Emerelda Sunlight has been travelling the universe that is Opensim and collecting a host of material for our freebies centre and to be honest it has been a nightmare. Why?. Well how on earth do we know just who owns what? I suppose that I am not the first to ask this question but the whole concept of Opensim would appear to be one of sharing just about everything that can be found in the host of freebies centres on many of the grids. So, how much of this is legal or illegal content? How are we supposed to know? Visiting a freebies centre and taking the objects that are all there for the taking and openly advertised as free products would lead you to believe that they are OK right? Not so. There are so many problems associated with this.

Our grid and many other grids could be sharing illegal content. I for one would love to know who the real owners are and have their comments on personal items that they have made that have been copied legally or illegally. I wonder about all the vehicles that were gifted to the OS Grid and other grids. Who were the creators? What were the original terms and conditions for these items? Some creators will have long gone and abandoned opensim and others may have just given up and accepted that their creations appear under a host of different names as they are imported and exported from various oar files. What a shame. I am sure that we would all like to know who they are. The whole system seems to be in such a mess. Perhaps someone might like to create a website specifically for this purpose?

I can understand why creators do not issue take down notices in Opensim. It is time consuming and the hosts are often hard to trace and track down. Add to that the fact that it would be hard to seek compensation for what in effect would be very low sales compared to the closed environment of Second Life and it hardly seems worthwhile. Surely there has to be a better way of dealing with this? I admire what Kitely has done in terms of creating a shopping market for creators to sell their products but even this system has its limitations. For example, take a close look at some of the products and goods and you will find that many of them are freely available items that were intended to be given away and yet are being sold on Kitely. Textures for example. Take textures on OS Grid, rebox them with a nice cover and then sell them on Kitely!. Whilst it may not be illegal is it actually ethical?

There are other issues associated with purchasing goods from Kitely that many people may not be aware of. For example, let us say I purchase a house listed on Kitely under my main avatar and my avatar is registered with the OS Grid. I then rent a region on Metropolis and transfer my oar file from OS Grid to Metropolis. Do I now have to pay for that item yet again? What if I transfer the house to my other avatar? Surely, I have paid for this item. I am not giving it away and I am being careful to retain the original permissions. Again, understanding all this is like trying to find your way through a fog. No wonder people get confused.

I do not claim to have any answers, just lots of questions but surely if all the creators and owners of these goods came forward and stated their claim we could make sure that everyone knew who they were and what they own. Perhaps I am living in a dream world but one of the main reasons that it is hard to attract good designers to opensim is in the lack of protection of goods and content theft. There is little or no incentive for creators.

Another problem is that when we visit a freebies region we just get offered a box with contents. We are told it is free and yet we know nothing of the original creator. There are no terms or conditions similar to what we see in SL. There is no due diligence at all. Opensim would appear to be a bit like the wild west where anything goes! Interestingly the situation becomes even more complicated when we visit regions who add their own terms and conditions to items that they did not make themselves. The Creative Commons licenses should only be issued where the original creators terms are also known. You can't just take something, repaint it and add a couple of parts and then claim it as your own unless you have specific permission to do so. 

So, Emerelda continues to build the grid and collect items from all over the wild west. If you are the creator of any of these items and you see them being offered freely on any of our regions then please get in touch. We would be very pleased to hear from you and to add a notecard from you with your terms and conditions attached to the box or the content of the goods or of course completely take them down if they are not supposed to be freely distributed. Our take down policy is very simple. If it is your item and it shouldn't be offered freely then we only need minimal information from you:

  • Your legal name and real-world contact information, including address, telephone, and email.
  • Enough information for us to locate the infringing content, such as in-world locations and owners' names.
  • Enough information for us to know that you are the original copyright holder, such as a link to your Second Life Marketplace, Kitely Market, or InBiz listings for that content.
  • The following legally-mandated statement: "I have a good faith belief that the use of the described material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law. I swear that the information in the notification is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed." 

Once we have received the relevant information and proof from you we will disable or take down the content and/or list you as the owner permanently and change permissions according to your instructions or just stop distributing the item entirely. We will be happy to direct people to the sale point for your item so that they know where to obtain it for free for for purchase. We will clearly list you as the content owner.  As mentioned previously, where an item is claimed by you but not requested for take down we would like to add your details as the original creator and provide this information for visitors along with any terms and conditions that you might have.

In the meantime we go on collecting the good, the bad and the ugly of Opensim. You can contact us inworld very easily by visiting this link: ukturk-grid.info/chat and leaving a message for us if no one is available. You can also leave a notecard for avatars: Emerelda Sunlight or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Article by Mike T ( Uncle Hamdi )


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