So a couple of days ago I plurked a picture of a vendor I found at an upcomming gacha carnival. I was supposed to be taking part in this carnival and had gone to set up my items. After setting up and making my little booth all pretty I checked out the others already set up and came across very blatant google images slapped onto a shirt. Now I know some images found lurking around google are also from stock image sites so before I made any accusations or complaints I did my research. I have purchased extended licenses at many of these sites so that I can sources images from time to time to use in my products so I started looking and when all else failed I just typed a general description of the picture into google and bam there they are.
The items in question
After doing my research I sent the organiser of the event a notecard letting her know about the copyrighted items on display. I sent her some links to the items in google and one from a blog owner who had put one of the images together. I also advised her that I had pulled down my items until it was resolved as I didn’t want to be associated with an event that had such items in it. Just to be polite I also added that I understood you can’t be online 24 / 7 to watch what people put in their booths so it was possible she just hadn’t seen it yet so I was just bringing it to her attention.
I received a response back some hours later –
Hi Arora! I received your notecard. My partner will be sending out about our statement concerning Bubblegum Alley copyright infringement policy sometime later today. In the meantime, I would be happy to forward your card to the owner of FourSquare so that she may address your concerns directly. If you have any questions, once our policy is written and sent out, please feel free to contact myself or my partner. Thank you so much!
Can I first just say that the use of ! all the time really annoys me. Totally off topic but just had to point that out. So from this response I got the impression that she really didn’t two hoots about it at all. I told her that I really didn’t think she needed to pass on my NC to her, but perhaps just broach the subject with her herself since she was the organiser of the event and she was in charge of making sure her merchants were doing the right thing. Her reply to that was that she encourages designers to go directly to the other designer in question as she is merely renting a space.
So as long as you get paid for the space rental you don’t care what happens?…..that was my impression. None the less I left it alone and didn’t see the point in arguing with her and waiting for the “copyright infringement policy” that was being written up. A day and a half later the following policy was not only notecarded but also put on their website (note I have no qualms in linking their site which will cause a ping back. I do not care if they know I am writing this post, in fact I encourage them to comment if they do read it and clarify their actions because I will gladly apologise if I have this all wrong).
Bubblegum Alley is a bi-monthly event market, which provides space to registered vendors to display exclusive items.
The Bubblegum Alley Event is owned and coordinated by Cortez Brandriss, and is held on the Sky High SIM within Second Life.
All vendors of Bubblegum Alley must agree to the following rental agreement to participate.
1) All vendors must register via the website for each round they wish to participate in. Registrations are on a first come, first served basis and will cap at 16 vendors for each round.
- Registrations for each round will open on the website on the 2nd and 12th of each month.
2) There is a 150L nonrefundable fee to participate in each round.
3) Vendors agree to all set-up and tear down deadlines for each round.
- New Rounds begin every two weeks and last for 12 days, starting on the 14th and 30th of each month.
- All items must be set up by 5PM SLT the day before the round starts. Items not set up by 8PM SLT the night before will be removed from the round.
4) Vendors agree to provide at least ONE new item for each round that will be sold exclusively at their Bubblegum Alley location.
5) Vendors agree to display only “Family Friendly” or General-Rated items at their stalls.
6) Vendors accept all responsibility for and absolve the Bubblegum Alley Event and it’s coordinators for any liability or expense arising out of the use of any composition, work or material covered by copyright. Any issues brought to the attention of the Bubblegum Alley Coordinators regarding copyright will be re-directed to the Vendor in question.
7) No collection or donation, whether for charity or otherwise, will be allowed without the prior approval of a Bubblegum Alley Coordinator.
8) Vendors may not re-lease or share their market area with any unregistered vendor without the prior approval of a Bubblegum Alley Coordinator.
By registering and participating in any Bubblegum Alley Event, the Vendor agrees to the terms listed above. If these terms are not met, the Bubblegum Alley Coordinators may return Vendor items without notice.
Any questions on the above should be directed to Cortez Brandriss. Thank you for being part of our event!
Can I bring your attention to point number 6. This is apparently the copyright infringement policy which has 7 points on how to pay, register and set up and one point about copyright. Even then that point is simply stating that they want no part in any lawsuit. There’s no mention about not using copyrighted items, no comment about items will be removed if found. Simply….if someone sues you – you won’t drag us into it. Oh and if anyone complains they don’t want to deal with it they will forward the complaint on.
I have organised events in SL for many years and every time I make sure people are aware that the SL TOS on IP Theft / Copyright Infringement MUST be adhered to. I check booths after stores have set up and if I find items that are dubious I question it immediately and deal with it. If someone comes to me with a concern, I go and deal with it immediately. You as the event organiser are supposed to police your own event, not leave it up to other merchants to do your job for you.
It’s been a couple of days now since I spotted the items and sent the notecard to Cortez regarding them and just before logging off tonight and writing this post I went to the event to check and they are STILL there. I may not be the event organiser but I still did my part and AR’d the items in question and removed my logo from the event and withdrew. I will not support an event that basically supports Copyright Infringement. And just to clarify – that is basically what this event is doing. While they may not have outwardly said they support it, they have done nothing to remove the items nor deal with it, and their own policy simply removes them from liability.
So in saying all of that – the items I had prepared for the event are now out in my store. I wasn’t going to waste all that time and effort I put into making exclusive items for an event and just leave them sit in my inventory. You can see the images of the items below followed by a LM.