OpenSim Creations requires court order to take down infringing content

Update: OpenSim Creations has posted a take down policy. It requires that the original owner of the content file the complaint, and provides an email address to send the complaint to. OpenSim Creations is currently the top content-sharing site for OpenSim, and having a take-down policy in place is a big step forward for copyright protection in the metaverse. See comment from Vanish below. (And my response here.)

OpenSim Creations, a popular content-sharing site, will not honor DMCA requests, founder Vanish Seriath told Hypergrid Business today.

If a content creator finds their work is being shared on the site without permission, they will need to “get an attorney and go to a German court,” said Vanish.

“I won’t be judge or jury on alleged infringements,” he added.

“I will honor takedown requests that are valid under German law,” he said. “Usually, these will have to be at least Einstweilige Verfügungen (injunctions) issued by a court.”

He declined to say whether he would ban users if they repeatedly uploaded infringing content, or if there were any other content protection measures in place.

The DMCA — the Digital Millenium Copyright Act — is a US law that offers “safe harbor” to sites where users share content. The law protects such sites from lawsuits as long as they immediately take down infringing content.

Most countries have similar laws on the books and even where such laws are not in place, hosting companies are typically willing to comply with DMCA or DMCA-style take-down requests in order to avoid lawsuits.

A nice overview of the DMCA takedown process is here.

The basic principle is that if a site allows users to upload content, it should also have an easy mechanism in place to take down infringing content.

Implications for enterprise users

OpenSim Creations’ decision not to honor take-down notices is not good news for enterprise users of their content.

By making it difficult for copyright holders to take down infringing content, it makes it more likely that infringing content will, at some point, appear on the site.

Right now, anyone can register for free, create an account, and upload content to the site. For example, I uploaded these megaregion OAR terrain files.

I have not seen any reports of infringing content on OpenSim Creations. And the only complaint I’ve received from a creator so far was not valid since the content was originally posted on the site by the creator themselves.

So it would be incorrect to label OpenSim Creations as a site where copyright infringers share stolen content. In fact, there might never be any infringing content on that site.

However, enterprise users particularly concerned about complying with copyright laws would do well to take extra precautions before using content from OpenSim Creations. For example, they could  search the Second Life Marketplace to see if similar content is available for sale there — if the same content is for sale on one site, and distributed for free on another, it’s a big warning sign. They could also contact the original creators and confirm that the content, is, in fact, original, or request a license contract in return for a payment, or for public credit for their work.

Other options

Content creators who can’t afford an international copyright attorney do have some alternative steps they can take, however, if they find their content distributed on a foreign site. That includes filing complaints with the hosting company, and the domain registrar.

For example, OpenSim Creations is hosted with 1&1 Webhosting, according to Network Solutions. Most hosting companies will look at valid DMCA-style takedown requests, especially if a particular site is a repeat offender.

 

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • I should add that Vanish asked me to keep our conversation confidential. However, he asked me after the fact, not before.

    As a general rule of thumb when dealing with journalists, if you want something to stay off the record, make that clear up front. In addition, it’s up to the journalist to decide whether or not to honor that request. We’re not lawyers or doctors. There’s no presumption of confidentiality.

    In addition, this is a matter of public interest. OpenSim Creations is the largest and most popular site for sharing OpenSim content.

    I am personally a big fan of the site, and a regular user, and want it to stay up and remain a trusted source for virtual stuff.

    That means that there needs to be some effort to keep the site clear of illegal content.

    A DMCA-style take down notice — with proof of infringement, and contact information, and an opportunity for the other guy to respond — is a reasonable process. Yes, it can be too easy to file a takedown request. But if the request is invalid, a response mechanism is built in. And yes, it is too easy to re-post infringing content — and there are sites out there that built their business around that — but they knowingly allow this, then they lose the protections granted by the DMCA and can face court action, as recently happened with MegaUpload.

    But asking copyright holders to file lawsuits in Germany is too much.

    • Arielle

      Your opinion that a site should follow USA laws rather then the laws of their own country is too much.

      • Paul

        This is a valid point. If someone filed a copyright notice in another country for something on an American based website, but American law did not recognise that law, then is the American website obliged (not necessarily legally, but ethically and/or socially) to take down the material.

        And, would there be a blog post about it if the American owner of the website stated that because American law did not recognise such infringements, then they would not take down the content until someone made a valid claim under American law against the content.

        Remember America is not the entire world, and other countries have their own laws.

        • While there are some differences between copyright law between different countries, over the past couple of decades most of these differences have been resolved through various international treaties.

          For the kind of copyright disputes most likely to arise, it’s generally safe to assume that laws are pretty much uniform.

          Areas where differences can arise include length of copyright terms, and whether “work for hire” agreements are valid. A “work for hire” agreement is where the creator gives up all rights to the work — such as, for example, when they do work on behalf of an employer. For this reason, when drafting a work-for-hire contract with a freelancer, it’s good practice to include a clause such as “this is a work-for-hire contract in all jurisdictions where allowed by law, and an all-rights contract in all other jurisdictions.”

          Neither of those issues were involved here.

          Now, Vanish is right that he legally doesn’t have to take down content unless he sees a court order.

          But, in fact, this is true in the U.S. as well. The only reason websites comply with the DMCA in the U.S. is to avoid the courts. The courts are expensive, and you stand to lose your site, your company, even your savings, if you’re found personally liable.

          I can’t repeat this enough — the DMCA is there to protect sites where users can upload content. The fact that it also helps get infringing content removed is a secondary benefit. The only penalty that the DMCA has for non-complying sites is that they lose the protection that the DMCA offers, and people can start suing them.

  • revel peters

    if the takedown request is not valid the person can refuse to take it down or have it put back up if they can prove its theirs. Personally I am careful where I put things I dont want wandering around the internet without my knowledge I prefer to use my own space like say dropbox or google drive and set up a page somewhere (although I run my own website and have for awhile so dont worry to much right now as I can install my own shopping cart system etc). However if I were to run a sharing type site even though I am not american I would probably honour a take down notice, but then because of the way things are these days I am not one to run such a site haha. Anyhow he should take down content if he is told its stolen its just a conscientious thing to do. Unfortunately now the cat is out of the bag so to speak so it might become a harbour for people to distribute stolen content if they know that they will go unchecked. I have seen that happen before as well.

    • “I am careful where I put things” – very well said

      i typically only put my stuff in places that i control (my own domains or worlds) because even with that, once it’s online, anyone can easily take it and do anything they like, even claim it as their own

      boundaries, it’s all about boundaries and being ethical and also a little fortune telling because things do change

  • Reina Benoir

    Considering how bad the DMCA is and how easily it can be used to harass (as is the case you are discussing) I don’t think it’s unreasonable for someone to follow the laws of the country in which he or she lives. American law is not international law. One ought to remember that.

  • To me, this isn’t news, it’s an opinion piece about a hypothetical situation. It may result in unfortunate news being *created*, as Revel Peters pointed out with the “cat out of the bag” comment. Let’s hope not. But a story about how a German content site would handle a hypothetical DMCA complaint (presumably from someone in the US where DMCA applies?) — when the only such complaint was an invalid one against the actual creator of the software — seems to be a step in the wrong direction. At the very least, this should be filed under Opinion, not News. To me, this just muddies things.

    • Alicia Stone

      Jim, this is not hypothetical. I was going to remove my posts from OSC and vanish came back with this garbage. My posts on his website probably are 20% of the content found on OSC, and me taking my posts down through normal operations of my accounts rights on his site would have left very big questions being asked.

      I was informed by email that OpenSim-creations doesn’t have to and therefore doesn’t comply with DMCA and promptly denied the ability to remove my own articles from his Website.

      Again this is not hypothetical.

      He can do what he wants with my Open Sourced file data, but the posts I made on his blog are my own property and I should be allowed to remove my property from his website being able to use them for gain.

      While he is very much right that legally he can make me go to a german court to compel him to take the artcles down, you and I both know that any good faith supposedly “open source” website does not behave how he is acting,

      Again this is not hypothetical.

