assumption that it does not. Again, this can all be argued in court. But in the mean time – fix what appears to be “broken”, or more accurately, if it’s too loose, tighten it up.

    My only gripe in all this is the usually “i hate you so I am going to make your life miserable” agenda some people obviously have against other people, and they use anything at their disposal to further that agenda.

    What I would consider unfair ‘abuse’.
    Hey, this isn’t supposed to be politics. But it’s just as bad.

  22. morph
    May 12, 2008 at 8:59 am

    “The difference is that this time the accusation was made where it shouldn’t have been made.”

    Should we go to the Minnu Model Skin Mainstore with protest signs and demonstrating against this?

    Is this a better place where we should made the accusation?

    Minnu Model Managment and the fashion community was fine with accusation related to stolen skins earlier. As long as the accusation were not against Minnu Palen.

    There is absolutely NO difference!

    I have never seen such a defense for a copycat that copied ‘that’ obvious nor have I ever seen that someone sent such a huge questionaire to Minnu Palen like you sent to Danae now.

    “Burden of proof is on the accuser”

    In the past, the name of Minnu Palen was “proof” enough so that no one ever had the idea to tell her that the “burden of proof is on her”, like you told Danae now!

    And in the ‘present’ case, the name of Minnu Palen is reason enough to change all that?

    “Rather the accusation was presented as fact in a public “news-gathering” source, which changes the rules dramatically.”

    No one changed the rules but YOU and all who are shouting for proofs? What proofs do you need more?

    With all that EULA and copyright quotes you confessed that Minnu Palen DID copy. It is that obvious she did, that its worth enough for you and others to ‘proof’ that she didn’t break the law with copying Danae’s files.

    Yes I know, you mentioned that you ‘don’t’ say that.

    And now look at the “photo comparisons” plus read your own sentences again:

    “I can and will say this: I have obtained and evaluated the EULA that came with HER source files for the product in question.”

    HER source files?

    My opinion:

    At least guilty by circumstantial evidence!

  23. May 12, 2008 at 9:08 am

    @ Morph
    [chuckles] – Yes, you have your opinion and I really do respect that.

    I don’t care about any previous incident. Don’t even much care about this incident with regard to Minnu or Danae specifically.

    Remove their names from this. Insert any names you don’t know. Look are the SCENARIO. That is what this is about for me. Read the beginning of the article again where I mention that I do not care about the WHO in this. I care about the WHAT.

    I use their names because this scenario involves them, but that it can apply to anyone.

    Go ahead, I’ll let you have the last word.
    I will end with this: if you accuse someone as being a thief, be prepared to back it up. if you can’t, then you are no better than what you are accusing the other person of.

  24. Mark
    May 12, 2008 at 9:32 am

    I have no idea what the point of this whole article is, aside from being a jumbled collection of irrelevant cut and paste references, it serves no purpose other than to confuse the readers.

    Ari, I ask you, what point are you trying to make?

    You’ve rigorously researched the EULA, so that Minnu can get away with ripping another creator’s work? It DOESN’T matter what the EULA says, according to the creator, who is the rightful owner of the work’s copyright, claims that someone in the SL community was using her textures in such a way that disagreed with her original intents. Now this is the creator, and a highly respected one in the 3D community… she’s as big to Renderosity as Minnu is to SL… IF the creator doesn’t have a say in how their work can be used, then what is the world coming to?

    By not withdrawing her skins to Danae’s requests, Minnu is basically telling anyone who’s ever created an original piece of work to ‘take a hike- I don’t care if you made this, it’s mine now.’ Completely disrespectful to the creator, who worked long and hard to make these skins. This is not about the law or whatever… It’s about BASIC RESPECT for another person’s work; if you use their work, then respect their wishes.

    Besides, Minnu’s work is shoddy in comparison to many skin designers. They look like they were made in a day… considering the quantity she puts out, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if this was the case. It shouldn’t be much of an issue to RESPECT the original creator’s wishes (she at least deserves that, right?).

    Pfft. Common.Nonsense blog if you ask me. Don’t you have better things to do with your time?

  25. morph
    May 12, 2008 at 9:56 am

    “I’ll let you have the last word.”

    I think we don’t need pathetic phrases here.
    But, thank you.

    The debate is no longer: “Did Minnu Palen copy or not”, because that is prooved by circumstantial evidence.

    Just think as a member of the jury. You don’t need to be the jude or lawyer. Relax and be part of the jury:

    Evidence #1: Picture comparisons

    Evidence #2: “HER source files for the product”

    The debate is now: “Did Minnu Palen broke the law with copying files from Danae or not”, and this is NOT my concern.

    And because it is not MY concern I do not call Minnu Palen a thief like its defined in the law.

    I call her a copycat. Thats what I do.

    “I don’t care about any previous incident.”

    Oh really? How can you feel like an investigative reporter, then?

    Minnu Palen accused other people to rip off her skins, in the past. Right?

    And because “burden of proof is on the accuser” she prooved all that, right?

    Think about it, hm?

    Oh and what about the next point (yea sorry I did a huge reserach too):

    Pronunciation: \ˈfrȯd\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English fraude, from Anglo-French, from Latin fraud-, fraus
    Date: 14th century

    Fraud is commonly understood as dishonesty calculated for advantage. A person who is dishonest may be called a fraud. In the U.S. legal system, fraud is a specific offense with certain features.

    Fraud is most common in the buying or selling of property, including real estate, Personal Property, and intangible property, such as stocks, bonds, and copyrights. State and federal statutes criminalize fraud, but not all cases rise to the level of criminality. Prosecutors have discretion in determining which cases to pursue. Victims may also seek redress in civil court.

    Fraud must be proved by showing that the defendant’s actions involved five separate elements: (1) a false statement of a material fact,(2) knowledge on the part of the defendant that the statement is untrue, (3) intent on the part of the defendant to deceive the alleged victim, (4) justifiable reliance by the alleged victim on the statement, and (5) injury to the alleged victim as a result.

    OMG!

    I can see circumstantial evidences for (1), (2), (3), (4).

    I add “alleged fraud” to “copycat”.

  26. Lilycat
    May 12, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Hi Morph. I was just wondering if you could provide direct links to the instances where Minnu Palen accused other people of ripping off her skins by using photo comparisons? Because I can’t find it.

    Also, be careful using the word circumstantial evidence in the way that you are. The description I found in says, “a collection of facts that, when considered together, can be used to infer a conclusion about something unknown. It is not considered to be proof that something happened but it is often useful as a guide for further investigation.”

    Lastly, I’m wondering about your allegation of fraud. The very first element you list says (1) a false statement of material fact. Which exact statement was made by Minnu Palen that can be indicated as false? Could you again quote something she said so that I can go back and see for myself?

