After the huge launch by Linden Lab yesterday, addressing the real life business market, it’s time to get back in-world, and make sure that content theft doesn’t get more widespread, by making sure that everybody knows what it’s all about — including, of course, our dear Lindens 🙂
For that, a group of residents (which has quite grown lately!!) has been promoting November 5th as the Step UP! day. It’s very simple: on this day, content creators refuse to upload any textures to SL (thus avoiding that LL gets all these hundreds of thousands of daily L$10 transactions), wears a ribbon, places a kiosk on their land/shop, and tries to get a huge orange ribbon to be placed on the sky, where it ought to get picked up by the Linden Map “sweeper”. At the very least, this should show some nice effects on the map, and make people ask why suddenly there are so many orange ribbons floating around in SL!
You can get a bit of more information on their official blog or join the Ning community. I’m adding here some of the information that has been circulating around the grid in notecards, available on any Step UP! kiosk you can see.
What is Step UP! ?
Step UP! is a campaign centred on a special day of action that everyone can become involved with, and that can empower and inform people about the problem of content theft, and what they can do about it.
We are aiming for a day that draws together action, education and celebration. We want a focus that empowers people and allows them to express their own creatvity in a variety of ways. It also draws attention to the strength of feeling that there is here on the grid.
Step UP! Day will be November 5th – Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night in the UK.
a) On this day – no-one uploads textures to the grid. This should show the economic power of people acting together, without harming content creators. We want Linden Lab to see the power of the feeling about the problem of content theft – and to discuss urgently strategies for tackling it.
b) As many people as possible wear an orange ribbon as a sign of support for creators.
The day ends with parties. Bonfire parties. That means that all around the grid, people have parties.
We’re encouraging every club to hold a Step Up! party. We encourage every musician to play Step UP! events. Everyone on the grid has a part to play. Everyone can take part.
1) Info notecards
You’ll find a notecard here in your pack (note: the packs are distributed by the in-world kiosks)
All over the blogsphere, on inworld TV shows and radio stations, people will be talking about Step Up! and what it means.
On the Designing Worlds shows we’ve talked again and again about the need for a social shift – so that people see content theft as socially and morally unacceptable. So … let’s go for it!
The concept originates with a small group – Angie Mornington, Gabrielle Riel, Gwen Carillon and Saffia Widdershins. But more and more people are now becoming involved. And you can too!
What is content theft?
Content theft is when the work of a creator is stolen and either sold or even given away without the creator’s agreement.
Content could be anything in Second Life. It could be hair, clothes, skins, houses, furniture, transport. All of these have been stolen in Second Life. And much, much more.
Content theft hurts creators. It takes away the income and the credit that should be theirs.
Content theft hurts YOU – because it discourages creators from creating the rich and valuable content that makes up the world we love.
So step up against content theft – join with us in saying “NO!” to content theft, and in supporting honest and honorable content creators! Don’t buy stolen content!
Wear the orange ribbon from now till Step Up! Day on November 5th 2009. Organise a party or event for Step Up! Day – or just ask the owner of your favourite club or location how they are planning to celebrate Step Up! Day.
How to spot content theft
Many owners will give away examples of their products in their stores. And there are stores that have low-cost and even free content to help newbies.
But there are discount stores and free markets that may contain stolen items.
If the store claims to be selling goods by well-known content creators at fantastically cheap prices, with full permissions (to modify it, to copy it and to transfer it to someone else), then it may well be stolen.
If price seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Use the Edit menu to check. Right Click on the object for sale, and see if the creator’s name matches the name associated with the product. It doesn’t? This could be stolen!
Check to see if a shop is selling mixed styles that look to be made by more than one creator. Right-click on a couple of the products that seem wildly different. Do they have the same creator? It could be stolen!
Look at the creator’s profile. Did they start Second Life last week – and yet they’re already making fantastic clothes or skins or hair? That content could be stolen – using alts is a popular trick for the thieves!
What to do if you think something has been stolen
NEVER confront the thief yourself.
Content creators appreciate your support and your loyalty, but this will only put you at risk for being Abuse Reported and cause the thief to switch locations and accounts making him / her more difficult for the content creator to track. Creators need that time to investigate and gather information to file a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act).
So – if you recognize an item that you suspect may be stolen property, please take a snap shot of the item, save a Landmark to the location and include these in a notecard to the creator you believe originated the item.
If you think content in a location may be stolen, but you don’t know where it originally came from, contact the CCA at [email protected] and they will investigate quietly.
Get to know your favourite content creators
Drop them a notecard saying how much you love their work – they’ll really appreciate it! And building up a good relationship with the people you buy from is an excellent way of protecting you – and them – against being the victim of thieves.
Because when you buy stolen content – you’re a victim of the thief too!