Curio versus Hush…

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.

Curio disappears

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.

And…finally…

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.

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20 thoughts on “Curio versus Hush…

  1. Tank you for putting this up there! These Hush people sure have a lot of nerve – and I’m so bummed, being an avid fan of Gala Phoenix’s work – all three of my alts wear Curio skins. I can’t believe this Hush person is getting AWAY from this.

  2. I would like to comment in reply.

    I would like to say I supported and still support the process by which copyright laws work.

    I was happy to see LL respond to a presumably legal document that was sent to Linden Lab on behalf of Hush against Curio. I am very skeptical Linden Lab would respond to anything except a fully legal injunction.

    Now we have seen a separate legal injunction work against Hush when League took action. Clearly again it was legally done and supported by the courts. I understand that Hush’s work has been pulled for sale from the grid. I am glad to see this legal procedure work once again.

    At no time did I disparage Gala Phoenix’s work nor Hush Darkstone’s. During all this time I have not truly known who is in the right. All I know is that legal action has been taken, and I champion that process.

    I hope everyone respects Voshie’s right not to have the legal matters discussed in her chat in the Skin Addiction group. She has worked very hard on the Skin Showcase amidst all this trouble and has worked very hard to keep Skin Addiction together, building a community of folks who love skin content.

    1. Hey Harper,

      thanks for the comment. I think Voshie very much has the right to forbid further discussions on the topic in her group, I even believe it is probably the best step she could take now. However, I am sure, you can see as well how that might raise even more questions.

      I think, an dthat is basically my critique, if you , as a representant of Skin Addiction, wanted to simply support legal actions, it could have been handled a lot better. Some strange lines written on Hush’s own blog seemed a very thin base to base all the statements you made in public about it being a ‘legal action’ etc. Of course, talking about legal actions immediately painted Gala as the bad guy and Hush as a victim.

      I hope this will simply get solved now, and while I admittedly do hope that we do not have to stick to Hush as a ‘replacement’ for Gala’s awesaome skins, I will most definitely apologize if Hush turns out to be the victim indeed.

      PS: Forgive the late approval/reply, am a euro and was sleeping like a big bear.

    2. You are right Voshie did work hard on the Skin Showcase. When this mess showed up in chat and there were no links to be shared YOU should have followed that rule yourself. I don’t care whose side you are on, although you made it pretty clear from the chat I read, but you should have never kept sharing the link or expressing your feelings as a representative of Voshie’s group. Perhaps an apology instead of that passive aggressive diatribe up there would have been better.

    3. “I am very skeptical Linden Lab would respond to anything except a fully legal injunction.”

      Actually LL will take down in response to any DMCA filed. LL makes no judgement as to the varacity of any DMCA claim. That is for a court to decide. LL taking something down does not prove guilt or innocence, nor does it indicate any legal judgement has been found. I suggest you learn more about DMCA before making such statements.

      1. Bless you for this statement. People should not express their opinion without knowing all the facts of the situation, and how the process works, though most do. I didn’t see an intense love for the legal system in the posts. I saw someone attempting to sway others to their belief. I can not count the number of posts I have seen about LL’s banning/closing/taking down without seemingly understanding a situation.

        On a personal note, the idea of “influential” cartoons make me lol.

      2. Th eidea of ‘influential’ cartoons is indeed pretty awkward, hence why I carefully made sure to point out she has influence within the virtual environment of SL. Given how quickly people jumped to conclusions based on her statements….I doubt that is an entirely wrong statement. :/

    4. It’d be really good if people who aren’t lawyers and don’t know the facts of these situations would stop throwing around words like injunction. A DMCA takedown is not an injunction. A court action is not an injunction. Injunction is a very specific legal term that has a very specific definition, and it doesn’t apply in this case.

      1. From http://digital-law-online.info/lpdi1.0/treatise33.html:

        “For all the other safe harbors, the following injunctive relief is available:
        (i) An order restraining the service provider from providing access to infringing material or activity residing at a particular online site on the provider’s system or network.
        (ii) An order restraining the service provider from providing access to a subscriber or account holder of the service provider’s system or network who is engaging in infringing activity and is identified in the order, by terminating the accounts of the subscriber or account holder that are specified in the order.
        (iii) Such other injunctive relief as the court may consider necessary to prevent or restrain infringement of copyrighted material specified in the order of the court at a particular online location, if such relief is the least burdensome to the service provider among the forms of relief comparably effective for that purpose. ”

        If I am using “injunction” in an incorrect way, then I apologize, but so far, what I’ve read on DMCA provisions supports the use of this word. I’ll have to look more closely at the legal state it represents.