    I’d appreciate it. Thanks!

  27. May 12, 2008 at 11:14 am

    @ Mark –
    Have you read articles One and Two? I admit this one looks like a stand-alone, but it’s actually a continuation.

    The point of article one was that the original story as posted was wrong and possibly libelous. The second story was just an intermediate, and this one is simply to debunk the the accusations flying around with regard to the original accusation (Danae vs. Minnu).

    As for the EULA. Then you are saying all EULA’s ever written and that you’ve agreed to are all useless because the creator can retroactively change it? Well… okay. But good luck with that.

    I am only saying that people accusing anyone of theft by purchasing Renderosity materials and then creating derivative works to be used in SL are: uninformed and ‘unwilling liars’ and don’t even know it.

    Either way, Danae’s claim will have to be solved legally, either in court or through a settlement. Until then, everything I have written above (the “fact” portions) applies until 1) the EULA is updated and so are the Artist’s addendum’s (for then-current and future sales) or 2) some U.S. Court says otherwise.

    I’m not claiming to be a lawyer, however, I’ve been banging on computer keyboards and playing with software (including 3D) and seen and read enough EULA’s that I’d be willing to put this EULA to the legal test if I were doing what Minnu is alleged to have done. Plain and simple. As long as I can prove I obtained the materials legally (purchase receipt for example.) heh, I’m game.

    As for any claims that Minnu has made? Outside the scope of this and the previous two articles. This is about accusing someone of theft when that is not the case when all available information has been obtained and any reasonable person would find otherwise.

  28. Another Ari
    May 12, 2008 at 11:20 am

    I think, Ari, the fact you don’t know the history behind Minnu and her own fury about ‘content theft’ means you have a somewhat skewed view of what is, in fact, part of the ‘big picture’.

    I am completely neutral: don’t like witch hunts and don’t like people taking advantage of others either.

    But I do like research.

    I am a RL writer and editor (of boring academic stuff), which means that when writing an article, it’s a good idea to research into the background: what started all this. And the whole history of Minnu calling for help when she thought she was being cheated does colour the present issue somewhat. It puts it into context.

    I feel you jumped in without doing that.

    Obviously there is a degree of frustration involved too, which can lead people (on both sides) to post perhaps without thinking. But I can’t see why this leads you to act as some sort of ‘definitive view’.

    See, nobody likes to think they’ve spent (even virtual) money on something that isn’t what it’s made out to be. No, it’s not the first time it’s happened and probably won’t be the last, but when it’s somebody who makes herself out to be some sort of icon (again, please research), people feel they’ve been gullible, and let down.

    But what’s better? To yell, to bicker… or not to say anything (like Minnu) and let the speculation run riot because your ’employees’ are coming up with mixed, muddled statements. From your article it seems like she did buy the pack, but again, why should we believe that more than any other statements? A whole lot of people seem to be privy to ‘information from Minnu’ but which version is true?

    So again, I don’t see your article as definitive. Yes, Tenshi should have said ‘alleged’ theft. But again, go back and look at the ‘Minnu accuses’ background. And while you’re at it, think about Minnu sending Tenshi bullets to fire, and then retracting and leaving Tenshi high and dry. Maybe not grounds for legal wrangles, but again: context.

    You say you were in touch with Minnu and her lawyer told her not to say anything. But… this again is hearsay. What is preventing her from saying ‘I have been advised not to comment on the issue’ – IN PERSON.

    The silence is deafening.

  29. May 12, 2008 at 11:31 am

    @ another Ari –
    Points all well taken.
    I know it’s a long article, so it is understandable people will forget the beginning where I specifically state that, for me, this isn’t as much about Minnu and Danae. it is their “story” that I am using to bounce back at accusations of theft (by anyone) from Renderosity by placing said material in SL.

    I have been a Renderosity member since 1998.. or 1999 or something (I *could* be WAY off LOL). Since before it was even called Renderosity. it was actually “Poser…something.”

    I don’t care about Minnu specifically. Therefore, I don’t really much care about any drama she’s involved in, other than this particular situation. So, substitute Minnu’s name for mine. I have no drama surrounding me.

    Everything I have written above – had it really all been about me (as if instead of Minnu, it were myself) – is where I am coming from. The reason Minnu’s name is in there is because she’s the one accused in this way, not me.

    So try to put into perspective, this story isn’t as much about Minnu and Danae as it is about false accusation and defamation – intentional or not. Though I suspect it was intentional.

  30. Another Ari
    May 12, 2008 at 11:44 am

    You suspect the accusation (who said it was false? You?) was intention? Not biased or anything…!

    What about ‘suspecting’ Minnu has been pulling the wool over people’s eyes to the extent they’re totally pissed?

    Again, I can see both sides, but if you’re being objective try to do the same. I see no ‘bad guys and good guys’ here. Just a whole lot of things from what looks like greed (Minnu) to what looks like personal grudges (Tenshi, Minnu’s staff).

    See, once again, without any direct statement from the (alleged) victim of the witchhunt, how do we know she IS the victim?

    I respect YOUR intentions. But if you had been accused, I hope you would have the sense to a) stop your supporters rushing in and confusing the issue and b) to make a direct statement of some kind.

    I repeat, the silence is deafening.

  31. Lilycat
    May 12, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I just wanted to bring up one other point which is that there have been several arguments made that somehow Minnu Palen brought this on herself for making herself into a social icon or because of her participation in the “Stop Theft in SL” campaign.

    Yes some people are disappointed that Minnu Palen did not supposedly do what Danae did and spend say, 6 months constructing these skins from her own individual sources. But I think her only “crime” could be seen as not being as original as her customers thought. Things are further confused by the old idea that all the skins she has produced were supposed to be from her own body. As I’ve read in several places, that was only applicable for her very first skin which is no longer available for sale in the stores. If you look at the other generations in the store however, a lot of them are quite different, so it would be impossible to be the same person used anyway.

    Still, I do wonder about the dozens, perhaps hundreds of photosourced skins out there in SL today. Where did the individual or whole parts come from? Are others employing the same methods as it has been indicated that Minnu has done which is to go to places like Renderosity? If so, what is the difference? Why is only one person under attack? It’s my belief that it is because Minnu is more well known and brands herself as a seller of “couture” or “model” skins and therefore it is perceived as better than others. And by default SHE is seen as better than others. However, I haven’t seen any evidence that this is the case. It does tend to turn people off, and when something like this situation happens, it’s easy for people to say, “See! She’s not so great after all!”

