free use does not mean you made it


doh! if you are going to claim someone else’s as your own, don’t choose someone who who is all over the web! =p

you would be a dork to take Hamlet and say you wrote it. but you can adapt Hamlet into a screenplay and make an award winning movie

you’d be a hack to claim you wrote Beethoven’s ninth, but you can play it, record it, sell it and build a career from it, but it’s still Beethoven’s work

same is true with virtual world work. you can use Linda Kellie‘s fabulous clothing in machinima and take credit for the machinima but you can’t be an honest and respectful person and say you made the clothing, so imagine my surprise when subQuark told me about his latest LinkedIn connection . . . David F.

in the creative world, your portfolio is a representation of the very best of your work – there’s no gray area and portraying other people’s work as your own is unacceptable and dishonours the work of those people

in the OpenSim world, your sim is like your portfolio – it shows what you can do. even if you never make any of your own things, the way you pull together other people’s work reflects your abilities. the key there is pull together which shows how you are able to create a specific environment (such as a club hosting music events – the layout of the club and details such as scripted drinks and a scripted dance floor exemplify your skills). another example would be a complex build where you used my skid steer loader, you don’t need to say who built all the parts, but you also can’t say you made the loader

you can use any of my freebies in anyway you like including selling them and you don’t even need to provide any attribution, but placing them in a portfolio implies that it is your work

that’s just bad manners and unethical =(

you be the judge with the screenshots below (taken with my nifty new tablet) and visit David’s portfolio. the giant tree and Haxor Outpost are straight out the original OARs! at least add stuff to it – scripting interactions in them for educational use would be a portfolio worthy item, but not just the downloaded OARs! =(

what a bummer because when you make neat things, or have good offerings, i love to herald your efforts

overall, the OpenSim community is a giving and sharing one filled with genuine and talented people that want to add to to each other’s growth and see OpenSim be used in enriching ways =)

oh well, sometimes it’s an awesome having a decent online presence and 37,000 Twitter followers to share these blog posts with! =p

update: the individual stepped up and was gracious – thank you


i felt cheesy in my Luskwood inspired take, but at least i built this


at least change something! sheesh!


seriously? the cheesy pool is portfolio worthy? come on!

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written by Ener Hax

December 29th, 2012 at 6:20 am

posted in virtual worlds

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26 comments to 'free use does not mean you made it'

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  1. When I saw David’s portfolio, I was beside myself and immediately felt bad for you. You have worked so hard on Enclave Harbour and built everything yourself to ensure it is completely legit. On top of that, you do Sim-on-a-Stick, your freebie website and Kitely store, and now Hax Nuit – all to share with others and you ask for nothing in return.

    You give of yourself tremendously and are deeply appreciated by me and many others.

    I could not believe that David did not see the connection between you and me! It’s right there in my LinkedIn profile with a link to Enclave Harbour and your blog! Why would you connect with a person who is having their entire virtual world project built by you?

    Additionally, even your site, where he grabbed the content in his portfolio, has links to Enclave Harbour, thus me, in its footer!

    You and I both work in fields where online portfolios are as important as resumes. As a hiring manager, seeing a portfolio like his and making that connection is as bad as being lied to about education, which happens more often than many would think.

    I feel badly pointing this out because we both have family that’s been in the Navy and I know you have deep respect for that. But that does not excuse blatant deception by characterizing your work as his own.

    Sorry this happened to you but on the bright side, your work is worth stealing! You and da Vinci! :)

    David Miller

    29 Dec 12 at 7:12 am

  2. i know i am very naive and continue to believe that people do the right thing. but i’d rather assume that, than assume the opposite

    hey, at least i did not tweet this post to Rasmussen College!

    man, i’d be embarrassed if i claimed some fly-by-night imaginary pink haired fairey girl’s work as my own!

    how embarrassing!!!

    yah, me and Leo da Vinci =p

    Ener Hax

    29 Dec 12 at 7:17 am

  3. You shouldn’t feel bad if you did tweet his current employer – I’d want to know and you are not the one that did anything wrong!


