Sunday, 18 May 2008
TESLA - My Own Thoughts About Minnu Skin Copy
(photo comparisons of Minnu's Gen 4 Demo Skin with Danae's original Renderosity Skin)
I have spoken to various renowned designers, whom I shall keep anonymous, about this whole issue; unfortunately, they have decided to remain silent for fear of the consequences of speaking out on the matter. So, I feel that it is my duty as a creator of some influence and notoriety in SL to speak about Minnu using the work of Renderosity artist, Danae Kotsi, to make her new Gen 4 skin for her MMS store on her Glam World sim. Further information can be found HERE.
As a creator/ designer, I pride myself on having a discerning eye, and upon looking at the image comparison proofs provided by the highly regarded Renderosity artist, Danae Kotsi, I can clearly see that Minnu Palen has used elements of Danae's work in her own. Using another person's work is different from using a photosource because it's a shortcut from actually doing alot of the hard work.
I am not going to accuse Minnu of being a thief; she may have naively misunderstood the terms of usage in the licensing agreement: my main issue is really the question of her behaviour, pertaining to morality and ethics. At the end of the day, the content creators of SL are just ordinary people; we're individuals who play with prims and textures, not big corporations like Microsoft.
We are artists, and there is an unspoken code of ethics which we share within the creative community; it is not stated in any written book of law or agreement, it is accepted that we respect one another's work, as we expect others to respect our own. Because as soon as we overstep the mark and invade another person's expression, that's not creative: it's destructive.
I have had my fair share of copycats in SL, I see other 'content providers' using elements of my work in their own; just recently, a store was discovered putting their own textures and 'extras' over my own sculptie forms. In order for the designs to meet my standards, I spend hours tweaking the vertices of the sculptie mesh and creating the texture; even so, not all my meshes are perfect the first time, so you never ever get to see the totality of my work in the rejected sculpties. It's the same in Danae's case, no doubt she labored over several versions of her Manhattan skin to end up with the perfect one... It's like pushing a heavy boulder up a steep hill, and then someone else pushing it for the last two steps to the top and claiming all the glory for it.
Understand that a creator's work is like their child. They spend countless hours nurturing that child, watching it grow, and having pride in their offspring. If someone were to take that child and butcher them into pieces and make a Frankenstein monster from it, how do you think that would make the original creator feel? Once again, this is not about laws etc... It is about respect for another creator; the kind of respect that can only be fully understood when one has worked just as hard to create an original piece.
Once again, we are not monsters, we are not corporations who find loopholes in the law to increase their profit, but we are creative individuals who want to bring beauty into the world and share it with others, and it is for this reason that we respect one another.
Minnu may have gotten away with copying and disrespecting the work of a talented creator, but as a member of the creative community, she overstepped the mark. I can never view someone with such a corporate mentality as an artist. There are many of us who create for the pure pleasure of expression, the indulgence and celebration of creativity. Her kind of behaviour should not belong to SL.
I know that I'll probably be attacked for what I have said on this matter, then be it; I cannot idly sit by and watch an injustice done to a creative colleague. Hopefully, I speak for all those who prefer to remain silent. Apathy does not a good world make.
Thanks for listening,