      • Thank you for that information. If I’m following you here, that is very different than what was in this article. That could be a news story itself, and perhaps should have been the story here. Perhaps that’s what Maria was referring to with “I have not seen any reports of infringing content on OpenSim Creations. And the only complaint I’ve received from a creator so far was not valid since the content was originally posted on the site by the creator themselves.” If so, it’s very misleading.

        I interpreted that as there having been one complaint filed, invalid because it was a complaint from someone *other than* the creator, against the creator’s posting. If this refers to your complaint, it was not just the content posted by the creator but the *complaint* was also filed by the creator? Very different.

        [Edited to remove my opinions on something I don’t really have the facts for… My concern with the article was that it seemed to just stir the pot on something rather than present news, and that seems to be getting worse.]

        One thing that is not clear, does “my posts” above refer to *content* items for download, or messages/discussions/forums postings that you have posted (such as mine here)? If this is about messages posted, then I’ll stay out of that drama. And if it refers to a downloadable content dispute, then I’m not qualified; that’s something for those directly involved to work out, settle between themselves, or settle in court, or just drop.

        • Alicia Stone

          Jim,

          If I write a book and loan it to your library, it doesn’t matter that I also include free candy to be given out next to my book being shown in your Library.

          The point is while the library can keep the candy as it is free, the book is not free it is my property.

          You cannot use the “because it is in my building I own it” defense for the library if a patron of the library allows someone to read a book they brought in.

          And to eject the author from the library, but keep his book (his property) is wrong. Again the candy is free it is what is open source, the book you read while getting the candy is not.

          Copyright is implied. Meaning when you put something to pen, without prior agreement with a third party, you own the copyright on it.

          More or less if his library is not going to honor DMCA at least in spirit, I want him to return my books to me – he can keep the candy I open sourced.

          • “I also include free candy” – *looking for the candy*
            where’s the candy? i love candy =)

            not to make light of the situation Alicia, i hope you guys get this resolved – this must be incredibly frustrating but i have faith that it will all be worked out soon

            personally, i think someone should be able to remove their own content, or have it removed – be it textual comments or actual digital goods

            actually doing that is often more complex than it may seem though =(

            good luck

          • alicia stone

            I am a fan of yours ener… believe it or not I have followed your website and tried to piece together what it is like to be ener hax….

            Things like this just piss me off…. why is vanish being a dildo by not accepting copyright law? Why would he play cat and mouse with me by letting me back on the site, but not letting me post creations?

            I am beginning to think we need a new trustee of the public commons for open source on opensim.

            ~Alicia

          • alicia stone

            You make me smile every time I look at your posts ener 🙂 you must be an incredible person 🙂

          • Alicia —

            As I explained to you in my emails, you cannot retroactively withdraw permission.

            For example, if you submit a column to the New York Times, and they run it, then you get upset about their latest editorial policies and ask that they pull your column from your archives, chances are they won’t do it.

            They might, if they decide to be nice — which is what I urged Vanish to do — but they’re not legally required.

            You might still retain your original rights and be able to run the column elsewhere (it depends on your contract with the NY Times).

            In the case of OpenSim Creations, when someone posts content on the site — whether a blog post or virtual goods — they are implicitly giving permission to the site to use the material under the sites terms of service.

            You cannot withdraw this consent after the fact, unless you have a contract in place that allows you to do so, or the situation changes dramatically. For example, if Vanish decides to put together all the blog posts into a book then — unless he specifically included this provision in his TOS or contributor contracts — he will have to go out and get new permissions from all contributors.

            If you were to submit an article to Hypergrid Business, we don’t have a contract in place. This means that, by law, we only have limited publication rights. We can’t reuse your content for, say, a book, or resell it to other publications. And we can’t keep you from running your article elsewhere — by law, you retain all your original rights. But the fact that you retain the original copyright doesn’t give you total control over the content that you’ve already given permissions for.

            That would be like… like selling someone a book and then going back and saying, give that book back, I decided that I don’t want you to have it anymore. You still have the rights to the original text, but you can’t retroactively change the rights you sold to the buyer.

            If the guy had stolen your book, that would be a different issue.

            So, if Vanish had posted your columns without your permission, that would have been a clear case of copyright infringement. But you posted them yourself. You implicitly gave him the rights to run them.

            The part I don’t understand is why this is an issue at all. It’s just a handful of blog posts. OpenSim Creations won’t be affected at all by taking them down. And you won’t be affected at all by them staying up. You can repost them on your own site, if you want.

          • Reina Benoir

            If you know that this DMCA question is complete rubbish as there is no legitimate claim to be made what exactly is the point of this article?

            The article seems to imply that Vanish is doing something wrong when in actuality he isn’t. The “we shan’t bother to prove anything but will just pull off the content anyway” attitude is exactly that which allows the DMCA to be used so abusively in the first place both in SL and outside of it. You seem to be encouraging suspicion by making it seem as thought Vanish following the laws of his country and not taking the guilty until proven innocent attitude of US ISPs is somehow unseemly or nefarious.

            If your point is to show up the differences in policies in different countries you didn’t really give much information on it; the story doesn’t go into much depth as there’s only one website mentioned. You don’t bother to mention that the DMCA is being used abusively in this case so that clearly isn’t the point either. I’m not sure what exactly it is you are trying to do here. What appears to have happened is you gave apparent legitimacy to an argument which even you admit is really quite silly and unreasonable.

            I’m not saying that the DMCA does not need some discussion nor would I argue that this site is not the place for it. However, I suspect that this incident is the wrong venue from which to start a conversation as the DMCA is a mere red herring in some drama that hasn’t a thing to do with copyright.

          • Reina —

            The problem isn’t that sites in other countries don’t have to comply with the DMCA. In fact, neither do sites in the US — its a purely voluntary step that protects sites against copyright infringement lawsuits while at the same time offering an easy way for content creators to get infringing content removed.

            Nobody HAS to comply with it.

            However, there are some good reasons to do so anyway — not only does it protect you against lawsuits, but it also shows that you’re committed to respecting copyright. Given OpenSim’s bad reputation in this area, we should be doing all we can to encourage the use of legally licensed content.

            OpenSim Creations is a leader in this area, offering a wide selection of content by original creators with Creative Commons licenses. I’m a huge fan of what they do, and have contributed to the site, and regularly refer people to it.

            But the lack of a takedown process that doesn’t involve international attorneys — and their legal fees — is a major step backward for copyright protection in the OpenSim community.

          • Reina Benoir

            To the contrary, the lack of an automatic takedown shows a respect for the concept of one being innocent until proven guilty. Taking down items without investigating just on someone’s word doesn’t show that you’re serious about copyright, it shows you’re interested in covering your own ass without bothering to actually find out if the content in question is actually infringing. The take down then figure it out later attitude basically treats the person in question as guilty until proven innocent and is exactly why so many people know they can abuse a competitor or someone they just don’t like. They can easily file a false DMCA complaint, have their competitor’s content unavailable while they person being accused tries to prove themselves innocent and the accuser just goes on their merry way having done little if any work to knock their competitor out because the provider did all the work for them but I digress. So if the take down is NOT necessary, by your own admission, why are you making a big deal about the fact that a website would decide to exercise their right to NOT take down the material until it has been proven to be infringing? In other words, if the take down is NOT necessary why is it a big deal that someone would say, I’m not taking anything down until you go through the proper procedures of proving your case and getting a court order? Once again the implication is that something nefarious is going on when that is clearly not the case. The website owner is NOT under any obligation to save the content creator whatever money is necessary to hire lawyers and do the proper job of actually proving their claim.

            I still don’t know what the point of all this DMCA talk is? You’ve already admitted that the take down is NOT necessary. Now you may feel it’s better to do so but it’s not your web site, Vanish has stated his policy, his policy is neither illegal nor unethical your implications to the contrary notwithstanding. It is your right to disagree with how he runs his website but it’s not right to imply something is untoward when it is not.

