Archive for October, 2009

copying, copying, copying…

Posted in Op/Ed, SecondLife®, SL® Business on October 30, 2009 by luth brodie

I’ve been rather quiet on the copying/ripping fiascos that happen in what seems like a weekly event around SL. Mostly because it’s a debate I just don’t have time for anymore. I’ve personally never had my stuff ripped (well… that I know of), but I sure have been copied. It’s annoying and frustrating but there isn’t much I can do about it. Ripping on the other hand is an absolute shitty thing that something should be done about.

There are three victims when it comes to content being ripped. 1. The content creator who slaved over that item from conception to creation to marketing. 2. The buyers who unknowingly supported the rippers because there is no sign clearly pointing out fakes. 3. The customers of creators who get ripped and loose all faith in SL and humanity.

In this slew of conversations about copyright issues, we seem to forget about everyone but the person getting ripped off. Which is an actual shame.

The reason why it’s so rampant in SL is because it’s easy to do, people can make money off of it, there are little to no repercussions for it, and it’s generally a fluke that anyone finds out about it. The lab needs to get off their asses and do something to combat it on all fronts instead of these constant broken promises. But I’m bitter enough to believe that’ll never happen.

Those far more in the know about the tech than I am say you can’t actually plug the holes. Granted, opening up the client to things like copybot (LL helped with that if you remember) and alt viewers that have copying capabilities made the situation far worse. Go LL. But there are things we as a community and LL can do.

Back in 2006 when copybot came out, some Lindens sat down with some of us content creators to discuss what can be done. Part of the list of things was metadata tags help with the DMCA process. Where is that? Is anyone actually working on that?

XStreet was where most of the exchange of stolen goods happened. Mostly because no one wanted to file a report because the retards who ran it gave out personal information to the offending party. With the recent purchase of XStreet by LL, why has this not changed?

Or how about that seller directory that has been talked about for a while and still nothing has been done about it?

Today the shit has sort of hit the fan with two rather controversial sides that I’d like to blather on about.

Copybot is good for the economy?!

Get out the tar, feathers and pitchforks kids. If there was anyone in the SL universe that I wanted to punch in the face more than our least favourite LL lapdog Hamlet Au, I’d be rather shocked. If anything to wipe that constant smug look off his face and maybe make him cry like a little bitch.

He’s been annoying us with his trite rhetoric and lack of journalistic integrity for a better part of 6 years. It isn’t reporting, it’s biased spin. I mean who can forget his calling libSL “talented hackers creating cool applications” directly after LL in their infinite wisdom supported the release of copybot? And of course that content creators who were upset about the entire situation and foreseeing what SL is like today with rampant content theft as “having the crazy mob mentality.”

His latest spin on the copyright infringement issue is actually worse. He contends that with the release of the latest PR spin of economic figures by LL being on the rise, that copybot has actually helped the economy.

That is poorest example of false correlation that I’ve ever seen.

1. Figures released as PR from the lab can hardly be counted as proof of anything. Every content creator knows full well what is going on with the economy. I don’t know a single person who isn’t feeling a hit. The lab telling us that it just isn’t the case doesn’t make us feel good; it’s a bloody slap in the face. Just not as demeaning as Hamlet is.

2. If the figures are correct, without side by side comparison of the population increase and what people were spending on, this point is impossible to prove. Therefore even bringing it up is demeaning to the many who have dealt with this issue first hand.

More people = more land rented = more transactions. More people = more purchases. More people = more content creators = more content = more purchases.

I don’t even call myself an economist, let alone an internet economist and I still call duh on that.

3. Copyright infringement does not help the economy, no matter how you’d like to sugar coat the current situation. The more people get copied, the less likely they’ll make anything worthwhile. The less worthwhile things to buy, the faster the economy will go into the toilet. This is happening as we speak since there are many who are creating less or have stopped all together because what’s the bloody point anymore if someone can rip us off with a couple of clicks with little to no repercussions?

