Monday, January 26, 2009

Don't treat your customers like crap!

Crap is Tenshi's job. (IT'S A JOKE AND THE NAME OF HER STORE!!!)

But seriously folks, I'm here to rant about a disturbing new trend I just heard about. It seems certain hair manufacturers have added a script to their hair wherein if you res the hair on the ground it will delete itself because those who use copybot res hair on the ground. Those who alter hair to fit their head also res hair on the ground, but that doesn't matter. Those who like to take scripts out of hair res hair on the ground, but that doesn't matter. Those who need to refit hair also res hair on the ground, but that doesn't matter either. No, what matters is that someone who uses copybot reses hair on the ground. And for that we must all suffer.

Let me say that the first time I get a note from a manufacturer saying that I can't res something on the ground becuase copybot users do that, is the last time I'll be shopping on that store. And I'll tell my friends. I might even post it on this blog. I will go out of my way to ensure that store loses business. Why? Becuase you just treated me like a criminal even though I might be a long time customer who has spent hundreds of dollars at your store over the years.

News flash folks! People who use copybot aren't buying items at your store. Your loyal customers are. People who want to steal from you won't read those signs you have plastered all over your store telling us how rotten we are and how OMG THIS COPYRIGHT BELONGS TO YOU!!! No shit Sherlock, we, your loyal customers, the people that have to wait for all these fucking signs to res when all we want to do is spend money at your establishment, know this.

So instead of concentrating on new ways to anger your customers whom you've obviously mistaken for a select few that have specialized knowledge of how to use a complicated theft program, why not concentrate instead on building customer loyalty? You already have the tools to go after thieves -- DMCA and the courts. Stroker proved it can be done and documented evidence is the way to travel. Your little scripts won't work and your signs won't work becuase the only people those affect are the people buying your product. Or did you think that someone who was motivated enough to learn how to use copybot wouldn't travel to a no-script sim, remove your script, and copy it anyway?


Ana Boogiewoogie said...

As a designer myself, I can see where the hair creators are coming from. But you have some points too.

DMCA and the lawyers and whatnot aren't really effective, as proven on so many occasions. If they live outside your country, or they don't give their information, whatever the case may be... you can't do shit about it besides the Lindens deleting it. But they may do it again anyway!

Many people use SL as their creative outlet as well as their RL income. I would be devastated if someone stole my work, and yes.. it would make me very cautious about it from there on out.

I can see why you're frustrated, but I think there's just two sides of every story. You can't get mad at someone trying to prevent their item from being stolen.

The script (the way it is) is a bad way to go about it, though, I agree. They need something more effective. Maybe a script where if a script or tool is used on it, automatically deletes the hair it's self. Or deletes the hair if the script is removed?

My way sounds like it'd be awesome, but probably impossible. (I dunno the first thing about scripts! Hell I didn't know you could remove them in a no script area! lol)

Shelby said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for finally saying what I've been thinking since the last time I purchased hair at Deviant Kitties. I love their stuff, I've shopped there for a long time, but that last time really will be the last time.

Not that my little drop in their bucket will make that big a difference. But hey, at least I know I'm not alone in feeling this way.

So, for a script that really is useless, hair designers are alienating their customers. Congratulations. And, to the best of my knowledge, the designer behind DK has been in world long enough to know that to render the script useless all you have to do is rez it in a no-script area. I guess she's just counting on her customers being stupid.

'Kota Buck said...

Why do you need to rez your hair to fit it? Isn't it 100 times easier to edit on your head? I think this script is great. Not all of us have the time and money to pursue DMCAs on everyone who buys a BIAB and their many alts.

Iris Ophelia said...

I don't think I've ever had to rez hair on the ground to fit it. Content loss wise that's riskier than just editing it as an attachment, anyway.

I have no problem with this script as long as the designer 1) makes it very clear what will happen if you rez something on the ground, in a notecard for example, and 2) is open to helping people who need to rez hair on the ground for some legit reason.

The idea of boycotting stores because the designer want to protect themselves in whatever ways they know of from theft is just mean. Instead of getting blind-ragey about it, talk to them.

Shelby said...

@Kota: I rezzed it on the ground because there was a piece of bangs that I couldn't get hold of while it was on my head. Other pieces were in front of it, and try as I might I couldn't get my camera around, or manage to select that one piece. The plan was to rez on ground, grab that one little piece, move it forward, pick it back up and attach it again to fine tune.

