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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/ordinal/ordinalmalaprop.com/engine/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/ordinal/ordinalmalaprop.com/engine/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
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Inaction, deletion

With reference to my previous entry: an instance of a situation which has caused a significant person within SL to stop producing products has come to my attention.

Sculptypaint was a lovely little application written in the Java language, which enabled the production of all sorts of sculpted primitives. I have been known to refer to it as the "avimator of sculpts", in that it allows those without the funds to purchase specialist software, and without the time to learn how to use it, the opportunity to access important features of Second Life.

Sculptypaint has now been discontinued by its author, with the following explanation:

I decided to take down Sculptypaint site for the next few days. Why? Well there are a number of reasons. I love to create, and write creation tools, that I offer free to download as well. Love the positive response of the majority of people, but the same time. - People threatning me in real life, that I filed a DMCA complain against. - I got serious hate mail, about my software thats free to download for everyone. - The way Linden act on DMCA and copyright infrigment. Like one person modified my artwork, removed my name and copyright, and have been selling my items for 6 months now.. Using an army of bots to get #1 in the search. I file a DMCA, wait 2 months, Linden removes the vendor boxes. And the next week the person is selling the same stuff again. I filed already 3 times in a row a DMCA takedown to this person, and still this person with 'Payment info on file' is running around in SL. Also selling other artist work. Another person has a huge record on selling stolen goods in sl, created by me and other artist. Selling stolen items for the last 12 months now, all the DMCA takedowns he received he calls just a joke. and continues this 'bussiness'. The person got 'payment info on file' and his own sim. - Yesterday I learned about the 'mental mentors' group in Second Life. This group is for mentors in Second Life, who's goal is to help Newbie`s, educate teach, lead, guide and so on. Great.. This group is rather big, about 800+ people/mentors. I found out several of my sculptpacks I sell are offered as freebee`s by the leader(s) of this group. For several months now. A 'mentor starter pack' is given out to all mentors, to help the helpless newbees in SL. I released my latest SFT-pack around 14 februari 2008. Only a few days later, this pack I created was repackaged, my copyright notices and TOS removed, (all the sculpties clearly state not for individual resell/repackage). The whole pack was distributed as a freebee pack too about 800+ mentors in SL, to use and to give away 'to help the newbees'. If this group was called 'robbers from SL' I would not care a second, but from a mentor group.. Who`s goal to educate, teach, help and lead in SL?! unbelievable. You must know, I only can continue developing Sculptypaint and other free creation tools by selling my work in SL. No income - no time - no coding - no tools - simple as that. I'm sick and tired about all this crap that sucks all the creative energy out of me, standing alone in the cold here for such a long time. So decided to put a statement here for the next few days. Hope you understand. Have a nice day! Elout de Kok - march 6, 2008 SL: Cel Edman

So - copyright breach, threats, lack of action by the Laboratory and (even worse) blatantly illegal redistribution by supposedly officially-sanctioned "mentor" groups has led to somebody of considerable imagination and skill being discouraged and deciding to give this project up, a project which was of great benefit to both the Lab and to residents. And who can blame him, to be honest?

I hope that this is temporary and that the tool re-appears - the author does say "this notice is up for the next few days", we shall see what happens after that - but it seems a prime example of how breach causes discouragement and harms us all.

Incidentally, my God, if a "mentor" group has been shown to involve the redistribution of items and the deliberate removal of copyright notices, that group should be disbanded and the responsible parties banned permanently from ever stepping foot on the Grid again. I am aware of the debased nature of the "mentor" system in this day and age but this is really an appalling illustration.

Addenda: 1. Forum thread 2. "Mental Mentors" wiki page

Edit: Since this has appeared, the "Mental Mentors" group has disappeared from within SL! rails_bailey.jpg The group leader, Rails Bailey, despite having reference to the group still in his profile, somehow does not have the group itself listed at all. I am sure that I have managed to miss an important point here and it is not at all the case that the group has been hidden due to negative publicity. I would be very pleased to hear more information on this topic.

