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Friday, June 27, 2008

Off the Deep End

As you know, I am a dedicated advocate for Intellectual Property rights. It has been a trying time for creators of digital art, both web wide and in Second Life. Piracy has been rampant and theft notices seem to be an every day occurrence. Having said this, I'd like to address the issue of proof. Has the current theft epidemic finally driven some of us over the edge into paranoia? It's one thing to have your work duplicated and resold without your permission. It is quite another to think you own a popular concept. In the past two days I have seen two talented creators, both strong proponents of IP rights, Delora Starbrook and Laynie Link, accused of content theft. One because she dared to make adorned hair styles with ponytails and the other because she used glow on an outfit! Oh-My-God! What is this driving us to? In plain English...that is just nuts. Folks, I cannot stress this strongly enough: Please be certain (with proof) that theft has occurred. Ponytails and glow prims are not enough to accuse another member of our community of theft. At what point will we realize that all chairs have a seat to place your rear in. That is the nature of chairs. I make chairs. My friend Arwen makes chairs, Maxwell makes chairs, Su makes chairs...and so on. Should we all accuse one another of content theft, because they all have a place to park our butts? I am so upset at the rashness of these unfounded accusations! I'm beginning to think that some creators are throwing around the label of "content theft" and accusing their colleagues of thievery, to nix the competition. Before you accuse someone of theft , you'd best be damn certain it is theft! It is not only unethical , it is reprehensible to attempt to destroy another creator's reputation, solely because you feel slighted or threatened in some way by their work. This is about as close to a rant as I've ever gotten.

We have not worked this long and this hard to let insecurity and paranoia lead us into a panicked feeding frenzy, with our colleagues labeled "lunch"! Enough already! Let caution, reason and respect be your guides.


  1. This is something I've had to remind friends about as well, with the exact same argument. Good post!

  2. Dear Gwen,
    I am writing an article about crime in Second Life for the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico and I would love to mention your work with the Content Creator's Association. Please call me at 505-823-3923 or email Unfortunately I have to finish my story by tomorrow. I'd love to talk to you as soon as possible.
    Amanda Schoenberg

  3. Yes, paranoia and inflated sense of ownership of things in the popular domain can sure poison the atmosphere. I was attacked by someone recently for using the common phrase "not possible in real life" in aptly describing some multi-media performance art that has happened at Music Island. After this ridiculousness went a step too far, I published my response here.