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Second Life Mogul Challenges Press Freedom 416

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-take-a-joke dept.
An anonymous reader tipped us to a post on ZDNet about some disturbing freedom of the press issues in Second Life. Content mogul Anshe Chung is filing DMCA complaints with organizations that post screenshots of her content, citing an infringement of copyright. From the article: "The issue has surfaced after the avatar Anshe Chung (real name Ailin Graef) was attacked by animated flying penises during a virtual interview with CNET news, conducted in their Second Life bureau last month. A video of the attack surfaced on YouTube, and was then taken town after Anshe Chung Studios filed a DMCA complaint. The Sydney Morning Herald and the blog BoingBoing have also received similar notices."
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Second Life Mogul Challenges Press Freedom

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  • Pshaw. (Score:5, Informative)

    by lysdexia (897) * on Saturday January 06, 2007 @06:10PM (#17491620) Homepage
    • Re:Pshaw. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Vo0k (760020) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @06:15PM (#17491676) Journal
      Now that's something that won't happen to you in the First Life!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 06, 2007 @07:29PM (#17492310)
      That was a show of pure freedom, as much as the American Founding Fathers could ever have hoped for.

      Without even saying a word, whoever arranged for those pink penises to fly around like that managed to challenge anything the Anshe Chung character might have said during the interview. Such a tour de force only happens once or twice a decade. This video will rank up there with the likes of the "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima" and the "The Unknown Rebel" photographs.

    • Heh (Score:5, Informative)

      by Xenographic (557057) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @08:36PM (#17492882) Homepage Journal
      If it wasn't for this stupid DMCA notice, I doubt I'd have ever known or cared about this video. Now everyone knows about it and millions of people will make copies of this just out of spite. Hasn't anyone learned this by now?

      This level of 'brillance' is worthy of Paula.
    • Re:Pshaw. (Score:5, Informative)

      by sethstorm (512897) * on Saturday January 06, 2007 @08:58PM (#17493068) Homepage
      I'm here [youtube.com] too.
      (yes, it's Youtube, but feel free to wget this with a modified user agent to mirror.) [google.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by metroplex (883298)
      Yep. The video and images can also be found here [somethingawful.com], on the original and exclusive coverage of the attack put together by somethingawful.com with material provided by Room101, the originators of the attack.

      I personally find somethingawful.com's Second Life Safari pretty hilarious, here [somethingawful.com] are all the episodes so far, for those who missed them.

  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by locokamil (850008) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @06:13PM (#17491658) Homepage
    It couldn't be that she's using the DMCA to take down something that could hurt her reputation, could it?

    Nah... The law is never abused.
    • by 1ucius (697592)
      The DMCA is one of the most mis-understood things in history. It's only relevance here is to provide the newspapers with a defense. The real cause of action is good, old-fashion copyright law.
  • by candiman (629910) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @06:19PM (#17491714)
    Hate to be the one that mentions it but the "Sydney Morning Herald" is an Australian newspaper owned by an Australian company. There isn't much a US law can do to them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by omegashenron (942375)

      The FTA between the US and Australia was supposed to bring Australian copyright law in line with US. The SMH would have been threatened with the equivalent law

  • Sometimes the best defense isn't a good offense, it's a good sense of humour.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @06:36PM (#17491836) Homepage Journal
    The most retarded thing I have ever seen or heard of in my life.
  • Related Warren Ellis article [reuters.com] for Reuters.
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @06:40PM (#17491880)
    ...The issue has surfaced after the avatar Anshe Chung (real name Ailin Graef) was attacked by animated flying penises...

    In hundred years from now as virtual reality will be everywhere and has become a core part of our lives.

    I'm sure old folks will bring back aging memories from real life ... "when I was young, at least you couldn't be attacked by a flock of animated flying penises"...
  • by Mantrid42 (972953) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @06:44PM (#17491916)
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5387867190 768022577&sourceid=docidfeed&hl=en [google.com]

    Theres the video on Google Video.

    And a week or so back, Something Awful's "Second Life Safari" documented it: http://www.somethingawful.com/index.php?a=4336 [somethingawful.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 06, 2007 @06:46PM (#17491940)
    The people who make Second Life remind me of the people who in school caused new and Draconian rules to be created by the administration which made life miserable for the rest of the students. The morons giving real life money for virtual real estate, the knuckle draggers who are doing basically MOO/MUSH objects then selling them for real money, and now the attempted use of the DMCA hammer on anything in their way.