4. Did he even think to bother to get actual data from someone willing to give absolute proof of what copyright infringement has done to their business? You know see what happened to the sales of their copied item? It’s not like this is being done on a small scale. Many people are getting hit and sometimes in mass, so it’s not like it’s difficult to find a few people to interview. That’s kind of what being a journalist is all about isn’t it? Getting all sorts of data, lay it out in an unbiased way and let the reader decide for themselves. Or at least that’s what it should be about.

5. At first many people really weren’t using copybot. It wasn’t until the easy to find and easy to use alternative clients that it became as much of an issue as it is today.

6. The last quarter of 2006 is when SL blew up. When we all thought we were going to get rich. My sales exploded. As was the same with everyone else I’ve talked to. Copybot couldn’t do animations and yet my sales during the x-mas season that year was 7x more than all the rest of the year combined.

The 5th of November Boycott

First of all, thank you for taking my favourite holiday. My birthday is on the 6th and going to fireworks in the park was one of the best things about living in London and one thing I’ll very much miss. I mean what is more awesome than a celebration over parliament almost being blown up?

Even if you could get enough content creators to join in (you won’t) the fact of the matter is is that LL doesn’t care. They. Don’t. Care.

Does the copybot boycott of 2006 ring a bell? A decent percentage of creators got in on that (including me) and it did fuck all. Or how about the letter to the lab which I believe was the same year with all sorts of signatures and surrounded by bad press?

That kind of thing worked in 2003 and not a single time since. Because they don’t care. They will still get tier. They will still get their precious money. They don’t care about bugs. They don’t care that animations have been broken for years. They don’t care about copying because it’s not like they don’t know what’s going on with it. Getting LL to care is about as useless as repeatedly bashing your head against a brick wall. And about as fun.

Even if they did care, what exactly would a boycott do that the current class action suit won’t? It’s giving them bad press and the potential to hit them where it hurts – their wallet a bit more effective? Honestly I don’t know if this entire thing will do anything, but it’s certainly more potential than a boycott will ever do.

Next up, why punish the people who are already being punished by this issue? Content creators are struggling so let’s punish them. Customers are already being punished by other drastic theft prevention measures and from knowing that what they spent their hard earned money on someone else got for free or cheap, so let’s punish them too while we are at it. The people that need to feel it are the copiers and LL. This will not accomplish that.

One of the suggestions for how to survive 48 hours of no sales is to set out freebies and have a sale afterwards. Uh… what? You do know that one of the reasons for falling sales is the over saturation of the market with freebies right? Just as much as the saturated market of an unthinkable number of items for sale is. And that when everyone is having a sale, it pretty much doesn’t do what it used to because it gets lost in the commotion.

The upload boycott is a bit of a better idea – at least less harmful to those who are already being punished – but it still won’t do anything.

In Closing:

LL is going to do whatever it wants no matter what you do. Call me bitter but after more than 5 years of this sort of thing, you can kind of see a pattern. You could pick up your toys and go play somewhere else, but there are many other people chomping at the bit for your sales. LL won’t notice you are gone. You are a blip to them.

Stop blaming content theft as the sole reason for your sales decline. It’s not, but it’s the only one that gets mentioned. It’s part of a large puzzle of suckage. Other stuff is the RL economy, drastic increase in content creators, over saturation of the market, over production, lower quality and innovation due to over production, glut of the market from freebies, SL is just too big now for the lack of advertising options, and probably a bunch of other things I haven’t thought of.

Yes it fucking sucks to get ripped off. But your sales before came from your customers who I very much doubt are going out looking for ripped copies of your items. The people buying those things either don’t know they are ripped or don’t care and probably wouldn’t have paid full price in the first place. Those who didn’t know were potential customers and sucks to have lost them, but the meat of your biz should always be the returning ones. Return customers buy partly because they want to support your work because they want to be able to buy more down the road.