            Quite frankly, if more people would take Varnish’s attitude it would save others the hassle of being harassed by people falsely making DMCA claims.

          • Susannah Avonside

            OpenSim’s ‘bad reputation’ is basically just that. There is copied content on OpenSim grids, but to nowhere near the exrtent of the level in SL itself. OpenSim’s bad reputation, as you put it, is largely, in my opinion FUD spread by the greedy of SL who fear a mass exodus to OpenSim. The lack of genuinely copybotted content in OpenSim is evidenced by the lack of an economy in most grids that would enable individuals to gain from their endeavouors.

          • Gren

            The Greedy of Sl are getting desperate thesedays which is nice to see. I don’t feel most current SL users would flock to OpenSim if SL closed down, the vast majority probably not even heard of OpenSim and some who tried it don’t like it, infact i am using it less and less as I am fed up with it all.

          • Alicia Stone

            I just commented on 3 items of vanish’s website that use copyrighted textures that I am pretty sure the creator didn’t have rights to release on OSC, the fact is a bully, even if popular, is still a bully… don’t support people who violate intellectual property!

          • alicia stone

            maria,

            i am fine with that german little weasel using my creations and running my posts without consent……. What I am not okay with is having my name as being a contributor to a website that constantly posts material that violates the DMCA, I can list at minimum without looking too hard, 3 recent posts on OSC that violate copyright concerns.

            Understand this is about reputation, vanish who will not come on your site to comment for fear of having his IP addy recorded by your website, is a criminal – put simply he is profiting by other people being allowed to post copyrighted content they do not have rights to, to his website.

            Heck look at the steampunk teleport design and tell me it does not contain a copyrighted texture for the glass…

          • Jamie Wright

            Since it was my posts you were attacking without reason I’ll point out to anyone still reading this tiresome issue that the objects in question were items either taken directly or modded from the work of Linda Kellie. She is a well respected open source creator and her work is well known and very recognizable. It’s entirely possible that you have seen it somewhere on SL, as her work used in that grid as well by many residents.

          • I take back any support I implied for you after your overly generalized and misleading comments that were not relevant to the situation.

            You tagged your postings on OSC under Creative Commons licensing, even the blog postings. Your other public comments that were part of the OSC RSS feed are abusive, profane and possibly libelous rants for which you owe Vanish an apology. If anything, you owe him a thank you for stopping you from hurting yourself even more, by moving them to the forums, so that they don’t continue to stream out, not abusive complaints of censorship, something any sane site admin would have done under the circumstances. He has shown incredible patience with you, and tried to help you to stop hurting yourself. He is a friend. Accept that friendship.

            You (and Maria’s article) are just making it worse by making a big scene over it, making it more public. Try to think about what might help your situation, not what might hurt others. Stop the needless drama. If you truly want to claim ownership of your words, then maybe just try actually owning your (horrible) words. Be an adult. “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Don’t make it worse. I think most people would just forgive and forget, but not if they continue to be under attack. If you partied a little too hard and said some things that maybe you shouldn’t have, everyone can understand that. We’ve all been there.

            This all makes me sad. Vanish is offering both great content and a
            great site for content. These inappropriate attacks just hurt the
            community.

      • Yes. It’s about good faith. And that’s what is absent here.

  • Aliica Stone

    What this stems around is an email I sent to Tom, opensim-creations.com’s webmaster requesting that my posts on his website be taken down. It is an ordinary function of his wordpress based site for posters to be able to remove his or her own posts.

    I have been a major contributor, and while my asset data contributed I will agree is open source, the article data I submitted in good faith that I was working with a website that honored IP concerns.

    His reply back to me in an email was that he does not have to follow DMCA and therefore won’t.

    I was also edited into the htaccess file for opensim-creations.com to deny me access from the domain altogether, thus preventing me from taking my own action of removing my posts from his non DMCA complying website.

    I am a big time open source enthusiast and spend a massive amount of time developing Open Source assets for the Metaverse so that this technology of the 3D Web can be realized by even companies that can’t afford to make outlays on content.

    More or less because of me giving indication I would remove my articles (my IP) from OSC, I was shown the door and am prevented from being able to remove content I posted there.

    Its like loaning a person your car, and them changing the keys on the car and cutting off access for you getting the car back.

    So a word of caution to anyone thinking that because a project reports to be Open Source and a good faith member of the community… guess what…. you might want to think twice about contributing to that company’s efforts.

    I am politely being told that since he CAN get away with doing whatever he wants with my copyrighted article data he will. Put bluntly it is WRONG of Tom (Vanish) to prevent me from at minimum being able to remove my own content from his site.

    I don’t care what he does with the file data I open sourced. I am concerned about my IP being used in article format on his website.

    It was way against the community norms for a supposed open source project not to allow members to rescend through normal operations of the Website’s software their content from being displayed.

    Frankly if he wants to use my assets I have open sourced i am fine with that. Just let him post them himself using his article data and let me remove my copyrighted article data from his website considering he views me as being unwelcome there anymore.

    ~Alicia

    • “It was way against the community norms for a supposed open source project not to allow members to rescend [sic] through normal operations of the Website’s software”

      hmm, that i don’t agree with – there isn’t an easy way for an end-user to remove their comments from a WordPress blog. actually, without a third-party plugin, a user can not remove their own comments. WordPress is the epitome of “community norms”

      if you want to be able to publish content online and also be able to remove it, you need your own website

      if someone came to me and wanted all their comments removed from my blog, they might be out of luck if they are a regular participant and have 100s of comments – why should i spend hours removing comments that they now don’t want to share?

      there’s no easy answer and i don’t have all the info, so my perspective is simply my opinion formed from very little info

      as always, participation is voluntary in social media, be it a blog, content sharing site, facebook, or twitter

      responsabilitatis pro uno istius facto

    • Avia Bonne

      Alicia, I have ‘loaned” you some freebie creations of mine for your grid. I changed my mind. Can I have them back? Avia

    • Susannah Avonside

      Alicia – You are, I assume, and adult, and therefore could reasonably have been aware that European institutions do not have to recognise DMCA. Sadly, a DMCA take-down notice may well be complied with in the UK, but most of the rest of Europe is made of sterner stuff, (and isn’t stuck half-way up the USA’s ‘ass’ as the UK unfortunately is) and recognises European laws, which are, on the whole sensible and based on the notion of innocence until proven guilty. We also don’t allow the patenting of computer software, or indeed, ideas. I suggest, that rather than bemoaning the lack of recogniton of DMCA in Europe that you avail yourself of the European legal system if you want justice… Yes, it’s difficult, but then so is it for us Europeans if we want to gain justice in America we have to use the US legal system and courts, so no difference.

      It may well be a little mean of Vanish to not let you delete your posts on his blog, but there’s the slight catch, it’s HIS blog, and any contribution you make to it becomes his posession, if not his legal property. I’m sure all the rights issues are laid out in the ToC of WordPress, so you did have an opportunity to check these out before you posted anything.

  • Dumb One

    So:

    1) no case of copyright infringement has been seen.

    2) Somebody took down a blog post. Oh no, someone wants a blog post to be taken down.

    Confusing stuff. Nonetheless, surely a just cause for war. The public will applaud this just cause. It is a holy war. Let’s ruin the place.

    • Alicia Stone

      Mr. One,

      With respect I say through matters of my own investigation into the “Open Source” nature of Website in question. I found that while I agree anyone should be able to use the asset data I open sourced provided they are in the Terms of the License I distributed each item (Several Hundred Downloads I contributed to OSC), I found that I can no longer have my article data (My intellectual property that is copyright) associated with what I could only view as a non-open Website.

      I had emailed the webmaster of the Website as the proper copyright holder (the author of the articles) to have him (Tom aka Vanish) remove them from his Website.

      I was informed via email by the Webmaster, Tom, ::”Neither
      Opensim-creations.com nor I are
      located in the USA. We therefor do not follow the DMCA.” (his exact textual reply in the email.

