Respecting Intellectual Property

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Ilan Tochner
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Respecting Intellectual Property

Post by Ilan Tochner »

Kitely is very respective of the rights of Intellectual Property owners and we require that you be as well.

This means not uploading, using or selling content which you know hasn't been legally licensed for that purpose. There is no lack of unlicensed content on the internet. Some of it has been copied ("copybotted") from other grids, while other content has been copied from games and various online services.

Please remember that just because someone is willing to share something with you for free doesn't mean that they have obtained the right to do so from the people who actually created that content. Similarly, if you see content that includes well known trademarks then it is very likely that the people who created that content haven't obtained the rights to display or distribute it (even if they do so for free).

To avoid problems, we recommend that you either create your own content, buy it from Kitely Market, or acquire it from other online or inworld locations that have policies for promptly removing unlicensed content that is reported to them. No matter where you get it, make sure that it has a license attached to it that permits you to do what you intend to do with that content. That license may come in the form of an implicit license, such as the one that is defined in our TOS for Kitely Market products that don't include an explicit license. If you wish to ascertain the legality of content that you get elsewhere then look for an explicit license such as a Creative Commons license or one that was defined by the content creator and attached to the item (usually as a notecard).

If you find unlicensed content in Kitely Market then please report it to us using the Report Product link that is included in that product listing. If you find unlicensed content inworld then please report it to the grid owner of the grid in which that content is hosted. If that grid is Kitely then please let us know here.

For additional information, please see: https://kitely.atlassian.net/wiki/space ... l+Property
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Re: Respecting Intellectual Property

Post by Tess Juel »

From a notecard I made long ago.

How do I know if an item is copybotted

That can be difficult sometimes. But there are a few things to look for - some are dead giveaways, other just indications.

---

Let's start with The Dead Giveaways

+ Admissions
Most copybotters are so ashamed about what they do they hide behind temporary "throw-away" account names or they trick other naive users to upload for them. But some actually openly admit that they are copybotters, either because they really believe they are doing the grids a favor or because they don't care.
Then there are some accidental slips. Like the shop owner who has a "Finish me off" section in her store. Those are items where she has both the mesh and the textures but she couldn't figure out how to make them fit. So she asks the customers to help her out. Well... yeah... Right!

+ Brand names and such
Quite often copybotted items include brand names, logos or copyright marks from the original creator. Sometimes the copybotter forgets to remove them, sometimes they are overlooked (especially if they are hidden deep inside a linkset),

If you take one of the two common big skin appliers for Athena - the one with 16 or the one with 24 skins - and look at the textures inside them, you will notice that every single texture has a logo or copyright note from some well known Second Life skin maker. These can't be easily removed and they don't show up on the actual skin but, yes all the skins in those appliers are copybotted. There is not a single legal one there.

Here's a different example. This is the listing of the legal version of the Ex Machina Soho Wall Clock:
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Ex ... ck/7536019
It has the Ex Machina logo clearly visible on the clock face and so does all the copybotted copies of it all over the hypergrid.

+ UUIDs in the name or description field.
A UUID looks something like this:
73dc4d52-fa51-489f-8f04-0d6342511f7c
32 characters (numbers 0-9 and letters a-f) and a few hyphens
Textures and animations with something like that in their name or description fields are stolen using a very specific technique - I'm not going into details of course.

+ Clues in the description fields
Some copybotters are careful to change any compromising item names but sometimes they forget to check the description field.

+ Names of child prims
Copybotters often forget to change the name of child prims in a linkset and there are often compromising evidence to be found there.

+ HUDs with the wrong pictures
A texture changer HUD with nice pictures of the different options but when you click on it, you get a different texture than the picture shows. That's a no-brainer.

+ "Trusted" Second Life brands
Now, trusted is a bit of a misnomer here because although none of the big brands in Second Life would risk selling illegal copies, some of them may well add some open source items to their product range - perfectly legal but they don't have exclusive rights to these items.
There are however some brands that simply can't do that either because their style is so distinctive or because their products are so elaborate and SL/HG specific they can't be found as open source elsewhere. A few of these brands:
+ La Galleria (Pamela Galli)
+ InVerse
+ Abiss
+ Catwa
+ Ex Machina (Hatris Panacek)
+ Apple Fall
+ Damselfly
+ Trompe Loeil
+ Gulabi (Tallux Resident)
+ Maven Homes (Cain Maven)
+ Roost
+ {what next}
+ Dust Bunny
+ 3Dreamworld Studios
+ Any Second Life account with "Linden" or "Mole" as the last name
If you see an item on the hypergrid identical to something one of those brands are selling in Second Life, you'll know for sure it's copybotted.
And if you see any of these brand names or account names on the hypergrid, you can also be sure it's copybotted. These creators are only active in Second Life. (At least they are as I write this and there's not much chance it will ever change.)

