Big was my surprise, when I received this Facebook message: “Hi, I had many options in ways to contact you and figured this would be a good one. I have seen a free eye texture ( green with a heart for the pupil) that you are giving away free on Flickr. I am letting you know that I found several different people profiting off it and thought I should tell you.”
Identifying the infringement
My stuff’s good ’nuff to steal/copyright infringe?! It actually sells? Neat! Err.. oh, wait. As I clearly wrote on the HeartEye Texture, that it is available under a “Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derives license”. Which means they can’t profit of the use of my textures. And they should have credited me. If they can’t play by the rules, they should play at all. Right? See:
What shall I do?
So now, what should I do? Probably file a DMCA takedown notice to IMVU - it can be filed by e-mail to DMCA@imvu.com and they even supply an example letter, but how does IMVU punish avatars for copyright infringement? -, but I’m a nice lady, so I’ll get myself an IMVU account, try to find out how to notify these avatars and tell them I won’t file this complaint, if they, before Monday February 16th 2008:
Set the eyes for sale for 0 credits. For FREE that is. Apparently, this is impossible, see comments. Nvm these requests then, just remove the eyes.
- On the sales page write “Eye Texture created by Vint Falken, available under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-derives license”.
- Make the above text a link to this blogpost.
- Optional: add an excuse.
- Leave a comment here that they’ve rectified things.
I do realise that the chance they will comply is minor, but well, let’s give them a chance? The following so-called IMVU designers are infringing on my copyright, a list of “shame on you!!!!”:
LizzieBorden - Products by Lizzie Borden
Avatar Lizzie Borden has the guts to even write down that she created these “!ML My Heart-Envy” eyes: “I made these eyes for myself, I love anything heart shaped, as me & my hubby got married on Valentines Day, so needless to say I’m a bit partial to hearts, lol! ;o) Anyway, I thought you would enjoy them as well, they’re very sparkly & shiny just like real eyes are, & with their heart pupils they’re just too cute not to own at least one color, hehehe! Try them on, there’s 8 colors in total available in my catalog, as well as many wonderful nightmares”. I think a “welgemeende fuck you!” is appropriate here. Miss Borden has my eyes available in many different colours. (Link)
status: LizzieBorden did not respond to my message, but did take down the eyes.
Quofan alls himself a designer of “rooms, furniture, stickers, stamps and more”. Has no time left to IM customers. Hmmm. Strange, it’s not like you need to put much effort into your designs if you steal other person’s textures, right? (link)
status: Quofan took down the product, but did not respond to any messages.
mystryssjoi - Mystryss Joi
Mystryss Joi claims to sell “sexy” stuff and renamed my eyes to “MJs Envy Heart Eyes”. Envy might be an appropriate description if you can’t make something of your own, yes. (link)
Status: Mystryssjoi took down the Heart Eyes and apologized. Very reasonable, would not mind dealing with her again, under other circumstances, of course! ;)
HILDOR - Hildor Productions - -H-
Dear Hildor, kuddo’s on the sales texture, it’s the best one of the bunch. But err.. please sell something that’s actually yours to sell! (link)
DiamondSakura3286 - IMVUsale.com
Really. Not even the name of the eyes is original with Diamond Sakura: “Green Heart eyes”. (link)
status: Took down the eyes, but relectantly. To good not to share:
“How was I supposed to know”? Maybe because it was WRITTEN IN PIXEL UPON THE TEXTURE?! This could have been a mild clue.
“Anyone with photoshop can make this texture.” Yep. I would thus suggest you make your own textures next time. :D
“And for future reference, before you humiliate people like this, the way that you did on your site, how about you kindly approach the person first, if you think Your texture has been “stolen” and they refuse to comply, then go on and do as you very well please”. Of course, hun. I do assume that you, for future reference, will check if a texture is in the public domain and not under license before using it?
“Had you approached me directly, this could have been done faster, and more sufficiently, but thanks for humiliating me, I greatly appreciated it.” I tried. Sadly enough, private messages on avatar profiles don’t work well on IMVU for ‘guest_’s it seems. How many attempts & time spend on contacting someone that should not have used that texture in the first place do you expect from me?
LEBANESEDIAMOND - Products by Lebanese Diamond
“Be Romantic, Be Special, Be Unique” is what Lebanese Diamond writes. Errr… what about “don’t be a thief”?!! (link)
Status: Lebanese Diamond apologized & took the eyes out of the catalogue. Thank you.
update: Trying to reach those IMVU avatar is harder than I thought, because most of them have comments from guest on their home pages turned off and I’ve found no other way to reach them yet. I did put up a message on the IMVU creators forum.
update: DiamondSakura3286 and mystryssjoi responded and took the infringing eyes down. Mystryssjoi politely, but DiamondSakura3286 clearly doesn’t realise yet this was a deserved “public scolding”.
update: Apparently, the above selection of content creators was not all. Also:
- SamanthaRavena - Samantha Ravena offers my heart eye texture in at least 4 different colours. (link link) Status: SamanthaRavena answered my private message on the content creator forums, and shall take down the eyes. She also promised me to look into where she got the texture, as she doesn’t remember it having the license on it. (And I’m 100% sure that text was engraved in pixel on that texture starting day I created it.) Apologies were added to the IM. Thank you for the quick reply.
- AbusedBarbie - “Pink eyes whit heart in senter , if u want own colour made holla me”. *sighs* (link)
- JanianaPaladin - Calls them “Akemiana’s Eyes” and puts “Akemia” on the texture. Errr? (link) Janiana also offers them for 3000 credits in blue. (link) and another cheaper version in green (link)
- Mineolea - “Love Eyes”. Ah well, not yours to sell, though. (link) (status: Mineolea answered my message and took down the eyes. If you Google Image search, it says “Image may be subject to copyright.” What do you think that means? ;))
- Saw_disabled_29924354 - Ocean Eyes? Nope! (link) (Where does the “disabled” stand for?)
- napalmpyro_disabled_15558889 - Love-ly Eyes (link)
- ZorkhtTheMetalHero - Has a “don’t hate me for having everything you want” badge on his avatar homepage. Errr, nope, don’t worry, only for selling things you shouldn’t have! (link)
- Arlizzz - Emerald heart eyes (also part of IMVUsale.com) (link)