It’s MY skin!

Many skin designers are NOT okay with someone ripping their skin from SL and modifying it in Photoshop (even if it’s for personal use only). What do YOU think?

[poll id=”9″]

Posted by Gogo

Second Life Blogger since 2007. I write about SL fashion, events, and occasionally explore nice places. Thank you for reading my blog!

19 comments

  1. I don’t believe it would technically be copyright infringement; however, in most cases doing so is in direct violation of the EULA, and it’s ethically dubious at best.

  2. uh. no. just because you bought it doesn’t give you the right to copy and then modify THEIR work to fit your needs. im sorry but i would flip the eff out if i found out someone ripped a shirt of mine to put their name on it or something.

  3. @ Brutus…What makes intellectual property so much more precious than physical property? If I buy a Dior shirt, I can spray paint obscenities over it if I like. I understand that there have to be certain restrictions on perms to protect profit, but this isn’t about piracy.

    And actually, I have never modded a skin. I do, however, change up moddable clothing all the time. That raises another question – why are skins so much more precious than, say, jewelry?

    @Sarah…I would never break a EULA. But in RL, if there is a restrictive agreement (like some mega-star artists have a contract that you sign beforehand specifying that you can’t modify a painting – or sell it at too great of a profit without giving the artist a cut) I can choose not to sign it. In SL, the EULA is usually packaged without warning with the item…and I just have to delete the item, at the loss of my money, when the EULA offends me. (And I will – I’m the kind of person who reads the fine print on the DRM before choosing where I buy music.)

    Ethically dubious? Why? Perhaps because it “disrespects” the intent of the artist. I can sort of buy that, which is why a restrictive EULA will get me to show my respect for the artist all the way to the bit basket. I have much more respect for artists who like playful creativity in their clientele, who are secure enough to let their children out to play instead of keeping them locked in the basement.

  4. it wouldn’t be considered under copyright since it primarily deals with selling of another persons copied works.

    EULA would be broken.. But only if user looked at it ( or opened it) and accepted it… otherwise it was never there to begin with.. it’s a small loop hole and another dicussion in sl which i’d rather not get into… SL is protected.. in world business not so much…

  5. Let’s break it down. Real Life style:

    I hop in my car, hit the mall, run into Hollister and grab a pair of jeans in a color I like a lot, then purchase another at Ambercrombie and Fitch in similar shades. I get back in my car and I deconstruct the jeans at home, whip out my sewing machine, put both pairs of jeans together and create a jean jacket. I bought it, it’s mine, I can do what I want with it after purchasing it. This situation is not any different than the “skin” issue. We are very sensitive, to content theft. However, no crime has been committed. Evidently, the purchaser would have spent a min of 8USD to buy the skins, as the “average” price of skins are 1000L a piece. Therefore, from a RL stand point. It would be okay.

  6. I am mixed on this. For one is the product really ours? Do we own the file or is it really the property of The Lab. On the flip side the person paid for the product and if they do not intend to resell it, I can see why some would feel they are justified in doing it for their own use. Me personally? I would feel to guilty to change it.

  7. Yes it is against various copyright laws, but its also protected somewhat under “fair use” and is also not really such a big deal really.

    While in SL we need a separate set of rules, truth is the old ones do apply. So modifying digital images to look great (btw I like what you did with the skin) should be the same as a person putting on makeup or getting a tattoo, it breaks some of the RL rules…

    It is completely unenforceable in court, and really… I think anybody who gave you trouble for it would really look silly doing so.

    so Illegal: yes
    Wrong to do: no

    thats my opinion 😉

  8. I can understand how a designer would be upset with a person modifying “their baby” so to speak. However as long as you aren’t saying its your own work and/or selling or distributing it as your own work, I don’t see that there is anything wrong with it.

  9. Hi Kayla, this was a hypothetical poll 🙂

    The brows I covered up a few posts ago was just a picture I snapshot and then painted over in Photoshop, not on the skin itself.

    Since I am a blogger, I only wear skins that are sold in the store/brand as-is, no side modifications.

  10. The bigger problem is what is necessary to do to be able to modify it. You can take your jeans home and cut them up- it is the same pair of jeans. The same physical pair of jeans.

    With a skin, you have to export it into an entirely different format to be able to even start, taking it entirely outside the confines of SL. Therein is where lies a huge part of the problem.

