Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Sad Tale

On the right is a loveseat I made. On the left is one that has been given out for free across the grid. Go ahead and click (twice) to see details.

Notice anything?  Now I am not saying they are identical because the mesh is not identical.  But under copyright law, that really doesn't matter.  If someone downloads my mesh, takes it into some 3D program, and changes it a bit -- or even changes it a lot -- or just makes a copy from scratch -- it is still IP infringement. 

A friend was visiting and noticed the two sofas side by side; she suggested I slide one sofa over so they occupied the same space.  I tinted mine yellow so you can see which is which. Here is what they look like:

Amazing, isn't it? A near perfect match, down to the piping on the cushions and the front of the arms.

In cases like this I often hear people say "Oh that came off the internet, there are tons like that on the internet."  Well in this case, no there are not.  Here is a search of "leather sofa" :

If anyone sees a loveseat/sofa that looks like mine, let me know. Because I have never seen one. The loveseats were not "both modeled after the same RL source" because I did not use one.

Am I wrong for saying "I know my work. This is my work."?  Some think so. What I think: It is wrong to take credit for the work of someone else, and worse to sell or give it away. 

A natural question is, how would you prove something like this in court?

"Substantial similarity is the standard developed and used by United States courts to determine whether a defendant has infringed the reproduction right of a copyright. The standard arises out of the recognition that the exclusive right to make copies of a work would be meaningless if infringement was limited to making only exact and complete reproductions of a work"  

UPDATE:  After due consideration of the fact that picture of my sofa appeared several times in the mesh forum where the maker of the copied sofa and I post, I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt that the copy may have been subconscious.  Certainly it is a copy, but there is no way to prove intent. I did contact the maker in IM first, and when I never heard back from him, I drew a conclusion about his motives. I don't think it is an unwarranted conclusion but there remains the possibility of unintentional copying, and so that is the premise under which I will operate. I will not file a DMCA; the maker of the copy can decide the right thing to do.

ETA:  There is someting in Intellectual Property Law called Subconsious Copying; there is also the psychological phenomenon called Cryptomnesia


  1. Hey Pam .. Your sofa is made from sculpties not mesh .. the nice freebie one is made of mesh ... end of story me thinks

  2. Pamela so sorry this has happened to you. It is obvious the two are the same design -- the piping on the front of the arms, the thin piece between the cushions and bottom, the shape of each piece. I don't know how the copy was produced, but it is certainly a copy. I did look at the Google sofa search -- I didn't find anything similar at all.

  3. I have seen some of the crude and vicious attacks on you, Pamela, for speaking up about what has been done to you. It tells me a lot about who is making the attacks and how reliable they are.

    You would have to be blind not to see that the sofa was copied.

  4. I maybe wrong, but I didn't think you could copyright generic furniture and I'd say that sofa is generic.

  5. Pamela - you have been provided with evidence multiple times. You have been given the actual story of the creation of this sofa. He has posted the evidence on his website. There was no copying of any type either conscious or unconscious.

    1. I know there is not much point in replying, but the fact is that he wound up with a model that looks 1) nearly identical to mine down to small details, and 2) not very much like whatever pictures he may have used as a model. So I supposed it is a matter of semantics whether "producing a copy" by whatever means or with whatever intentions, is the same thing as "copying". As I have said, it is not unreasonable to assume that he subconsciously produced the copy. What is unreasonable is to expect me to look at the two sofas side by side and say one is not the model for the other.

      But I repeat myself, and there is no point in doing any more of that.

  6. I see plenty of sofas that look very similair to both these 3d models. whether the one sofa is copied from the other doesn't even matter, since you can by no means claim copyright on the sofa in the first place. Not one feature of the sofa is unique enough to qualify for those rights, no matter how much time and efford went into the modelling. If that was the case, both sofas would be in violation.

  7. I find it odd no-one will "sign" their opinions.

    DeadCat Mumfuzz