      I was prepared to remove the posts myself through normal use of my account on his website’s posting tools, but found I have been banned by IP Address from even accessing the domain to do such.

      Apparently from what I can gather, if one makes signifigant contributions of IP to this website and wishes to have their non-open source content taken down, you will be politely told to take it up with the German courts and prevented from using normal Website operations from removing your own Intellectual property from the Website by means of prevention of access to do such.

      This is a little akin to a popular social networking site a while back stating that even though you owned a photograph, by submitting it for publishing on their Website you forfeit ownership of your own Intellectual Property and they become the defacto owner of the IP in question.

      The point is I should not have to take it up with the German courts to get Tom (Vanish) to remove my Intellectual Property from his website, nor should I be written into the .htaccess file for IP Address banishment to prevent me from taking down my Intellectual Property from his Website.

      For the public in general I can state I cannot guarantee the accuracy of any of my IP on OSC simply because I am not allowed to even review if changes have been made to my posts there as I am being denied normal use of the website.

      This means I strongly urge no serious user from downloading content from OSC that may be marked as if I am the author, I cannot and will not be responsible for the accuracy of any post made under my name on his website as I no longer have access or freedom to remove my articles from his website.

      I hope this clears it up a bit.

    • lol-)) [sorry, i just enjoyed this comment is all]

  • Elrik Merlin

    Over here in Europe we are not fans of the DMCA at all, and EU countries have specifically defeated similar proposals including ACTA. “Most countries” DON’T “have similar laws on the books” at all. Obviously there needs to be protection for creators (which is not quite the issue here of course) but it does not need to be thermonuclear in nature, as DMCA arguably is.

    The DMCA does not apply in the EU and nor is there currently anything like it. There are, however, clear procedures in EU countries to deal with IP infringements, and it would likely be ILLEGAL for a site owner to honour DMCA notices in an EU country (but note, I am not a lawyer). And it might not be a good thing to attempt to circumvent EU legislation by trying to hit someone else with a DMCA request by proxy.

    I am sorry, but I didn’t find the invalidity of the DMCA in the EU came over very clearly in your article, and this surprised me a little as I don’t usually find you prone to sensationalism. Perhaps a better headline would have been “OpenSim Creations expects standard EU legislation to be followed to take down infringing content” ? And how about a first line of “OpenSim Creations, a popular content-sharing site, will fully honor requests under EU legislation to remove infringing material, founder Vanish Seriath confirmed to Hypergrid Business today.”? Not quite such a big deal, but a bit less contentious and, arguably, more objective?

    Best,
    –R

    • Elrik Merlin

      Oooops, I see this is the above-water part of an iceberg on which I have insufficient information (or desire) to comment. So I should make it clear that the fact that I am noting the difference between DMCA and the law in other countries doesn’t mean that I’m taking a position on the underlying alleged story.

  • Nonsense, all of it here.

    What we’re seeing is another cynical Pirate Party sort of opportunist who wants to encourage his customers to upload everything without looking to ownership issues so he can make a buck, and make it very hard for legitimate IP owners to make a living. It’s why Open Sims never grow significantly and never have any significant customer base. It’s why people who move to them from Second Life still keep their SL stores open. It’s nasty, vicious, and cruel.

    The idea that DMCA notices are “misused” to “harass” people is one of those SL fictions that the copyleftist camp spreads. It’s a total misrepresentation of the actual facts. The Lindens don’t tell us how many DMCA or “DMCA lite” (inside the AR box) complaints they get and how may they satisfy, but from having personally filed dozens *and having them satisfied* in just the “lite” form, I realize there are A LOT.

    And Google *does* tell us, and it works like this: they have at least 5 million (!) takedown notices a year, and they satisfy *the overwhelming majority of them*. That figure is something like 97%. I personally confirmed this with a Google rep myself as I couldn’t belief it, so much was I infused with virtual world copyleftist propaganda.

    The author writes this: “I have not seen any reports of infringing content on OpenSim Creations. And the only complaint I’ve received from a creator so far was not valid since the content was originally posted on the site by the creator
    themselves. So it would be incorrect to label OpenSim Creations as a site where copyright infringers share stolen content. In fact, there might never be
    any infringing content on that site.”

    Except…we don’t know if her anecdotal account is accurate, and if in what happens in reality is that creators don’t go there because they don’t want their stuff swiped.
    We also have absolutely no reliable data on the number of frivolous or malicious suits.

    The Bern convention is international copyright law and that tells you copyright is inherent. That’s a great start for virtual worlds. Copyleftists merely want to be in denial over this.

    The DMCA is not “thermonuclear” — that’s again tendentious nonsense. See above, Google. What’s really thermonuclear is the ability of Google and others with this geek creed to make a fortunate off it before they have to do anything about their piracy enabling. It’s known as “the California business model” (let customers upload, look the other way, collect ad revenue, make money, force lawyers to chase you.)

    • Jamie Wright

      Prokofy,

      Alright I need to begin by pointing out a fatal flaw in your argument here:

      “another cynical Pirate Party sort of opportunist who wants to encourage his customers to upload everything without looking to ownership issues so he can make a buck, and make it very hard for legitimate IP owners to make a living”

      You do realize that OSC is a FREE content share site right? It is a hobby. No one gains income from it.

      Also:

      “what happens in reality is that creators don’t go there because they don’t want their stuff swiped”

      Are you suggesting that people who don’t engage in virtual worlds commerce but still wish to build and share are either non creators and/or content theft pirates?

      OSC has a large membership base yes, but in terms of active members who regularly post we are like a small village. That’s hardly an ideal breeding ground for stolen content as it strikes me that thieves would prefer to be a) anonymous and b) be able to sell what they took. As we’re a tight knit community with no system of currency that significantly reduces the chance that someone will use OSC as a pirate cove.

      Jamie Wright
      Legitimate OpenSim free content CREATOR

      • No, there’s no “fatal flaw” except in your *own* argument. Just because somebody decides to give away something for free doesn’t mean others then get to do what they want *morally* even if they can legally in some jurisdictions. The right thing to do is to abide by someone’s wish to remove their content from your site *even if* they gave away the rights to it or put it on one of these ridiculous and destructive CC licenses.

        In fact, that’s what’s entirely wrong — and indeed the fatal flaw of your entire concept — with the Creative Communism licenses. They don’t allow for this flexibility. They browbeat and coerce people in really cunning ways to give away their rights and join the collective. They tell them they will get credit for their work if they use the CC “license” and that this will help “get their name out”. It seldom leads to real work or income, and merely helps dilute their actual rights. It never enables them to change their mind — and they should have that freedom. Worst of all, it doesn’t provide them with the “right click and pay me right now for a copy” option that the entire Internet should be made of, instead of this communism. Truly.

        Then there’s the entire “freebie” mentality, the noble personages who believe they are “helping newbies” or serving as “God’s gift to mankind” with their “magnanimous” gifts. But…they do change their minds. And others do rip them off. And in fact all they do is dilute the market with free crap so that people who sell things are then in fact undermined. And THAT is the REAL cause of Comrade Lessig and all the other commies — they want to completely undermine the idea of commerce at all. They want to flog the idea that human nature can be edited online, and that everyone can live in harmony and share-bear peace. It’s a load of crap up and down.

        As for this “small village” stuff — it’s entirely for the birds. My God, man, you’re *on the Internet*. There are no “small villages” on the Internet, only smug people with ban lines and orbiters. And here, instead of selling content, having DRMs, and honoring DMCA notices, you do something that is really backwards, pastoral — and again, so Soviet: you substitute *browbeating* and community coercion and condemnation for rights and normal commerce. And that’s why you make life so despicable on the open sim grids.

        “Tight communities” are not a subsitute for the marketplace that humans have created for millenia with *things for sale* and *property rights recognized*. They are merely backward little Soviet silos that become arbitrary and punitive. In fact, piracy thrives in such places precisely by replicating across the archipelago of egos rapidly.

