Friday, July 17, 2020

Second Life Store Hit With Two DMCA Shutdowns, Second Hours After Reopening

By Bixyl Shuftan

Since Bento mesh came out, there have been a number of products based on it. Among them are the avatar heads by the Project Bento store, which blogger Ryan Schultz describes as "highly successful." Unfortunately in April, they were hit with a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown order.

Recently, we have received a DMCA complaint against us for the first time from another Second Life creator. According to the rules,we need to delete our content before the end of the proceedings. Our lawyer is currently filing a counter-DMCA complaint. It has all our files created for second Life, and we hope the situation will be resolved soon. 

The author of the complaint is unknown, but when we receive the response from Linden Lab, we will send the case to court. 

We ask you to treat this with understanding, these are forced actions that we must take to ensure the security of our intellectual property. Please note that content will not be removed from your inventory, it will only be removed from the Genusproject Resident inventory. During the closing of the store, we will stay in tough in social networks (discord and Facebook) as well as in the world group. Thank you for your attention and understanding. 

So for a time, the store was closed until the issue was resolved. According to Ryan Schultz's article, there were some angry accusations by fans of Genus that one of their competitors was behind the takedown. But several brands stepped forward to deny the claims, and Genus themselves while thanking their fans for their support strongly urged them not to spread rumors. It never was revealed whom filed the DMCA takedown order.

First, I would like to thank everyone for supporting Genus and taking the time to help each other and form a solid community in this group. Second,Genus is temporarily closed until the DMCA claim is reconciled and Third.Sadly i need to make this clear. All will be banned from group & sim if you disrespect Genus Project  or  speak negatively about another creator or mention their products  that do not support Genus Project Brand. In a world where you can be anything. Be Kind.  Be Safe - #Be Strong.

Finally on July 4, the store reopened. But only a few hours passed before Genus was hit with yet again another DMCA takedown order. The staff would announce the news on the Linden forums, and their Discord channel.

While we had hoped the DMCA business was behind us, we have received another notice from Linden Labs that we must remove our inventory and our store.  As we have not been given info regarding who initiated this the first time, we are left to assume it is the same person and that it is someone with no actual claim.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused anyone - your patience, support, and loyalty to our brand is not something we take for granted.  It is unfair to ask you to stand by us and stand with us as we fight this, but nothing about this situation has been fair.  Please understand that we cannot provide details we don't know and we ask that you keep rumors and accusations down while we work with our lawyers and with Linden Labs to prevent this from happening again.

And if whomever has filed this is reading?  Please understand that filing these claims does more than hurt us as creators - it prevents us from giving customers the support they deserve.  It stops us from releasing updates and letting customers get redeliveries.  That is who you are hurting the most.

As Schultz would put it, "It would now appear that The Genus Project is now going to be involved in a long and costly court battle before they can sell their products again. A major player has effectively been knocked out of the Bento mesh head market for the foreseeable future, and perhaps permanently. This is going to affect not just the team at The Genus Project, but it is also going to impact all the content creators who created skins and cosmetics for this brand of mesh heads."

As before, it is unknown who filed the takedown order, or why.

Sources: Genus Discord, Ryan Shultz, Linden forums  

Bixyl Shuftan

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