    End result is likely going to be the IRS (or whatever the country's tax body is) horning its way into every MMO and online game, wanting its cut of the online proceeds.

    To boot, if the DMCA is successfully used in this context, this sets a bad precedent -- post a screenshot of your character, go to jail for copyright violation.

    I can see it now in WoW... before you can loot a purple item, you have to pay with gold or from your credit card your country's VAT. Screenshots are protected with some type of DRM system that only allows authorized computers to view the files.

    I don't know who is worse -- the people selling crap in 2L for real money, or the knuckle draggers buying objects in that game. At least people who buy gold/platinum/adena/pyreals in a MMO like EQ or WoW are usually doing it to save time, rather than mindlessly farm, and that sort of can be understood.

    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      The people who make Second Life remind me of the people who in school caused new and Draconian rules to be created by the administration which made life miserable for the rest of the students. The morons giving real life money for virtual real estate, the knuckle draggers who are doing basically MOO/MUSH objects then selling them for real money, and now the attempted use of the DMCA hammer on anything in their way.

      Under the circumstances, I don't really feel Lindenlabs has put much of a Draconian rule over

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      At least people who buy gold/platinum/adena/pyreals in a MMO like EQ or WoW are usually doing it to save time, rather than mindlessly farm, and that sort of can be understood.

      I don't see the difference. It saves me a lot of time to buy a suit in Second Life for 200 Linden dollars (less than a buck) rather than make the thing myself. And the people who sell things can then use that money for other purchases (saving time, also, I suppose). That's a stupid argument.

      As for equating mindless farming in Wo
  • Stupid. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Runefox (905204) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @06:48PM (#17491954) Homepage
    This is something that SL users have been bitching about for a while - That their stuff shouldn't be screenshotted for the sole reason that it's their intellectual property, even if it's not being claimed to be otherwise. An example is SomethingAwful's Second Life Safari, where one such SL user went ape shit over the posting of "intellectual property" (read: Screen shot).

    No. If your shit can be seen simply by logging into SL (which is free to roam around in), it can be posted anywhere. It's like clipping a Slashdotter's post and popping it on a site as a quote.

    Now, I couldn't actually figure out what TFA was talking about, whether it was the SL staff involved, or SL users, but all the same, if it's the SL staff, people have no right to complain; It's their servers, and if they don't want you doing something, they have every right in the world to take you off, especially if you're one of those "free" users. People don't seem to realize that freedom of speech is restricted to political views and religion, and are rescinded while in private property. Censorship is wholly allowed in private.

    Such a horrible "game" with a terribly whiny community, and this Anshe Chung person has had more press coverage than should be allowed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by kfg (145172)
      People don't seem to realize that freedom of speech is restricted to political views and religion. . .

      Which part of "no" don't you understand?

      KFG
      • by Runefox (905204)
        Ideally, you're right, that's incorrect. As far as reality is concerned, the correct answer is yes, that's correct.

        Perhaps hate speech and direct threats would be easy examples of things outside the realm of freedom of speech; Also, perhaps try heading into an airport and yelling "bomb"; Or alternatively, walk into a preschool and start making lewd comments about your nether regions. We'll see how well "freedom of speech" holds up then.

        What freedom of speech DOES entitle you to is to formulate and express y
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by kfg (145172)
          At least, that's my understanding of it.

          Which part of "no" don't you understand?

          KFG
    • by Bob9113 (14996)
      No. If your shit can be seen simply by logging into SL (which is free to roam around in), it can be posted anywhere. It's like clipping a Slashdotter's post and popping it on a site as a quote.

      If that is a statement of what should be, I am inclined to agree. If that is intended as a statement of what is, unfortunately, you are mistaken.

      I.M. Pei - a man who would otherwise be worthy of respect for his extraordinary architectural designs - successfully sued a man for distributing photographs of the Rock'n'Rol
      • by russotto (537200)
        While copyright law does allow protection of architectural works, it specifically does not extend that protection to photographs of copyrighted buildings. It was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who sued, not I.M. Pei. They sued on trademark grounds, not copyright. And they lost on appeal.

        http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/cases/IP/trademark/rock _and_roll.htm [lsu.edu]
      • Re:Stupid. (Score:4, Informative)

        by Reaperducer (871695) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @10:08PM (#17493584)
        Not entirely correct. As I recall, it was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that sued over a guy distributing posters, and in fact they lost because there is a very specific part of copyright law that covers this:

         
        United States Code - Title 17 - Chapter 1 - Section 120
        Scope of exclusive rights in architectural works

                        (a) Pictorial Representations Permitted. - The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place.