        Once again: creators don’t go there because they don’t want their stuff swiped. More to the point, they want to SELL THEIR STUFF and MAKE A LIVING and THAT IS MORE THAN FINE. Open sim tries to engineer communism into the grid by not having currency etc as a default, and forcing people to make “modules”. So, only freaks find it viable. It is anti-human life.

        • ouch…I, for one, am not a freak….ok, maybe I am-))

          I do enjoy your way with words tho-))

          I am not a content creator [other than RAW files–so I guess I am] so I really do not have a bone in this debate, but I would kindly suggest that communism is not what all this is about.

          Seems to me, as someone who enjoys the free items available and one who buys content when I have the money [and in grids with a currency], that there is room in the metaverse for both.

          If some people wish to give of their time freely I see no problem with that at all. After all is said and done, people are free to do as they wish, within certain parameters, of course.

          And if someone changes their minds, then that should be respected.

          Just my own thoughts on all this…nothing special.

          • Hans

            Hi Lady,

            you are not a freak ??? you know me also you are loool
            what you wrote is true and right and it’s nothing more to say

          • lol hans-))

          • Of course, it’s about communism. It is always about communism in Europe in particular. Europe has never lost its fascination with communism. and never looks up to notice that all its most entrepreneurial people seem to emigrate to America…

            No one is free in the oppressive climate of the open source cult.

          • You are much better informed than I, as are others here, concerning these issues.

            I do not know about communist sympathies other than in history lessons, so I must defer to those who are more attuned to current thinking on that.

            I just see simple things, really, tho of course I am aware there is always much more than simple black and white to most anything, I also know there is black and white to some things.

            You say entrepreneurial ppl are leaving Europe, but yet a common complaint in America is so much of the skilled workforce, and companies, have left or are leaving.

            Call support for most fortune 500 companies born in America to see examples of that.

            But I still say that ppl who wish to offer free items are free to do so, and this is the backbone of the democracy [and capitalism] of the internet….free is inherent in it. As with so much software and other services we all enjoy, for free.

            I do not see how this is collectivism but that it is a true freedom of choices. Pay people for -things-, or not.. do for free, or not.

            I also feel that if one wishes to change their mind and have content removed, there should be a process for doing so, if not, then they should clearly understand this in advance. However, the net being what it is, most anything published to it is then very available to others, in many ways.

            It is really all a matter of choice…

          • You seem to confuse skill labour such as auto manufacturers with call centers which isn’t terribly skilled. Just because some companies ship their help desk jobs abroad doesn’t mean that somehow skilled labour decided to leave the US — it didn’t. That company decided to save money by hiring people in Dublin or Bangalore who took less pay but are educated enough to run a help desk. That’s all that’s all about. Ask the Indians why they are all coming to the US to work in computer science and the medical field. There’s a huge brain drain from their poor country that needs them with their socialist ideas — yet there it is, they don’t what their socialist leaders and idealogues, backed with Russia’s billions of arms, tell them. Instead, they leave for greener pastures!

            The entire removal thing would dissipate if people received just compensation, i.e. willing buyer met a willing seller in a free market. I’m not for people selling a house to someone and then being able to claw it back out of their digital inventory because they don’t like they’re blog. That’s why I’m for people selling things on no-copy transfer for a price.

            Freebies are mainly about the vanity of the person offering them and their need to be needed.

          • No. I didn’t confuse this…the ‘help desk’ ppl, as I said, was just an example, a simple one many can easily see.

            I am all for a free market, with buyers and sellers coming to agreements based upon market forces. However, I also realize that ‘market forces’ are corrupted by ‘government forces’ upon the free markets. In the form of excise taxes, free business zones, etc.

            Having once been a Realtor I am well aware of these things.

            Again, however, we all enjoy the free nature of virtual worlds, from ‘free’ accounts in any grid that I am aware of to free viewers we all use to access them, to ‘free’ blogs & websites many of us use. Even to ‘freely’ commenting-))

            And ‘free’ gotchas have always been the forefront of new internet ventures seeking to first bring ppl in and then add + charges. It is an old marketing concept that of ‘plus selling’.

            I do see how you could imagine that ‘Freebies are mainly about the vanity of the person offering them and their need to be needed.’ and I would suppose some ppl do feel that way. But i would posit that not all have that thinking at all….there are as many varied and different reasons for why people do things as their are ppl….it is a good thing that individuality should be applauded, in it’s many varied forms..imo

          • Susannah Avonside

            Europe fascinated by communism? As a European I find this assertion to be wide of the mark, but maybe if you’re the kind of American who sees President Obama as a raging communist, (and I know a few who do) then, of course we will all seem to be communists! However, your assertion is factually a joke, as Europe is in turmoil and it is the far right, your apparent friends who seem to be gaining ground, including in the United Kingdom where there is in fact a crypto-fascist regime in government.

            As for your ludicrous suggestions about OpenSim grids being awash with stolen content, there is little evidence to support what you say. It exists, that is to be sure, but it is not nearly as prevalent as in SL, and no-one makes any money with it – not that this is the point. If there is a moral point to be made, it is this: If SL creators were not so greedy, and were prepared to put their toe in the OpenSim water they might be pleasantly surprised. Good content sold at a reasonable price will always be in demand, and the vast majority would be willing to pay for it, even on OpenSim grids, some of which do have currency. In OS Grid, to be sure, there is no grid wide currency system implemented, but that doesn’t stop individual region owners implementing currency modules.

            In reply to your very slanted assertion that the Communists gained power in the Russian Empire through terror and mass murder I shall ask you how the present system in America (and everywhere else) cam to be in place? Did not the central state forces commit genocide against their indigenous peoples through depriving them of their lands, and through acts such as the deliberate distribution of smallpox contaminated blankets? Or abused and used the labour of millions of people who just happened to have a different colour of skin, people who are still more severely discriminated agaisnt in the USA than ever they are in most of Europe? No mainstream political regime has clean hands, though I do agree with you about the anarchists, being an anarchist myself.

            You talk a lot of bullshit about the ‘free market’. If it were truly free, then maybe the market system would be a positive element for human society, but it is far from free. Most so called entrepeneurs want to parrot all the nonsense about a free market, (that benefits them) but also wants a government and state in place that reflects their values – through the placing of restrictions on the freedoms of workers to use the market system to further their concerns. No entrepeneur can make it on their own, and they all rely on being able to exploit workers to make their pile through the appropriation of the difference in value between what a product is sold for and the amount paid to the worker who made it, commonly called profit, but really it’s a form of theft.

            Anyway, I’ve written enough, and I’ve also just remebered a very important adage: Never argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

        • Reina Benoir

          Your concept of rights is somewhat myopic to put it kindly. If someone puts out content under a license that says others can take said item, mod it and sell it who are you to tell them they are not allowed to do so or worse imply that there is something freakish about it? The concept of giving things away is older than the concept of currency is. Just because you apparently worship at the altar of the market doesn’t mean others are obliged to do the same and they certainly have the right to do things their way without people of your ilk trying to demonize them by bringing up the tired old cry of “communism.” 1980 is calling. It wants its mindless epitaph back.

          Your pathetic and rather mindless spouting of the usual dogmatic talking points aside, you fail to note yet other fatal flaws in your own argument (if one can call mindless name calling and spewing of dogma an argument) First of all you don’t actually know what you’re talking about. This article not withstanding there’s no content to be pulled. No one is talking about pulling any content. Even the person attempting to use the DMCA as their trump card is admitting that and even if they were once you put something out there it’s a bit late to take it back. One cannot put the genie back in the bottle but that’s not really the point.

          Your issue seems to be with the creative commons license. You imply that there’s some manner of force involved in using it. Granted once you put things out there it’s impossible to take it back but then one would be aware of such a fact before using the license. So they’re not really in a position to cry foul.

          As to your argument that the creative commons license is somewhat coercive. No one is forced to use the license to put out their items. It’s their choice so who the hell are you to tell them their choices are wrong? You don’t like how it works don’t put your stuff up there but you have no right to disparage those who do.

