Theft Makes the World Go ‘Round

That’s right I said it.  People steal crap and that statement is no surprise.  What I don’t understand is the fine lines.  I’m hoping that I’m not the only one, and if I am then its fine to laugh at me and call me a jackass. 

I see a lot of blogs that are all “omg Soand So completely ripped ThisItem from Whofuken Cares” and at first I thought it was all just me.  I thought I was being insensitive to the feelings of content creators.  I almost felt guilty for not caring about theft. 

That’s before I started to see how the lines are so damned blurred.  I could be wrong, but what follows is how I honestly believe the lines are drawn as far as SL fashion goes.  First, the don’ts.

The Do Nots

1- Do not think that people won’t go out of their way to make you look bad.

2- Do not use real things as reference to where anyone can notice because even though artists do that in real life it is not okay to do this in SL.  Someone will call this theft.

3- Do not pay anyone to blog your crap.  Even though people pay magazines to publish their items in real life – SL is not real and therefore people should advertise (however little traffic they get) your shit for free.

4- The Code of Blogging Ethics is written on a napkin somewhere in someone’s overpriced handbag.  No you may not see it.  Someone will definitely contact you when they feel you have breached this silent, unpublished agreement.

5-  Never blog something that isn’t already blogged somewhere.  This will make you different and will therefore draw attention to yourself.  Never do this.  Maintain your cover at all times. 

6-  The line between paraphrasing and plagiarism is as small as quotation marks.  When in doubt – slap in some quotations.  Why not?

7-  Do not tell anyone how much/how little you make from SL.

8-  If you aren’t sure if what you’re selling is considered stealing – find a fashion blogger and show them the crap you made.  They may not actually know if its stolen – but at least you might get props for checking first?


The DOs

1- Do use images of copyright things like Hello Kitty or military emblems on your items.  This is not stealing.  Why?  Because for whatever reason fashion bloggers have overlooked this form of stealing and have deemed it okay.  Even though movie producers cannot use actual military uniforms for movies – people who make junk in SL CAN.  Why?  Dunno. 

2- Start your own group in SL and invite any random person you see anywhere on the grid to join it.  Hand out a thing or two for free once or so a year so you can keep the part of the sentence that says “free giveaways!” in your group charter.  No need to lie, right?

3- If someone makes something that even remotely resembles your ‘something’ then file a YMCA ASAP WTFBBQ LMNOP, ok?  Same lipstick color?  Holy fuck.  They ganked your shit.

4- Build a store to sell your crap.  Don’t use one of the SL selling sites.  If one person does cry “THIEF” then at least people will TP to your store, give you traffic, and every single blogger there will probably buy your shit in order to take pics of it and blog about it.  And hey – if they take pics of your ads in your store – fuck ’em up with a YMCA about that whole deal of taking a picture of your ads cuz that’s stealing too, yo!

Honestly I could go on and on.  I just don’t see the line, folks.  I don’t understand how one form of theft is okay but another isn’t.  Some stealing is less severe than the other, I guess?  And somehow severity takes precedence over principal?  I really just don’t know.  Now I’ve confused the crap out of myself – but at least I’m entertained.


12 Responses to “Theft Makes the World Go ‘Round”

  1. “If someone makes something that even remotely resembles your ’something’ then file a YMCA ASAP WTFBBQ LMNOP, ok? Same lipstick color? Holy fuck. They ganked your shit.” – Orchid you crack me up LMNOP!

  2. The issue might lie in that people crying ‘wolf’ loudly don’t know a wolf from a stuffed toy cat. Oh yeah, they both walk on four legs and have tails, but they’re not the same. However, seeing the similarity and differences between theft in SL and outside of SL – as well as the same and differing laws that govern them – are more difficult to handle.

    Especially when you have an international community, where not only are laws different, but so are social concepts of stealing. I’ve also heard that people see SL purely as a game, with the $L being like points, so stealing from others is just like corpse-camping or using cheat codes- things that in games really don’t hurt people in real life.

  3. Bunny Brickworks Says:

    *laughs* nice one, to be honest I am a content creator, I have a little accessories store with my sister and I give a complete shit if anyone copies our stuff, steals the scripts included or rips the textures we made.

    why? first of all I believe in karmic retribution. one day this person will be hit by a truck in RL. and second, well, this is a game, creating content is a fun thing for us, selling it and making a bit of spacebucks to support our bad shopping habit is a nice side effect.

    third and most important: we both have RL jobs that support us! and we never give free stuff as a review copy to bloggers. you wanna write about it? nice! go and buy it. I don’t expect people to fart rainbows just because they received a nice free package of goodies.