There are many things you can do to be proactive without causing harm:

1. Educate. Get the word out on what is going on, how you can spot a ripper, and what to do when someone finds copies. Do this in a way that isn’t insulting. Most people who buy copies don’t actually know that they are copies. Textures and notecard givers in stores are a good step in the right direction.
2. Others have said this and I don’t really think it’ll work, but start bugging the fuck out of Lindens during office hours. Pick a Linden and go to every single office hour. They are people and people will do just about anything to get you to stop annoying them, just be careful on taking them at their word. Get proof. Just not Jack cause he’s kind of a douche. Well I think it would be funny if everyone chose him, but he’ll do fuck all.
3. There are loads of ideas of what LL can do to combat this in many different venues. SLU threads are a good place to start. Gather them up, list them in a notecard and start harassing Lindens with them. Email it to them. Again, I doubt LL will listen but it’s better than a boycott.
4. Have some extra time and know the players of an industry? Wander around the grid and XStreet looking for those mischievous rippers. They are pretty easy to spot. Ugly stores, ugly adverts, usually new, and a wide rage of products in different styles. Just please leave the pitchforks in the garage and quietly inform the original content creator.
5. I’m kind of tired at this point so if anyone has more ideas, feel free to post a comment

Cheers
Luth

Bitch Bitch Moan Moan Whine Whine! or… Thank a Linden!

Posted in SecondLife® with tags , , , , on October 19, 2009 by ♥JellyBean♥

Heya folks! I originally had this posted over on my more personal blog but thought it just as relevant to be posted here (with minor revisions). So if you are one of the 5 people that already read it, my apologies. There is never a bad time to re-evaluate your reality or virtuality. (Like that word? I just made that shit up, off the top of my head & everything).

Look I get it – SL is not the most stable virtual world on the world wide web. In all honesty there’s not many that I have played that are (Ultima Online, The Sims Online, Rose, Laguna Beach, THERE, World of Warcraft, Auto Assault, Free Realms, Open Life, etc). The point is that these worlds, IMHO were created for entertainment purposes only. They weren’t created to take place of real life jobs, real life interactions or real life *gasp* lives. They were created to give you enjoyment & a nice little reality break.

However people have found ways to turn what they love to do into a way to make money within the virtual worlds that they play. Well hell – that’s awesome. If I had talent other than spewing my thoughts onto a page for my few readers and *I* could make money at it, you better bet I’d be boarding that gravy train in a heartbeat. So I’d like to say Kudos to those that manage to do that on a daily basis. I’m sure it beats my 45 min commute each way & being forced to listen to Kegan sing his little diddys Mon-Fri.

What I have noticed though is a rash of bitchy, moany, whiney comments regarding SecondLife across the blogosphere lately. This is broken, that is broken, I crashed again, LL should get their shit together, yada yada yada blah blah. I know that most people pay for their accounts and you have every right as a paying customer to complain about the service you recieve, but do you ever thank Linden Labs when the service is good? Do you ever say “hey thanks for allowing me to log in to the world you created?” Do you ever think about the life you had before SL? SL has not been around *that* long that you knew nothing before it.

I guess my honest opinion comes from the opposite end of this bitch-fest spectrum. I’m no longer a paid account in SL (I use to be up til 2 years ago) and I feel as a non-membership fee paying resident that I have no right to bitch. The rest of you that are on free accounts should also think about that – LL owes you nothing.

All I’m saying is look, if you don’t like it… leave. No one is holding a gun to your head making you stay and bitch daily about everything that you feel is wrong with SecondLife and/or LL. Here’s a positive spin on things… remember why you’re there in the first place and the things you do actually enjoy there. If you can’t think of anything then mayhaps it’s time to move on.

If by any chance a Linden reads this (which is super slim)… THANK YOU!

Blame it on the zyngo!

