November 20th, 2010

broken egg

You Might Say...

...that it is the providence of a copyright holder to set their terms, no matter how ridiculous...and right now, with a lack of legal precedent, I'd have to agree with you, as much as it galls me to do so. It galls me, not because a person has a right to protect IP, but because some people get downright ridiculous about it.

Friends have alerted me to yet another situation where things are taken to the ridiculous - and it's coming out of a creator I never expected to see get this way.

Now, I've heard of some texture creators charging as much as $10,000L for an extended license (that equates to roughly $37USD) and I thought that was ridiculous. Well now, I have one better for you:

What would you say to a texture creator charging you $500USD for an extended license?

You read that right. $500 US Dollars. Not Lindens. Not Iz or any other funny money.

This is a creator I had a lot of respect for. HAD.

At first I was dismayed when I went to the creator's store in Inworldz and saw they were charging 2x, sometimes more, their SL price for the same items. Then I went to their SL store and saw that they'd raised their prices there, as well. I am not one to presume why the increase; all I know is it made me start looking elsewhere for similar materials.

Now I find out that there is this long, ridiculous, multi-grid license the creator thinks people will just pay for.

First of all, there are so MANY virtual world texture creators - and so many resources for completely FREE textures - that it's an uphill battle for any 3D creator, unless they originate their own work from scratch. This particular creator does not originate their work from scratch. Some are taken from photographs (and I know for a fact that they do not own all those photos, because I've found them on the web, belonging to other people). Some appear to be constructed from scrapbook, vector, or other sources. My wager is that there is very little of this creator's work that is 100% their own. Not only that, but offering the same pattern in a range of colors and then charging a high price is pretty ridiculous all by itself. With a little bit of tutoring I could teach almost anyone how to color-shift images the same way and for free.

And they want me to pay $500USD to use them in multiple worlds? I DON'T THINK SO!

Secondly, may I remind this person that without my creations, they wouldn't have a market for their building materials? It isn't classifiable as artwork. It's classifiable as a 3D building material.

I am hoping this creator isn't another one who thinks they can apply a revision in TOS retroactively, because they'll find out it's against the law, just like many others who tried to do the same thing. Suddenly, you can't back up those textures. Suddenly, you're not supposed to download them pretty much at all, even to make changes to suit your build. All of a sudden, they've become very very restrictive.

Listen up, Creator: You're NOT going to prevent people from stealing your work this way - and there is, of course, the question as to whether you can claim total IP rights over the pieces AT ALL - ESPECIALLY those taken from photos that belonged to other people. When you become a BIG ARTIST with GALLERY SHOWINGS and whatnot - THEN you can consider charging $500 bucks for me to use your stuff in several grids. Until then, you're ripping other people off to benefit yourself AND what you sell is a building material. Period.
broken egg

Here's something else you can't do...

Case scenario: You have a materials creator with the standard Terms of Service: I made these, you can put them on your creations, you may not resell them as your own.

Clothing Creator A purchases these materials to use in their creations on SL. Later on, they establish a presence on Inworldz. Now, the TOS does not prohibit cross-grid migration, but CC A asks out of common courtesy if she can use these materials on Inworldz. Materials creator says sure, just stick to the original TOS.

CC A goes about happily creating things, including items she offers for free, with permissions set to copy only (meaning there is no possible way that the material creator's items could be had for free). Material creator decides to create a presence in Inworldz, and finds out about the free items, and throws a hissy fit.

"You're violating my TOS!!!!"

Um, no. CC A did not violate your TOS - the TOS she bought the materials under is the same TOS you have in force today. It still does not restrict cross-grid migration, plus you gave CC A logged permission to use these items in their Inworldz creations.

You don't have a case and if you keep bugging Content Creator A, you could be held for harassment.

If you want further restrictions on how your items are used, then write a new TOS, and apply it to all purchases from that point, forward. You are not entitled to just "say" something is different.