    In regards to her anti-theft campaign, might it be reasonable to do a little comparison to the permissions set forth by the EULA from Rederosity upon purchase of works such as Danae’s? From what I can gather, it limits the redistribution of her package so that the buyer cannot turn around and sell the exact same product at their own, gaining a profit. In the same way, Minnu Palen asked that people not take her skin as is and duplicate it exactly in the form of another skin. Here, it wasn’t even a question of whether or not the copycat purchased her skin, but it was a direct rip either from a demo or copybot, or other means. So you can’t really call Minnu a hypocrite when she allegedly bought something that was mean to be used commercially and could be rendered in a different format from the original.

  32. Lilycat
    May 12, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    A clarification: when I say “the buyer cannot turn around and sell the exact same product at their own” I mean that if a package contained ABC presented as a collection for sale, then another person should not be able to come along and sell another package on Renderosity that contains the same ABC presented as a collection with just a different name stamped on it. However, when the package is purchased, and parts of it are used, altered in a graphics editing program, applied to the SL avatar mesh, and sold as a “skin” in SL, it is no longer considered to be the same thing.

    Copying a skin and making another skin and putting a different name on it without the seller’s permission should be considered stealing. The only instance where you can do this in SL is with the Eloh Mod Skins that are available for free and buyers are encouraged to alter and sell as their own.

  33. morph
    May 12, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Lilycat!

    Here Minnu Palen helps a person to create photo comparisons.
    And this person is… oh.. it is Tenshi!

    Source: http://theragsl.blogspot.com/2007/10/minnu-mauler.html

    But if you read my text again you will not find a sentences where I say that Minnu Palen used photo comparisons to accuse people. I said that it was totally okay to use photo comparisons for accuses for the ‘community’ when it came to accuses against other people. NO ONE told Minnu or other “designers” that “burden of proof is on the accuser”!

    Thats totally new? Why? Because it is like Ari Blackthorne™ said that he “don’t even much care about this incident with regard to Minnu or Danae specifically” or because you “all” just do not want to believe that Minnu Palen is a copycat.

    “Which exact statement was made by Minnu Palen that can be indicated as false? Could you again quote something she said so that I can go back and see for myself?”

    Yes, I can do that:

    Minnu Palen: i was a model in rl and i have planty (sic!) of my pics
    Minnu Palen: that I used to make my skins

    Minnu said that to Tenshi when they were “friends”. They were talking about a… oh my… picture comparison a friend of minnu made.


    http://shoppingcartdisco.com/2007/09/19/minnu-model-skins-ripped-off/

  34. Billie
    May 12, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    “So try to put into perspective, this story isn’t as much about Minnu and Danae as it is about false accusation and defamation – intentional or not. Though I suspect it was intentional.” – Ari Blackthorne

    I’d have to agree. And if we don’t speak out against it, it will continue. If some bloggers don’t have enough integrity to post facts, we shouldn’t be afraid to call them on it. Until anything has been proven in a court of law no one should be labelled a thief.

  35. Nefertiti Nefarious
    May 12, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    FYI: If you check out the seller’s FAQ and rules, “This is the only License file that can be included with your product with the exception of software programs and applications which can carry their own license file.

    So, it doesn’t matter what any Renderosity seller may think, or wish … that license is the only one, except for people selling software and plugins.

    I am having a hard time seeing any infringement. I work with copyright, trademark and getting and giving permissions in my usual job … reading legalese and taking classes on how not to infringe and how to spot infringers.

    Although I am not happy with where some of my licensed work has shown up, after I licensed it, I was stuck with the results.

  36. Aphris Juran
    May 12, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Brilliant piece of reportage. As a journalist with over thirty years experience i appreciate the work you did on this story. I also admire your clear labeling of fact and opinion.

    This smear campaign reminds me of the film “The Ox Bow Incident”, where a group of not overly bright cowboys lynch three innocent men. Hopefully the mob in this case will now disperse quietly with their heads bowed in shame.

  37. Nefertiti Nefarious
    May 12, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    @28 Mark – “It DOESN’T matter what the EULA says, according to the creator, who is the rightful owner of the work’s copyright, ”

    Yes, it matters 100% what the EULA says, because when you sign on with Renderosity, you agree that their EULA is the license that will apply to your products. This is the only License file that can be included with your product … it’s pretty clear to me that artists can’t load on extra caveats and restrictions.

    Danae is still the copyright holder, absolutely, but she has licensed some of her rights to others, including the right to make a derivative work from her files, under Renderosity’s EULA.

    If the files had been used to produce a hard-corn snuff film animation, or a political commercial for a candidate or cause she does not believe in … that’s the risk you take when you license your work.

  38. Lilycat
    May 12, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Morph said: ““Which exact statement was made by Minnu Palen that can be indicated as false? Could you again quote something she said so that I can go back and see for myself?”

    Yes, I can do that:
    Minnu Palen: i was a model in rl and i have planty (sic!) of my pics
    Minnu Palen: that I used to make my skins
    Minnu said that to Tenshi when they were “friends”. They were talking about a… oh my… picture comparison a friend of minnu made.”

    Ok, so let’s see. Minnu went to Tenshi for help and Tenshi posted the pics as comparisons. Sorry, I was asking for where Minnu did it herself, so I guess with Tenshi’s help this would qualify as investigating into the matter. However, in regards to the false statements, I will remind you that Minnu had said that about a previous skin, and not the current one (this info was pulled from last year). So therefore, we still have the possibility that Minnu is correct in saying that that particular skin at that time was made from parts of Minnu’s body. Since this does not apply to the current debate, you can’t say this is a false statement.

  39. Lilycat
    May 12, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I’d like to add that I do appreciate Morph taking the time to look that up, and I do you your point of view. I still think it’s pretty easy to jump to conclusions on either side. Minnu has evidently made some errors in judgement along the way, but I agree with those here who call this a witch hunt. I would hope we can all inform ourselves as much as possible before we go throwing such long-term damaging words that cannot be taken back such as liar, thief and immoral.

  40. Lilycat
    May 12, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    *do see your point of view

  41. May 12, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    I hope this does land in court in a libel case. It would be good for this community of bloggers and self made “media” outlets to be brought into the realm of legal statutes and the reality that you cannot just go say whatever you want on the internet without first considering the legal ramifications. If it lessened the vitriolic attacks it would be a really good thing wouldn’t it? The entire sl blog scene sometimes reminds me of an unsupervised kindergarten playground. This is probably why I never bothered with creating a blog. I don’t feel like getting pulled into the vortex.

    Kudos to you for such a display of due diligence.

  42. Maria
    May 12, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Although I don’t particularly like the thought of a young, single mom being sued for libel, it would probably prevent people with businesses in second life from being libeled and their businesses damaged by the whims of bloggers.

