Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

Pray for Orlando

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Anyone who reads this blog regularly (and anyone else who’s seen the right articles) know that I lived for a time in Orlando, Florida, and that my husband is a native.  They (clearly!) know by now of my love for Orlando City SC, the predecessors of which I saw playing in the same stadium the MLS team uses now, to far smaller crowds back in 1986 or 1987.  They know that I attended Rollins College in nearby Winter Park.

They don’t know of my appreciation for Orlando, if not the same love I have for my native soil of Michigan.  My husband is one reason, of course, and his family, who have lived in the area since the 1910s.  Despite the tremendous buildup and overcrowding there since I moved to Florida in 1980, there are still many areas of beauty and interest, and I don’t speak of Disney.  If I absolutely must live in the south, then my sorrow for the state where I live now, but I’d rather be in Orlando than anywhere else.

This is why the murders of June 12, 2016 move me.  Orlando, like any large city, has its share of crime, of shootings and murders; but never anything on this scale before.  This is something completely foreign to the area.  It makes me fearful on several counts:

  • I fear for the lives that may yet be lost by those who were injured but not killed outright by the shooter
  • I fear for the inevitable political backlash against Muslims, since the shooter apparently called 911 and stated that he pledged himself and his actions toward the terrorist cell which claims to be a nation-state
  • I fear even more for the reactions of area residents against their Muslim neighbors, based not on sense but on fear and suspicion, perpetuating the cycle of hate
  • I fear most of all for the lives yet to be lost before our political leaders finally ignore the NRA and similar “unconditional gun rights” lobbyists and pass effective gun control, eliminating or strongly limiting the right to possess AR-style weapons by individuals

The last may not be a popular stand, and surely won’t be among many of my neighbors here in Alabama.  But how many of the mass shootings over this past few years have been done by crazies who have gotten hold of assault-style rifles one way or another?  There’s no need for an individual who’s a competent shot to have such a gun; it’s surely not needed for hunting, unless you’re lazy and want to “field-dress” your deer into hamburger on the spot.  And if it’s suggested that we need this right to “protect our liberties from the government,” well, I’d worry more about the individuals with the private ARs than the government….  (The Michigan Militia, and similar “militia organizations,” have worried me for years.)

I don’t argue here with the right to keep and bear arms — I do argue against an unconditional right.  The need for that is gone; we no longer live in a country that’s mostly frontier, facing potential threats coming from the forest.  We need to recast the argument in the proper context, and get these things off the street, before more innocents are killed.  I recognize the “radicalizing Islamist” aspect of Sunday’s crime as well, but this was not a crime committed on order.  The shootings were committed by a single man who had been deluded by a pack of hyperzealous fools, and does not represent the beliefs and principles of all Muslims.  I have known many Muslims in my life, especially in my university days; serve many at my workplace; and we all know of at least one prominent Muslim among our many Second Life bloggers, who is just as concerned for those whose lives are lost — and, if I may, who I suspect is filled with worry and grief for her coreligionists who are innocent of any crime.

This article will remain at the top of the blog, and the blog’s background will go to black, for one week in memory of those killed in Pulse.  I ask you to join me in prayer to your faith for those dead, for the survivors, for the relatives, and for the government to find sanity and deal properly with the scourge that threatens innocent lives every day.

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The above is a personal opinion by Harper Ganesvoort, and is added to this blog with the endorsement of her co-authors.

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New Critical Vote and next email to Linden Lab on TOS

I have been holding back on taking any position on the TOS question, primarily because I make and sell nothing that is particularly original to me outside of my own individual photographs. With ongoing consideration of the matter, though, I support the UCCSL and any other attempts in reason to modify Linden Lab’s current TOS changes. I hope you’ll follow Daniel’s link here and vote to support the UCCSL’s letter.

 

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Daniel Voyager

I’m following the news closely relating to changes to the terms of service for Second Life and it appears that the UCCSL group are doing a Critical Vote starting today to send a email to Linden Lab on TOS. The email will be apparently be sent on Monday at some point and this time the hope is for Linden Lab to release more info what happens next. Voting ends on Sunday 3rd November at midnight SLT, so if you are interested then please participate in this critical vote.

  • Vote Here < All votes (likes) will be anonymous and every vote is important!

Thank you! :)

 

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Reblog: Curio: Party Girl Celebration and Settlement Frustration | Its Only Fashion

Curio: Party Girl Celebration and Settlement Frustration | Its Only FashionThanks to Cajsa Lilliehook.

Being somewhat oblivious to all the details here, aside from knowing somewhat of what was happening, all I can add to this is that Cajsa wrote up a piece that describes quite well how the law works.  Unless you have the gold to finance yourself all the way through a case, sometimes settling is the only thing that can be done.  Even if you come out on the winning side in a case, depending on the circumstances, you can’t expect much reward other than feeling you’ve trounced your opponent.  My RL husband and I received a check recently for a class-action settlement we were apparently parties in due to some purchase or other.  The fund for things like this is usually set up in the millions of dollars.  Our check:  $9.22.