+ Incomplete or inconsistent info
A few examples:
- A piece of mesh clothing lists several mesh body brands that don't even exist outside SL.
- The "creator" doesn't even know the names of the various texture variants.
- It's a "gacha" or a "rare" item
Such things are dead giveaways.

+ Gifts from strangers
This only applies to content you have to upload yourself. Legal open source content is distributed through open and moderated websites, not by shady characters you stumble across in the back alleys of the Internet.

----

Some Very Strong Clues

+ Missing scripts
Generally only content downloaded to the viewer can be copybotted. Scripts are run by the server and never downloaded so unless you own the sim, you can't rip it. Scripts can be reproduced of course but usually copybotters only do that for scripts that are essential and simple, such as door scripts and applier scripts for fitted mesh. The Ex Machina clock mentioned above is one example where the item is scripted and works in Second Life but not on the hypergrid - a clear indication that the Second Life one is the legal one. Here is another one from the same creator:
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Ch ... ng/8308217
One of the main features of this building is a very special elevator with a very unusual and elaborate custom made script. Even an experienced scripter would have a hard time reproducing its functionality so the copybotted houses on the hypergrid all have the elevator permanently stuck at first floor.

+ Dubious creator names
Most copybotters use throw-away accounts to upload so their main username doesn't show up as the creator. This is not a sure sign though. It is theoretically possible that the two weeks old newcomer with a silly account name really is a genuine creator. More to the point, copybotters don't steal for the sake of stealing and they may well upload legal open source content with the same account they use for their loot.

+ Certain grids
There are two grids that have a well deserved reputation for being copybotter lairs and several others that should have. No names mentioned, this post is not about outing anybody, it's about giving you the information you need to judge by yourself.

+ Dodgy texturing
The "creator" has made the most wonderful mesh and then they can't get the texture to fit - how credible is that?

----

Some Clear Indications

+ Huge selection of products by the same creator
There is a limit to how much a single person can make. Some content creators are really very productive though and some have been building for years, so this is not a sure sign. Even more important, some have uploaded huge amounts of perfectly legal open source content.

+ Inconsistent style
This too is a bit tricky but can be helpful when combined with other clues. Most content creators have their own very distinctive style but some are very flexible and some creator names are actually "brand names" shared by several creators. Also again, even if the person who is listed as creator isn't, that doesn't mean there is something shady going on. There is plenty of legal open source content on the Internet and the person who uploads it will always be listed as creator whether they want to or not.

+ Multiple creators
Different copies of the same item show up with different creator names. That's a very strong hint but not clear proof in itself. There is a chance one of them is the genuine creator. It is even possible several of them are since the creator may use more than one alt.
And as always, even if an item shows up with the wrong creator name, it doesn't mean it is an illegal copy.


----

*Reason for Further Investigation

+ It's for sale in Second Life
This is not clear evidence in any way but if there is something shady going on with the item, it's usually easy to find other stronger clues too.
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Re: Respecting Intellectual Property

Post by Gusher Castaignede »

....you think Kitely items are being copybotted on hypergrids? YOU BET! Sometimes when building at merchant sandbox I see some people there with rezzed SL brand name pakages from SL...mostly avatars... most hypergrid owners won't do anything about it as they are the copybotters themselves..
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Re: Respecting Intellectual Property

Post by Christine Nyn »

Tess has been very careful here to not be specific with names of those who are (rightly) suspected of being sources of copybotted material.
Ilan, as the original poster, has made it completely clear that he doesn't want this kind of thing either going on in Kitely or being associated with Kitely.
He also makes specific reference to Kitely Marketplace, and it is an aspect of this that I wish to draw attention to.

Kitely Marketplace allows you to flag items as non-exportable, which means that the purchaser can only use them in Kitely and they cannot be transferred out of Kitely. Kitely respects this condition, it works exactly as intended and exactly as described. Any scripts, textures etc where the perms are set as no-mod, no-trans, no-copy or any combination of these stay just as the creator intended.