          • Hey, *1840* is calling from a dusty library in Jena — it wants its tired, discredited Marxist ideology back. Why do you cling to it?

            It’s hardly “working at the altar of the market” (!) to engage in the normal, ordinary, vital activity of buying and selling that human beings have been doing for millenia. It’s only in coerced and contrived settings like a communist country or a utopian online world that these normal functions are stunted and suppressed.

            I’m happy to be “ilk”. God bless us “ilk”. We are what enables the world to go on while you sit in your socialism paid for by someone else. Is it Mom or the University or the Big IT?

            I sure as hell *do* care when this entire contrived and coerced culture of sharing, based on a sly and cunning pretense, undermines economies. And I will call it out every time. Um, yeah, people can “do what they want”. I have freebies myself in my stores. Who doesn’t? But I’ll make damn sure to sell somebody *else’s* freebie for at least a $1 to cover the tier. I should get that much for providing them free advertising and display space and the link to their store that comes from clicking on the object. And I refuse to be browbeaten by the commuuuuunity with this shill. The concept of “giving things away” used to be rooted in actual communities with real face-to-face people who had intricate networks of favour banks and social capital. Little of that is present even with your coerced “tight community” in a world where 70,000 or even only 7,000 can log on and like locusts scour the grid, consuming everything. The amplification and acceleration of the Internet means that your tired village analogies based on 19th-century Germany are extinct and irrelevant.

            In fact, you’re wrong. A person here has called for their articles to be removed. Now while they let them loose on the basis of the “freebie ethos” and may not have a leg to stand on, the commuuuuuunity should do the right thing and remove it. And frankly, if that article had been purchased as a “work for hire,” and all the rights given over to the publisher, as usually happens with blogs and articles in the real world, the author couldn’t have second thoughts, either. But at least she would be COMPENSATED. It’s the sting of LACK OF COMPENSATION that creates these dramas. There is a reason why human beings make markets: IT’S NORMAL.

            Of course there is coercion used in the entire Creative Commons shill. It starts with the outrageously false books of Lessig’s and continues on down the line to the entire fabrication. In fact, people have stopped using this because the culture is one that doesn’t enable livelihoods, in fact, and in fact, it only feeds Google’s bottom line. The idea that “no one is forced” is rather facile to say when in fact everyone feels the hot breath of the vigilant “tight community” on their necks if they don’t “share,” if they GOD FORBID put a dollar sign on a product.

            I have every right to disparage people who indulge in such lunacy.

          • Reina Benoir

            Excuse you but just because a person doesn’t worship at the altar of so-called free markets (which are not actually in fact free but that’s neither here nor there at this point) doesn’t make them a communist. Throwing that accusation around doesn’t actually bolster your non argument it only shows you to be rather pathetic but then I expected nothing more as I’ve seen your posts before and the idiocy you spew is rather predictable in it’s as usual completely wrong and pathetically without merit in its arguments which is why you resort to demonization by calling people communists. Merely tossing epitaphs does not make you any less wrong nor your arguments any more convincing.

            If I make something and decide I want to give it away that’s MY right. I have no more obligation to participate in the market in the manner YOU declare should be done any more than someone who chooses not to participate in the creative commons licensing has no obligation to release anything he or she has made under that licensing and you have no right to disparage anyone.

            Your characterization of Lessig’s work and those who agree with him is utterly false and given that you can’t actually make an honest argument or make one without resorting to name calling and being generally rude and dickish, I see absolutely no reason to continue this discussion with you and as I generally make it a point not to feed trolls, I think it best if I stop here before I say something rude.

          • Oh, come now. Free markets are normal and natural; it’s socialism that is contrived. Just because someone believes in buying and selling stuff (!) doesn’t mean they “worship” at a free market anyway nor does it mean they don’t care about social justice. As for Lessig, I stand by my critique. I’ve called him out on any number of contradictions and intellectual dishonesty, for example here, in his deliberate misrendering of the Tinie Causby story:

            http://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2008/12/liberating-free-culture-2-tinie-causby.html

            Creative Commons does a terrible, terrible disservice to creators and communities because it’s really only a few who gain power out of it, the organizations like EFF that serve as extensions of Google’s business lobby. Der, you have a right to give something away. But that’s NEVER what it’s REALLY about. It’s about trying to make the world bend and conform to this utopian vision that we must all “share” and rid ourselves of “evil capitalism” that is the problem. You can always tell people who aren’t really content merely to share — the bluster and obsess on forums and demand everyone else accommodate to them and try to accomplish with brow-beating what they can’t by persuasion. Meanwhile, the world stampedes by, buying and selling, a glorious thing.

            I’ll be as rude and dickish as I need to be on these points because it’s about our freedoms. Life is increasingly moving online, and just as on earth, there is a war in cyberspace for power. It really is little different from the Whites, the Reds, and the Blacks who fought in the early 1900s in Russia — capitalists, communists, socialists. The Reds won by using terror and mass murder — their worst enemies were actually those more sincere about social justice than them (the anarchists). In any event, eventually this unjust system collapsed, and ever since, there has been a concerted bunch trying to restore it online.

        • I see a lot of good points here and though you may be a little “right” of the average member, come take a look at the CCU http://contentcreatorsunion.org/

      • ” for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about” http://www.literaturepage.com/read/doriangray-4.html

        I expect vanish is likely getting some new members-))

      • Alciia Banished

        Do you want my honest reply about OSC and open source Jamie?I will state it here where vanish has no control on banishing my comments for objectinging to his freajjish, porn IP stgealing website….. I presented him with no less than two instances using UUIDS and his memeber names of people who were using his site to put out stuff as being “orginal”
        I will do this all day long vanish and provide UUID’s of content on your site that violates copyright law,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,You woke the dragon… understand this vanish………………..

    • Prok — I agree with you that the DMCA process has its merits.
      I’ve filed several DMCA takedown requests and the hosting companies complied in each case — typically by the next day.

      If someone files a DMCA request unfairly, the other guy has an opportunity to respond — and the content goes back up automatically within a certain number of days (the number of days, and the details of what must be included in the initial take down request and the response, vary by country).

      You might think — why doesn’t everyone file responses then, so their content stays up? Two main reasons. First, most infringers — whether accidental, or deliberate — don’t want to get caught, and are happy enough that the matter stops with the content being taken down. They’d rather not attract any more attention to themselves. Second, both the initial take-down and the response require real-world identifying information — which allows the original copyright holder to sue the infringer.

      In practice, as Prok mentioned, 97% of the time, the matter stops with the first takedown request. Then, probably, a majority of the remaining issues end when the alledged infringer makes their case and the copyright holder realizes they were mistaken, or its not enough of an issue to go to court over.

      And then, in a tiny tiny remainder of the cases, the two parties go to court. Usually, there’s a significant dispute at stake.

      The DMCA process is basically solving 97%-plus of all IP infringement cases, without anyone having to hire lawyers or go to court. For copyright holders, it’s a great step forward, especially for small guys without IP lawyers on retainer,

      It might not be a perfect system – there are abuses on both sides — but it’s a very, very workable system. And no, you don’t get into trouble in ANY country for taking down content that you know infringes someone’s rights.

      I don’t think that OpenSim Creations’ no-DMCA stance will necessarily stop people from posting content there. After all, you’re posting your own content, with a Creative Commons license — the issue of infringement doesn’t apply to you. You’re already donating your products to the public. (For which I am greatful — OpenSim needs more legally licensed content.)

      However, it might make me think twice as a user about downloading it. Was this content really posted by the original creator, or by an infringer — and the original creator simply didn’t have the money to hire an IP lawyer expert in German law?

      I’m reasonably confident that OSC content is legitimate since it’s a high-profile site, and people can email me (at [email protected]) or any of a number of other bloggers if they have trouble taking down infringing content, and I haven’t seen any cases of that yet.

      If this article inspires people to check the site to make sure their content isn’t being illegally shared, so much the better — it will help keep OSC clean and safe for enterprise users — and everyone else looking for legally licensed content.