    How about Coco Loco’s today? Nothing like associating a food reward like burritos with bad emotions! ;)

    David Miller

    29 Dec 12 at 7:21 am

  4. doh on the eating disorders!

    it’s out of my system now and i won’t tweet his boss (i’m focused on breaking the 37k barrier)

    but . . . hell hath no furry like a former tiny beaver’s ripped off tree home! =p

    moral of this story, play with your own wood, don’t claim someone else’s! =p

    yum, chicken tortilla soup for our big snow storm sounds good! =)

    Ener Hax

    29 Dec 12 at 7:30 am

  5. First I want to say I know David and have met him in “real life.” So I was surprised to see your Tweet indicating he was taking credit for someone else’s work. But, after reading your full post and viewing his site, I have to say I didn’t take his claims as you have. There are many types of creators in virtual worlds: builders, texturers (if that is a word), scripters, instructional creators, etc. And there are people who create a full experience using all those elements. I suppose some making the full experience create absolutely everything themselves, but I am not sure that is the norm. I view it almost like an interior decorator who takes credit for designing a room, but did not make the couch, curtains, grow the plants, etc. all themselves.

    And I figure if people have offered their creations through a CC license that allows their objects/items to be included in an overall build, then I don’t see what is wrong with someone who puts them all into an overall experience saying they created that sim or world or whatever it is. Even if it has items that others have made. I didn’t see on David’s site where he was claiming he made each specific item shown; I took his site to mean he builds sims or worlds which to me means he puts together elements to create an experience. And his site is showing photos from those worlds. There are people who are well known sim builders in SL who have been doing the same for years using items either offered free or for cost from others in that world.

    I do think if you are offering a whole sim as a download, it is the right thing to do to include a mention that other creators may have made some items in the build. And if they require attribution, their name should be somewhere – either on the download site, in the download if possible, or even better in the sim somewhere. If I didn’t want someone to take a photo of something I made that they used to create a sim and have them indicate they put together that sim, then I would not offer it for anyone’s use.

    Of course, this is just my opinion based on how I have seen SL and OS and other worlds function along with the comparisons I see to RL (like the interior decorating) over the years. Virtual world creation is still an area where the rules/best practices are still being developed so I am interested in hearing how others view the matter.

    Pam Broviak

    29 Dec 12 at 8:03 am

  6. thanks Pam, that’s nice to know – David seems like a very good guy

    seeing simply the OAR without any noticeable mods seems like showing the covers of a few books written by others on your author website and saying “i write books”

    naturally, you would assume that those books are ones written by that person

    having a page called your portfolio page has certain implications, a natural one is that this is their work – being able to load an OAR and take a photo of it is a bit of a cheat and misleading

    subQuark warned me about placing any of my content out there for free. we won’t place any of our main Enclave Harbour stuff out there because building this stuff does have value

    it took a few days to build the outpost and tree and honouring that effort is important

    this type of thing does take the stuffing out of me, i am stretched very thin as it is (as everyone is) and probably won’t make any other free stuff, except for sim-on-a-stick

    thanks Pam for speaking up for David and for also understand my perspective

    my perspective is simply that, my view of the world as seen through my paradigms – it is faulty but it’s all i have =)

    Ener Hax

    29 Dec 12 at 8:27 am

  7. Shameful. I wonder what else he is lying about on his linkedin profile. Now I want to go play in your land, but my computer can’t handle SL as much lately. :3

    Samadhi Quandry

    29 Dec 12 at 8:27 am

  8. I also noticed some of my work included in those images (actually one of my modular building sets modified and used by Justin Reeve in his Undersea Observatory sim).

    After reading the post, I agree with Pam, David does not state that he made the virtual worlds.

    That said, it is written and set out in way that implies that he had and can easily be mistaken for such a claim.


    29 Dec 12 at 8:35 am

  9. Ener
    I like that you shared your perspective because it is another aspect of VWs where I can compare online and offline viewpoints. Perhaps the key is the difference between something being offered for free or for cost. Because in the offline world, I can design a road and take a photo and tell everyone I designed and built it. I can even win awards for doing so. But I myself did not actually physically build it or pay for it nor did I make any of the items or materials going into it. But many times I, as the engineer, would get the credit. And none of the others who actually did work on it or manufacture the materials would care. Maybe they don’t because they are justly compensated for what they provided. That’s not to say they would not enjoy some publicity from it, but mentioning every entity involved is not required.

    In the virtual space, the same thing will happen and does. So as creators I guess we will have to make the decision of whether or not getting attribution is important. And perhaps whether we are paid or not for our creations helps us decide.

    Pam Broviak

    29 Dec 12 at 8:47 am

  10. Hi Ener. I took the liberty of posting a picture of your Kowloon walled city maze to Opensim Virtual and a few words about it. I hope I did you justice because I value all that you do.



    29 Dec 12 at 8:52 am

  11. Hugs Ener, please don’t stop creating!

    We have some amazing creators that create everything, and we have amazing folk who put other’s work together. I see that’s what he is offering, but yes, his portfolio should be clearer. I do recall in Second Life ‘sim creators’ who would make an entire role-play environment, and use others buildings, trees, etc. Maybe that is what he is trying to do.