If the vendor finds this restrictive and wants a wider distribution of their wares, and of course a greatly increased market, they can permit Kitely to deliver any purchases to other grids in OpenSim. And this is where the waters get a little muddier, since for the items to work correctly when delivered nothing can be held back. Even the scripts which Tess noted are often missing or cobbled together in copybotted items have to be present. At that point, if you are a vendor, you have to hope the purchaser is a totally honest person who won't rip you off.

I feel sure that Kitely management will be well aware of the grids Tess has referred to and I very much doubt that they would entertain the thought of delivering to them, but once a purchase has left Kitely there is nothing I'm aware of to stop a person putting that purchase in their suitcase and hypergridding to somewhere excessively permissive where they can strip off any restrictive perms. If that should happen and "free" copies start to appear in various places Kitely is not at fault - it's a possible consequence the vendor accepted, or should have been aware they were accepting.
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Re: Respecting Intellectual Property

Post by Gusher Castaignede »

Some of you are familiar with Sansar platform...it was started by Linden pre 2016...and till this date has transfered to different owners and yet still not finished nor stable, but they do have PBR there and it's very pretty... I joined in 2016 there to alpha test and till now still in beta... copybotting there is impossible, very tight closed platform and you even cannot download your own work, only upload and delete.. however, uploading there is FFA...free for all without restrictions and the flood of copyrighted content became a thing whether personal or commercial, even SL content has been uploaded there...people started getting alarmed that a few users began policing in good faith by naming suspected users and shaming them.... due to the TOS those trying to police were banned out of privacy... they do got their DMC takedown requests but only verified owners can request it and many times users alert owners of said content just to end up being ignored, brushing it off...
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Re: Respecting Intellectual Property

Post by Tess Juel »

Gusher Castaignede wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2023 12:40 am
Some of you are familiar with Sansar platform
...
copybotting there is impossible
It's security through obscurity though. Sansar is such a small platform nobody's bothered to reverse engineer its file formats ... yet.
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Re: Respecting Intellectual Property

Post by Tess Juel »

Christine Nyn wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2023 11:12 pm
Tess has been very careful here to not be specific with names of those who are (rightly) suspected of being sources of copybotted material.
If I had mentioned names, Ilan would have deleted the post and for good reasons. We have to remember that everybody are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

I've been falsely accused of copybotting four times myself. One time it went so far that Linden Lab had to step in and settle the matter (fortunately they sided with me). Another time it was because I had used a texture that wasn't even mine, it was an old open source one that had been around in SL long before me and the accuser even joined. Fighting such accusations is not fun to put it mildly and even when you win the fight, the rumour mill never really stops.
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Re: Respecting Intellectual Property

Post by Gusher Castaignede »

Awhile back a hacker from India, maybe a former employee posted on youtube a hack on opening the encrypted downloaded content files from Sansar.... ripping code and all... so basically, those with the
know how to are doing it... no matter what platform there will always be the script kiddies doing their thing...
Tess Juel wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2023 6:56 am
Gusher Castaignede wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2023 12:40 am
Some of you are familiar with Sansar platform
...
copybotting there is impossible
It's security through obscurity though. Sansar is such a small platform nobody's bothered to reverse engineer its file formats ... yet.
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Re: Respecting Intellectual Property

Post by Snoots Dwagon »

Tess wrote a really, really good and extensive list of ways to check for copybotted items. The trick is that checking all those things every time we get a new item can be very time consuming. After all, Opensim was created to be open, and that has a downside: illegal copybotting.

Part of the issue is that there IS such a thing as "legal copybotting". Thank goodness for that because the Second Life platform has for no. reason. whatsoever. changed the perms on my own creations to nomod nocopy... and if it weren't for available tools all the work I put in creating them would have been wasted. (That slam bit has caused more headaches than users can count.)

The copybot thing is a huge debate, even among legitimate users. I have found two well-known grids with anti-copybot policy so strict it was taken to the point of harming legitimate creations and "witch hunting". As a result I don't often visit those grids; they make me nervous.