      • Maria,

        You’re acting as if you are in a context where only the DMCA holds sway.

        But in Second Life, the abuse report system includes a subject heading for content theft and even supplies two ways of describing that AND gives you the option, notifying you, of either going ahead and filing something as a simple AR without the full-fledged DMCA system OR to go the route of the DMCA.

        And we get all that about how people don’t want to go through the bother of filing a DMCA because it seems time-consuming and confusing (it isn’t really, but it’s psychological) and they don’t want to reveal their RL name and then be harassed by that asshole who stole from them, in RL.

        But the light form of this works, and works most of the time. If someone has copied your building and even set it down next to you on a lot they own next door (I’ve seen this idiocy multiple times in SL), it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see obviously copied unique textures that an artist is known for in builds around SL, that the copybotting dweeb with the rogue viewer and alt account only days old couldn’t have also made himself by some miracle of coincidence.

        If someone goes into one of your grids and see’s Lilith Heart’s trees, which have an unmistakeable look, and she isn’t in that grid even with a store and hasn’t even sent anything to that grid, it doesn’t take rocket science to figure it out.

        This smug burgher here at the original post imagines that he can make money running a grid and letting everybody upload free stuff and pay him the server costs to display it, but he doesn’t have to stir his stumps to chase AR notices — although the numbers of them would obviously be low especially in all your low-populated commie sims in the first place! That’s what is so laughable. Yes, so typical of the entire open source cult — “no business but my business”. He sells server space, but you can’t sell your stuff or depend on him to click a few times and remove something obviously infringing that it takes him a second to figure out. His defiant call to present him only with successful court verdicts — which means thousands of dollars of expense — isn’t about anything real, it’s just a star turn of an ideological vamp.

        In real life, on Google the DMCA’s are in fact filed by lawyers often, especially by big companies. It’s not as if the little guy first tries a DMCA then gets a lawyer; a lot of IP owners have their lawyers first do the DMCAs.

        Indeed, lots of people avoid open sims like the plague because of your communism, Maria — especially your oligarchic Putin-style post-communism which says “business for me but not for thee”.

        As always, I am unimpressed with “enterprise users”. They are the absolute worst in looking for the freebies and vacuuming up the free content everywhere, pinching a penny to impress their bosses and yet paying big bucks for server space. The entire thing stinks — the idea that some people can build a business — the geek class — and others cannot and have to be quit-renters.

      • Masami

        >> “You might think — why doesn’t everyone file responses then, so their content stays up? Two main reasons. First, most infringers — whether accidental, or deliberate — don’t want to get caught, and are happy enough that the matter stops with the content being taken down. They’d rather not attract any more attention to themselves. Second, both the initial take-down and the response require real-world identifying information — which allows the original copyright holder to sue the infringer.”

        You are naive, Maria. The reason why everyone doesn’t file fraudulent counter-notices in the U.S. is because doing so constitutes perjury according to 17 USC §512 (g)(3)(C). There is also a perjury clause on fraudulent take-downs.

        Outside U.S. jurisdiction however, fraudulent take-downs and counter-notices are both meaningless, because there is no law to punish either. Any such system voluntarily imposed by hosting companies would be widely open for abuse. And then you’d be back to square one, i.e. you would have to sue the infringer anyway.

        Vanish isn’t doing anything wrong there, and frankly, I doubt he cares much about whether “enterprise users” in the U.S. feel confident to take advantage of his site.

    • Masami

      Are you the same Prokofy who once encouraged theft from another OpenSim-related content publishing site (OSAvatars.com)?

      • I have no idea what you’re talking about. Um, theft? What is OSAvatars? I don’t encourage theft whatsoever. I’m a big believer in copyright and respecting copyright. I am definitely opposed to any copying of someone’s proprietary item
        that they sell, and then selling that in the marketplace. That is
        exactly the crime I oppose, and that’s the crime that Vanish Seriath is
        maliciously promoting.

        If someone puts an item out on all perms, copy/mod/transfer, then I will feel perfectly free to sell it for whatever the market will bear — that might be at the most $1 or $5, which I believe is perfectly justified as you have to tier and display the item.

        But in a world where you can adjust permissions, and you don’t *have* to put an item on transfer, but can put it on “copy/no transfer” I feel absolutely no compunction about re-distributing and re-selling an item. I don’t view this as “stealing” because it isn’t “stealing” — if you put something out in the wild and claim you authentically don’t care what happens to it, then you have to accept some people will sell your freebie.

        In the hothouse, cloying atmosphere of Creative Communism, however, they try to discourage this by having “licenses” that allow redistribution but disallow *sale*. This deliberately undermines commerce and commodification of digital items. In Second Life, where we have a perfectly good DRM system (copy/mod/transfer) and very, very few people use CC licenses (it never caught on, and for good reason), I see absolutely no reason to keep helping Comrade Lessig disseminate his regime undermining capitalism which is what people naturally chose when they have freedom instead of coercion.

        And the vicious little communities of freebie-mongers often find this objectionable, and then try to browbeat people into not reselling freebies or in some cases, not even re-distributing freebies (you would get various prima donnas in SL that wanted to force traffic to their venue alone with their freebies). In fact, when people like some of the commenters angrily tell you that they don’t want to be “forced” to “worship at the alter of the marketplace” blah blah, what they really mean is they *want you to be forced to worship at the altar of their communism*.

        I can respect engineering of DRM and don’t defeat it ever; what I won’t respect is someone putting something on transfer, and then expecting me to go by their community brow-beating. That’s unacceptable coercion. If they don’t want something redistributed, they can uncheck “transfer” and shut up. I’m not willing to become an extension of their vanity project.

        • Masami

          >> “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Um, theft? What is OSAvatars? I don’t encourage theft whatsoever. I’m a big believer in copyright and respecting copyright.”

          Then secondthoughts.typepad.com is not your blog, I suppose. Because it says this about OSAvatars.com and its CC-licensed content:

          “If I had world enough and time, I’d dl all her free crap and sell it. I encourage any or all of you to do so.”

          Source: http://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2011/02/immensely-disillusioned-by-the-heavily-materialistic-second-life-system-sigh-.html

          • Jamie Wright

            Just FYI, it seems the OSAvatars site had moved and is now not currently being actively hosted by Ina Centaur. The avatars referred to above are available here:

            http://opensim-creations.com/2012/01/23/osavatars-spring-collection-by-ina-centaur/

            Or in world on OSGrid at LBSA Plaza and Wright Plaza as well as many other OpenSim grids.

            You couldn’t easily sell them in SL as they are in iar format. As far as I know Linden Labs doesn’t facilitate iar uploads for it’s residents. Basically if you wanted to “sell” the OSAvatars in SL you’d have to “steal” them from the open source content that they are. If anyone’s actually done that in SL there would be some highly amusing irony to accompany that choice. I’m not encouraging it by any means but the idea itself makes me laugh.

          • KeithSelmes

            The site is here http://osavatars.org/about/

          • Jamie Wright

            For some reason I can’t get that to load in Google Chrome at all today so I thought it was taken down again. I have the whole iar already so I’m not too stressed about my access but thanks for sharing the link Keith:)

          • KeithSelmes

            It’s on a CC BY licence, so I imagine it would be feasible and legal to process items via OpenSim and upload to SL, if anyone really wanted to. The licence terms are at the bottom of the page, like the small print on many websites, and I think a lot of people miss it.

            CC BY –

            You are free:

            to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work

            to Remix — to adapt the work

            to make commercial use of the work

            Under the following conditions:

            Attribution — You must attribute OS Avatars to Ina Centaur (with link).

          • Masami

            Yes, it’s CC-licensed. Prokofy has stated numerous times that she does not agree to the terms of that license.

          • KeithSelmes

            Well this is weird. Last night there were two replies from me, now only one. The first one gave the current address of http:osavatars.org, the original site as set up by Ina Centaur. The second, which remains, commented on the CC licence, and doesn’t make sense without the first. (P.S. also I noticed the same licence has been correctly applied at OpenSim Creations, where it is much easier to spot)

          • KeithSelmes

            Oh OK, you have to “load more comments”, and they show in newest first seqence so it had disappeared off the end.