Broad Brushes... We are not

Broad Brushes...

We are not the damn Borg. :P
......

Second Life News for March 7,

Second Life News for March 7, 2008...

From: An Engine Fit For My Proceeding Inaction, deletion Quote from the site - With reference to my previous entry: an instance of a situation which has caused a significant person within SL to stop

CodeBastardRedgrave.Com » Content theft: SculptyPaint retire's picture
07 Mar200807:44
CodeBastardRedgrave.Com » Content theft: SculptyPaint retire (not verified)

[...] EDIT: Ordinal Malaprop also blogs it.  [...]

Thaumata Strangelove's picture
07 Mar200807:47
Thaumata Strangelove (not verified)

Here is the story as I see it:

The official mentor program at LL has been vastly under-loved and lazily structured for at least the six months that I have been part of it. I was totally amazed that all I had to do to become a mentor was put my name on a list and promise that I'd been in SL more than 6 months.

There is one requirement to stay a mentor, which is that you stay in the official Mentor group. Because it's required and membership is high, chat is disallowed there. Mentors have long asked LL via that group, meetings, and the mentor mailing list to please create a forum, group or other logical space for mentors to help educate each other by asking questions and answering them in a group setting. LL dropped the ball on that one, ignoring that obvious need and frequent request so long that resident mentors took it upon themselves to start a group, called Mental Mentors. MM is NOT an official LL group. It's just the biggest alternative mentor group and as such, gets mentioned sometimes, the same way NCI is suggested for classes.

That being said, I am a long time customer of Cel's program and sculpty packages and all of his textures are CLEARLY and BRIGHTLY watermarked as copyright to him. (I think some people don't understand that you can write all over a sculpt map and not change it's shape. When I say it's watermarked, I mean that it is written in BIG RAINBOW LETTERS across the front of that texture that it's copyright Cel Edman.) You would have to be an IDIOT or a CROOK to not realize it wasn't free. The fact that there are idiot or crook mentors does not surprise me, as there is no screening process whatsoever. (I dropped out of the mentals group around christmas, when I was getting at least four group notices an hour with dumb christmas cards and other crap attached to them.)

Who knows if it will be too late to keep the program from self-destructing, but I do have to say the vteam has been making a lot of positive changes to the mentor program lately, opening a Q&A group that is Linden policed and beginning the first steps of a Mentor Exam that one would have to pass to carry that title. These things are good, but might be too little, too late.

Incidentally, there was a recent bout in the Tryst group (that's Sue Stonebender and Baron Grayson's group for updates from Relic and Serendipity) where Sue found someone stealing a piano with her textures in it... and later found out that the stolen textures were made by a mentor.

The bigger issue at hand, though, is why LL continues to be so light-handed with obvious cases of IP theft. I don't think anyone expects them to be the prosecutors in cases like this, but why are they not disbanding accounts where there is no question of where the content initiated? They generally only remove the one offending vendor and don't even block those re-uploaded texture UUIDs from the grid, which totally baffles me. It can't possibly be that hard and if people had to suddenly be surrounded with missing images, perhaps that'd send a wake up call to the community that things need to change before it turns into a spammy scam-riddled "social network" like myspace.

UGH UGH UGH UGH. This stuff makes me SO ANGRY.

csven's picture
07 Mar200808:26
csven (not verified)

I'm sorry to hear of this, but even more sorry that it doesn't surprise me.

Does anyone recall Linden Lab's "Second Life Needs Content Creators" campaign? Seems as if that one died a quiet(?) death.

Welcome to the downside of "Free".

