I rarely use this blog to voice my opinion on matters, I think, so far it happened three times. In this case, I want to. I am talking about something that has recently been discussed all over several blogs, plurks, forums and what not. Oh yes, I am on plurk now…you finally made me! :O And now I am gonna jump head ahead into a pool full of sharks and I won’t give a damn. This is my opinion on the matter, I do not speak for anyone else. Also, forgive the typos, it is late where I live.
PLEASE NOTE: I do NOT want a link to this post linked in the Skin Addiction group ingame. They don’t want to talk about it, so tone it down some and leave them be.
A tiny summary first!
A while back, Papaverfield already had pointed out how similar Hush looked to Curio on their Flickr, implying they were ripping them off. This was in MarchPretty much everyone who saw it agreed it was blatantly obvious: A smudgy, blurred version of Curio’s body. Already back then, Hush claimed that in facther skins were all based on a skin -she- had created way back in 2008 and tried to prove her theory on Flickr. Unfortunately, it was soon revealed that her skins were released -after- Curio’s 3rd Gen Skin (2008), I think it was a couple of months later. When others and I (even with pictures of skins from 2008) pointed this out, Hush deleted those pictures.
We didn’t hear anything from them for a long time.
Roughly two months later, Curio disappeared. Her skins were gone from both stores (mainstore and Truth District) and from the Marketplace, parts of her store’s building was gone, too, and Gala was banned.
Harper Beresford a moderator of one of the most influential groups about skins: Skin Addiction. The very day Curio’s skins were gone she states in said group that Curio was pulled off the grid by legal actions due to a DMCA filed by the creator of Hush Skins. The log of that groupchat can be found here: SL Universe Thread (scroll down some).
Everyone was startled, baffled…and believed her. She claimed to have seen the proves of those legal actions. Even I was inclined to believe her for a moment, because Harper is a wellknown, comparably influential avatar within SL. And with her, as a representant of Skin addiction, picking sides so publically, the matter seemed clear: Curio had ripped Hush. Anyone who dared to doubt those claims were quickly pointed to a blogpost on Hush’s blog, where she pointed out the legal actions against Gala Phoenix of Curio. A screenshot can be found here: Hush Blogpost. Why a screen of a screen? Well, I’ll explain in a bit!
At the same time, the Skin Addiction Skin Showcase Event started. And…surprise…surprise…Hush Skins had the absolute top position RIGHT at the landing point. People were slightly irritated, especially those who still didn’t believe all the rumors. Hush likely made good money during these times, while Gala was banned and her sim was closed by her CSRs.
First people began to speak up. Glam Affair pulled out of the Skin Showcase event to show her support for Curio. Tricky Boucher of Belleza skins posted a supportive post on his blog: Here. Other bloggers began to speak up for Gala as well: Sylvia Olivier, Salome Says, The Voice and others, and it was all over Plurk and the SLU forums (see linked thread above).
Oddly enough, no one could find any hints of such a case about DMCA stuff on the internet (the court was named) and more and more people pointed out that the wording was just completely off and had even typos in it. A few days later, the post had magically vanished from Hush’s Blog. And that’s why I only have a screen of a screenshot, from someone who was witty enough to make one.
People begin to investigate on their own
Finally, people began to investigate a little. Gala was able to log back in into SL about a week ago and I had the pleasure to talk to one of her CSRs personally. There was NO RL legal action, so they said. They also revealed that Gala had DMCAed Hush FIRST, which was countered by Hush. So now, Gala has to counter Hush. Oddly enough, LL never reacted to Gala’s DMCA, but Removals4 Linden came in to take down Gala’s stuff after Hush’s DMCA. So of course, there were still doubts left: Why would LL ignore Gala but run in for Hush? But at least, now we got to hear the other side of the story, too. That’s something!
What a clusterfuck! Of course, all these statements were only hearsay as well, and no proves, but the doubts about Hush’s version of the story began to spread, supported by more and more pictures posted in Papaverfield’s stream. Meanwhile, Hush remained at the event and discussions about the matter in the Skin Addiction group were officially unwelcome.
Gala herself never said a word. Hush Darkrose was still in the Skin Addiction group and likely enjoyed a big amount of incoming Lindens at this time. She released several new skins in the meantime and likely was highly amused. Gala however, stayed quiet. Meanwhile, some of Hush’s older vendors disappear.
More pictures showed up: Curio- Hush. Now more and more people began to doubt Hush’s claims and that link went all over plurk, SLU, Facebook and what not. Papaverfield continued to point out the obvious. Meanwhile, people were still politely reminded to not bring up the topic in the Skin Addiction Group.
Some skincreators were apparently fed up as well, not just the fangirls of Curio. Nena Janus of League noticed a few oddities about Hush’s skins: They are terribly similar to hers! And she files a DMCA, encouraged by others. Then this was revealed: Excinerator. Yes, I know you cannot get to see such watermarks without ripping the skins.
Hush countered and despite being supposed to, did not take down her stuff at the Skin Showcase Event, where said skin was advertised. Instead, it is said that the owners of the event had to take it down. Hush Darkrose was FINALLY booted from the Skin addiction group that day as well.
The next day, her sim was not available anymore and she is banned. Rumors say she countered the DMCA of League with the words ‘sue me’. How…tasteful, if that is true.
So right now the vast majority of evidences, imho, speaks for Curio…and not so much for Hush. But please, make up your own mind. I can certainly say this: Should it ever be revealed, that indeed Hush was the victim, I’ll apologize.
Gala Phoenix by now has posted a message to her group on he rblog and in her group: You can find it HERE!
So, what have we now? Use some common sense, please?
I’ll make this short: See here: SL Universe. This is why I think we should also not forget to use our common sense. Please scroll down to see the post.
How does the group Skin Addiction react?
So far, there has been no word from Harper Beresford on that matter. Instead, they claim to be neutral, when Harper was so blatantly eager to condemn Curio and support Hush in the beginning. Talking about the matter is still not allowed and people get muted when insisting to do so. I can see why they want to keep a low profile now, it is probably the best thing to do. However, they sort of caused the fuss themselves by picking sides without really caring to wait for a statement from Gala or anything else.
I think this matter – if neutrality really was their goal- could have been handled MUCH better: No picking sides from any official, influential person associated to the group, no blogging for either side..and NO participation for any of the contrahents, neither for Hush, nor for Curio, until matters are solved. Maybe next time handle it a bit better and wait for how things evolve.
HOWEVER: I am grateful nonetheless for the great effort Voshie and her team generally put into their work. The event, besides the thing about Hush, is pretty awesome and gives a great overview. Follow this TAXI to go there!
And here is a gallery with a vast collection of pics regarding Curio versus Hush and League versus Hush, mostly gyazoed from Papaverfield’s Flickr and Excinerator’s Blog.
PS: Please NOTE that neither Nena Janus of League nor Gala Phoenix of Curio asked me to write this. They don’t know I have posted it. They have nothing to do with it. I did it because right now I had some freetime and felt like doing it after watching for so long.