  43. Dawn
    May 12, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    The silence is only deafening because it’s due to legal counsel, Another Ari. Just because someone doesn’t run out and speak up doesn’t mean they are guilty.

    @Maria, you may not like the idea of a single mom, blah blah blah, but that should have no bearing on her consequence. The fact that she’s putting her family in jeopardy over a silly game speaks volumes about her as a person, and ~that~ is the tragedy here.

  44. May 12, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Oh wow… so CNN is picking this up? Cool.
    I wonder if the editors will approve it for publish. Cool again.

  45. QueenKellee Kuu
    May 12, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    @Aphris, are you high?
    Although I’m not a journalist by trade, My degree is in Journalism so I’m not talking about my arse here:
    Since when is a journalist supposed to be interpreting EULA’s?? A brilliant piece of reporting would have Real Lawyers quoted opinions on how this EULA should be interpreted, and a few Higher Ups from Rendo opinion on how they interpret this EULA. This is NOT Journalism but a different flavor of exactly the thing he’s wagging his judgmental finger about.

    Because I see a whole different story here: I don’t think Minnu’s use is covered in this EULA at all.

    @Ari, to use your own words against you, Shame On You.
    You quickly brushed aside a piece of Evidence I provided you(comments in your first post) from a Rendo forum which a Rendo Admin (and other Rendo creators) state this is both A. against the license B. Unethical. Why do you presume to know more about the EULA then Rendo or active Rendo Creators? Your credibility here is razor thin.

    I will even quote the forum here for those too lazy/without rendo logins: this is from Site Admin KarenJ on Rendo from a post that is not from any parties involved but is asking about using Rendo Character Packs (what Manhattan is) to make and sell items in SL rather than Merchant Packs (products intended for such a purpose):

    “Sabine, you’re talking about taking a skin designed for a Poser model and re-fitting it to a model in another application. It’s not acceptable.

    I don’t really care what theoretical hoops you throw into the mix; the license specifically states, “Buyer acquires the copyright to any derivative works created using this work, provided none of the original materials can be extracted from the derivative work by any means. If Artist can show that any of the original material can be extracted from Buyer’s derivative work, Artist can demand both the original and derivative work, and all copies thereof be deleted.”

    I would point out to you that the license specifically also says that the flat-plane use is an example of an unacceptable use, not the only unacceptable use.”

    You are missing a lot of finer points in your argument, Ari. You fail to discuss or understand the difference between Proper Sources and those not properly licensed (character packs vs merchant packs). You fail to even bring up the (highly suspicious) fact that Minnu told Danae (at least at first) that she didn’t have her original source files because she got them from google images or low rez porn sites (which if she did ARE NOT LICENSED TO USE EITHER)….I could go on and on and on. In fact I just might do some real journalism and write an article myself.

    And let some of the air out of your Ego…CNN’s url is not CNNBreakingnews.info!

  46. May 12, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    LOL, Ari, don’t get your panties in a bunch. If CNN is “picking it up” it’s probably only their little SL Mickey Mouse Journalist venue and nothing more.

    Sorry hon, that’s not your fast track to fame right there.

  47. Maria
    May 12, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Congratulations on getting picked up by CNN Ari.

  48. Dawn
    May 12, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Tad jealous, Tensh? Who picks up your precious gossip blog? Oh yeah, the Herald.

    Actually, if CNN picked it up, I’d be scared out of your shoes if I were you, Tensh.

  49. QueenKellee Kuu
    May 12, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Hey folks! CNN did NOT pick up his article! Simply a bot/spam blog (it looks like) with a creative URL….sorry but CNN.com is not CNNbreakingnews.info

    So Easy to check out for yourselves! simply *click the URL title of the Trackback*

    Wow. I guess people really are that gullible.

  50. May 12, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Pffft. I don’t care about CNN… they’re as bad as the SL Herald LOL.

    Hell, give me a real news service LOL.

    *Really, I couldn’t care any less at all.*

  51. May 12, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Yes, what Queen said. Exactly.
    All you have to do is click the link and see it’s just some cute little bot.
    I left it there ’cause it looks good. LOL

    Oh, and Tenshi – no worries. As for ‘fame’ – you can have it. I really don’t want it. Been there done that long ago. It’s not what it’s cracked-up to be.

  52. marc
    May 12, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Ari… what are your thoughts regarding Renderosity’s site administrator’s response in relation to non-merchant character packs use in SL renders including the user license coverage and subsequent removal of derivative works? (covered in QueenKellee Kuu’s comment above).

  53. Aradia Dielli
    May 12, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    No Tensh, the ticket to fame can only be obtained by doing what you do, which is why you do it. You and your little smear campaigns against anyone that is more successful than you.

  54. May 12, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    @ Marc –
    Good question. I missed Queens original post – I guess it was in response to the first story.

    I did review that thread. However, there is a problem: it’s in a thread. In a forum. It is preaching to the choir.

    When I went through the EULA and deciphered what I found – I went through it as a shopper. Though I’ve been a member of Renderosity for 9 or 10 years, I’ve rarely ever gone in there in the last several. (It’s become too elitist for my blood.)

    So, as a shopper, I didn’t find or see anything like that. And, unlike a ‘regular’ shopper, I was actually specifically looking for just that kind of information. Didn’t find it. Even when I asked Renderosity staff to supply or point me to it. So, as a shopper, I’m thinking I am completely in the clear with such a plan.

    So, I evaluated what I did find and as someone who looked at it carefully, I determined – hey, I *am* allowed (as it would stand-up in court, I am willing to bet, any way) to do just this sort of thing.

    Now this whole debate comes down to two areas the way I see it developing:

    Did Minnu ‘steal” these materials in question? *Not* if she purchased them. Did she? I don’t know. And because I don’t know – she deserves benefit of doubt and let the legal eagles deal with it. it’s not in my job description to find out.

    Based on what I found, using anything I obtain legally through Renderosity, I am licensed to use as I see fit, in any way as long as the “original” materials cannot be extracted or extrapolated from my derivative work. I genuinely believe my argument would stand-up in court. (I’ve been dealing with EULA’s ever since I can remember and I am frankly astonished at the looseness of this one.)

    The second debate seems to revolve around Minnu’s ‘ethical’ choice to use this material in SL – if that is what she did.

    This also is split into two areas: ethical as in “outsourcing the materials for SL creation’ and ethical as in ‘outsourcing and saying she didn’t’.

    As to the first – I don’t think so. People outsource stuff all the time.

    As to the second… your call. I don’t know Minnu, so anything that is claimed that she has said I will take with a grain of salt unless I see time-stamped IM or chat logs – preferably with date.

