Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Gift For the Vain Inc. 12th Issue Celebration

~*FBG*~ Fortune Bangles Set - Vain Inc. Group Gift

Today Toko Voom, one of the managers of the *velvet* SIM where we have a shop, asked if I would like to participate in the 12th Issue Gift Month for the Vain Inc. Group. Although we are having a tough time feeling inspired, I love making free gifts for anyone who asks, I lived on freebies most of my SL, and it makes me feel good to provide a little joy to others. These three bangles have slogans that I came up with myself for the occassion, and are inspired by a bangle I saw in a magazine somewhere, though I am not sure which. The slogans are "Why Wait, Seize The Cupcake", "Life is too short to skip dessert", and for the Vain group particularly "Vanity never goes out of style". Just some fun, they are scripted to change colour with a click, come on both (L) & (R) forearms, and are mod/copy. I know not everyone made it into the Vain Inc. Group, so if these strike your fancy and you didn't manage to find an open slot for the Vain Inc. group this month, drop me a notecard with your avatar name and I will drop these on you first chance I get.

With Sugar Kisses,
Sweetie Pye

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

*Update* Re: DMCA Against ~*FBG*~


Let me start by saying we have been overwhelmed by the supportive comments, IMs, and note cards we have received from our customers, landlords, fellow content creators, bloggers, and others over the last few days. You are the reason we are willing to fight for our rights, and we will continue to keep you updated as things do, or do not, develop.

I just wanted to post an update of sorts, although nothing has really happened since we counter-notified on the DMCA. We now are in a waiting game, to see if the individual responsible for filing the DMCA against us will take the issue further and basically sue us in real world court over the "~*FBG*~ Jelly Tots Necklace Sets". We are at this point so incredibly frustrated by LL's lack of response to our questions via e-mail, we are no closer to having any idea who has filed against us, or why. All we do know, is that we have done nothing wrong, and most of our friends and family have rallied around us, saying that they actually hope this person does file, so that we can sue for damages and filing a false DMCA. We have made contact with a lawyer, and are awaiting advice on our rights as prescribed in the DMCA Legislation, which is confusing to say the least. In any case, this is still a waiting game, the Individual(s) who filed the DMCA against us have 10 business days to file suit, and we are counting down days and waiting for a response from LL.

I also wanted to respond to a couple of the comments we have received. First, the suggestion that LL does not give concierge service to Alt Accounts. The owner of the SIM where our main store is located supplied us with the concierge information, and acted on our behalf, as we are denied any assistance with LL as non-payment verified and non-premium accounts. This is not illegal, this was our only option as there is no in-game support, no support ticket option on DMCA, and no one at LL will respond to us. We simply wanted to verify that the email from the "Removals Department" was not a hoax, this was confirmed, and we were directed to contact the removals department with further questions. We have attempted to contact them, but they have yet to respond or even acknowledge receipt of our questions.

Other comments have suggested that the name "Jelly Tots" or our use of the image of a tray on our vendors might me the cause of the DMCA. If that were the case, then they would not have only named our necklaces as the items to be removed, we have bracelets and earrings also called "Jelly Tots", and all our vendors use the same image of a baking sheet.

Thanks again for your interest in the DMCA process as enforced by LL, which we believe is flawed, and your offers of assistance and legal advice. We need all the help we can get to try to understand our rights to information at this time, so please let us know if you have any answers at all.

Sweetie Pye & Dessert Furst
Designers, ~*Fresh Baked Goods*~

Friday, August 22, 2008

DMCA Counter-Notification Recieved by LL - Items Deleted From Our Inventory

People have asked me why I am posting on this DMCA Case, that it may not be wise to be so public, that we should carry on quietly and await further notification from LL. The reason we are doing this is two-fold. Primarily, we are very concerned that we have the opportunity to maintain a dialogue with our customers, supporters, and the fashion community in SL about the issues facing the availability of our products, or lack thereof. Second, we see the DMCA process as carried out by LL to be incredibly flawed.