The hell of it is that the law is the only thing besides religion and morals that helps keep society glued together.  It ain’t too satisfyin’, Marshall — but it’s the thing that keeps us from each other’s throats.

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Designing Worlds discusses the closure of the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum (via Prim Perfect)

If you’re interested in the recent closure of the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum, you might want to show up at this event. Read through to Prim Perfect‘s full article to learn more.

UPDATE, December 7, 9:00 a.m: The discussion is now up on Treet TV (57 minutes).

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Designing Worlds discusses the closure of the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum Join us in our Northpoint studio at 2pm SLT today, Monday 6th December as we host a discussion show on the recent events leading to the closure of the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum. The announcement of the closure of the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum (discussed here on the Prim Perfect blog) caused dismay across … Read More

via Prim Perfect

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Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum to Close Saturday

Me posing in front of Fallingwater at the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum, September 2010.

Bad news comes in from New World Notes:  the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum, one of the showcases of Second Life intersecting with Real Life, will be closing after Saturday, December 4. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which was created by Wright before his death to protect his intellectual property, has allowed the license they granted to Virtual Museums, Inc. (owners of the Usonia sim and the Virtual Museum) to lapse, and then issued a cease-and-desist order. Particulars above at Ham’s article, but it appears from my reading that FLLWF is holding VMI responsible for unauthorized use of Wright’s creations.

The irony here: the FLLWF’s actions are not going to stop, or even slow down, theft of Wright’s intellectual property. As I said in much briefer form in my comment on Ham’s article, the age of the computer and the Internet broke all the de facto limitations on transmission of visual or auditory material that made copyright law easy to enforce.  Everyone who has perhaps, at most, $1,000 — perhaps as little as $500 — can buy a computer and a printer/scanner/copier, scan photographs of previously published material from books, and republish it online in seconds.  This is one of the foundations of the World Wide Web as we know it today; not as Tim Berners-Lee intended it, but what the Web has evolved into.  Once something is available today, in almost any form, the genie is out of the bottle, the bottle is smashed, and the cork is burned to ashes.  The defenders of the copyrights — who I don’t deny have a perfect right to protect their work — seem unable to come to grips with this fact.  In the case of FLLW v. VMI, an innocent group who was attempting to play by the rules laid down has been punished in the process, and the over-zealous Foundation has tarnished itself.  The Foundation would have been better served by tracking down the scofflaws who are using Wright material without permission.

I’d like this question answered:  is the Foundation expecting VMI to do the policing of Second Life for them, issuing C&D orders in the name of the Foundation to other vendors using non-licensed works?  Was this part of the license issued to them?  Is that the cause for them to drop the ax on the Virtual Museum?  If so, I’d really like to know how they think a small, non-profit group can accomplish something better than their own foundation, who can more easily afford to hire lawyers to issue C&D orders?  I’ve been sorely tempted to call the Foundation myself and ask this question, but I’m afraid I’d open a can of worms in the process.

Apparent Plagiarism of Virtual World Photo Work on Koinup

While cruising Plurk tonight before finishing up another article, I ran across a long conversation thread begun by Strawberry Singh, one of the excellent models to be found in Second Life, and well known as a public face for the couture house of Zaara Kohine for some time.  It took me by surprise, and was rather dismaying — an account holder on Koinup, the European photo site for exclusive virtual-world work, has been scarfing photos from others, posting them to their account, and claiming them for his/her own.

There was no reason to doubt the word of reputable Residents, but a good journalist checks, and I try to be a good journalist.  Following the link took me to an account named “15love,” and right on the front page were two photos skimmed off blogs, one by Berry and the other by Dailyn Holfe(Note:  in monitoring the account, Dailyn’s picture, which was cropped to remove her name, has disappeared; Berry’s is still up.) Other pictures were attributed to The Sims and IMVU, but the graphic style was clearly not from those worlds.  Some pictures appeared to have been simply slapped into the account without even taking the effort to rename them from the “hash”-style file name automatically assigned to the original by the Koinup system.  I clipped out screenshots, which I serve up below.  (My apologies for the peculiar formatting of the page when you see it; click through on the link.)

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Ari Blackthorne Waxes Deeper on SL Content Theft

Last week, I did a pure news piece (no opinion on my part in the main article) on the launch of a movement and linked blog called Step UP.  The purpose of this, founded by Saffia Widdershins of Prim Perfect, is to urge Linden Lab into what sufferers consider meaningful action on the problem of content theft.

I received 3 responses to the article, including a long thoughtful one from Ari Blackthorne of Common|Sensible.  His basic take was that, unless a meaningful alternative can be offered, all of this is simply sound and fury, signifying nothing; and this is the way it will remain for now, due to the nature of the Internet and the World Wide Web, on which basis Second Life is erected.

It comes down to the whole reason DRM (Digital Right Management) is a useless farce. Because if you can see it or hear it – you can copy it. The same is true with anything and everything on the Internet – including inside any virtual world (Second Life, too).

Ari has since expanded on this comment, as well as his response to my response, in an article of his own at Common|Sensible.  It makes for some thought-provoking reading, and I would urge anyone who is taking a side in the debate to read, digest and consider.

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