Attention, sellers, creatives, & entrepreneurs


#1

I’m interested in hearing your opinion.

Would you still sell your products in a particular store, if you learned that the store’s manager was giving away other people’s products illegally & without consent?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Personally, I wouldn’t. How can I possibly entrust a store with my work if the person running it and approving all the products is a thief. They might rip my work and run off with it too. I would lose all confidence in that store and go elsewhere.

Now here are some relevant screenshots to get discussion going.


This is High Fidelity’s official Body Mart domain, in the Back Room, January 16, 2018. All of these avatars were taken from Models Resource, a community that rips models from videogames.


The same person who put those models in Body Mart still runs this domain (Avatardz). They may have used their power in the company to get a free placename for the domain, which if true, would constitute a use of company resources to distribute ripped content. Just as with the screenshot above, these models are from Models Resource, a website which hosts content exclusively ripped from videogames, with only minor exceptions.

What are your thoughts?
Stay classy, High Fidelity. :heart:


#2

Remember that at one point this company was going to charge us $10 to verify if items were stolen. While at the same time, someone at the company in a position of power (enough to modify Body Mart) was distributing and CONTINUES to distribute stolen models.

At some point they are inevitably bringing that PoP fee back. They said so themselves.

Would you pay $5-10 for someone who steals content to tell you your item is not stolen? :rofl: This is a giant farce being played here, everyone knows it, but no one says anything, because no one wants to do the right thing. It’s embarrassing.


#3

You had Pikachu in your Nintendo themed domain last time I looked.


#4

I did, but it was not ripped. I modeled it myself. Same goes for everything else in my domain. And was hosted on my ATP, so you couldn’t take it with you anyway. It’s low poly & textured it in an 8-bit GameBoy style, try and find an official Pokemon game that had that exact model & texture. You can’t.

But yes, do try and distract away from the main issue here with more whataboutism. Not unexpected at all.


#5

I belive as they arent being sold it is classed as fair use.Im not a lawyer and only skimmed the definition of fair use but it seems to be intent based.If you sell copies of the game complete that isnt fair use, but elements of a game possibly fall under the same area that posting screen shots of a game do.
How does the website you mentioned remain in buisness?

https://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1801&context=facpubs


#6

So I can take any of your Marketplace items, Judas, and redistribute them all on my domain -

and as long as I don’t put a price tag, it’s okay? I don’t buy it.

The issue at hand is that a High Fidelity employee is the one doing the distribution, possibly with resources from the company. If this was just a random user unrelated to HiFi, you wouldn’t hear a peep out of me (it’s not HiFi Inc’s responsibility to meddle in what third parties do on their own domains).

I worry for the future reputation of the platform among creators. Just like in Opensim, if HiFi becomes known as a company that distributes ripped content, no serious creator will sell here. The marketplace is as good as dead.


#7

This would be breeching hifis t&c and as legitamatly hosted mp items have the crypto thing they could be idenified as such
The responsibly and risk of hosting content falls at the feet of the person doing the hosting like any website.
I cant think of any virtual worlds that allow users to upload content that dont contain stolen ip, can you?


#8

This thread sounds like some i did readed about in secondlife. In this case i say lot’s of noise. But no proof it’s stolen.

  1. Like @judas say there’s fair use. I don’t know the rules.
  2. But there’s also no proof it’s stolen, mabye there a license to use them in high fidelity. Nobody knows.

And, am happy for now to use one, the look better them my old mixamo avatar.


#9

I very much doubt this would, in the general case, qualify as ‘fair use’ if they are ripped even if not charged for! Not-for-profit isn’t automatically fair use in any reasonable definition, otherwise torrenting music and movies would be perfectly legal.

Fair use is very twisty, and there would certainly be specific cases where it might apply to using these characters (use in the production of satire being an obvious one). But those uses would be extremely specific and far too limited to justify general distribution.

But as pointed out, we don’t know - from information available so far - if they are or are not licensed here, either explicitly for use in HF, or in the general IP permissions granted by their owners at-source, who might - for all I know - explicitly grant non-commercial use for personal avatars* without specifying any limits on distribution for this use. (Note: I find this last doubtful to be the case consistently across such a wide range of IP from multiple sources - some of which are known to be quite tenacious about protecting their IP!)

_* More likely with the intent of people using images of the characters in message-board icons, but if their lawyers forgot to specify, that is on them!


#10

Not sure we should rip our shirt about those avatars if nobody is making directly business from them. (That said, is Hifi is do business indirectly? That is another question.)