There is absolutely no protection for the accused, and we are being treated guilty until proven innocent, and that goes against everything the American Justice System is supposed to stand for. If LL is protecting the filing party on this DMCA Case, by not even giving us an avatar name, product name, or shop, why are we expected to delete our items from our inventory, give up our real contact info, and submit a sworn statement that we did not copy another party, when we have no idea what we were accused of copying.

SLX & OnRez Boxes Taken Down by LL

Below, I will post the letter we received from LL regarding their receipt of our Counter-Notification, but first I will tell you what greeted me upon checking my email today. First, I received an email from OnRez, notifying me that MY ENTIRE STOCK OF ITEMS was being de-listed as they were un-able to contact the OnRez Dropbox in our shop (we only have one). I logged in to find that not only had all the ~*FBG*~ Jelly Tots Necklaces been removed from my inventory, but that on going to the location of my Mainstore, the OnRez and SLX boxes were now missing too (They were on the bottom of the pink shelf shown above). That includes our entire product line, therefore making everything we had listed on SLX and OnRez not available for sale. This not only means we can not sell the necklace (which we had already removed from active listings), but all the work and time put into the rest of our product listing was not only wasted, and our sales on both sites is entirely disabled, including all the other products we make. We really don't sell very much on any given day, but this amounts to shutting down our shops entirely, and that is just WRONG!

Items Removed From Our Stores by LL

When I cammed to the back of the store, to see if the other vendors were taken, they too were now MISSING from the shelves. We had already disabled the vendors, they were no longer for sale, we felt we had done what was requested of us by LL. You can see the spots on the shelf above where the vendors were located. As a result, we have no copies of this necklace left in inventory, and when this issue is resolved in our favor (as we fully believe it will be) we may never be able to get the necklace back. LL has treated us as criminals, and we have no idea what is happening on the other end of this case. This is not a texture we can simply re-upload and continue to sell after the resolution of this issue, this was built prim by prim (190 to be exact) and it is going to be incredibly difficult to recreate.

While logged, I received this e-mail from LL:

Thank you for submitting your Counter Notification. As required by the DMCA, Linden Lab has disabled the following work(s):

Description of Work(s):
FBG Bright Jelly Tots Necklace Sets
FBG Muted Jelly Tots Necklace Sets
FBG Greyscale Jelly Tots Necklace Sets

Location of Work(s):
Velvet ( 127,83,23 )
Retrology (150,182,40 )
Floyd ( 94,147,39 )
Ivalde ( 170,167,24 )

Pursuant to the DMCA, the claimant has 10 business days to notify us of filing Court action. If we do not receive notification of an action, the work(s) will be restored to your inventory. Sincerely, Linden Lab Removal Team

We now await word from the other party, to see if they plan to take legal action against us in a court of law over a $100L Necklace sold in a virtual environment, that has netted us a grand total of less then $10,000L in profits, most of which goes to paying the rentals on our shops. We still have received no information about the other party involved in this case, no response from LL about the many questions we have regarding the information we are entitled to, nor do we know what the other party has received from LL.

Thanks you again for your prayers, kind words, offers of support, and advice. We appreciate it more then you will ever know, you have all made us feel as if we are doing the right thing in fighting this, and I hope this issue allows us all to examine the way LL handles their "mediation" of the DMCA process, and possibly make it more fair and less one-sided in the future.

DMCA Counter File Submitted - Update and More Questions


Yesterday, we filed a counter-notification after being notified by the Linden Labs Removals Department that 3 of our products were reported as infringing on a copyrighted item within the Second Life Environment. See Previous Blog Post Here.

I have repeatedly tried to have a series of question answered by the Removals Department, as I was instructed to do by the Concierge at Linden Labs Support. My first email was sent shortly after we recieved the notice of DMCA Action, then I followed with 2 others yesterday morning just prior to faxing off our counter-notification.

Minutes after sending the URGENT REQUEST FOR INFORMATION to the Removals Department email, I recieved this ACCOUNT TESTING notice from LL, as did my business partner Dessert Furst. It is unbelievably co-incidental that after requesting information and counter-filing, we get this rediculous form letter.

