Sunday, 8 July 2012

Team Gala!

Unless you have been away from SL, most people are well aware of the Curio vs. Hush skin fiasco. For those of you that are not aware, Linden Labs removed all of Gala Phoenix's, creator of Curio, content from the SL grid as of late May 2012.  Gala is currently mired in a hot mess of a legal battle that started back in March 2012.  At that time, Gala discovered that Hush Darkrose, of Hush Skins, was selling skins that looked similar to her creations.  This is something designers sadly have to do all the time in the age of virtual piracy. Gala filed a DCMA against Hush and then Hush reciprocated.  In April, Hush had her skins copyrighted in Canada and went on in May to file a copyright infringement (also in Canadian courts) against Gala and filed a DCMA takedown notice with LL. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) process in Second Life requires that when there is legal action taken against content, Linden Lab will remove it from the grid until a ruling is made.  The facts are that the papers from the Canadian court have no validity in US Federal Courts, where LL is based, no court ruling has ever been issued and Hush items were not removed from the grid. Add to this drama/gossip/speculation, chat logs and screen images and it just gets uglier.  Starting at 12 AM SLT, 7/9/2012, Gala's fellow content creators have come together to host a fundraiser to help with the substantial legal costs she will incur in contesting these baseless claims.  The event is named One Voice.  Many well known content creators are selling items with at least 50 to 100% of the proceeds going to help cover Gala Phoenix's legal costs.
Many opinions on this issue have been flying around the bloggersphere, group chats, plurk, IM's, etc since late May and it has gotten really ugly.  I am not attempting to promote further drama here but I do want to point to a few blog articles that are noteworthy and provide greater detail than I am doing here.

The first one is an update from the official Curio blog and was just released 7/5/12.  It is from Gala herself and shares her thanks, current information on issue and how this has affected her real life.  A detailed post was written by Salome on her blog, Salome Says, which is broken down into Facts, Side Issues and Comment Sense Conclusions.  It is a long post and also contains information about the drama side of this issue. If that offends you or you don't like to read long posts, don't look at it.
On to pretty pictures and shopping, but I will continue to provide facts as I know them.  The event has been organized by Vivienne Graves, who has also been working with designers, and Sophia Harlow has been managing bloggers and press, and Eku Zhong provided the sim and did the gorgeous build, right down to the tiles that look like the Curio store. They have worked their tails off very quickly.  I commend and respect them all as well as all the content creators who have contributed to this event.  While this time, Gala Phoenix has been hurt emotionally and financially by this issue, it is something that can happen to ANY designer, many of whom rely solely on SL sales for their real life income.  It is easy to ignore these matters, but at what cost to us all?
So what can you do?

  1.  Shop!  One Voice opens on 7.9.12 at 12 AM SLT. It runs through 7.15.12.  Lots of fantastic items from content creators you will immediately recognize as well as quite a few that might be new to you.  The items are not on sale.  Some of them are pricey and some are surprisingly inexpensive. Nothing appeared to be overpriced.
  2. If you own a store or club or other traffic generator and you've not had time to participate in the sim-event, Lexi Zelin, owner of AngelRED Couture, is offering a Curio Skins Donation box, at no cost on the Marketplace. It is set to pay Gala Phoenix and it is an easy way to show support as well as help cover this costly and unfair legal battle. 
  3. No $L's to be had?  You can still participate!  My darling friend, Whisper Despes, shown in the first photo with me, has created a sign and pose (also above), also available at no cost on the Marketplace. It's adorable and I've been walking around with it all day and we are both wearing Curio!  The shirt I am wearing, created by Missy Babii of Pugly,  (I'm the blonde) is also free on the Marketplace.  It is mesh and comes in women's small and medium sizes. 
  4. Join the group! One Voice Updates is free to join and will provide you with additional information about the event.
I think I can speak for all of us at Free*Style.  We have long been supporters of original content creators and not just when it's free.  We are all ardent shoppers and many of us own businesses in SL.  Please join us in supporting this cause.