I try to avoid copybotted items to the best of my ability, but as Tess pointed out that can be very difficult to do sometimes. So I developed a personal policy which has served me fairly well: when I receive a gift from someone... I check it for obvious clues (as Tess pointed out): known copybotter name, questionable details, an obviously intended-to-be-scripted item that's not scripted, etc. But beyond that if I have any question at all, I simply rename the item with a tag: "Do not give away". That way if it does happen to be copybotted... that ends with my copy.

Of course, that doesn't mean it's not going to be distributed all over the hypergrid anyway. Facing reality, no one individual is going to stop copybotting. That's where the DMCA comes in... and that is the final authority (besides the grid owners, of course). And even the DMCA isn't an all-encompassing solution, obviously.

The reality is there are thousands of grids, mini-grids and micro-grids that comprise Opensim, and no matter how much people gripe and complain and witch-hunt, unless Opensim itself installs some sort of super-security, stopping copybotting is a pipe dream. It's still going to happen. One can go to just about ANY Opensim grid and locate copybotted items. There's just no way to stop it. We can perform personal due-diligence, but even with that effort most people are still going to wind up with items in their inventory that are copybotted.

But let's not point the finger at Opensim. I can go to Second Life Marketplace any hour of any day and find copybotted items being sold, freebie items being sold, and people selling items they did not create and they do not have permission from the creator to sell that item. On the other end of the spectrum, I have seen creators claim that their item is copyrighted and even harass users for having a copy... only to find out that item came from an Internet website as a free download (or was intentionally and directly stolen from the Net in the first place).

The bottom line is that there is a difference between a Utopian Ideal... and reality. As the old saying goes: "Locks are for honest people. They won't keep out the criminals." That's copybotting all over. The best a grid owner can do is make an announcement like Ilan has... and do his best to enforce it. A grid can also ask its members to try to cooperate with those policies, which is a sensible action. Beyond that Ilan has the most reasonable anti-copybot policies I have found: if he knows something is absolutely copybotted he will contact the owner and discuss it. And if someone files a DMCA (which is the legal way to handle things), Ilan honors that document. I believe that to be an intelligent way to run a grid.

(Note: Ilan may have some other things in place I'm not aware of. I do know I've never had a problem with copybotting on Kitely, because I do try to avoid such things. I can't say the same for other major grids.)

P.S. Just as three examples of copybot policies and three other grids:

* One grid disables scripts in any object that leaves their borders and travels the hypergrid. That includes scripts in totally legitimate, purchased, legal objects... which causes problems for legitimate users rather than solving the problem. Leave the grid: your AO no longer works. Woohoo!

* One grid will disable an item if the grid owner even thinks an item might be copybotted... whether it is or not.

* One grid got tired of the hassle and drama, and decided to ignore the entire copybot issue and leave it to creators defend their own creations using a DMCA. They're not exactly "pro-copybot"... but they just don't waste their valuable time messing with this unsolvable issue.

It's a can-o-worms for sure, with the reality that it's been going on for 20 years now... even on Second Life. Big-time. If they can't / won't stop it on SL, and it even affects SLM, one has to take a seriously realistic look and understand that some problems simply can't be solved. We can surely try to make things better... and I believe on Kitely they are. But I've been on virtual worlds since 2,000 (pre-Second Life)... and if anything I've seen copybot issues increase, not decrease. That's simple reality. And like others, I have no more than personal opinions in how to solve the problem, no actual solution.
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Re: Respecting Intellectual Property

Post by Snoots Dwagon »

Follow-up: As a creator, I solved the copybotting problem the smart way (and this doesn't work for everyone): ALL of my creations rely on scripts to function. So someone might copybot an avatar or a blaster... but all of the animations, gestures and functions won't work. They might copybot a vehicle, but it's not going to run. And even if they drop in another vehicle script... it won't operate like the original with all the bells and whistles. Big woop.

And of course if I find someone has copybotted an item, I go straight to the grid owner. I don't mess around. Because that's really the ruling of the United States Copyright office: in the end it falls to the copyright owner to do his/her best to protect their copyright. But I do try to make copybotting my items as non-worthwhile as possible. :mrgreen:

One other thing that I do is change my viewpoint. K$ really don't do me much good. I can't sell them and I can't use them to pay for land... and there's not really much on Kitely Market I personally need to buy that I don't already have enough K$ to purchase; I have all I need already and K$ to spare. So if I happen to see a hoard of Dwagons running around and taking over the hypergrid..... MWAHAHAHAHhahahahahahaha <--- ebil laugh
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