Prokofy Neva's picture
07 Mar200808:33
Prokofy Neva (not verified)

Mentors are corrupt. We've all stated this for many years. The entire system needs to be dismantled, and newbies services administered by paid and benefitted professionals in the Lab or by outsourced for-profit or non-profit groups that are quality-controlled by the labs. Mentors is a group that is rife with opportunies for self-dealing not because there are a few bad eggs but because the very structure is corrupt. And by shutting off chatter in the group, due to a few anal-retentives, that means that the natural process of open speech and transparency that could be occuring to curb abuses doesn't occur.

I sympathise to some extent with anyone who defends their creations and copyright in SL -- but not if they do not use existing permissions to block natural theft -- and legitimate re-sell which is enabled by the tools, and which you can't really expect to curb just by screaming at everyone, threatening lawsuits and demanding service from harried Lindens.

If you don't want someone to copy your stuff, put it on no-copy. If you don't want it re-sold, put it on no transfer.

If you insist on being viewed as a Friend 2 Noobz and insist on having your material virally spread at the expense of other people's tier, then accept that some of those people will resell. Stop trying to create loss-leaders for your other more expensive products by dint of harangues and threats. This world does not sustain that method. It's high time that the freebie culture ended. It's far too excessive, and it only breeds the very climate of criminality and theft that it purports to undermine.

Ordinal Malaprop's picture
07 Mar200808:39
Ordinal Malaprop (not verified)

One _can't_ have a texture that is at all useful to the next owner and which is not full-permissions. This is nothing to do with "freebies".

Thaumata Strangelove's picture
07 Mar200808:47
Thaumata Strangelove (not verified)

@Prokofy:

You are way off the mark by implying that Cel has pushed his products as freebies at any point in time. Also, how would anyone pushing freebies affect your tier? Nobody makes you have a paid account and anyone I've ever known with a freebie shop was paying LL or someone who was paying LL to rent that space. They're not doing it on your front lawn.

Cel's products are not intended for REsale, but instead for wholesale, which is an entirely different situation. There is no LEGITIMATE reselling available by those tools, any more than my ability to rip a copy of Adobe's Photoshop implies my right to resell it to others.

I think marking your product with your copyright and including a license agreement makes it pretty clear from the get-go that one is not allowed to re-sell those packages. Obviously, some will, and nobody expects that to just stop. What we expect to stop is LL's laissez-faire attitude towards the people doing the stealing.

And you are old enough in both worlds to realize that.

Ordinal Malaprop's picture
07 Mar200809:06
Ordinal Malaprop (not verified)

Incidentally: yes, I am aware that the Lab has released, unprecedented, a web-on-a-stick product. This will not in any way serve as a distraction from actual issues, at least not on _this_ Journal.

Elsbeth Clary's picture
07 Mar200813:41
Elsbeth Clary (not verified)

Just to clear up some misconceptions about this whole debacle. The creator was approached about permission to distribute the textures to the group and apparently misunderstood. A self-appointed "policeman" that is, admittedly, in the group only to "monitor" the activities took it upon himself to make the most noise about this as he could. He approached the creator and sent an email to the SL Mentors email list rather than asking the person that sent it out about the oversight. Since then, bloggers have taken off with the story without having all the facts. Most of us that mentor do this in our free time to help new residents get adjusted to the world we call Second Life. We collect free quality items to give to these new residents to help them get started. These include clothing, avatars, skins, and textures. This all started with a simple misunderstanding that a disgruntled, self-appointed "policeman" decided to use to give a black eye to a group that he dislikes.

Digado | Mapping the Metaverse's picture
07 Mar200818:20
Digado | Mapping the Metaverse (not verified)

'Welcome to the downside of “Free”.'

It's not the free software that was the problem here cven, it was the rights management on the products that he did sell.

So I think its quite the opposite, welcome to the downside of virtual retail. Where his 'business model' based on 'free' he would not have this problem right now.

