Avatar designers and fashion content creators in general under spot in Second Life, where in recent months some skins and mesh bodies creators as WoWMeh Body in June and Belleza now have been sued for breaking, according to their accusers, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Dmca), that is, the law enacted in 1998 (so long before the birth of Second Life) to implement the two treaties of 1996 relating to the defense of intellectual property, law that preceded three years a similar legislative initiative in Europe (the European Directive on Copyright, of 2001).
Such measures should serve content creators to protect their work from theft and plagiarism by other users of the web (in the specific case of Second Life by some “copybotters”), but the risk that they may also be used for purposes opposite to those for which they have been promulgated, ie to create damage to a content creator, regardless of the originality of his/her work, can not be excluded a priori and would seem rather to be what happened in the two cases under consideration.
Baby Ghosn, owner of WoWMeh had already explained last June that, not having received any formal notification of the complaint made in her regard, and not having obtained any more information from Linden Lab she preferred not to file a counter-complaint (for which you must obviously provide real personal information and be ready to sustain some costs) while having “good reasons” to believe that “the DMCA complaint against WoWMeh was made with malicious intent” and that she didn’t have “absolutely no idea what kind of copyright held by anyone I have infringed”.
Baby Ghosn therefore decided to completely overhaul its products and to redo any part of them that was not originally created by her, not to take any risks, inviting those who had advanced the complaint if “in good faith” to contact her so to iron out any differences in a friendly way, but in August the designer was seen locking in the revised version of her mesh avatar, deciding to abandon every other attempt to remake her work.
Stronger was the reaction of the Belleza team, that in a note sent December 2, 2014, for members of their group and posted on their own site, then relaunched by several users on the forums and on Flickr (where is circulating the image you see on the left) confirms that it has received notification “to be prosecuted under the DMCA” recently, but says that they want to “take any action against this false complaint” who has reason “to suspect that the culprits behind it are the same people who sent us constantly harassing messages containing threats to our lives for months now”.
People who would also “frightened customers in (our) store and put in place actions griefing in (our) sim crash making the graphics card”. All recent events that “took place while Tricky (Tricky Boucher, owner and designer of Belleza, ed) is out of the country on vacation”.
The designer (you can see him on the right) has already reassured her virtual partner, Shyla Diggs, and Felicity Blumenthal (Belleza brand manager as well as blogger owner of the site Mysecondcloset.com and editing manager of Second Style Magazine) “that he means absolutely shorten his trip and return home to fight all requests” advanced against Belleza, whose team suspected therefore it is a case of “bullying”.
The case, which again shows how difficult it is to effectively protect the copyright when you have to do with virtual worlds and digital identities online, therefore deserves to be followed and anyone with additional information is as of now invited to contact me for further details.
Then, if the issue of protection of copyright (in and out of virtual worlds) you are passionate about, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it also through our account on Twitter and through our fanpage son Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is even on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it and on Paper.li, as well as on Youtube), because certainly we’ll talk again, having regard both the success of the mesh avatars both the frequency of the “dramas” in the field of fashion contents created by users of virtual worlds as (but not only) Second Life.