    So it would be clear what she said, when she said it, and what it is exactly she was talking about. As to all this – I really don’t care.

    I judge people on my personal experience, not what others say.

    Which is why I still like Tenshi. :p
    :)

  55. marc
    May 12, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    All legalities aside, however she came into ownership of the original skin base (as it seems obvious she didn’t create it herself)… people in second life as a community want to support original artists and if it turns out Minnu didn’t create the skins herself, I think people feel somewhat deceived. So I guess it comes down to ethics. Her advertising reads “created by models for models”, maybe this comes across as a little misleading? or is she just referring to the make ups. I’m not saying all sl products need to come with disclaimers, but I think people appreciate honesty when it comes to parting with their rl dollars. Legal or illegal use, I think Minnu should just come out and say so, people will respect the honesty.

  56. May 12, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Very nicely done post, and a breath of fresh air in the smarmy world of the tabloid blogging that’s been done so far on this issue.

    And I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one that considers SCD a gossip blog first and foremost.

  57. May 12, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    @ marc – there are a whole lot of skin creators in SL who are photosourcing at least parts of their skins (see Redgrave, Celestial Studios, Fleur, etc.) I don’t hold it against any of them that they don’t reveal their sources to me (and why should they, seriously?)

    Minnu’s advertising (in her picks because last I checked, she had no classified ads) claims that the makeup is by a RL makeup artist, and that the skins are gorgeous enough to be high fashion without clothes on.

  58. QueenKellee Kuu
    May 13, 2008 at 2:47 am

    Yes, you’re right Ari, the EULA isn’t that clear. But honestly, I’ve never read a EULA or License that’s been totally clear.

    AND THIS IS WHY, IF I AM NOT SURE AND AM PLANNING ON MAKING MONEY/BEING PAID FOR THE END PRODUCT, I WILL ALWAYS ASK.

    It’s that simple.

    Also, let’s look at this logically:

    As an artist, familiar with sourcing and licenses and their infinitely “unclear” nature….If I found this skin on Rendo and had an idea to use it as Minnu did, there’s no way *in simply looking at the product* that I would think that use is allowed.

    Firstly, most Sources come quite Raw. Have you been to 3D.sk? take a quick gander thru what they offer: almost exclusively raw photos. The service is important because you cannot use images of people without a model release and they have taken care of this. You will see some more finished meshes there, but I’m pretty sure they cost above and beyond the normal membership charge.

    The Manhattan product is, in fact, Not Raw Sources, but a finished, composited, ready to use source. Quite different.

    Sources you would be free to use, commonly “buy out” or “royalty-free” sources are usually either 1. crappy/cheap/Raw/Unfinished or 2. Good/High Quality/Finished. This product is obviously Very High Quality, and, like I said above, a finished source. Not Raw.

    A big bell would go off when noting the price: $15 is Way Too Cheap for something so High Quality and Finished. An ethical artist with experience in these types of things would know that’s not right: Too good to be true, in fact, to use for what We Have In Mind (use it as a skin in SL)

    And a quick perusal of the Product Page would show something even more interesting (remember, being in the mindset of an artist intended to use this Source Wholly for use within SL as a skin)

    Let’s take a for a moment and look at the Intended Purpose of this Product. The page lists a few things that point a Very Clear Picture:

    “Product Requirements: Poser 4.01 and above, DAZ’s Victoria 3 and body / head morph sets”

    Hmmm, look at that. It says you need Poser and various other poser stuff to use this product. Therefore it’s quite clear to me that IT’S INTENDED USE IS WITHIN POSER. This is further supported under the “what you get” information

    ” *1 Manhattan Full INJection ( +REM )
    * 1 Manhattan Body INJection and 1 Manhattan Face INJection ( + REM )
    * 1 Body Texture with Manhattan tattoo
    * 5 Eye colors
    *1 Eyebrow. Eyelash and Pubic hair transmap
    *4 Eyebrow Colors
    * 4 Eyelash Colors
    * 2 Eyeliner Colors
    * 6 Lip Textures
    *6 Xtra Shiny Lip Glosses (P6 only)
    * 5 Face Make-Up options
    * 1 Image Based Light Set for P6″

    This is all very Poser Specific. And Note what I don’t see here: Any mention to PSD’s, or any other image format.

    So, logic leads me to believe that this products intention is to be used within Poser. Not for use as a Source itself.

    Now, I don’t have Poser, so I don’t want to spend $15 what for me would be a worthless file, so I am not sure how it all comes packaged. I don’t know if it comes as a bunch of jpgs/image files or if it comes wrapped into Poser-proprietary format only usable in Poser, or perhaps a mixture of both (poser files that refernce some/all of the images files that are not wrapped into the file itself). It’s possible this could further support my point about this product’s use.

    Could the “extraction” clause in the EULA have something to do with extracting these files from Poser itself, when clearly their use is within Poser? It’s a strong enough possibility to give one cause to think at least. I admit I am not clear about some of the extraction language. But the Flat Plane thing is clear to me, and brings up even more points:

    “For example, Buyer cannot make an image of a texture map mapped to a flat plane, such that the original texture map can be cut & pasted from the image”

    The Flat Plane Example is saying you can’t take a resource, render it on a flat plane so you can just rip the image out and use the texure itself. This most likely would also apply to doing the same for a character/avatar: posing them in such a way to make it very easy to take renders, cut and paste the original texture map so it lines up nicely with the SL UV map and slapping it together in photoshop.

    Here’s a statement from the EULA which I think is actually pretty clear:
    “The Buyer is not purchasing the contents, only the right to use the contents.”
    What I believe this says is that I cannot use this product outright as it is. Meaning, I can’t just rip the files out and use as I see fit. Which is what Minnu has done (and I will tell you right now that I’m certain that cutting and pasting to fit into the SL UV template Does Not Constitute a derivative work).

    “Buyer acquires the copyright to any derivative works created using this work” To me says that the buyer doesn’t have a leg to stand on UNTIL AND IF they have created a derivative work, THEN they have copyright to that derivative work…if it is in fact, derivative. Which again, I’m Pretty Positive this work (MM Gen 4 skins) would not be considered derivative.

    Of course, these are all my opinions, and I could be totally wrong with my interpretation. But in the end, I think there’s enough there to give pause to anyone who thinks they could use this for that purpose. Enough pause that if it were me, damn straight I would be asking.

    In the end, the EULA is certainly clear on one thing: “It is the Buyers responsibility to read and understand this license.”

    Meaning, ‘I thought I was covered’ is No Excuse.