    5. “I was happy to see LL respond to a presumably legal document that was sent to Linden Lab on behalf of Hush against Curio. I am very skeptical Linden Lab would respond to anything except a fully legal injunction.”

      Here’s the problem with that: putting aside the fact that there was no record of any court proceedings regarding Second Life, skin making, Gala Phoenix or Hush Darkrose discovered in ANY Canadian court–a DMCA is a fully legal injunction. There are specifics that need to be filled out correctly, and while they CAN be filed without legal help, it IS a legal document to which Linden Lab must–and in general, must ALWAYS–respond. Treating DMCA filing as if it weren’t a legal, supportable claim is disingenuous at best.

  3. to darien:

    then why didn’t LL take down Hush’s skins since apparently she was DMCA’d first by curio? why did they only respond to hush. not saying hush is innocent but i dont know what all this harper hate is about. jeesh. the store and skins were removed from LL. there was a blog with a ‘legal document’. all she was doing was relaying information. does she have to do a full out fricking investigation before reporting the facts as she sees them? the majority of people on SLUniverse chose sides almost immediately, god forbid you went in there and questioned them. some people just saw a legal document and a skin creator get banned and their skins disappear. occams razor…

    ps i dont know who this harper is at all btw. but it’s kinda sick to see her get bashed

    1. I have no sympathy for Harper. She’s getting called out on trashing someone’s reputation without knowing the facts (I have since learned this is not the first time she has played fast and loose with people’s reputations – ie ‘blogger hall of shame’). And YES she did disparage Curio “[2012/05/24 16:36] Harper Beresford: the proof is the skins are off the grid for sale end of story” and potentially caused others financial loss (the girl going to delete her skins) as she presented Curio as the copyright infringer, done and dusted. Shame she didn’t take her own advice and let the courts handle it.

      2012/05/24 16:33] BellaRose Melody: does that mean any skin bought from curio will be removed from our inventory ?
      [2012/05/24 16:33] Hideyuki Ichtama: More than likely, Bella.
      [2012/05/24 16:33] Harper Beresford: no Bella
      [2012/05/24 16:33] Harper Beresford: nono.. she directed them not to remove existing skins**
      [2012/05/24 16:33] Anabella Ravinelli: I’m going to delete mine just to be safe, I don’t know if they delete accounts or not that have that stuff? or do they just delete the stuff?
      [2012/05/24 16:33] BellaRose Melody: I would be really mad,
      [2012/05/24 16:33] Harper Beresford: but Curio can no longer sell
      [2012/05/24 16:33] Harper Beresford: no they delete the stuff.. and do not panic
      [2012/05/24 16:34] Anabella Ravinelli: ok lol
      [2012/05/24 16:34] Harper Beresford: you legitimately spent money
      [2012/05/24 16:34] Harper Beresford: and you did not know
      [2012/05/24 16:34] Anabella Ravinelli: well i’m still going to delete it anyhow
      [2012/05/24 16:34] Anabella Ravinelli: cause i won’t wear stolen skins

      …
      [2012/05/24 16:35] Harper Beresford: well Nadja.. do you think she didn’t have compelling evidence?**

      [2012/05/24 16:36] Harper Beresford: the proof is
      [2012/05/24 16:36] Harper Beresford: the skins are off the grid for sale
      [2012/05/24 16:36] Harper Beresford: end of story
      …
      2012/05/24 16:38] Harper Beresford: they are off the grid for sale
      [2012/05/24 16:38] Nadja Baxter: i don´t belive that
      [2012/05/24 16:38] Harper Beresford: well go look, Nadja
      [2012/05/24 16:38] Harper Beresford: Go to curio
      [2012/05/24 16:40] Harper Beresford: let the courts take care of this… it’s a legal issue.. in RL
      [2012/05/24 16:41] Harper Beresford: and it will do its work

  4. Arica- Yes, you are correct. It is always sad to me to see how much like High School SL can be lol The people… they need a leader… lol

  5. Completely shocked there was a response from Harper at all….but even more open mouthed at her feeble attempt to legitimize her actions in group chat (SA).
    *shakes head*
    Months ago during another drama mini series involving Harper I couldn’t help but wonder what it was about her that left her unscathed? Why is she so untouchable that she could create a “Blogger Hall of Shame” and NOT be raked over the coals? Or attempt to color perspective regarding the Hush/Curio situation, in the manner that she did and not be SL-apped for it? No public apology was issued for the public flogging she gave those on that list, pretty cowardly if you ask me.