Jaymin Carthage's picture
08 Mar200801:34
Jaymin Carthage (not verified)

It's a common MMO problem, admin tasks are either underapplied or overapplied. Last night, in it's infinite wisdom, LL's new server code decided to ban me for two weeks for "Global Attacks". The sim in question was a private IBM sandbox related to an IBM event. The only code I had there already been running for two weeks. O_o If nothing else this will be a test of their appeal's process. If it's anything like Neopets, then it will be grim.
Interestingly, my previous experience lead me to submit a patent that provides a scalable, fair, easy to implement solution to this problem. Unfortunately I'll be shot by my IBM masters if I talk too much about it before it's files. :-(

Merry's picture
08 Mar200804:06
Merry (not verified)

"Mentors are corrupt" is rather a vast generalization. I'm a mentor and I certainly don't feel 'corrupt'. However, I feel there are a lot of problems with the mentor system.

Firstly, and the rest hinges on this, it's far too easy to become a mentor. There's no questioning of skill or morals or appearance...it's just a matter of patience. For instance, in the official Mentor group not a few days ago a Mentor said, "I have a newbie who put on the furry avatar. How does he change it?" Needless to say, my mind was boggled by a Mentor asking after such basic knowledge.

Secondly, in spite of the numerous (though very light-handed, in LL's rather naive, hippie way) warnings the Lindens give to Mentors about how we are NOT the grid-police...a rather large percentage of Mentors really do feel as some sort of powered up vigilante group.

In fact, the 'Mental Mentors' group stemmed from this. People would announce griefing activities or whatnot on the official group, a bunch of others would jump in to ask for teleports while another bunch would jump in to berate the first group for playing Grid-Police. Finally, a Linden would come on, to try to shut everyone up and everyone would complain that they couldn't 'chat'. Thus, Mental Mentors was formed by that sort of person...along with their 'welcome packages' and vigilante police, none of which are at all sanctioned by LL.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of Mentors, like me, who still try to honestly help people. I'm not handing out dubiously 'free' stuff...there's plenty of legitimately free stuff offered in the user Libraries and offered on the starting islands themselves. I'm not pitching my views on virtual politics nor am I using the position to sell my product or myself. I'm just answering people's questions...just like the job was explained to me.

Ordinal Malaprop's picture
09 Mar200804:22
Ordinal Malaprop (not verified)

I certainly would not say myself that mentors were necessarily corrupt - er, some of my best friends are mentors and so on - but I would stand by my statement that the system has become "debased". I certainly know people who are mentors to whom I would happily send anyone with a query, but their being Official Mentors is irrelevant to that, and I would not advise anyone to trust somebody more because they were one.

I also stand by the statement that reponsible parties should be dealt with. I have conflicting stories as to whether the group concerned regularly engages in copyright violation, I wouldn't wish to make any judgements on that basis, but it has been reported that there is a particular person responsible, who has now "apologised" with the following:

> "AS far as I am concerned, I have done nothing wrong, full perms means just that, a notecard doesnt mean jack, it is simply the creators wishes, he elects to sell full perm things. anyway."

Such a wonderful attitude! Apparently nobody wishes to _name_ this charming individual for some reason, perhaps inhibited by the "naming names" trope which I might emphasise _does not apply outside of SL itself_. If anyone cares to pass me the name I will quite happily post it myself without revealing the source (unless it is a malicious libel, in which case I _will_ reveal the source).

But I really would not wish this to become about mentors. That is really just a detail. The basic point here that I wish to make is that this is an example of lax or indeed non-existent protection of rights discouraging a producer of content from continuing with that. Sculptypaint is well known and well used and thus makes a good example here.

Shannon Carroll's picture
09 Mar200810:06
Shannon Carroll (not verified)

Ordinal: short answer - you are not a bad witch. Long answer will be in the comments on my own blog, if you happen to be interested. :)

Talia Tokugawa's picture
10 Mar200811:49
Talia Tokugawa (not verified)

I would like to reiterate what a fair few of my fellow mentors have been saying.
The mentor system has been debased by LL letting pretty much anyone in. The number of times I have not known whether to laugh or cry over some of the questions that are asked in the official mentor channel. (I have never joined mental mentors for the same reasons merry stated.)