  59. marc
    May 13, 2008 at 3:26 am

    Phoenix.. Sure SL skin creators photosource parts of their skin often, but this isn’t just the case, Minnu has sourced off another skin designer (albeit not an sl designer). It is one thing to source off a royalty free photography site and another to source off another skin designer. These are character packs, not meant to be a resource for other skin designers to profit off.

    Minnu Runway Skin Collection
    ~ Highly detailed quality MALE and FEMALE skins
    ~ Largest variety of make up
    ~ Makeup designed by RL Make Up artist
    ~ The only Female Skin store focussed on needs of runway models
    ~ Our skins are accompanied by eyes and lashes selection
    ***~ Made by models for models***

  60. Mark
    May 13, 2008 at 3:28 am

    Wow QueenKellee! Undeniably, your concise post has made more sense than what Ari has ‘written’ in the article.

    But you’re right 15 USD… (and that is really cheap! if the files were for full permission use… which they aren’t.)

    It seems very cheap, and outright greedy for someone who pays around 30,000 USD a year on SL classifieds ALONE (more than most people make!) to use a 15 USD file to generate their cashflow.

    If Minnu can afford to pay that much on classified advertising in SL… surely it’s not asking that much for her to pay a professional skin designer (like Danae) to do freelance work for her? Like someone said, it’s greed at the end of the day, pure and simple greed. It’s a shame.

  61. marc
    May 13, 2008 at 3:38 am

    Actually, Sachi Vixen of Adam & Eve recently brought out some shoes which she labeled “Sculpted Shoes by Damen Gorilla”, she could have like other designers who outsourced work not mentioned it at all. However, there has been a general negative response when it is found out when people don’t give credit to the real creator. I would prefer to know, especially since the original creator is upset, where the source was from and therefore agree to this becoming a public topic. No I don’t think she should be labeled a thief yet if at all, but I also don’t hold much sympathy for her as she could have put this to bed much earlier by telling the truth or proving her innocence.

  62. May 13, 2008 at 3:46 am

    @ Queen –
    yes, I know about raw files and royalty licensing and your post is very well-done and highly accurate. In fact, I’d say it should be very educational for the uninformed/uninitiated in it.

    I agree that it really comes down to ethics. However, that’s not for me to decide. Ethical is something everyone has a different perspective on.

    I had been using Poser since verion 1 (yes, that far back and even SLI Ruth is a better quality model! LOL). I stopped with version 7 because I simply have not had any real use for it since I stopped doing contract work for a certain couple of studios.

    To be fair, I haven’t used it in about a year, I think and I do know there are a few ways to package Poser files for distribution: the first is as a Poser file. Basically an XML – style text file hat opens directly in Poser (from what I recall, though I could be referring to supporting model files.)

    However, skins and other textures are provided in (name your resolution) TIF or other formatted files. So, a package might include a poser file with a scene description, but not necessarily.

    Now, when you say this: “Could the “extraction” clause in the EULA have something to do with extracting these files from Poser itself, when clearly their use is within Poser? It’s a strong enough possibility to give one cause to think at least. I admit I am not clear about some of the extraction language.”

    You have a very powerful statement here. Though the files are not “extracted” they are usually arranged a specific way when unzipped: pose files into a specific folder, lighting files into a specific folder and so on. However, though there is a specific folder set aside for textures, the artist can set the textures to be read from anywhere.

    For example, when I created scenes and model, I always set my exture to read from a folder called “PTextures” on the C:\ drive or the root of the system drive on a Mac.

    Now, it’s not “extraction” by definition. However, if Danae’s textures are set to go into the default Poser Textures folder… that might be something to seriously look at.

    Unfortunately, the EULA says that a *third party* may not be allowed to “extract” any of the artists work (read: original materials as purchased). So it is still a very grey area.

    But, you bring up the best argument I have seen from anyone why Danae or anyone else could legitimately accuse theft – *IF* this were the case *and* it was found under legal means that this is a violation of the EULA.

    However, the EULA does not prevent the buyer from “extracting” anything. Only third parties.

    The problem here is this: the Renderosity EULA is far too loose and the artists should really draw-up an addendum to it in their read me files (Supreme Court of the United States has already rules you *cannot* sign away any right – so if Renderosity proclaims that is not allowed, they are legally wrong – unless their rule applies only to freebies.)

    Second: yes, it is a question of ethics. However, I hope to remind anyone and everyone who follows this ‘story’ that ethics and whether it was theft or not, are two very very different things.

    I’ve had my skin since I created my current account. happy with it. So I haven’t shopped for skin recently. But also in truth, all these moral high-grounders who claim ‘ZOMG! (insert SL name) sourced their (product)!? They stole it??!?

    Pah-leese. If it looks good and the price is right, I’ll bet real money they’re going to buy it. They might think twice about it and there are some people that will stick to principal.

    But, since when did the morals of the company who makes the product you want in RL *really* stop you from buying that product if it turns out it’s the one at the top of your short list?

    Thank you Queen – by far, the *best* question in this entire debate! Unfortunately, one that only a court of law can answer. And even then, only a jury after a lot of pro/con legal arguments.

    Oh – by the way this: “1 Body Texture with Manhattan tattoo” is likely a very high resolution TIFF (Tagged Image File Format.)

  63. May 13, 2008 at 3:48 am

    Well, marc, I don’t think Minnu has said where she sourced her skins from, so it’s still supposition and rumour that these skins are indeed where she got them from.

    And that’s not exactly the case with Sachi and Damen – Damen is her SL partner in their business. As far as I know, he makes all the shoes.

  64. May 13, 2008 at 3:55 am

    @ Marc – very good points. And I agree, if something is outsourced to raw, royalty free materials, so be it. However, if outsourcing includes other artists’ names, then credit should be given.

    Again, I wouldn’t say Minnu ‘stole’ anything. Not for me to say. It’s for the legal eagles to determine, which if such a thing is determined, I’ll be at the front of the crowd to chastise her.

    However, ethically speaking, if it is the case that she used Danae’s materials… hmmm… */me shouts “Tenshi…?* :)

    Really, there’s a story. To talk about the ethics of sourcing materials without full disclosure to customers. But I think that’s already been done if I understand correctly.

    It’s one thing to bash someone on ethical grounds, something entirely different on grounds of alleged theft.

  65. May 13, 2008 at 4:34 am

    @ Mark – perhaps, but I ask you to remember, my argument isn’t for or against Minnu (I don’t care about her and her business, et al) – but rather, my argument is against accusations of theft, which have yet to be proven.

    Once proven – okay, fair enough.
    My article is simply to show it’s not proven – not in the least.