But frankly their presence in world are just reflecting of a big lack of imagination.
If this is the people thing to have an avatar that doesn’t let our soul emit across it, good for them.
Personally, I have no desire to be a commercial meaningless character.
I guess it must be fun 5 minutes, but after the 100th Bart Simpson running around, I think we can be qualify of something very close of an amoeba.

This is also a symptom of the absence of an easy avatar creation flow and the soft attachments market that is supposed to come with it.


#11

some years ago, I felt upset when I read here ‘your avatar is your business’. Okay, maybe I read it with my ‘German inner voice’ and such a statement sounds arrogant then. All in all, I see it same way like you @Alezia.Kurdis .


#12

You say it well… I felt it that too… but from my “canadian french” inner voice :wink:


#13

Dear Pete,

You should know that neither that domain nor the assets are hosted by or paid for by High Fidelity. My understanding is that the operator was well-intentioned in providing people fun avatars to play with and enjoy themselves, and not to actually deprive any content creator of money or value.

If you happen to see content on the high-fidelity marketplace which is unauthorized or stolen, you should let us know and we will act accordingly. If you were the creator of marketplace content and find your work distributed elsewhere without your authorization, you should also let us know and we’ll do our best to help you get it sorted out.

We are committed to protecting your content and you can hold us accountable for that.


#14

I can literally link you the EXACT pages on Models Resource where those models were taken from. Every single one of them. I don’t want to link to stolen models though, so I’ll post a shot instead (you can PM me if you want the actual link.)

Here’s that Demon Homer Simpson, for example.

I can’t believe people are actually using the “they might have the license” excuse. You guys will really go to enormous lengths to defend such an obvious, blatant ethics issue. Do you also think all the ripped models on VRChat are legitimate? Oh come on.

If your platform is having so much trouble attracting creators that you’re resorting to steal content, maybe there’s something wrong with your platform. Maybe, just maybe, creators find it too hard to use, and addressing that would be key, instead of poisoning the platform forever and destroying any viable commerce in the future.

@Caitlyn - I’m sure the employee behind it has nothing but good intentions. But they are going about it the worst possible way. This is a cancer that is going to destroy the platform. The employee in question should not be allowed anywhere near the Marketplace, they don’t have the required integrity to be in charge of deciding what content is genuine or stolen.

No, it literally takes seconds to copy the FBX URL, download it, then reupload it as a new item that doesn’t have the certificate on it anymore. I know because other HiFi users have already done it to me. The certificate system might as well not even be there, it doesn’t prevent any theft at all.

Judas, I’ve heard you speak strongly in favor of content protection in-world. I KNOW you would not be okay with someone taking your work and redistributing it for free. So why are you okay with this being done to others?


#15

Explain to me why you re-creating Pikachu is acceptable and your not guilty of exactly the same thing your going on about


#16

I made it myself. It’s fanart. Fanart is generally regarded as fair use.

Fanart is great. There’s a Spirited Away domain in HiFi for example that was made by a High Fidelity employee, but that guy actually made it himself. I think that’s awesome and totally support that. (Spirited Away is an anime and there was never a videogame made for it, so there was no possibility to rip models for it.)

Taking a model from a website that was ripped from a videogame’s files is not fair use. It’s NOT fanart. It’s not creative in any way. You are conflating ripped content with fanart, and that’s completely absurd.


#17

You cant argue it both ways man


#18

I mentioned that here in the forum some weeks ago, guess Philip said, that will be hidden in future. Okay, but it seems, it has no high priority. For me a reason not to upload anything new to the marketplace until this is fixed. And you are right @Theanine.


#19

Please stop trying to derail the thread with this whataboutism.

Not only was everything in my domain created for scratch, nothing within it was for sale either. I didn’t even advertise my store products in it. If you honestly think downloading a model from a website is equivalent to creating one from scratch, I don’t know what to tell you.

I’m not a High Fidelity employee, I’m not the one trying to create a platform and attract creators who want to make money. I’m not the one planning to charge people $10 to “protect” content while at the same time distributing stolen content on the side. There is an ethics issue here you’re ignoring and trying to distract away from.

10 years from now people are going to look back on this thread as a wall of shame. The people who sided with the thievery are going to look mighty awful.


#20

More examples, so you can just quit with this ridiculous “they aren’t actually stolen” excuse right now. Anyone actually claiming that is being intellectually dishonest.