Dear Sweetie Pye,

Greetings from Second Life. Occasionally, Linden Lab needs to determine the cause of bugs, simulator slowdowns, and various other occurrences that you may have experienced while in Second Life.

While fixing a bug, we were able to trace it to something that your avatar may have been doing, or something they may have seen. For this reason, we have disabled your ability to log in to Second Life while we examine your logs and try to determine the cause.

Your account will be returned shortly (usually within a 1/2 hour), and no changes will be made to your character or account other than those required to resolve the problem.

Your account will be restored as soon as we resolve the specific issue, and we will notify you via email when that happens. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please feel free to contact us if you have further questions.

Best Wishes, Linden Lab

Linden Research, Inc.
945 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Approximately 9 minutes later, we recieved this FOLLOW UP email.

Dear Sweetie Pye,

Thank you for your patience while we worked on your Second Life account.

It has been re-enabled.

We hope that this did not impact your Second Life too severely, and apologize for any inconvenience that it may have caused. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us by visiting

Best Wishes, have fun,
Linden Lab

Linden Research, Inc.
945 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Upon Logging After this DISABLING of our accounts, we found that no inventory was missing from our accounts, nor were we in a different location then we had last known our avatars to be. What was apparent, was that someone(s) had logged in to my account, as I had recieved offline notifications of 3 IMs and one inventory offer, and the IMs were not there, nor was there a "messages capped" notification, and the offered notecard was now in my inventory.

I find this form letter to be an insult, we witnessed no events, filed no bug reports, nor were there any issues with our accounts. Clearly this was related to the DMCA process in some way, but as Dessert was literally filing the counter-notification at the time this occured, it happened prior to our counter, and therefore should not have been specifically related to that. I have still not recieved ANY response to my original questions from LL.

Updates to Follow.

~*FBG*~ Compliance with DMCA Instructions as per LL

As per the previously shared DMCA Notification from the LL Removals Department:

"Linden Lab respects the rights of both Second Life residents and copyright owners. In compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), 17 U.S.C. § 512, we ask that you remove or disable access to the above-identified work(s) from all locations including your inventory. If you do not do so within two business days, please be aware that Linden Lab intends to expeditiously remove, or disable access to, the allegedly infringing work(s)."

Dez & I Disabling Our Vendors.

After receiving the request from LL, and writing our first blog post on August 20/08, my partner Dessert Furst and I went shop to shop and edited our vendors, removing them from sale, yet leaving them in place on the racks in the bakery shops. I updated my profile to explain that the items were temporarily deactivated, and I also went to far as to remove from sale the fat-pack box that INCLUDES the same necklace, even though it was not specifically identified in the DMCA Notification. We then moved on to our SLX and OnRez account, listing that took me hours to create, and de-listed all the items highlighted in the notification, as well as the fat-pack.

We did not remove the items from our inventory by deletion, which I imagine is the only way one could do this, as we believe when this is resolved we will continue to be able to sell our Necklace, and therefore needed our copies for future sales if needed. We created them, it took hours upon hours of work, and we just couldn't delete/destroy our hard work, although we would have never distributed the items in any way until a resolution is reached.

It was incredibly difficult to do this, as we know we have done nothing wrong, but we did it because we are law abiding individuals, who believe that this process is meant to protect creators like us should we ever find someone had copied/stolen our content. We are trying to look at this from both sides, but really, it all feels very one sided.

We Will Continue to Update Our Customers and Supporters As The Process Continues.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

DMCA Filed Against ~*FBG*~ - We Need Your Help!

This is the hardest thing I have ever had to write, and it is by no means an easy thing to explain. We regret to inform our valued customers that for the time being, the ~*Fresh Baked Goods*~ Jelly Tots Necklace will not be for sale in any of our Shop locations in-world.