    But, I concur, if the alleged materials even were purchased and even if in legal wrangling it is determined I am right in this – spending $15 to generate a mass income… well, I guess that’s where the ethical question comes into play strong and hard. :)

  66. May 13, 2008 at 4:53 am

    Queen,

    It’s for a court to determine whether modified, touched-up textures shifted from one model to another is a derivative work.

    Here’s a court case I came across:

    A company purchased prints of a famous artist’s work, as well as art books. They mounted these prints (or, in the case of art books, individual images cut out from the book) on ceramic tiles, protected them with laminate, and turned around and resold them.

    The famous artist’s estate sued for copyright infringement.

    The court, and the appeals court, found that the artist’s estate was indeed infringed against because the mounted-on-ceramic art pieces were considered derivative works.

    That’s all. No original artistic contribution. Basically just a fancy mounting and frame for rich hipsters with too much money on their hand. But the process of doing it was considered as to have resulted in the creation of derivative works (the idea being that with a regular frame, it’s not really recasting it since you can pull it out of the frame; but with this tile, gluing and laminating was making a permanent change to how it could be presented). Personally, I wouldn’t have thought these would NOT be derivative works, but U.S. law seems to have clear precedent (I’ve found court decisions that cite this particular case).

    So, I do not share your confidence that modifying a texture for the SL model, as well as doing a number of other edits and changes (removal of birthmarks, creation of skin tones and makeups, and other adjustments) would not be considered the creation of a derivative work which can’t just be slapped back into Poser and made to look exactly the same as the original.

    It would, again, be a real question that a court would be looking at quite thoroughly if the license proved relevant to the case (i.e. if Minnu legally purchased the texture package and used it in a way that she believes was in accordance with the terms).

    One of the things I’m most surprised about is how a site like Renderosity could have such a limited license in place. The obvious course would be to take a page from something like the Creative Commons, and create a modular licensing system in which sellers can pick and choose certain specific rights they want to grant when they put something for sale. A “License Wizard” system or some such, guiding them through the process, might be a smart thing to develop in consultation with IP lawyers.

    As is, it’s “one size fits all”, and I’m not sure the “fit” is particularly good for every single seller.

  67. Nefertiti Nefarious
    May 13, 2008 at 5:01 am

    QueenKellee –
    “For example, Buyer cannot make an image of a texture map mapped to a flat plane, such that the original texture map can be cut & pasted from the image

    Parsing the meaning according to the normal rules of English, this does not say that Buyer can’t map the texture map to an image flat plane … it says they can’t do it in a manner that allows the original texture map to be cut and pasted from the Buyer’s flat plane.

    In English, the “such that … blah blah” is what is called a restrictive clause: it modifies the intent of the first clause, and in this case it narrows the prohibited zone from mapping onto flat planes to mapping onto flat planes in a way that allows the original source material to be just cut and pasted.

    If they meant “cannot map” at all they would have stopped the sentence after the word “plane”.

  68. Nefertiti Nefarious
    May 13, 2008 at 5:11 am

    Ari – “The problem here is this: the Renderosity EULA is far too loose and the artists should really draw-up an addendum to it in their read me files

    That has already been fought in the courts by software companies … changing the EULA in a readme file addendum, or presenting the EULA in any manner that is not apparent until after Buyer has purchased, opened, downloaded and installed the digital media is not enforceable.

    EULAs have to be visible to the buyer before the transaction takes place so they know exactly what they are buying. If I sell “movie rights” to a novel, I can’t tell the studio later in a note stapled to the manuscript that I meant 16mm film only and the rights for 35mm aren’t for sale.

    The artists have to get Renderosity to change the EULA for the entire marketplace, live with the current EULA, or stop selling there.

  69. marc
    May 13, 2008 at 5:35 am

    Ari – sure I understand what you are saying. I don’t think people should be accusing of theft until it is proven. Having said that, I don’t believe there is any possible scenario whereby Minnu could be deemed completely innocent (get out the pitchforks lol). I think you said somewhere, maybe I’m wrong (I’ve read way too much today)… that what if Minnu was legally able to use the files etc the potential harm and defamatory nature of all that has been said. Do you really think, even if used legally, she would come away unscathed? What I’m trying to point out is – the harm has been done by the fact she didn’t create them herself (let’s face it, there is no denying) is going to be bad in any case. The question is how much worse if you throw in the word “theft” or “stolen”. Unfortunately, there is a pretty high level of damage to reputation… whatever Minnu eventually claims.

    Let’s say this matter was settled privately and we didn’t hear about it until it eventually became known she wasn’t the original creator, Minnu would still suffer negative press, so it seems there is a definitely no win situation in this case. And yes, ethics and emotions do influence consumer spending, especially when there are zomg! fashionistas! and blogs! eeep I highly doubt Minnu was intending to be seen as unethical when she started marketing her business.

  70. May 13, 2008 at 7:32 am

    @ Nefertiti –
    Exactly, I have been saying this all along. The EULA cannot be changed after the fact (cannot be changed retroactively and only applies to new sales) – and cannot be divulged AFTER the sale. It must be present BEFORE the sale.

    This is my argument as demonstrated in my article.

    First, the EULA does not restrict me from purchasing these materials and then using them in Second Life, MyCosm or anywhere else, as long as I create a derivative work.

    Second; before purchase, on the product page is a Read Me file that you can read before purchase. Here is where the information about the product is displayed, including any additional restrictions from the creator/artist.

    Danae’s “read me” file does NOT restrict use beyond what the blanket Renderosity EULA restricts – which is too loose in this situation to begin with.

    I’ve heard that Renderosity makes a rule that their blanket rule is the only one allowed to be bundled with an artists materials: true for the FREEBIES.

    The items for sale can be amended in terms by the artist (a legal right to do) – Danae (and likely most other artists there) has not.

    @ Marc –
    As for questions of ethical or unethical activity – that’s fair game, because the question of ethics is relative by definition and nature. It is not illegal for you to have bad (or better phrased as ‘questionable’ ) ethics.

    If I proclaim you are a terrible person because of your unethical business practices – that is blatantly and obviously an opinion on my part.

    However, if I proclaim you are a terrible person because you are a thief… I am proclaiming that it is a fact that you intentionally attempt to ‘harm’ but stealing.

    That’s where I see the difference. No one ever uses the term “allegedly” in front of the word “unethical” because everyone knows that term is an opinion-based term. But the words referring to theft are a different matter altogether.

    The difference is that “ethic” is a frame of mind, an idea or perspective. “Theft” is an actual action.

  71. Cinny
    May 13, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I normally just sit back and read these blogs but I just couldn’t help but just get disgusted by what you just posted Ari.

    Your whole explaination of “ethics” “alligations” and “theft” makes you sound like Bill Clintons lawyers (It all depends on what “is” is).