         

        ( as quoted by http://www.glasssteelandstone.com/ [glasssteelandstone.com] )

        Here's a copy of the court ruling in the defendant's (poster making guy) favor:

        http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/cases/IP/trademark/rock _and_roll.htm [lsu.edu]
  • Urk (Score:5, Insightful)

    by retro128 (318602) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @06:55PM (#17492016)
    I'm getting just a little tired of hearing about this woman. "Oh look at me I own a million dollars of virtual real estate located on servers subject to regular DoS attacks. And neither insurance companies or the law offer any recourse if it all gets wiped out." Please.

    She loves being in the news as long as the press is favorable, but one dildo attack gets written about and all of a sudden she brings out the DMCA stick. I will place a bet that we're about to see how mob rule on Second Life works. Attacks against her will most certainly be scaled up now that this news broke.
    • Re:Urk (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Saturday January 06, 2007 @08:38PM (#17492902) Homepage Journal
      She's also harmful to Second Life's culture. At one time, I "rented" land in a nice little forest with a bunch of other folk. She eventually came in, bought up most of the land, established some wild west thing, and made it very unpleasant to be there. At the same time, she did her best to get the rest of us to leave. I think the community would be better off without her. She ruins everything she touches.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...at crying "penis" in a crowded vagina.
  • Disturbing? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @07:18PM (#17492222)
    The only "disturbing" issue surrounding Second Life is how seriously some people take it. Last time I checked, it was a freaking fake world consisting of people's made up identities and false realities. In First Life, we call it a "game", and it is "played" by unadventurous, delusional game addicts who have nothing else with which to fill their boring real lives.

    Now we have lawsuits alleging gamers don't play fair? Jeepers...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vadim_t (324782)
      So what exactly are you doing here, then?

      You're here, so I take it means you have nothing better to fill your boring life with.
      And, I bet that you're not called "uvajed_ekil" in real life either, so there goes the fake identity bit as well.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I bet that you're not called "uvajed_ekil" in real life either

        Even with European alphabets, I bet it's hard to correctly pronounce the underscore.

      • The fact you write a short post on Slashdot means you have nothing better to fill your boring life with? ...and what about you?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shish (588640)
      One world is physical and the other digital, but how is the latter "fake"? Just because it's made out of data rather than atoms doesn't mean it doesn't exist~
  • by Skylinux (942824) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @07:29PM (#17492308) Homepage
    I don't know anything about Second Live but I have found the WIKI article about her http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anshe_Chung [wikipedia.org] and after reading I think she might have deserved it.

    Too bad we can't spawn massive dicks in real live. This would come in useful when our officials make an ass out of us on TV.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ThomasHoward (925022) *
      While she may or may not have deserved it before, she certainly deserves it now.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @07:40PM (#17492426) Homepage
    We all take for granted that the tools used to create a work aren't included as part of a copyrightable work. And when we use bits and pieces of existing works to create a new and original work, that is called fair use.

    And when someone uses the DMCA take-down as a means to suppress others, especially in a creative or speech effort, there is certainly a cause for suit against the initiator.

    I say that all people involved in the creation of the "attack scene" need to file suit against the people responsible for the initial abusive DMCA take-down.
  • by argent (18001) <peter AT slashdo ... taronga DOT com> on Saturday January 06, 2007 @07:48PM (#17492514) Homepage Journal
    One thing that's interesting about this is that the very strong DRM in SL (at least inside the game context... it's not particularly effective outside the game) gives people an expectation of being able to absolutely control the distribution of stuff they make, because SL lets them control the distribution of stuff they make to an extreme degree (and, yet, a lot of people still argue they don't have enough control). The idea that a 512x512 pixel image (which is what a dress in SL is, basically) should get this kind of protection is typical of the game. SL clothing designers will argue with a straight face that it's a violation of their artistic expression for you to be able to let out or cut off the sleeves on a shirt you bought!

