The Day of Reckoning

To: Name Withheld

Hello. I am sure you remember me. I am the one that booted and banned you from St John when you showed up at our Mardi Gras this past February.

I was surprised to see you that day. It was ballsy of you to come over after I stumbled across the sim that you created in January with almost all stolen content, a good portion of which was stolen from my estate St John.

It was such a surreal feeling to teleport into a sim that I had never visited and to then be confronted with St John's flag on a banner, an object that I created. The texture of which was custom-created by my friend Selena Anansi.

Arrival and Shock

It stunned me for almost 30 seconds before I realized what had happened. It fell into place once I saw that I was standing in the French Market building that my former resident rmarie Beedit had made, and that I had used for years, and yet when I looked at the object properties, her name was not in the creator field.

Yours was.

I created a detailed investigation document over two days before I notified the creators of the content you stole. It has lots and lots of screen shots of the properties of the original content shown next to the screen shots of the properties of the stolen content. I still have that document.

One of the things that surprised me was that a lot of the content you stole from my estate was stuff I had created and used for our 2014 Mardi Gras. It was old! That made me realize that this was likely the third year in which you had used my stolen content. I took note of the tip jars for public donations. I wonder how much you brought in on those tip jars in 2014, 2015 and 2016, well until I found the sim.

A team of my residents came over to the sim and helped me file what must have been at least 100 Abuse Reports against you. Sadly, I am not surprised that Linden Lab did not ban you from Second Life. I know you pulled the build down the minute you found out that I was contacting all of the creators from whom you stole. My guess is that Linden Lab was satisfied with that and let you go.

The reason I did nothing further at the time was to not cause harm to the charitable organization to whom you had "donated" the build. They were completely unaware that the sim was made up of at least 70% stolen content. I felt badly for them.

No one knows New Orleans and vintage content like I do in SL. I know the creators and their work. That's what happens after owning a NOLA-themed estate for 7 of the last 8 years. Really, there is no one who could see the full-scale of the theft like I could. Unfortunately, you got away with it for a few years before I stumbled into it though. 

Speaking of stumbling, here we are 11 months later and last night I tripped over your current project.

While it was nice to see that the content was yours or was content that you had purchased, the build STILL violates Linden Lab's Terms of Service. It's full of objects with graphics of copyrighted and trademarked business logos and signs. Unless you procured permission from the McDonald's Corporation, and the many other businesses, to use their copyrighted and trademarked content on your in-world objects?

This time, I don't have the time, energy or patience to send ARs for violation of LL TOS on you. I also don't trust that Linden Lab will do anything in regards to the situation.

So, I'll handle it myself.

If it brings you joy to create these projects, and you can create them with content that is yours, or purchased, or both, have at it! You are still allowed in Second Life. Do what you love, but do it the right way. Follow LL's TOS. Don't steal.


If mid-February 2017 rolls around and I see another Mardi Gras sim full of stolen content from St John, or from anyone else for that matter?

If you set up ANY project that breaks LL's TOS?

I will take "Name Withheld" off the top of this post, put your name into it and re-post it. I'll blast the link to this post out via my many social media channels. I will put a link to it in my profile picks in-world.

I will do a podcast about what happened last January and publish it for download and I will run it on my radio station, and yes, I will include your name.

I will book interviews with every SL media organization, whether they are followed by 5 people or by 5000, and talk about your content theft and how you connected it to an unsuspecting actual charitable organization and how you set out personal tip jars for direct donations to you.

I heard about some of the conversations that happened between you and a couple of people from whom you stole after I sent them all the notecards informing them of your content theft. Denial. Then admission. Then attempts at negotiation. Then excuses. Then attempts at emotional blackmail. Classic toxic behavior. Classic liar behavior.

Know here and now that none of that works with me. And know that I'll be watching.

Keep building if it makes you happy and create things from your own content and purchased content.

Gabrielle Riel