Ever since I joined Second Life, issues of copyright have been argued. In the beginning it seemed to centre on people who had their work stolen and reproduced to sell in SL. You had people who had their whole SL for free off the backs of designers and artists who spent hours working on something so they could make a few Lindens. I don't think anyone saw any grey with those arguments.
I am not a designer so I know nothing about the process and if I come across as being disrespectful to the talent or the hard work of the process then I have really missed the mark because I have nothing but respect and appreciation for anyone who makes the effort. It is because I do not know all that is involved that it becomes muddy for me.
Once people started working off templates, I am not sure how similarities could be avoided. I didn't know how to tell the difference from a quick glance and so I was unwilling to jump in on any of the wagons heading out on a witch hunt. I didn't want to be disrespectful to a deserving artist who may have had her work stolen, but neither did I want to persecute someone unfairly. And for not deciding, I was called a traitor. Seems in the absence of proof one should always side with the extremists. At least that way you may live to fight another day. Being quiet and staying respectfully out of it is social suicide.
We moved on to issues of copyright when it comes to using Disney figures, for example, on clothing or furniture in here. We got to see not only how people had used Bambi to sell a purse, but how they copied Strawberry Shortcakes pie cabinet. Then it seems to have exploded into complete insanity where everyone is accusing everyone of copying.
We yelled at designers who did not create something new for us to shop for whenever there was an event. We screamed about the lack of diversity. We complained that someone made the A-line skirt first and another designer had not right to do one too.
Problem for me now is, if people are going to put up a pic of one persons work - be it clothing, furniture, architecture, avatar, or a photo - and then post someone else's and say that they are copying, it had better be the most original, never before heard of or seen thing, ever. They complain that putting a frame around a picture was someone else's idea and now someone else is copying it. How does this work? Because, in all honesty, if you look on the internet or real life you will find that the first person copied it from someone there. You will find that the idea of something like a "frame around a picture" is a pretty common idea that many people have used.
Everyone seems to be "inspired" by real life to some degree. People get inspired sometimes to do something that has already been done without ever seeing that someone else has done it. People can even come up with the same idea each on their own. Adding a bow to the left side of a hair band is not that big of a creative leap that we can consider it impossible for someone to have come up with, unless they copied someone else.
Are we going to say now that the first person to copy real life into Second Life holds the rights to that "look?"
Or, is it possible, we could all just calm the fuck down?
There really are enough ideas to go around. There is a way of working together where everyone is inspired by each other's work and everyone benefits. Being with creative people, engaged in creative endeavors can be awe inspiring in terms of what comes out of that collective effort.
Think about it people, open up, share, work together, help one another out, build. We have it in our power to create any kind of world we want in here and it is so disappointing to see us always opt for the same crappy details that makes the real world suck.