    People do use the words Allegedly in front of unethical (typed allegedly in my fancy google tool bar and the first automatic result that popped up was Allededly unethical firms)

    Through all these comments you sit there and take the position that you’re a neutral party and just posting the facts, where in fact the moment you put your OPINION peice in here it bacame completely biased. You know a thing or two about journalism, and you’ll know that editorials are OPINION peices that are there to sway people to beleive or see a specific point of view.

    Heres what I want to know!
    -Made by models for models: credentials please!
    -Makeup designed by RL Make Up artist :credentials please!
    -The only Female Skin store focussed on needs of runway models : Really?

    Its also apparent that the gen4 skins are still on sale. From my perspective I would think that any reputable attorney would have their client stop selling the item in quesiton until they can go over with a fine tooth comb what exactly the copyright specifics are and can be certain that she is in the clear so that no further monitary loss or liability can be gained until then.

    It looks to me that all that is happening on Minnu’s side of things is that shes burying her head in the sand and waiting for the whole thing to blow over, hence no comment what so ever, hence her skin line still being up for sale.

    Theres far far more things that sicken me to death about the whole thing but just not enough time on my hands to spill it all out.

  72. May 13, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    @ Cinny –
    Tisk, tisk…

    As for those items you “want to know” – that’s marketing. Go talk to the Public Relations department to get your answers.

    I absolutely love the way you used the words “fact” and “opinion” in the same sentence to derive a single meaning. Absolutely classic! :)

    Your statement:
    “…I would think that any reputable attorney would have their client stop selling the item in quesiton [sic] until they can go over with a fine tooth comb what exactly the copyright specifics are and can be certain that she is in the clear so that no further monitary [sic] loss or liability can be gained until then.”

    This gives us clear insight into your thought processes.

    Any *good* attorney would ensure your business stays open and remains as uninterrupted as possible and will work diligently to quash the accusation completely.

    Not saying they will. Just that a good one will do their damnedest to do it. No lawyer would have their client STOP selling the product in question, because too many ignorant people will proclaim that as admission of guilt.

    And that just makes the attorney’s job more difficult. Happens all the time in RL. Accusing company demands a cease and desist, goes to court to get an injunction, defense goes to quash the injunction and put a stay on the cease and desist for the interest and purpose to allow the company to remain viably in business. The cease and desist or injunction is approved if the portion of business is insignificant portion of overall business (as a rule anyway) and depends on the accusation and many other variables.

    So, my attorney tells me to stop selling the goods in question when I am proclaiming I am legal about it? My answer to that attorney is: “Your f**king fired.

    And my sympathies for whatever condition it is that causes you to get ‘disgusted’ over little things.

  73. QueenKellee Kuu
    May 13, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    @Ran – that example is taking a print and making a tile. Our example is taking a skin and making a skin. I think there’s an inherent big difference there. The more I think about it, it seems someone could take a lot of steps in poser to actually cut the photoshop work down by a lot, making their “actual” work (cutting and pasting and fitting to the template in photoshop) a whole lot less. Similar to, for example, transcoding a video file from one format to another while also changing the framerates, frame size and aspect ratio along the way. Is that a derivative work? Obviously not.

    This case is also from the mid 80’s and speaks of a different sort of “creating” : 1-for-1 handmade. That is, each tile took the person some time and care to create, and was sold to 1 person. This is not the case with the unlimited copy capacity of digital files. Since that time we’ve had updates to the copyright law (DMCA) and too seen the general atmosphere in the court surrounding copyright shifted since the internet and digital copies have brought whole new scenarios to the situation. All you have to do is look at the DMCA to see how the burden of proof is so low now that your content can be pulled before you’ve ever had a day in court.

    @Nefertiti — I’m not sure why you are giving me English lessons here; nothing I said has any bearing on your comment to me. My point with the Flat Plane Example is that I believe doing basically the same thing with a character, posing them to help better fit the SL UV maps in order to render and then cut and paste the textures from the image would also be a no-no. Of course I have no clue if this was done or not, which is a moot point; I am speaking only of what I think the EULA specifically allows or disallows.

  74. May 13, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    The DMCA is just a legal process that helps keep ISPS free and clear from suits for contributory infringement. A counter-notification, it goes back up, it goes to court if needs be, and they decide things the good old fashioned way.

    Changing a texture from Poser to the SL mesh isn’t an unskilled act that you do with a push of a button (which, generally, is all that’s needed for transcoding video). It may take no more than an hour’s work, but it’s still work with graphical software that needs a person’s direction. That process, plus whatever other edits one might make (removing blemishes, creating variant skin tones and makeups) may be sufficient for it to be considered a derivative work by a court, and we already know what the Renderosity license says regarding derivative works.

    In any case, in the end if it goes to court it won’t be resolved in a day because it’s a more complex issue than some hope it will be. The relevant license(s) and technologies would almost certainly be closely examined to consider them in light of the law and past legal precedents.

    If a court finds that changing the texture to fit the SL model is not a derivative work, but instead a copy, that would certainly be a major blow to any case put forward on the basis of it being a legitimate derivative work with copyright held by the purchaser in accordance with the license. If you don’t own the copyrights to the allegedly derivative textures, youv’e no right to resell them…

    But again, it’d be for a court to make these decisions, ultimately. I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to what they would actually determine.

  75. Mark
    May 13, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Pure speculation *yawn* that Minnu has hired a lawyer… Do you really believe that she has hired a lawyer?

    Ari said:
    “No lawyer would have their client STOP selling the product in question, because too many ignorant people will proclaim that as admission of guilt.”

    Yeah right Ari *hehe*…and no lawyer would have their client NOT MAKE A STATEMENT because the some people ‘will proclaim that as admission of guilt’

    I think you’ve watched too many episodes of Law & Order my friend. Real life law is not as dramatic as on television.

    Such a case will be resolved in a civil claims court, unfortunately those type of cases don’t really get dramatized on television shows because to be frank, they’re usually quite boring; anyhow, a civil claims court DOESN’T HAVE A JURY. So it really doesn’t matter if information gets leaked into the public domain – it doesn’t make a hell of a difference because there is no public jury to make a decision.

    So STOP alluding to the glamor of television cop shows; I know it’s nice to pretend to be tv attorney Ironside and put away the bad guys, but wake up call Ari!!! *ring ring* -you’re not, you’re just some guy who plays Second Life. Got it?

    And by the way, next time you talk to Minnu, you might want to tell her that she should hurry up and get a lawyer – a REAL lawyer, *smile* :D

  76. Caliah Lyon
    May 15, 2008 at 4:21 am

    Mark, there is something called “the weekend” you know. And a day called Sunday.

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