Yesterday, when I arrived home from work, I checked my e-mail as I always do, and was absolutely shocked to find a DMCA Notification from Linden Labs that someone has claimed that the ~*FBG*~ Jelly Tots Necklaces, in all metals and color palettes, are copies of their work. The letter informed me that I had just 2 days to respond by removing the items from sale, and that if I wished I could counter-file to the DMCA stating that under no circumstances did we knowingly infringe on anyone’s copyright. If we did not act within that time Linden Labs would remove our items if they still were for sale, and we might possibly face penalties such as having our accounts inactivated.

I immediately contacted my co-desinger on the Jewelry and co-owner Dessert Furst (Dez), and my other Co-Owner and Friend Sugar Babii (Shug) and spoke to them about this e-mail. At first we assumed it must be some sort of fishing e-mail, which maybe did not originate from Linden Labs, and it may be a mistake. We called Linden Labs concierge service by phone, and they confirmed that this e-mail was indeed sent by the “Removals” department at LL.

We fully intend to respond to this by Counter-Filing on the DMCA. We worked tirelessly creating our products, we created them without any reference to any other accessories or jewelry shop in Second Life, and any real world inspirations (which we retain in picture form) merely served as that, inspiration, the limits of the physics of prims in SL as well as our limited but developing skills in building meant that our finished products were almost nothing like the inspirations. We use no textures in this product other then legally purchased metal textures from Royalty Free sites and we were careful to read the restriction on the use of these items, and we are not restricted from using them in derivative works in any way.

So why am I blogging this? Because myself, and all of my Co-Owners in Fresh Baked Goods have small children at home with us, and the ONLY way to Counter-File to a DMCA Infringement Claim is to reveal your Real Name, Address, Phone Number, and email address to the Party that is filing the claim. We are terrified that this issue over a Necklace we sell for $100L, and have in fact sold to less then 100 individual avatars, will put our children and families at risk. We received no IM, no Notecard, No email contact via our Flickr, blogger, or SLX/OnRez accounts about this issue. No individual attempted to contact us FIRST or EVER before filing this claim. We have no idea who this person is, and we have no idea what product they claim we have illegally copied.

This is the Letter we received from Linden Labs:
Linden Lab has received notification from a copyright owner, or its
authorized agent, that you have infringed one or more copyrighted works
in the Second Life environment. The notification identified the
following allegedly infringing work(s):

Description of Work(s):
~*FBG*~ Bright Jelly Tots Necklace Sets
~*FBG*~ Muted Jelly Tots Necklace Sets
~*FBG*~ Greyscale Jelly Tots Necklace Sets

Location of Work(s):
Velvet ( 127,83,23 )
Retrology (150,182,40 )
Floyd ( 94,147,39 )
Ivalde ( 170,167,24 )

Linden Lab respects the rights of both Second Life residents and
copyright owners. In compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act (“DMCA”), 17 U.S.C. § 512, we ask that you remove or disable access
to the above-identified work(s) from all locations including your
inventory. If you do not do so within two business days, please be aware
that Linden Lab intends to expeditiously remove, or disable access to,
the allegedly infringing work(s).

If you believe that you did not infringe another’s copyright, or that
removal of the above-identified work(s) was by mistake or
misidentification, you may have the work(s) reinstated by submitting a
sworn counter-notification. To be effective, a counter-notification must
be in writing and contain the information identified in our DMCA Policy
under the heading “To File A Counter-Notification,” located at

Please be aware that if you submit a counter-notification containing the
required information, Linden Lab will forward your counter-notification,
including your name, address, telephone number, and any other contact
information that you provide, to the copyright claimant. We will also
advise the claimant that we will reinstate the removed work(s) in ten
(10) business days unless we receive notice that the claimant has filed
a court action seeking an order to restrain you from engaging in
infringing activity related to the work(s).

Thank you for your cooperation and assistance in this matter.


