Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Scam Alert: Skin Stealers

This scam alert is a little different in that it deals with more 'theft' than it does an active scam. However, there is still a scam in that they have stolen someone's hard work and are attempting to profit from it by passing it off as an original, and its quite obvious looking at the evidence that was provided to me. Other skin dealers, or other merchants may wish to check these individuals out incase they've ripped off anyone else.

Affects: So far, 2 skin dealers, Ambyance2 Anubis & Lost Thereian
Modus Operandi
: The theives have apparently ripped Ambyance2 Anubis & Lost Thereian's skin textures and set them for sale at their own store
How it goes down: The exact nature of how they got the skin is unknown to me at this time. It could have been through careful screenshots, but I've also heard of a texture exploit in SL that lets you steal textures. At any rate, it appears they get the textures, alter them very slightly ( more blurry, slightly washed out details.) and then set it for resale at their store.
Seeing through the Scam: This sort of scam is very hard to see through. To a new person, unfamiliar with the original designer's work, they probably won't be able to tell the difference. However if someone is a fan of a particular designer, or in this case, skin maker, they may well recognize the product for sale as being a direct rippoff/knockoff. Its best to notify the creators in such cases to let them decide how they want to resolve the problem. In this case, the skin makers have made it very clear that the products in the vendors don't belong to the avatars in question.
Damage control: This is more something the retailers have to deal with than the general consumer. However, if you do see a designer's items for sale in a retail setting by someone other than the creator, it might be good to drop them a note and a landmark so they can check it out.

Avatars involved in this theft
: bad Plasma and Meshell Jezebel
Offending Store: Bad Boys in Amydria 86, 95, 32
Wronged party:
Ambyance2 Anubis & Lost Thereian of Naughty Designs

Notecard with evidence will be posted on the Caveat Emptor Association messageboard at our office in Bruin. ( Bruin 84, 215, 23)


At 6:47 PM, July 18, 2006, Blogger Jakkal Dingo said...

It used to be back in some of the older versions of SL, that you could take a screenshot of textures, and you could make the textures larger by dragging out the bounding box.

If these skins are a little blurry or pixelated, they were likely taken with this method a while ago.

At 1:21 AM, July 20, 2006, Blogger Elikapeka Tiramisu said...

There's a 3rd party texture stealing program that thieves have been using to take building textures, clothes, skins, what have you. I'm sure this was used in this case.

At 10:45 AM, July 20, 2006, Blogger Myst Panther said...

Hey Elikapeka.

thanks for the heads up on this. I'd be curious to know what this program is. If the textures I saw were taken, it seems that it rips them at a very low/crappy quality.

At 5:20 PM, July 20, 2006, Blogger Jakkal Dingo said...

That's what I was saying, if it's low quality, it was probably the exploit on the older version of SL. The other exploit is an Open GLE thing I Think.

I'd really suggest the designers put some kind of mark on their textures to ensure if someone *does* steal it, you can tell LL "Hey look, this is mine."


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