Posted in Op/Ed with tags , , on October 18, 2009 by hawksrock

I think that at some point in every writers’s life (well with the exception of these guys and gals) there comes a time when you need to take a break: provide a chance to recharge the batteries, save your soul, or even just keep things fun and interesting.   I know that bloggers rank pretty far down the writing hierarchy but when you reach a point in time where you feel like you have already written on most topics, and things are just repeating themselves over and over, then you start to lose interest in writing.   I seem to have reached that point in my life at the moment with Second Life blogging, and to some extent with Second Life in total.   Whether I am writing about relationships, drama, plurk, cool sims to explore, or whatever topic I bring to mind I think I have already touched on it at some point in the past on one of the old blogs.

Two Fruit, One cucumber

Combine that feeling, with an increasingly active RL social life and things have gotten a little bit hectic for me.   I think I can probably multi-task with the best of them, but frankly I always prefer to find something and go in deep and strong rather than just lick along the surface of a lot of different things.   Recently Jell has brought me over to Twitter.   Twitter in and of itself is yet another form of social media junkyism, but the benefit it has brought into our lives is an incredibly active group of local tweeters who merge their online and RL identities into one.   It has had a profound impact on both of us, since in the past I am used to hanging out with a group of interesting personalities that look nothing like what they portray, and that I would never recognize on the street or ever meet in person.  Now all of a sudden, I am running into people at every event and all over town that are extremely wired into both lives that they lead, and it is fun to literally have an option for a social function any night of the week.   The only downside is that all of a sudden I hafta shower and stuff before I can go hangout with friends.

I am not saying good bye, because I do expect to still be around in some capacity.   I can see myself logging in to make machinima or to just see what has changed.   I am however going to excuse myself from blogging on the Rev and participating in plurk for a while.   I am hoping that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I will be back after a while.   In the meantime I have high hopes that the Rev will keep plugging along.   Right now we are at 102,000 in traffic which is pretty damn good for the very first year, and only posting every 4 days or so.  I hope it continues to grow by leaps and bounds, due to the quality of the people we have writing on here.   I want to thank everybody who has read and/or commented on my posts in the past, and I wish you all continued success in your own ventures in whatever life you lead.

Typhoon Relief Event Today!

Posted in Op/Ed on October 11, 2009 by Rosie Shark

typhoon-relief-poster-orange

There’s an all day benefit going on right now at Pemberly

From 9am to 7pm slt there will be an all day music event as well as some deeply discounted and exclusive offerings from some of SL’s generous creators! All sales at this event will be donated to the Red Cross to benefit the victims of Typhoon Ondoy.

Lineup of musicians:

9:00am – Dakila Lacava
9:30am – Kevinthomas Carpool
10:00am – Hazideon Zarco
10:30am – Michelle Ecksol
11:00am – TonewoodFrank UNplugged
11:30am – Obeloinkment Wrigglesworth
12:00pm – Lyndon Heart
12:30pm – Raspbury Rearwin
1:00pm – Keiko Takamura
1:30pm – EricSteffensen Mistwalker
2:00pm – Nonge Shipman
2:30pm – allister westland
3:00pm – Sylar Morrisey
3:30pm – Maximillion Kleene
4:00pm – Jessy Sommer
4:30pm – Phemie Alcott
5:00pm – Skye Galaxy
5:30pm – Harper Messmer
6 -7pm – MicRocka (Kafka Dinzeo)

9:00am – Dakila Lacava

9:30am – Kevinthomas Carpool

10:00am – Hazideon Zarco

10:30am – Michelle Ecksol

11:00am – TonewoodFrank UNplugged

11:30am – Obeloinkment Wrigglesworth

12:00pm – Lyndon Heart

12:30pm – Raspbury Rearwin

1:00pm – Keiko Takamura

1:30pm – EricSteffensen Mistwalker

2:00pm – Nonge Shipman

2:30pm – allister westland

3:00pm – Sylar Morrisey

3:30pm – Maximillion Kleene

4:00pm – Jessy Sommer

4:30pm – Phemie Alcott

5:00pm – Skye Galaxy

5:30pm – Harper Messmer

6 -7pm – MicRocka (Kafka Dinzeo)

Participating stores include:

Addict

Aitui

Aoharu

BOHICA

BOOM

Botanical

Diesel Works

Doux Petit Dahl

Duboo

Kenzie Co.