Linden Lab Removal Team

These Are The Necklaces In Question:

~*FBG*~ Bright Jelly Tots Necklace Set
~*FBG*~ Muted Jelly Tots Necklace Set
~*FBG*~ Greyscale Jelly Tots Necklace Set

As you can see, there is no question that this information would be passed on to individual that filed the DMCA. What is sad, is that we have been building this business slowly over the last few months, since April 15th/08, and it was something I did with my friends purely as a hobby, we would sit on Skype and giggle while we worked on moving little prims around, and took pretty pictures, and listed them on SLX and OnRez, and set up our cute little bakery shops. We do not do this for profit, we profit minimally if at all, we do this as a way of fully participating in the Second Life community, by trying our hand at something beyond our normal skill set, by being part of something together. We never wanted to be famous, we don’t really socialize outside of our small group, and we simply wanted to have some fun.

This experience is no longer fun, this accusation of theft (which is what the DMCA is saying in my mind) is hurtful and ungrounded, and now I am being asked to put my children at risk in order to clear my name. I have nothing to hide, I know that I have done nothing wrong, nor have Dez or Shug. We have spend the day scouring the grid trying to discover if anyone even sells similar items. After looking in over 50 shops, we discovered only 3 stores that sold anything even remotely similar to the necklace in question. I have spoken personally with 3 Individuals [Names Removed to Protect These Parties]all talented designers, because they are the only ones I have discovered who sell a similar style of necklace. All three assure me they have not filed this DMCA, and all three are similarly perplexed over the nature of the DMCA process where I must reveal my information to another party, without any idea who the Avatar is, the Shop, or the specific item in question. We all feel that this may be personally motivated, but as I have never had a relationship in SL, have never so much as said a negative word to anyone about anything, and only socialize within my small group of friends, it seems incredibly unlikely.

It feels like we are being bullied. Someone is saying, “we are going to accuse you of this awful thing, and give you 2 days to take down your hard work”. We feel that if we don’t counter-file, we look guilty for not responding, and we can no longer sell our items. We feel if we do counter-file, we are putting our privacy and families at risk, and nothing in this world is worth that, certainly no $100L necklace.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Can anyone tell us whether or not the person filing the DMCA against us gets our personal information without any question or safeguards by Linden Labs? Can anyone tell us if they have seen another necklace like the ones we are being accused of copying in Second Life? What would you do if you were in our shoes? Does it make sense to respond? If this is a way of being bullied, do we call the bluff and have them take us to court to prove their claim? Is it even possible to claim copyright to a necklace like this, I mean, how many ways can you make a ring linked chain and round bead necklace with the limitations of SL?

Please comment, we will respect your anonymity, or if you wish to contact me in-world you can at any time. Please don’t think we have any issue with the DMCA itself, we believe there needs to be a process by which IP rights are protected in-wolrd. We absolutely abhor the idea of content theft, and absolutely affirm the rights of those who have been wronged to seek justice. We do however believe that the way Linden Labs enforces the DMCA process is incredibly one sided, and though many who are faced with this situation would simply cut and run where guilty, why does someone who has committed no wrong have to have their identity handed over simply to be able to continue to sell the items they have created, and maintain their honor and respect from the SL Community.

~ Sweetie Pye
Co-Owner, ~*Fresh Baked Goods*~

Monday, August 11, 2008

Panty Party Goodies! Join The Clam Hunt in Lloyd & Floyd!

We have a little Rose of a Shop on Floyd, and Today they are having a Panty Party and Clam Hunt. Lots Of Freebies & Fun. ~*Fresh Baked Goods*~ Placed out 2 Clams, one with the Panties Bangle, the other with the Bra Bangle. The are scripted to color change by Menu with a click, just a bit of fun, hope you enjoy them!

~*FBG*~ Panty Bangles - New Limited Time Freebies! [2]

~*FBG*~ Panty Bangles - New Limited Time Freebies! [1]

~*FBG*~ Panty Bangles - New Limited Time Freebies! [3]

~*The Hunt Lasts for 5 Days*~

So Get Looking, they are some mighty small Clams, and there are dozens to be found. We set Ours to $0L Freebies, some vendors have theirs for $1L, but they are all fabulous & fun!

Start Hunting!