PostHeaderIcon Are Most People as Ignorant as They Appear?

Heeeello!I know the title of this post might seem insulting and abrasive - it's not my intent. It is simply stated matter-of-factly in a shotgun burst to everyone about everyone in general terms. No, I am not trying to project a 'greater-than-thou' attitude or that 'I am always right, regardless of whether you are or not.'

However, it never fails to humor me in a ridiculous way when I see what appears to me to be common-sense being questioned over and over again, even though the answer to that question is right in front of the questioner's nose in plain view.

The problem is in how lazy and gullible people are. Lazy in that they simply refuse to do their own research on things and actually make a good-faith effort to understand anything (as in actually comprehend things.) Gullible in that they will believe anything people say to them without citing or referencing anything - hence the other half of the lack of research.

It is why the U. S. Political landscape is what it is right now. Learn by experience often means it's too late; hence the reason polls are showing our President with an approval index rating of -9 (negative nine; even less that Jimmy Carter who was considered the worst president in U.S. History). Obviously he has another 3.5 years to attempt a fix.

The point being is the voters had not done their research.

Xstreet SL HeadquartersNeither do the users of Second Life when they are communicated with by Linden Lab. Take the new XStreet SL (XSL) Merchant Guidelines for example. The guidelines are first and foremost guidelines.

This means simply that as long as you make a good-faith effort to follow these guidelines, you shouldn't have any Linden-dished heartache dumped on your head. I have said again and again: 90% of the Lindens (Linden Lab employees) are not tyrants.

Let us follow along like any reasonable person, shall we? Linden Lab makes a blog announcement of new and updated guidelines (Officially: "Marketplace Listing Guidelines") for merchants who list their items for sale on XSL.

In that post, Pink Linden refers to the Content Management Roadmap post of earlier, which most, if not practically all SL users agree with more than not with glee. This is the roadmap where Linden Lab outlines their intentions to better enforce Intellectual Property Rights. Of course this is a double-edged sword: enforcing your I.P Rights also means enforcing everyone else's I. P. Rights - hence, for example, if you create gesture sounds that use sound-bites from say, "Ghost Busters" (movie or even the original 1947 movie it is based on) - you, too are breaking someone's rights.

Because this notice will garner questions, a link to the discussion (actually only a blog comments) section is provided. As always, the page is flooded with the requisite idiotic as well as cool-minded feedback. Because it is a discussion, knowing exactly what is being discussed is paramount, so Pink Linden has provided - multiple times in the same introduction - links to both a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page and the guidelines themselves - just as on the original post.

So, as a gesture creator, let us actually read the part of the guidelines that apply to us. Under the "Acceptable" column:
Virtual artwork that replicates copyrighted artwork that is available in the real world (like the artwork of Andy Warhol or M.C. Escher) can be listed only if the virtual artwork is officially offered or authorized by the intellectual property owner of the artwork (for example, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. or The M.C. Escher Company B.V.).

Note: as read and with comprehension - the example is the actual artwork of Andy Warhol - not the style of Andy Warhol.

And in the "Not Acceptable" column is:
An avatar that has the appearance of a celebrity (for example, Elvis Presley or Marilyn Monroe) cannot be listed if the listing party is not the owner of the celebrity's right of publicity (or the right to use the celebrity's appearance, for example, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. or Marilyn Monroe LLC) or officially authorized by the celebrity rights owner.

My original complaint that Barac Obama is not a celebrity, but public figure was taken to heart and replaced with Marilyn Monroe. Good for you, Linden Lab. See folks? They do listen.

Okay, so where do our sound-bites from Ghost Busters fall in? "Common sense" would assume both of these. The question comes down to the rights of the I. P. owner, in this case Sony Pictures (Columbia Pictures). We could write a letter asking permission to use these and believe it or not, we likely would get a letter back saying "yes". This is the no-questions, definite bullet-proof way to do it.

The nightWe could claim fair-use under copyright law (or in the case of the "Spook Busters" - expiration of copyright and thus "public domain".) The sound-bites certainly fall under that as they are simply short snippets. Except that we are making money with them - which voids "fair use". Yes, Linden Dollars is money because it can be traded for legal tender. Additionally, we have hundreds, perhaps thousands of sound-bites from different sources which would be a lot of letter-writing and also raises our exposure to the possibility of becoming noticed by any of these rights holders.

We have a conundrum.

Oh, but wait - had we actually paid any attention at all to what we read in the initial paragraphs of the guidelines and made even a half-assed effort at comprehending them, this part might have jumped-out at us:
If you are a brand or intellectual property owner or the authorized agent of one, consider making others aware of this information by including it in your listing.

Well, there is our answer.

We simply indicate in our listing the following:
"Portions of this creation use public domain or otherwise non-copyrighted material as we understand to the best of our ability, or used with permission or under the fair use portion of copyright law. A good-faith effort has been made to quantify this and will respectfully and willingly remove any infringing portion of content at the behest of original property owners if notified of any unintentional infraction."

How simple is that? Of course you'd better be genuine in this statement or you could find yourself in really hot water. However, you additionally are making it clear to any agent of Sony Pictures (should they discover you are using their sound-bites) with a wild hair that you will happily answer any complaint with compliance.

Also, the statement should be more than enough to satisfy Linden Lab because it indemnifies them of any legal responsibility - which is what this is really all about. Linden Lab simply wishes to cover their ass and rightfully so.

So, remember the very example I have lain-out for you, consider this comment (poster name removed so not to embarrass him):
Do all the Gesture Makers need to remove most of the 20000+ Gestures from XStreet ???

Or, will we get 20000+ Individual Messages from XStreet asking about whether we have permission to use the sound clips???

Or, do we need to add a Disclaimer to our listings such as "To the best of our knowledge the sounds used in these gestures are free to be used in gestures" ???

[From Chat About XStreet SL Listing Guidelines - Second Life Blogs]

Okay. Reading this comment and then reading and actually comprehending the guidelines and following the steps I have outlined above... Why are people so shrill? Find any reason to whine and bitch and complain about anything and everything? Especially when it makes them look the fool?

Let us just say I hope the title of this post makes a little more sense to you now.

art: Sërch S; Torley (Linden); Mistero Hifeng
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