Copyright protection begins automatically from the moment a work is created in fixed or tangible form. Copyright immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work.
Copyright law allows that you own the copyright in your work at the moment you create it in a “fixed” form of “expression.”
The author has the exclusive right to reproduce or sell the work, distribute copies, display the work publicly, perform the work publicly or prepare derivative works.
Copyright infringement happens whenever someone makes copies or exploits a work commercially without the copyright owner's permission.
Infringement is unauthorized use of a substantial portion of a copyright-protected work. It is the opposite of seeking and receiving permission, using correct notice of ownership, and contracting for payment of a royalty or fee. Copyright infringement must be intentional—the infringer must knowingly copy the work without obtaining authorization. (That's simple, we know if we asked, or didn't)
To be infringing, the second artist's works need not be identical. The standard for infringement is whether the second work is “substantially similar” to the original work. (Contrary to popular belief, there is no “20 percent rule,” i.e., you cannot escape infringement by changing something by 20 percent. Infringement is not a mathematical calculation.)
Many designers are surprised to learn that infringement occurs even when you merely copy someone's work for intermediate purposes, as in the following examples:
... An image is digitally copied (e.g., scanned or downloaded) in order to manipulate it with a program like Photoshop. The mere act of making the precursor digital copy counts as a separate act of infringement, regardless of whether the final manipulated image is substantially similar.
Any person or entity involved in the unauthorized use of a copyrighted work, from the initial copying through publication and distribution, is liable for infringement.
The fine print shows that the site and its contributors may not own copyright and the site has not ventured to discover if another party owns copyright. They simply accept contributions from members and via memberships, paid and unpaid, distribute via downloads.
When we agree to be THERE.com developers, we agree to uphold the copyright and trademark laws and Intellectual Property laws.
Every time that we submit an item for THERE.com we agree to this.
If you didn't make it, get permission to use it in the manner in which it will be used in THERE.com.
It is up to US to make sure that WE have proper permissions.
Is the Review process broken?
Like everything else, it has flaws.
All too often, if a reviewing developer finds a potential problem and marks it on a review, that review ends up buried under a long list of approvals, most, if not all, not even commenting on whatever potential 'proof of violation' the reviewing developer/s provide and being approved and passed into approval.
Pointing out that 'hundreds' of other sites are using the same image/s isn't an excuse and it does not mean that it is OK for us to use without getting permission.
I'd like to see:
All reviews with rejections be flagged in some way, preventing auto-approval by the developer.
This could alert THERE staff to repeat offenders or problematic reviewers.
This would leave time for developers to check on those reviews which they may have rejected and allow opportunity to amend their review appropriately. On the other hand, it also allows time for a reviewing developer to go back to a review they have approved and in finding possible proof of violation, amend their review appropriately.
This kind of change could serve all developers, helping us learn to discern between 'who cares' issues and 'downright violations'.
As a developer who has had members take my textures from the THERE folders and resubmit them as not just one submission but as a group of several different color variations from one of those developers, I care.
This person had submitted these files into VMTV as well, and was banned for submitting other developer's stolen textures in VMTV and/or THERE, has returned to THERE and is currently an active developer. This was one of the developers that I had reported for direct texture theft from the THERE folders and was never properly addressed for stealing my complete textures. I've found several of those 16 reported violations recirculating in THERE. "The GREENIE issue, as dubbed by the former MAB and Developer Group", referring to my multiple reports of those 16 found violations that were never addressed according to the current TOS, Developer Agreement, etc., by the then, developer staff. The reason given to me, '...the current theft policy is too lenient and the theft would be addressed in the future, IF and When the policy changed.'
I wasn't flattered.
I spent many hours developing my own skin bases and texturing them into submissions. There were several free bases available for that developer to use. There were numerous free designing classes available for that developer to access and learn to make his own designs, including some from me at the former UOT.
I spent many hours planning and giving free designing lessons at the former UOT before THERE closed in 2010.
I still give help to anyone who asks.
It will very rarely help a developer to become a designer if all they do is harvest pre-made images from the web, with or without permission. Read More...
After the Thurs. evening Word Games at Wordgrove, those of us attending ported over to the the Hot August Nights event at the Drive Inn.
It was HOPPING!!!
I can't say enough good things about my short experience there. So many people attended that it was Blockhead Central!!!
Mind you, I was thrilled to see Blockheads again. Moving around rezzed people into view and nametags were filling the top of the screen in layers!
There were several fun events going in addition to some great music and dancing by those in various 'regular outfit and dressed 50's style. The Kissing Booth had smooches flying like starlings doing their air waltzing.
The sign up board to donate and take a chance on winning a choice of prize was a fun addition and the dices were jumping like popcorn in a bonfire!
There were really cool 50's style vehicles and the whole Drive Inn atmosphere from ticket windows to snack shack.
Well done, organizers!! This event had me smiling from ear to ear and I find myself doing so now, as well. I saw nametags of members from way back and onward.
For those of you who find yourselves questioning the future of THERE, please try attending some of these events. Even if the theme isn't your suit, the people attending came from just about every avenue of THERE that we have.
Sure, maybe other places were empty, but I know where a whole bunch of people WERE!
I'll be trying to make my way to these events more often and I know where to look for people when I'm not doing my usual.