This website isn’t currently a general fashion website, but today I’m using this platform in a way I don’t normally – to draw attention to a cause. Please bear in mind that I won’t be doing this in every case of charity, anti-piracy or other cause, and please do not send notices about causes to Fashion Consolidated if you are a designer – you will only kill your own audience and it’s a strict group rule not to promote your own cause, actionable with removal. Read this article to see why.
So exceptionally today I want to draw attention to the current wave of protests going on inworld concerning one very blatant case of piracy. It’s causing reaction all over the blogosphere and several designers have already decided to withdraw their lines or close shop in protest. Details in the above links to some action being taken to aid awareness of this – if you agree with these lines of action, you may wish to join in. I don’t personally arbitrate individual tit-vs-tat piracy cases on the group for reasons explained in the FAQ but I fully support moves for a more robust fair handling by LL of blatant cases of theft.
Why does this matter to buyers? Because piracy is becoming such an important matter on Second Life that you may find your favourite designer packs up shop and leaves in frustration. It’s so terribly disheartening when your work you lovingly slaved over for weeks is shamelessly copied and sold off cheap for profit. No sales, no credit, no love. Please if you see something you know to be copied or ripped off don’t buy it. If you want to discuss doubts about any item, there are forums to do this in, and if you want, talk about it in the Fashion Consolidated Cafe group. Do not use general Fashion Consolidated group IM for this though please – it’s very strictly counter to the FAQ for good reason. And please remember if you discuss this, discuss it with a level head, open mind and no kneejerk reactions. Although this case is blatant, other have been accused of copying in the past and it hasn’t been true. Treat each issue case by case, and remember the cardinal rule of FashCon: be respectful to others.
Finally just to emphasize – I’ve used this website to highlight this cause and not a FashCon notice. It’s inappropropriate there and counter-productive, and you put your designer status in jeopardy if you do so. Please don’t hate me: you’ll actually kill more of your potential audience by doing it. Instead, use your own blogs (not got one? set one up) and the Cafe group to discuss these issues and promote more fairness to content creators.
Postscript: sachi Vixen has come up with a generous and intriguing way of addressing the problem in her latest post. I quote:
My PROMISE to you – If one of my skins is stolen and is offered for a lesser price, please do NOT buy it. Contact me and tell me where it is for sale by thieves and when I have verified that the skin is mine I will give it to you for free, you have no need to purchase from thieves, if you tell me about them, I will reward you with the item myself. This is the best way that I can think of to stop the thief in his tracks by making his product as worthless as he is trying to make mine. I will give it to you rather than let him profit from it.
I think this is a great idea, and hope some designers consider it as a way of tackling this problem.