Monday, September 3, 2012

How to Recognize Illegal SL Dances

How to Recognize Illegal SL Dances 120903

In the past few days two DANCE QUEENS members have asked me, "How do I recognize illegal dances?" As you probably know, illegal dances are animations that are copied in SL in whole or in part from animations (usually MOCAP) sold by the original creator of the animations. Original creators are stores like AKEYO, Animazoo, A&M, Henmations, HUMANOID, Ministry of Motion, MyAnimations, Sine Wave, Studio4D, There in Spirit, 3FX, Vista and others.

So, how do you know if a dance is illegal? Here are some clues:
  • The dance is full perm - Very few MOCAP dances are full perm. Dance creators need to cover their expenses and hopefully make a profit. Full perm dances mean that anyone can copy and give away the dances, thus making the value zero. Some dance makers do offer free dances, but these are usually either copy-no tran or transfer no-copy.
  • The dance is identical to a dance you know and paid for - If you see a dance that is identical to one you know, but is sold by someone else, probably it is illegal. A few creators (AKEYO and A&M) do have resellers, but the resellers clearly mark the dances. If you see an identical dance, look in the dance's properties. The more competent illegal dance sellers will change the name of the dance and the name of the creator. The less competent illegal dance sellers will leave the dance name or dance creator the same as the original. Easy Babcock's name is on a lot of illegal dances.
  • The dance is really cheap - It's hard to resist 50 MOCAP dances for 500 L. A few legitimate dance makers have used a very low price strategy to enter the SL market (NHC and Animocca), but this is a sign of a potential illegal seller. Remember the cost of the dance to the illegal seller is very low.
  • The dance is sold by a known illegal dance seller - There is a list of illegal dance sellers on the DANCE QUEENS blog. An illegal dance seller doesn't sell copied dances by mistake. These are people who do this intentionally to defraud you and the legitimate creators. Some illegal dance sellers sell many other things. If the seller is known to cheat on some dances, there is no trust that should be extended on anything they make. Unfortunately, Linden Lab still allows illegal sellers to offer other items on SL Marketplace even after they have been caught.
If you think you have found illegal dances, first check the DANCE QUEENS blog. If you think this is a new illegal seller, contact me (Nottoo). I will check it out and report on it. Your name will not be published so there is no chance of an angry cheat going after you.

As I have said many times before, illegal dances hurt dancers. When the original creator files a DMCA report (copyright infringement) and Linden Lab concludes the dances are copied, the illegal dances are replaced in your HUD with a useless replacement dance. This means you lose the money you spent on the dance AND your dance HUD is messed up. Nothing like clicking on a sexy dance and getting an ugly replacement dance. Illegal dances hurt the dance makers by removing revenue that should go to them. This reduces their profit and incentive to make more dances, so dancers lose.