    I’m looking forward to Hax Nuit actually, and would like to use it in my sims. I use much of Linda’s stuff, but I change it, modify it, but still always credit Linda.

    John Sheppard

    29 Dec 12 at 10:04 am

  12. nice Gaga! i just spent an hour red0ing the freebie website and adding licenses in the items in-world – what a drag! i’d rather finish Hax Nuit!

    thanks on posting it, i am now in G+ but couldn’t find you to add you to my circle

    Hax Nuit might be open later today! woohoo!

    thanks Samadhi, i’m sorry your machine isn’t up to task but i bet it could handle Kitely and Hax Nuit – Kitely is less intense on a machine it seems

    well, i agree paul and Pam, but the title of the page, portfolio, means it is your work

    here’s what a portfolio means to me (from wiki):

    An artist’s portfolio is an edited collection of their best artwork intended to showcase an artist’s style or method of work. A portfolio is used by artists to show employers how versatile they can be by showing different samples of current work. Typically, the work reflects an artist’s best work or a depth in one area of work.

    by that definition, it is no stretch to think he is misrepresenting his skills. i wasn’t so peeved earlier but this is stoopidly aggravating

    wouldn’t anyone looking at his portfolio would assume he made that stuff?

    freaking ugh! =(

    hi John, thanks for the kind owrds and i am being a drama queen! i should be like a duck and let it roll off my back! =)

    ahh, i feel better now =D

    Ener Hax

    29 Dec 12 at 10:40 am

  13. A portfolio, by definition, is that person’s work. There is no doubt that the images of Ener’s work were intended to be credited to the person who published that web page.

    To argue that the person did not explicitly say they built those items is similar to a past president saying he did not have certain relations with someone. Semantically, it may be correct, but in the spirit of the impression the portfolio makes, it is misleading.

    I see that Ener has now added a license to her work – it’s a shame that we can not expect people to act in ethical and moral ways and that our society is now one of law and not one of being just.

    There is a difference with “legal” and being “just and fair”.

    I’m sorry Ener, I know this impacts you greatly. <3

    David Miller

    29 Dec 12 at 10:47 am

  14. @Ener I would press him for a byline credit. What the others said about VW use and crediting the creator has a parallel in RL. Look through magazines for photos such as fashion shoots and interior design. At the bottom is a list of content and credits. Thats free advertising. Probably it was done to prevent claiming trademark infringement.

    I would think about adding to the content license something that covers: identifying the content used and crediting the creator and their website if the likeness is used in such as porfolios and related for personal gain.


    29 Dec 12 at 10:50 am

  15. @Ener I forgot the only thing you have to decide on what happens afterwards if there is no compliance, you can have a perfect contract that most won’t violate because of consequences. But what about those that could care less? The alternatives are lawyers which cost money, and social waterboarding which costs less money, is faster than the courts, and damages their reputation.

    I added this because once someone gets away, others will see a barking dog that doesn’t bite and copycat.


    29 Dec 12 at 11:11 am

  16. I agree with Ener. This is deceiving. If he continues to use these pics he should give Ener credit for building the objects.

    Wizard Gynoid

    29 Dec 12 at 11:29 am

  17. thanks everyone – i’m not looking for credit and if he said “here are what virtual worlds can look like”, then i’d be cool, calm, and collected

    it’s the portfolio part because those images are not his work and they don’t even have any modifications to them

    the right thing to do is to present your own work on a portfolio page – if you want to show what VWs look like to others, do so on an information page

    thanks joe and Wizard, you let me know that i’m not being anut on this (i mean, i’m typically pretty calm and avoid drama)

    now look at this silliness in the next post! =)

    Ener Hax

    29 Dec 12 at 2:07 pm

  18. dont know bout you guys but i suspect he had no home schooling on manners and how to treat people, i know in my day there were alot of creeps out there who ripped people off etc but not very many. i know when i was growing up if i did anything wrong i took a trip behide the woodshed and it was not pretty let me tell ya. i learned my lesson bout the golden rule. guess im telling my age. todays parents dont home school their kids as in days gone by as i was. sorry to offend you who are young parents but that is what i have been seeing for awhile now. happy new years everyone and many more.


    29 Dec 12 at 4:38 pm

  19. That definitely appears to be the portfolio of a liar liar pants on fire. It would be one thing if, say, he were displaying photos of a large area he’d designed that included elements made by other people; in that case, it would be reasonable to take it as showing his skills in using those elements in a creative manner to create a harmonious whole. But these are simply pictures of somebody else’s creations; no other skills are on display, and the clear implication is that he created them himself.