    Here is a news flash for you….you are no more “influential” than any other pixel. As a matter of fact although you try VERY hard to appear cultured, professional and well educated, you have no one fooled.

    “I was happy to see LL respond to a presumably legal document that was sent to Linden Lab on behalf of Hush against Curio. I am very skeptical Linden Lab would respond to anything except a fully legal injunction.” – Who presumed it was a legit legal document? When you ASS-UME you make a ASS out of you…pretty simple. It was painfully clear before you posted this reply that HUSH’s “legal documents” were a scam, yet still you persist. Why is it so hard to simply say ” I’m sorry, I was out of line and used poor judgement and should not have posted as I did.” Put on your big girl panties and own it Harper.

    “I hope everyone respects Voshie’s right not to have the legal matters discussed in her chat in the Skin Addiction group.” – Sure…..the same way YOU respected it? Is that what you were doing when you posted a link to the bogus documents, and added a commentary that implied that Gala/Curio have been ripping for 4 years? Seriously, you either have your head so far up your own ass that you don’t realize just how condensing and ridiculous you sound OR you are in need of some mental health counseling because sister you got it bad.

    For the record, I am not a creator, not a blogger, have no connection to either stores, I am simply a consumer and a avid blog reader. Gala has my full support (as non important as that is) and even though I am not a Curio patron regularly, I will be spending big lindens when her products are restored to the grid.

    PS. If it turns out that Hush was in the right I will publicly apologize, however I will stand firmly behind my take on Harper’s behavior.

    1. @Blogging Elf –
      Its in german.

      Deinen Artikel fand ich sehr gut; den Ablauf und auch die Links dazu – sehr ausführlich – danke!

      Das Harper Beresford als sehr bekannte Bloggerin und Skin Group-Moderatorin auf deinen Artikel reagiert hat fand ich “eigentlich” gut – bis auf das was sie schrieb bzw. nicht schrieb.

      Den Satz: “At no time did I disparage Gala Phoenix’s work nor Hush Darkstone’s. ” – empfinde ich als Curio Kundin und Skin-Adicction-Member wie einen Schlag ins Gesicht (bischen harsch ausgedrückt). Schliesslich war sie es, die im Skin-Addcition-Gruppen-Chat sehr klar implizierte das Hush ja sowas wie einen Gerichtsbeschluss gegen Curio hätte wg. Copyright-Verletzung seitens Gala Phoenix und deswegen Curio wohl geschlossen sei.
      So machte sie aus einer vorher weniger bekannte Situation eine Skandalmeldung in einer der gr̦ssten Gruppen von Second LIfe Рimplizierte das Gala Ph̦nix scheinbar jahrelang Hush/VixenSkins copybotted.

      Das Hush Skin (wer kannte Hush-skin vorher?) dann am Landepunkt des Skin-Group-Events seine Vendoren stehen hatte und sicherlich noch gut verdienen konnte anstatt direkt von der Eventführung bei bekannt werden des Skandals entfernt zu werden, impliziert bei mir noch was ganz anderes – insbesondere wenn ich mich Frage wer diesen Event geleitet hat (Spekulation meinerseits!)

      Das Glam Affair wegen dieser unklaren Situation ihren Skin dort erst gar nicht ausstellte zeigt doch, das auch andere Skin Creatoren schnell erfassten was passiert.

      Das die Gruppenownerin Voshi nun ein Schweigen über die Situation von den Membern erwartet bzw. auch durch aktives muten durchsetzt – ist verständlich. Nur hätte ich als Member der Skin-Addiction-Gruppe erwartet das die Moderatoren, z.b. Harper Berresford, über eine solche Situation schweigen und nicht noch aktiv die ganze Situation anfeuern und verschärfen.

      LG
      Marlen

      1. Hey du!

        Genau das ist der Grund, der mich veranlasst hat, hier überhaupt das Thema aufzugreifen. Wenn du mal in meinem Blog zurück blätterst, merkt man schnell, dass ich mich nur sehr selten zu bestimmten Themen äußere.

        Ich fand es einfach unsäglich, dass die Moderatoren in einer Gruppe mit mehr als 8K Mitgliedern solche Äußerungen von sich gaben, die völlig unbelegbar und einseitig waren. Ich will garnicht wissen, wieviele Leute den Ansagen blind gefolgt sind und das noch weitererzählt haben udnw ieviel Verlust Gala dadurch vielleicht entstanden ist, geschweige denn wieviel Kohle Hush dadurch gemacht hat. :/

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