Also, if the script was remotely effective to deter copiers, I would support it 100% - but, if they know how to use copybot or replication scripts, I'm sure they know enough to go rez it in a no script area, and remove the script from it. Therefore, the only people that are being remotely inconvenienced are customers like me, who just want to (innocently) grab hold of one little problematic prim. ;)

@Iris: I'm sorry if *I* came out sounding as if I was in a blind rage, or as if I were suggesting anyone should boycott anyone or anything. I'm not. But, when I first bought the item that *shouted* at me across my entire sim that I was being recorded in a database and reported to the designer, there was no notecard or anything that warned it would do this to me. But, just because I won't shop there ever again, doesn't mean you shoudln't, or Jane Doe shouldn't. I just refuse to be treated like that over a perfectly innocent thing I was trying to do.

Incidentally? Because the object is still modifiable, I was able to remove the script. TPs happened to be non-functional for me, and I couldn't leave to a no-script area. So, I edited linked parts and tracked down the prim that had the script in it, and deleted it. Not really terribly inconvenient for me, but just the principle of the thing. To be shouted at, and told I was being reported to the designer, just because I couldn't get hold of a prim, didn't make me a very happy customer.

So for me, the point is that it is not a very nice thing to do to your honest customers, just because some are dishonest. Especially if it's not even effective.

Shelby said...

@Iris: Also - do you really worry about content loss on rez when your item is mod copy? ;-) Cuz I don't. Should I?

Vivianne Draper said...

I would boycott it because I think this unduly inconveniences the customer and does absolutely NOTHING to deter theft. Let me say that again -- it does ZERO -- ZIP -- NADA -- ZILCH to deter theft. If someone knows how to rip you off, they are going to do it and a script that deletes the hair when it is resed on the ground will not stop them.

Who will this affect? Only the customers. The people actually spending money at the shop. The loyal customers that just bought the product and needed to res it on the ground for whatever reason that wasn't theft. And as long as that reason is not theft it doesn't matter what the reason is -- they bought it, the item is modifiable, and it is their right to res it wherever they goddam feel like it -- as long as the land they are in permits that.

Think this through. Its an ineffective way to deter theft, it has no chance of deterring theft, and the only people who will be inconvenienced by it are those who actually did the right thing and paid the designer for their work. So why would you, a designer (any designer -- I'm not singling any one person out here), implement this? Because the hope of deterring even one single theft means more to you than all the rest of your customer good will put together. And the hope is extremely nebulous because anyone with an ounce of thought can figure out that this. won't. work.

There should be penalties for those who decide to prioritize panic over the good will of those who give good money for good work. We, the paying customers, have put up with this for a long time. We've stood by while anti-copybot scripts spammed us as we went to do shopping and contributed to already soul-sucking lag. We've put up with massive amounts of signage in stores where ressing is already a problem and it already takes way too long. We've put up with witch hunts, being told where to shop and who is trustworthy. We've put with this because we do love our desingers and we appreciate their hard work and we show that appreciate with the money we spend on their product. And I've run a shop or two so I'm pretty cognizant about how much some of you designers out there are making -- especially some of those that are the prime perpetrators of this latest slap across the face to the customers. This is the last straw though. You need to stop penalizing us customers for spending our money at your store and if you don't, I'm not going to spend my money there.

This stance is not unreasonable.

Annyka Bekkers said...

I couldn't agree more more, Vivianne. I think its extremely short-sighted to treat all your customers like thieves just to thwart a few

Ann Launay said...

Helyanwe has already said that she'll no longer be using it, except in demos.

Vivianne Draper said...

I'm delighted that Helyanwe is discontinuing the practice. The rant was written before she changed her policies, however. Also she is not the only merchant doing this. I know of at least two others.

Isara Beaumont said...

While I have no idea how copybot works (and haven't ever used it), I'm pretty sure all these elaborate protection methods are as effective as disabling 'right click' on a website to prevent image theft... in other words, complete useless, annoying, and lacking in common sense.

Face it, if someone can see it on THEIR computer screen, the data must be on THEIR computer. There's just no way you can circumvent that. Anybody sufficiently knowledgeable will make use of that and steal. Everybody else will just be annoyed as hell.

And yes, these posters about respecting IP rights and not stealing also won't deter anyone, they only serve to annoy your customers. It's just sooooo nice to tp into your store and be greeted with a poster yelling "I think you're here to steal from me!!".