Lelutka

The Loft

M. Fox

Minettes

Miseria

Modd. G

Mudhoney

!Ohmai

Pididdle

Pixel Mode

RC Cluster

Shade Throne

Silhouette

skream

SMP

Join the event now! Currently in progress!!

Firefly @Pemberly

Coolest Thing Ever!

Posted in Fun & Games, SecondLife® with tags , , , , , on October 5, 2009 by ♥JellyBean♥

I’m the first person to scoff at certain roleplay…

Vampires? Really? You are asking me for permission to bite me? In my sick & sometimes twisted Vampire fantasies, the vamps never ask, they just take me all romantically hard & stuff. There’s other RP that I could mention here & also spew my opinions about but then I’d just digress from telling you about the Coolest Thing Ever Ever Ever ever ever ever.

All over plurk I’ve been seeing “doll skins”. At first I was like “o-kay” and then I move on. I’m not a big fan of lined doll skins. In my opinion dolls don’t have lines because they want to, dolls have lines because of function, they have to! (Yes, I know I am talking about dolls like they’re real, shup!) So if I’m going to be a doll in SL, I’m not going to have lines or buy a skin. Instead I’m going to find a cute updo hair style, wear my regular skin, throw on a tutu & get myself a wind up key… And so I did.

And I’m freaking adorable!

The thing about this key is that it was made to work with a sub collar for doll play. So you can’t just buy the Doll Key and expect it to work. You have to either buy a compatible collar or the “container”. Since it’s a proven fact that I do not make a good sub, slave or pet from past experiences, I went with the “container” (it’s located on the left hand side wall next to the Doll Keys). The instructions are a bit intense, and set up is a bit tricky. The good news is that Briggit & Peggy are awesome with customer service. Briggit helped me get my key up & spinning in no time and she explained to me exactly what I needed to do in terms I could understand.

So I haven’t even told you what I find to be the coolest bit about the key. First of all, you cannot wind yourself. Nope, you are at the mercy of others around you, or screwed if you’re alone. That’s my favorite part. When you aren’t wound, you cannot move/walk, you’re slumped, cannot speak in general chat, key is not spinning, and you cannot tp. Your best bet is to IM someone & ask for a wind up. This is great for anyone looking to make new friends, don’t you think? What better ice breaker do you need other than “Hi I know you don’t know me but could you possibly touch the key on my back and wind me up?” Each wind up is good for 30 minutes so it could also help curb your need to shop for long periods of time.

As with most collars (which is the premise for the “container”, you get to choose a Master that can control you if you choose via blue drop down menu or command words. If you attempt to remove the key, your Master will be notified just like with any standard collar.

A lil from the notecard:

dollsit (forces the doll to sit)

dolloff (Shuts the doll down manually)

dollwave (make the doll wave)

dollfollow (makes the doll follow you.)

There’s much more but since I’m blogging from work & Hawks isn’t my errand boy, you’ll just have to go check it out for yourself. Below are the SLURLS to the things I used to put this look together & make it functionable…

Doll Key & Container: Brigitt and Peggy’s store
A little shop with Amethyst collar plugins, Clockwork Doll keys, Jewelry, Dungeon Torches, piecing gag, collars, Land Rentals on the waterfront.

AO: ANAMATIONS – Music Dancer AO

TUTU: Sn@tch – Murder Ballet

Shoes: Shiny Things – Ballet flat – black

Hair: Truth – Rose – bubblegum

A big thank you and shout out to the one & only Inclinations Moody who had this look first and was nice enough to let me copy her.

Thank you also to HawksRock for grabbing the SLURLS for me and being my new more lenient Master.

-JellyBean-