    Throw the book at him.

    Samantha Poindexter

    29 Dec 12 at 6:00 pm

  20. @Ener

    Did you notice his work history and education in journalism and art on linkedin. I went back through the comments and noticed no one picked up on his credentials. He’s more knowledgeable than most professionals on infringement.


    29 Dec 12 at 6:06 pm

  21. @Ener,

    Social Waterboarding lesson 1:
    A. contact him and have a specified time period for what you expect to be done
    B. if there is no compliance: contact employer, join linkedin and make contact with his contacts, tweet, etc about his infringement.
    C. you should be hearing results within a couple of days.
    D. Rember this isn’t harrasment or blackmail, it’s your exercise of the 1st and 14th amendments.

    or you could start with the DCMA first. Since the creative commons license had no restrictions about amending the license, it was his responsibility to check and see if any changes made to it later that impacted him


    29 Dec 12 at 6:25 pm

  22. I looked at that portfolio. It was kinda creepy to me as well. I recognized tons of your stuff and Linda’s- fine for an opensim slide show, not fine for a “portfolio of works” I wouldn’t be having any fun at all if it were not for Linda’s free stuff (and I want to play some with yours as well, gonna make that plane of yours fly when I get time). Heck even BMW the lady Troll here×1024.jpg

    was made of Linda’s Gabby shape and her frog skin texture. I’d count the script that makes the lady Troll run amok in my “portfolio” but I would not count the design of even BMW -though I don’t think I’ve seen any Trolls offered anywhere for download. The reason I couldn’t count that silly thing in my portfolio is because I just took Linda’s lovely things and made them fit ugly old BMW the Troll. Its not entirely my skin- shape-or design- it is only partly mine. So yes, using the goodies you shared like that in something called a portfolio of works is just out of order, and as Samantha said: no other skills are on display in those shots of your stuff.


    29 Dec 12 at 9:23 pm

  23. I apologize for what appears to be a misrepresentation of the work of others as my own. That was not my intent. I have since removed all of the images in my portfolio that used content from OARs made by other developers. I had recently been exploring the use of OARs and had posted select images of how I was using them. I personally have always been a supporter of the Open Source community. Thank you for pointing this out and I assure you that I will be more careful in the future.

    David F. (name obfuscated by Ener)

    29 Dec 12 at 11:26 pm

  24. hi joe, read the education – the Stanford U entry is a single class but he has serious and noteworthy journalistic chops – overseas stuff for he US Navy, i appreciate that

    i agree Araxie, the term “portfolio” has a very set definition and is always your work. an OpenSim slideshow would be totally fine and no need for attribution for my stuff

    thanks Shemira and Samantha – i think it’s a pretty natural reaction to be put off by something that seems to be used for someone else’s gain. the Golden Rule is a good one for all of us and lol on the pants on fire! =D

    i think our community has done a good job of throwing the book and defining a boundary. OpenSim is pretty new and while creating things isn’t terribly difficult, it can be time intensive and people that don’t spend 60 hours (or a few years) making something might not have that perspective

    David has stepped up and been very gracious and i believe in second chances and David is a stand up guy and his Navy service is worth a lot more than some OARs

    thank you David for jumping into this and thank you for your service (i get really sentimental, my dad was in the Navy, and i don’t take it for granted that my biggest problem can be this trivial and that’s thanks to our men and women in uniform)

    Ener Hax

    30 Dec 12 at 12:51 am

  25. Thank you, Ener. Again I am truly sorry. I appreciate the work that you do with OpenSim and Sim-on-a-Stick. In fact this past week, I put together a step-by-step guide to walk students through how to use SoaS for the first time. I really do appreciate how you have made OpenSim technology reach people in new ways. I thank both you and your Father for making this world a better place for us all!


    30 Dec 12 at 2:54 am

  26. Ener, I think your title… Free use does not mean you made it, just about sums up the problem.
    I must say that there is a bit of a problem and this case the problem may be that David was not clear what he was doing, maybe not being very experienced etc.
    All my personal portfolio of works are totally mine, every pixel ….but…. if I issue an image of me, my hair and some clothes are made by others. Now, if I was claiming to be an avatar designer I would know to include the various stylists involved in hair and make-up, much like in RL.
    I would NOT have known that for the first year or so that I was in SL however, so maybe experience makes you a little wiser.
    This looks like a mistake rather than a devious ploy, but your title still holds good… just because it’s free….
    Your post helps educate, and that’s a great thing.

    soror Nishi

    30 Dec 12 at 4:28 am

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