  • Larry Rosenthal

    its really such a simply greedy fake position taken by this “showcase” site that i wont spend time here warning others anymore… as for “mere” Hobby” that makes no money defense…. if any listener wants to believe that, fine, but almost all the “user content monopolies” online today started as using that lie. And everything was “free” till Google/Yahoo, MS, or another bought the “generous founders websiite and all content stored on it”—- 3D Warehouse is no longer Google..–surprise!..

    btw- a few hrs ago. ANDROIDS SDK , tos was changed to no longer allow it to be “FREE”… uh big surprise.!

  • Gren

    Had a good laugh reading all this. I always find it amusing how some people think it’s okay to make money from other peoples free work. Personally I think that if anyone should make money from OpenSim software it should be the developers. You want to make money, go make a real business instead of being a parasite upon opensource or get a damn job if you can find one, McDonalds is always hiring…

    Look at Second Life all those jumped up money grabbing (creators) charging for pixel nonsense when there are starving people in the real world and people struggling to stay warm in the winter.

    You can bet your life none of those creators pay tax on their earnings to the IRS or similar in their country, YET all claim in SL to be in business and so important they even scream it on their profiles just how busy they are often stating they may get back to you lol.

    Hustlers.

    The name of this blog was founded I presumed upon the notion that OpenSim would take off and be a good earner, oh well that never happened and won’t, SL is dying and you can be sure this tech is more buggy and never will appeal to enough users, it’s all old tech.

    People want games, then they will pay but sure that is going to cut the Creator wanna get rich by making pixel clothes types etc out of the deal as content such as in a Unity3D world is created by the developer of such a world, and quite rightly so.

    They do the hard work in making the game or virtual world so should be the ones to profit from it.

    By the way according to trends, social worlds are going out of fashion and have a short appeal, if at all to the majority of people who use a computer at home.

    To say that we Europeans are Communists is not accurate at all, anymore than saying all Americans are rich or Capitalists, most are not rich and it’s the same the real world over, a few control most of the wealth, but what always irks me is the aspiring wannabe rich so-called middle classes who are willing to ignore the plight of their fellow country folk struggling to survive.

    So do I care about DMCA or creators harping on about profit loss or people stealing their work.. no because it’s unimportant to me in RL for one thing and secondly I like the idea of them getting shafted.

    • Susannah Avonside

      I’m not sure what the situation is in the USA about those running a ‘business’ in SL, but anyone making any significant amount in the UK would be open to some awkward questions from HMCR (Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenue) unless, of course they were one of the ‘favoured ones’ but they’d really have to be coining it to avoid taxes in the UK, as only the poor and moderately paid have to pay taxes in the UK in any real sense – the super rich pay less and less as a proportion. I think that your claim that people making money from using Open Source is a bit harsh, as Open Source is largely about levelling the playing field, and there is no prohibition on using Open Source in a commercial sense – in fact it can help those otherwise economically excluded start viable businesses as it significantly lowers the barriers.

      I agree with you that those on virtual worlds represent a miniscule proportion of the total of people online, and that the platform has largely been a failure as a business tool, mainly because it is a solution looking for a problem, as far as the business community is concerned. I think it has been far more of a success in the education sector, where it has been promoted at all. Virtual worlds offer something that the Raspberry Pi also offers, and that is part of it’s strength. People learn all sorts of skills doing things in OpenSim, and that is why it probably doesn’t appeal to the majority in SL. A different demographic is attracted to OpenSim, it’s far more ‘hands on’ in a technical sense. Even at a very basic level you need to know how to set up and run various bits of software in order to be able to run a region, and it gets increasingly more technical as the complexity grows and a ROBUST implementation is required. I personally have no problems with anyone making a bit of money, or a living even, if they can, from the use of this technology, good luck to them. We all need to eat, and have rent and bills to pay.

      OpenSim may not be the last word as far as technology is concerned. To me it’s a moot point that Unity3D may be technically superior, (but that is a subjective point of view, as in my experience Unity3D stinks graphically, it’s all a matter of taste) in terms of technology, or graphics, but the very fact that it relies on developers who exclusively produce content is what detracts the most. Yes, OpenSim is old hat, and technically clunky, but it is very accessible technology that anyone with a bit of gumption and a little advice and help can get up and running, and that’s the point, it allows ordinary people to do the things they like to do in OpenSim. So what that it is ‘going out of fashion’ I doubt that the serious OpenSim afficianados give a hoot about what’s fashionable or not, or about being in a minority. Also the number of academics and academic instutions with a finger in the OpenSim pie says something, and personally I think that the technology has a lot of mileage yet in the eduaction field.

      It’s the very democratic nature of OpenSim that is it’s strength, not it’s technical level of development. Unity3D and gaming technology may be light years ahead in terms of graphics and technical achievment, (not that I know that much, I am not, and never have been a gamer, and have approximately zero interest in gaming beyond being grateful that it’s given me access to great hardware in term of CPUs, RAM and graphics cards). OpenSim allows us to do things ourselves and even possibly help improve the technology, whilst technology like Unity3D is proprietory so inaccessible to most of us even if we were interested, and if we use it as is it disempowers us somewhat.

      On a final note, I have a lot of sympathy with your notion about people getting real and ‘smelling the coffee’ about virtual world economies – perhaps those wailing the most should go and get a job in RL!

  • Alicia Stone

    UPDATE – Vanish has allowed me back on the website, but has restricted my ability to post any new creations. I am honestly left to wondering what in the world is open source about OSC. Simply put a project that shuts down submissions for ego reasons is doomed to fail, moreover a project that will not in spirit honor the copyright law of another country is also doomed to fail. Vanish – I am talking to you – You can end this by making a public admission that you will honor the copyright law of nations other than germany and also by allowing me to post…. if you don’t, I will be a thorn in your side….

    ~Alicia

  • alicia stone

    Interesting to me is what I see with supposed open source and private business talking in tandem…..I guess I can only say that is bravo vanish…. now will I be told how tessa is going or are you going to rant how spot on is evil again?

  • Vanish

    I have updated the OSC About Page with this section:

    What are the Terms of Servce?

    OpenSim Creations does not have any Terms of Service. The website and the provider are located in Germany, so the operation and content of the website is regulated by german law. Beyond that, no further terms and conditions are deemed necessary.

    How do you handle legal issues?

    Any legal request must adhere to the legislation of the Federal Republic of Germany. If you have any legal issues, be they about insult, libel, copyright or anything else, you must make sure that
    1. You are the party holding a right to the request,
    2. Your request must be legal under german law,
    3. You need to specify your request in detail,
    4. You need to provide proof for your claim which makes it readily possible for the provider to determine whether your request is valid or not,
    5. All legal correspondence must be in german,
    6. Requests may be sent via Email to oscreations [at] tgib [dot] co [dot] uk.

    I hope that finally clears any and all issues.

  • Since OpenSim-Creations just posted a takedown policy, I’m closing down this discussion:

    http://opensim-creations.com/about-opensim-creations/

    I would like to thank Vanish for taking this issue seriously.

    Alicia — Remember that only the original creator of content, or their legal representative, can issue a takedown notice. I’ve heard from one creator of content you were complaining about, and it’s up on OpenSim Creations legally.

    Again, since the OpenSim Creations site was launched, I’ve been worried about the license issue, and kept an eye out for problems. So far, I have not seen any reports anywhere — and nobody has contacted me personally at [email protected] — about any copyright violations on OpenSim Creations.

    This is an issue very important to me. I believe in OpenSim commerce. I believe in it very strongly. But in order for creators to come here, and start selling their content, they need to feel save that their content won’t be distributed without permission.

    Now, I’ll go back to my regularly scheduled copyright-related complaints, which involve urging in-world merchants to post clear licenses in their stores, and for grid owners to remove unlicensed content in their welcome areas and freebie stores.