I am a collector of freebies for giving to newbies and I quite often clear my clothes folders of older no copy items I don't wear so much to give them too. I wouldn't give them items that are resell. I use a lot of resell items in various things I make and they are a complete godsend in most cases. (coincidently I just bought Cel's entire range of sculpties). People copying stuff like that just makes people less inclined to make stuff with those rights in the future, which I would hate to see.

In terms of content creation.. I am predominately a scripter, so my content is better protected than most, I make freebie scripts for people and have a series of "viral scripts" I hand out.. but when a fellow mentor and very close personal friend had her textures stolen I went on the war path on her behalf. She was on the verge of quiting SL due to it, (incidentally the texture stolen was one custom made for me, only she had a copy and it was the texture exploit that enabled the theft). Theft in SL hurts everyone except those making a quick buck from it. Just in my case alone... had my friend quit... SL would not be SL and I would have probably followed her.

Okies rant mode off.. content theft and the dilution of the mentors are both sore points for me...

t

Robert's picture
13 Mar200800:19
Robert (not verified)

Mental Mentors has no disppeared no will it. You spin this crap any way you want. You are full of hot air and if you want to talk about what is terrible talk about the slanting of your reporting and other reporting in SL.
Your brought nothing unbiased. You bring your stories full of untruths and hot air. No one gives a crap what you haev to say your just another avatar in the big grid. No one is going anywhere, life goes on. STFU. Get a life, one of your own.

Talia Tokugawa's picture
13 Mar200813:38
Talia Tokugawa (not verified)

"Robert" you want to leave your full Second Life name and give your "hot air" some kind of meaning.
If you are indeed a mentor your exhibiting the traits of what is wrong with the mentor program. You really think your statements are representing Linden Labs as they would want an officially sanctioned group member acting?
A little further background of my experience with the mentors.. I was live help before I was a mentor, when they closed live help I transfered over to mentors. Back then the group was pretty tiny in comparison to what it is now. Being a mentor meant something. Being accepted for a mentor wasn't adding your name to a list and promising that you had been around for 6 months and then you are in. There was a waiting list..or some kinda selection process. You applied, and were lucky if you got in 6 months later.
Hmmm maybe I am just taking the bait here.. but I love playing devils advocate.. always need to hear both sides of the story... and would love for you ("Robert") to actually back anything you've said up with some additional information.
If you are worried at all, IM me inworld.. (my sl name is Talia Tokugawa).. and I will relay anything you say to here (with your permission) keeping your sl name confidential. Wouldn't want to be breaking the Tos being the responsible mentor that I am. *winks*
t

Cory Bjornson [TG] 's picture
26 Mar200807:25
Cory Bjornson [TG] (not verified)

1) @ Robert:Go Awai.
2) Someone needs to make a Telegraph
3) SculptyPaint is back?

Jinxed Destiny's picture
27 Mar200800:08
Jinxed Destiny (not verified)

I read this furthermore to this case: a new case of IP theft concerning the Mental Mentors group that may be of interest to people:

http://praddles.wordpress.com/2008/03/26/15/

Dion Jonesford's picture
22 Aug200820:03
Dion Jonesford (not verified)

i believe i know of the texture ripping program. i have heard of a friend using "GL-Intercept" to copy a texture off part of an avatar to create a matching piece. if i understand it correctly, it intercepts (go figure) the data on all the textures on their way to being rendered, and dumps them in a folder. However, it's inadvisable for those with less capable computers, as it takes a beastly amount of processing power, ram, and HDD write speed to suddenly start recording every single image in the environment.

Sure there could potentially be legitimate uses for such a device, like the peer to peer torrent client, but that's a wholly separate issue.

incidentally, there is a somewhat less... clean way to copy textures from screenshots if you have modify permissions on the prim with the texture, but i won't go into that.