If you have been in SL for a time you know a significant number of users are big on drama. Whole roleplay communities exist for the drama in storytelling. If you know a game master, you have no doubt heard some of their amazing stories of stupidity.
Unfortunately, drama often spills over into other parts of the SL world and results in RL legal actions that affect those of us that were minding our own business.
In January I wrote about the OpenCollar Drama in OpenCollar No Longer OpenCollar? The Nirea and Athaliah side of that dama got control of the OpenCollar group. Moderators and some others there claim they are the only real OpenCollar. Collar updates are now confusing.
Now. it seems we are bumping into another such situation, but with mesh heads. Catwa has filed a DMCA Take Down Notice against GA.EG and Akeruka. I’m not clear on whether they are at DMCA with Akeruka. But, Akeruka is in conflict with Catwa. I hear Stray Dog is also dealing with a DMCA from Catwa. Note 7/9: Gac Akina the owner of Stray Dog says he isn’t dealing with a DMCA. As best I can tell the comment/email address is Gac’s.
I can’t find any place Catwa is talking about the problem, other than a brief note. I’ve been told they did and that those ‘posts’ or ‘articles’ have been taken down. Doing Google searches today I find results pointing to such articles. Clicking them gets me to a site’s No Such Page notice.
You can see GA.EG’s statement here: Facebook GA.EG.
You can see Akeruka’s statement here: Facebook Akeruka.
I haven’t found anything stated by Stray Dog. A few people have mentioned the issue with Stray Dog in the SL Forum. See above.
Catwa’s only comment I can find can be found on Flickr.
It looks to me like anyone that offers any kind of mesh head compatibility with Catwa is getting a notice. So, if someone makes their head compatible with Catwa skin, made by Catwa or others, they are getting a notice.
Is Catwa justified? Are these people infringing on Catwa’s rights? At this point we can’t KNOW. The DMCA’s will have to fight it out in RL court. In the meantime, the DMCA’s filed with Linden Lab mean that the specified content has to come off the Second Life system. Until such time as they can prove their innocence.
I’ve written about my disgust with the DMCA law and its violation of basic American principals. It is often a tool of abuse. But, it is law and the Lab has no choice about how to respond. See Second Life: DMCA Abuse – Fight Back. (2014)
The defendants are posting images of their UVMaps, the ones they are supposed to have stolen or somehow otherwise infringe on Catwa’s maps. The basic UVMap of almost all designers is based on the Linden Lab’s UVMaps. So, on the face of it, Catwa’s actions seem at best frivolous.
It is hard to figure where the Omega people fit into this fray. We know there is an initiative from Omega to get more compatibility to extend the effectiveness of Appliers. Will they get a DMCA? The way appliers work, I doubt it. They don’t use maps. They stick textures on layers.
I am not at all sure this ‘compatibility’ thing would be what Catwa wants. Manufacturers often think proprietary products patented to prevent compatible products is the way to go. That usually is bad for the customers.
The free market quickly resolves the proprietary issues. Users get ticked off when they bump into incompatibilities and proprietary limits. Android vs iOS is an excellent example. (Ref) iOS holds less than 15% of the market. Android is everywhere (86% 2016 – USA it NOT representative of the world market)
A number of SL residents are already boycotting Catwa or at least giving a boycott lip service. At this point such action is based on opinion and belief in who is telling the truth. For concerned shoppers purchasing any of the antagonists’ products is questionable. We can’t know what Linden Lab will do with all the items we have already purchased. We’ve seen them poofed from inventory in past cases. Will Catwa survive if their claims are bogus? Too many unknowns.
Catwa doesn’t really get specific about what the problem is. It is something about people using his/her work without permission. But, is that use of the name to imply compatibility? Use of a UVMap to be compatible? We can’t know. GA.EG and Akeruka are of the understanding it is the maps. But, those are obviously not copies of other maps. So…
Another fine mess…