  11. “Let’s break it down. Real Life style:”
    1) in SL you still have the original copy … so suddenly you have a jackets AND a jeans.
    2) in SL you have to get the jeans-texture (to mod it in PS) with illegal means (like a copybot tool which violates TOS) …
    so your story would have to sound like that:
    “I hop in my car, hit the mall, run into Hollister and grab a pair of jeans in a color I like a lot, then purchase another at Ambercrombie and Fitch in similar shades. Then i steal a sewing machine at the shop next door. I get back in my car and I deconstruct the jeans at home, whip out my frshly stolen sewing machine, put both pairs of jeans together and create a jean jacket. Then i file a wrong complaint so they send me a new pair of jeans.”
    So you got a new sewing machine, a jacket and a jeans for the price of one jeans. great!!!

  12. And unfortunately in SL people first make their lips smaller (= 2 skins). Then they add another lip color (=3 skins). Then they add tattoos so save clothing layers (= 4 skins). Then they add eye shadows for all 3 moded skins (= 6 skins). Then they give it to their alt (= 6 skins for 2 avs). And save a good 4000L$. Yeah, “I bought it, i can do whatever i want with it” doesn’t fully apply in the digital world.

  13. if you’re getting your hands on the raw textures, breaking into the file someone has created to protect their work, then yeah, you absolutely are screwing the creator. in my view it has a lot more to do with accessing those files than whatever changes you make. i sold you the skin. i didn’t sell you the right to open the files and do whatever you want with them because that would cost one hell of a lot more.

    if you really love and respect the work of the people who’s skins you want to mod, and that’s why you purchased them in the first place, then why not talk to them about doing some custom work. prove your love.

  14. Interestingly, I know of at least two designers that will actually allow this. They don’t care as long as you don’t try to sell the end product. I am on the fence about it personally. I completely understand the legitimate reasons people do it. Tattoos, eyebrows, etc. Alot of designers will not even consider custom work and I think that drives alot of people towards this kind of thing. I’d also argue against the ethical standpoint because .. following the RL analogy alot of you are using .. once you buy something in RL its yours to modify as you see fit. You can buy a pair of jeans and dye them a different color, cut the legs off or make some holes, do whatever you want. Under trademark and copywrite laws you can even modify materials for PERSONAL USE so long as you don’t attempt to redistribute. .. which is why this is such a gray area. The only thing that makes it clearly wrong by SL standards is that to do so, you would currently have to use a 3rd party program to remove the texture to a workable source, which I am 100% certain is a EULA violation.

  15. I figure if you bought something in my shop and changed it for your own use, it’s okay with me. You bought it, you get to do what you want with it — except make copies and sell them of course.
    Art is a funny thing, artists put so much of themselves into their art and it becomes very personal. Unfortunately commercial art is not about the artist but about the client who purchases the commercial art, which is what we’re doing in SL for the most part.

  16. @Ayami
    WOW, please name these two designers, i would love to buy a normal priced skin and get the tga-templates for free with them. Or do these two designers also use copy-software to rip skins and that’s why they don’t mind that their skins get ripped?

  17. Yes, with a caveat. I have tattoos, and I have skins. I see absolutely no problem with modifying the skin layer so that I can have both on one layer. It frees me up to wear more things. I’ve also modified one skin where even the palest tone was way too dark for my character. I wasn’t avoiding buying another skin; I was creating something they didn’t offer. I also have a friend who photoshopped a scar across the face of a skin that he bought, because the maker didn’t offer one with a scar. That kind of modification is, IMHO, acceptable.

    That being said, adjusting makeup to recreate an option that’s sold, or to otherwise avoid paying Linden? Very, very bad.

  18. Well personally, i’d love too be able too edit my skin a little. I have some great tattoo’s which i’d love too place on the skin too save layers. Same with breast shading, i have some skins which i have bought and then bought the separate shading, it would be great if i could just pop the shading layer onto the skin so again i can save on layers. I don’t think this should be a huge problem because:
    1. I aint ripping a skin too go and edit it too sell.
    2. I am not going too be making any money from this skin either.

  19. Here is my problem, i get a skin, i wanted something slightly different done to it, but the one who made the skin wants to be lazy and not add a little something personal you want on the skin, they are being lazy and not caring about their buisness, in a situation like that i have and WILL mod the skin to fit my need when the creator could care less about their customers, i have ran into a LOT of high and mighty pricks like this.
    At which point i did what i had to.

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