Monday, January 14, 2013

Marketplace Store Sells Copybotted Shapes Of Famous Residents

Thief : one that steals especially stealthily or secretly; also : one who commits theft or larceny

CelebrityRehab sells copybotted shapes of famous SL residents, under their own name - without permission, of course.

(Ironically, he sells them no copy, no mod, no trans.)

If you’re like me, you see all sorts of things wrong with this.

Not only is it using resident’s names without permission, which must be some sort of ToS infraction; but clearly the only way to have laid hands on people’s shapes is by copybotting.

Think about that one for a moment; he has 90 shapes for sale in his store. He had to stalk 90 famous people and stand next to them to copybot their shape; creepy!

There is of course the distinct possibility that they are not the SL-ebrities real shapes; in that case, Grotesque Lyric, an obvious unpaid account alt (all of 64 days old as of this writing) is simply engaging in fraud; well, plus using resident’s names without permission.

I was going to invite every one of you, dear readers, to make an abuse report about this insane usage of Marketplace, but I gave Inara Pey a call and she set me straight.

Oh, I made a support call to the Lab first, but the PFY - I’m mad, and I’m assuming, ok? ;) - immediately called this a “dispute between residents”.

I’m really glad the police don’t treat muggings and home invasions as “disputes between residents”, by the way.

Inara, then, gave me the facts. It’s a DMCA case, and what’s more, the victims (by which I mean the residents whose names and shapes are being abused) can't place a DMCA request; the shape designers are the only ones who can.

So conceivably, every victim must call the designer they got their shape from, get the designer to DMCA the Lindens.. who are then obligated to remove only that one shape per DMCA request, leaving the store open.

The Lab’s IP guidelines mention that celebrities have a “right of publicity”; but somehow I doubt that the fame level of a blogger or famous SL resident is enough to protect them.

A second PFY, when I insisted about resident’s rights to their own names under the Terms of Service, declined to “translate” them for me, as he put it.

Well, I’m mad at the thief, and I decided to shine a bit of light at him, causing him some shame and discomfort if nothing else. As a reminder, here's our 2009 post about intellectual property.

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” John 3:20


  1. Thanks for this Deirdre. I made my own shape however, so no shape designer for me. I am my own shape designer and used to sell shapes in my in world store, Sexy in Pink, actually. I closed my in world store in 2010. Although I never have and never wanted to sell my own personal shape, that has been stolen from me.

  2. Hi

    I don't think I fully understood what you were referring to when you contacted me, inasmuch as I thought you were referring to a store having had content ripped, rather than someone possibly copying individual shapes.

    I say "possibly" because you've noted yourself that the shapes may not in any way be based on the originals.

    As to the names issue - I'm really not sure how that sits. I'd not take kindly to someone else using my name, certainly. But how a made-up, non-copyrighted name stands up to the potential of IP infringement, I've no idea.

  3. "I’m really glad the police don’t treat muggings and home invasions as “disputes between residents”, by the way. "

    Sadly, in some places that's now the attitude the police take to many crimes. A senior police chief in the largest city in the country I live has as of about 4 years ago introduced a policy to no longer consider car theft or breaking into cars a crime, under the reasoning that "if you park your car on the street you are asking for it, it's no different from dropping your wallet in the street and expecting it to be there the next morning".
    Same guy also decided that burglaries in homes are no police matter unless someone gets hurt. After all, if you don't have security you're asking for it (presenting effectively an open door, inviting people to come and take your stuff) and if you do have security you're advertising that there's expensive stuff to get.