  4. @TerryT — I totally agree with everything you said.

    @Bunny — Same page as you my dear.

  5. “first of all I believe in karmic retribution. one day this person will be hit by a truck in RL.”- Bunny
    Omg, I just about spewed my coffee all over the monitor.

    The !!ZOMG THEIF!!” stuff has just gone too far. If the stores I am in have HUGE SIGNS blaring about going to prison for theft, I am going to feel a bit awkward. (I kid you not, I saw this giant sign when I was trying to find a subscribo that spammed me lm’s about 3 times a day and I was doing my best to get off the list. I finally just had to mute the thing)

    There comes a time when the campaign goes beyond just education, and becomes accusatory. Please stop making the people who DO buy things in your shop feel like criminals.

  6. great post 🙂

    You did leave out a couple of other interesting blurred lines of content theft…

    1. It’s more about who you like and don’t like. I’ve seen people scream at some while praising others for doing the exact same thing.

    2. They forget very quickly who they called out as theives. !!ZOMG THEIF!! *raises pitchforks and calls the mobs* (fast forward to a month or so later when they release the new line) OMG you HAVE to buy their new crap.

  7. hawksrock Says:

    Excellent post! Very fun well written take on a topic that I am sick of hearing about, unless it is in a fun very well written way like this! 🙂

  8. @Luth you are totally right. Sometimes people (in general) are way too hot and cold for me. I prefer a nice luke warm. Is that so wrong?! Your two additions are so spot on that it just makes me feel more embarassed for those ‘THEIF’ screamers, ya know?

    @Hawks Yeah I’ve been tired of it too. Well mostly the way things aren’t really clear and how its a huge witch hunt instead of taking care of things the correct way. Stealing may not be professional – but neither is calling your gang in to infiltrate. This isn’t Dragnet!!!

  9. Chez Nabob Says:

    Love this post. It speaks to a point that has troubled me for a long time, and it’s something I’ve thought about a great deal.

    When I thought about putting together the I.P. Rights campaign that you may or may not be familiar with, it was mostly born out of frustration of seeing friends and fellow creators constantly having to deal with the issue of content theft in SL with precious few tools at their disposal (in addition to the frustration I felt having to deal with the same issues myself).

    The idea was twofold. Try to educate consumers as best we could about the issue of I.P rights and content theft in SL and lobby LL to give creators better tools to defend their intellectual property.

    An unexpected problem in all of this has been many of the extremely unprofessional attitudes exhibited by some content creators who undermine their own credibility and the credibility of any legitimate efforts to educate the residents of SL about the very serious problem of I.P. infringement.

    Filing DMCAs, throwing tantrums on blogs and crying from the rooftops of the grid over illegitimate claims of infringement make it difficult for people to be sympathetic to the cause when there really are legitimate instances of theft and skeptical about the issue as a whole.

    Creators who straddle the fence by demanding protection from content thieves on one side but then turn a blind eye by releasing items bearing logos of real-world products, using pirated software to produce those products or blatantly porting the designs of RL designers into SL (regardless of the legalities…how about ethics?) on the other side aren’t doing anyone any favors in the minds of the larger SL population.

    The problem is that the web as made everyone an expert on fair use when in fact 99% espousing what’s legal and what isn’t have no clue what they’re talking about.

    Everyone from creators to bloggers (who are as much to blame in many cases for fanning unfounded flames or condemning the practice of I.P theft in one post while praising the newly released hockey jersey that bears the copyrighted and trademarked logo of their favorite NHL team in the next post) to Joe SLResident need to take a step back and take a hard look at the compromises they’re making in their own lives (RL or SL) when it comes to I.P. infringement before passing judgement on someone else.

    Creators (or anyone else for that matter) can’t have it both ways. If you demand the respect of the residents of SL and the protection of your I.P. rights, then your own personal ethics and business practices MUST first be above reproach.

    Thank you, Orchid, for your passionate post about this critically important side of the issue.

  10. Awesome post – points clearly made and complete with the satirical touch!

  11. ❤ it! Cheers and here here and all that crap. I agree.

  12. And the irony is, most of those crybabies – you – stole my – shit – content creators, stole their version of Photoshop from some torrent side. Word!

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