However, I'm not dead and burried yet.
Some things I noticed have been happening to some SL® Models.
A need, a kind of crave to look unique. I've said this often before: it should be the ultimate goal for a SL® model - to have a recognizable avatar in a simple snapshot, with no name on it.
And a new generation of unique models has arisen.
Some time ago, it came to my knowledge that a blogger who isn't very active inworld modeling or someone connected to her, claimed that a very active and known SL® model 'stole' her image, meaning copied her look.
Let's go back a little in time and see what happened, regading the type of look that we are talking about.
I'm also going to post some images taken from some Flickr accounts to explain my point of view and I obviously state that the photos you are about to see aren't mine, the link to the rightful owners' Flickr accounts will be included.
I, therefore, do not own the rights to the images you're about to see, but I use portions of them, according to DCMA Fair Use (the explanatory legal aspect can be read at the end of this post).
To have a 'different' avatar in SL isn't easy or better said, a recognizable avatar, without the name tag over it's head. In photos that is even more evident and clear.
The first SL® model I remember being very different and unique was Jesika Contepomi.
In the beginning of 2010, Jesika's face was already extremely recognizable; original image can be seen in the owner's Flickr.
Jesika's Flickr photostream.
Another SL® model, emerged with a very similar facial structure as Jesika: Anna Saphire. Let's go back to 2011, this is how Anna Saphire looked like. This photo belongs to her and is used here for explanatory purposes only - original image on Anna's Flickr photostream.
In 2012, Anna Saphire won MVW with a face shape similar to Jesika's. The photo next is published in Anna's Flickr and the photographer was Daniele Eberhardt.
Anna's face remain unique, one of a kind; a work in progress since that first photo we see from 2011.
Here is a photo cropped by me, taken by Falballa Fairey, published in Anna's Flickr, this year, last May. Please, check the original photo.
All credits to the owners of these images.
Going back to the beginning of this post, I've heard that someone related to a blogger that takes photos and publishes her work on Flickr, claims that Anna Saphire 'stole' her look, or better, copied her look.
It's extremely important to see the original photos and see the dates when the images were published.
This photo you are about to see, from that blogger I mentioned above, was published in March this year. Does Anna's avatar even look remotely like this? To see the original image, please click here.
From March until July this year, as you can see, some facial aspects of this avatar were modified - original work here - and some photos of this blogger suggest that she may look like another very distinctive SL models's avatar, not Anna's , nor Jesika's.
Just by following the timeline, it's really easy to see who actually copied who.
It was brought to my attention later that the person who had accused Anna Saphire of copying this look eventually apologized.
A good thing to do, surely. But the attitude of accusing in the first place is nothing more than a call for dramatic situations. These situations should be ignored.
These accusations, the copybotting, illegal activities in SL®, all these point not only to harrassment, but also trolling. Either way, they should be ignored and all models that have worked years to come up with a different look should just ignore any type of accusations.
The reason to ignore and move on is simple: most trolls* and content thieves in SL® are after some kind of recognition and if possible, extreme attention. To stop it, every illegal copy of a shape, skin or outfit, should not be revealed and should be dealt legally. So far, LL® have failed to protect creators who pay to be in Second Life®, which means so far they have failed to protect their own customers. Nothing that a good group of lawyers can't fix. All this should be dealt in silence, in a legal manner and it has to be done in the USA.
In SL®'s fashion scene, it's important that most successful models know they will be eventually harrassed; they just need to be very aware of this: let all accusations fall into silence. No answer, no reply. If necessary, in terms of Flickr, users can report or flag content published by others that belongs to them. In SL®, however, it's not that effective. Stealing creator's authorship has been regular for years and so far LL® hasn't dealt with it in any way, shape or manner.
*Trolls : online slang to define people who - very fond of large audiences - stir up drama abusing their online anonimity. To stop them, the first step is to publicly ignore them, not making one simple comment or answering to any provocation. Trolls reveal sociapathic tendencies because they show no remorse, therefore they are imune to any common reasoning or logic argument, which means there is no point in even answering to them once. Trolls usually thrive in online forums or public chat places, or websites where people can add comments. They have adapted to SL, in this case it's called 'harrassment'; we can stop this harrassment just by ignoring any contact made by any of them, wether it's on open chat or in a private message. Next step is to mute them. Each and every one of them. They are relentless and gain energy every time they get an answer to one of their comments. The only way to stop them is to completely ignore them. Not one single word.
** The images I used here belong to their rightful owners, with links provided to the original body of work. This is not a copyright enfringementent according to DCMA Fair Use - Title 17 › Chapter 1 › § 107.