    The thing is, if the people who are pushing for ever-stronger DRM get their way, this is the kind of future we're heading for, over the long term. As soon as they come up with a mechanism that would make your shirt disintegrate if you tried to change the tailoring, you're going to have people arguing that it's their right to control how you wear your clothes. Disintegrating DVDs are just the tip of the iceberg... and the changes won't come in big obvious jumps, just a gradual erosion of our rights as IP laws and DRM become stronger and stronger.
  • Just how.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wknoxwalker (901812)
    ..did these griefers make all those things fly at her? Did they break the game in some way, or is it part of the standard model?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by vadim_t (324782)
      In-game scripting. You create objects with an in-game 3D editor, then put a script in it that makes it fly around.

      Note that it's perfectly possible for the owner of an area to disable object creation and scripts in it.
  • by Petey_Alchemist (711672) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @08:45PM (#17492956) Homepage
    If you think THAT'S bad, check out what happened when a Linden Labs employee tried to get me to take down photos [somethingawful.com] of his "mate's" babyfur child porn.

    Or maybe every instance that Prokofy Neva has called me a virtual Leninist griefing scum terrorist or whatever else has been on her litany of overreactions.
  • Speaking from a community management point of view, griefers (people who send flying penises into places to disrupt the activity) want attention. Knowing that the flying penises you sent to harass someone is being posted all over the internet? Holy crap, that's the griefer supreme jackpot. (That surely makes up for all the years that mommy didn't love you.)

    So, I suspect that one of the real motivations here is to show that harassing Anshe Chung does not automatically equal free exposure on popular blogs
    • by glwtta (532858) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @10:59PM (#17493964) Homepage
      The ideal situation would be that online harassment such as what was experienced in the photos/videos would be illegal.

      Seriously? You think it would be "ideal" if there were laws regarding what kind of polygons people can put on the same screen as other people's polygons? Unless they are exploiting game mechanics, the "griefers" are just as much "playing a game they happen to enjoy" as anyone else. Oh, and it's a "reasonable explanation" for someone being able to use criminal law to avoid "unflattering" attention? Give me a break.

      Saying that you are a proponent of free speech in the middle of that nonsense is a huge freaking joke dude.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I believe Michael Crook did the same thing with 10zenmonkeys when they show a pic of him while he was interviewed by Fox News. He tried to pull the same DMCA crap and the EFF is suing. Hopefully the out come of the case would set a precedence and let people know that this kind of crap won't work. See: http://www.10zenmonkeys.com/2006/09/18/in-the-comp any-of-jerkoffs/ [10zenmonkeys.com], http://www.10zenmonkeys.com/2006/11/01/eff-crook-d mca-lawsuit/ [10zenmonkeys.com]

    This Anshe Chung/Ailin Graef is just as bad as Michael Crook.
  • - You become a 'mogul' in a VIRTUAL GAME, you make heaploads of money from it, then you file copyright. Well well, WHERE is the content you are 'creating' residing in ? In some virtual world which SOME OTHERS HAVE CREATED.

    Who has the greater right on virtual stuff there now ? Definitely not you. The company has - the fact that they have had signed a contract with you to the effect that you can hold the rights there does not make what you create here rightfully yours.

    Its just like living in an omnipotent creator's universe as its creation, and then 'creating' something and then suing the source creator over it.

    Im a person of no religion other than my own spirit, but i have this to say to you :

    Fuckin greedy bitch !
  • Anshe vs Furries (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Arcturax (454188) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @12:22AM (#17494532)
    I was present back when Anshe pulled some nasty underhandedness with some a group of "furries" and removed all their content from an area they rented from her for disagreeing with her. This sparked a full on second life riot in the said area.

    Hillarity ensued." [nyud.net]

    You know Anshe wouldn't get this treatment is she wasn't such a stuck up shark who abuses her position. No one has a problem with her being a business woman. The real problem is her attitude and her bad business practices.

    I'd highly recommend that people simply stop renting from her, because the true cost (her attitude and DMCA crap like this) is really not worth it.
  • Cui bono? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JourneyExpertApe (906162) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:57AM (#17495124)
    I'm sure her public image is really suffering because of this alleged violation of the DMCA. And I'm also sure she had nothing whatsoever to do with this unprovoked penis attack. It was probably just a freak coincidence that all those penises decided to attack this relatively unknown wannabe celebrity all at once.

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"

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