Monday 30 November 2009

Ravenfeather wrote:

(Haha, I already assumed that there must be a secret website for insiders, where you get your beautiful Sims stuff from). I wouldn’t mind if you upload all your recolours from your little treasure chest and share them with us, since there’s not enough medieval stuff out there. (Oops, I know — the time factor!) :redface:

Aww, if there were a “secret site for insiders”, I wouldn’t be a part of it, because that would be mean! :-D

I wouldn’t mind sharing my so-​​called creations, and even the time factor isn’t a big deal. I’m quick with a computer. 

There are two reasons why I don’t generally post things unless people ask for them specifically.

Because they suck

First, I create them for my own use, so I don’t always have good file names or descriptions, I don’t bother compressing them or binning hair colors, and frankly I don’t always know what I’m doing so the quality is sometimes so bad that I would be mad if it were someone else posting such crap for downloading. :-)

I’m a writer, not a CC creator, and I have tons of respect for the people that come up with the really gorgeous CC that I download and use. A lot of my “recolors” are nothing more than moving the Hue/​Saturation/​Lightness sliders in Photoshop, which puts me on the absolute lowest low-​​life level of CC creators. ;-)

Oh, the hypocrisy!

The second reason is actually the more important one to me, though. I can’t ask people to respect my copyright over my work (see the bottom of every page on this site) if I’m going to stomp all over the copyrights of the artists who made the CC. Some of them do allow recolors and reuse of their textures, but others don’t, or don’t allow it without their permission, and I don’t even keep track of who created which CC, so I have no way to ask them. Some creators aren’t even involved in the community any more. (Plus I’m just shy.)

If I create things for my personal use and perhaps share them with a few of my friends/​readers, I figure that’s probably fair. Just like if someone printed out a few of my chapters to show her friends, or used one of my images as a background on her computer, or even wrote a Lothere fanfic and read it to her mom. That’s OK.

But selling Shirtless Malcolm T-​​shirts on CafePress (you know you would buy one), or setting up a MySpace page supposedly owned by Vash (happened to Mao), or posting my chapters or “translations” of my chapters — or new stories featuring my characters — on her own Website (happened to some well-​​known Sims writers recently), that’s Not OK.

Likewise, coloring a red dress purple and posting it on my site (even with an attribution to the original creator): Not OK. Unless she said it was OK, it’s Not OK. So I don’t want this site to become a CC site where people who don’t even read the story just come to download my originally-​​for-​​personal-​​use stuff. So in a sense, I guess that makes this a secret website for insiders. ;-)

On the other hand, there is definitely a lack of variety of medieval CC. I envy storytellers who have stories set in the modern day — SO MUCH gorgeous, realistic CC. So if my HSL-​​sliding skills can help people have a few extra colors of teen male outfits, or teen maternity dresses that don’t make them look like slutty maids… should I not do that?

So I end up feeling conflicted. And when someone asks me to post something, my normal, human desire to Be Nice and Help People — especially when those People are right in front of me — ends up taking precedence over my respect for the possible copyrights of artists I don’t know personally.

What to do?

There isn’t an easy answer.

For now, when people ask me for stuff, I will probably continue to post it. 

If it’s something that I have been able to determine is specifically not allowed by the creator, I will take it down.

If the creator asks me to take it down, I will take it down. (Note: taking something down after the fact does not “erase” a copyright violation. You can still be sued.)

And if I start to notice that dozens or hundreds of people are downloading the recolors I’ve posted — at least the ones whose legal status I am unsure about — I will probably take them down.

I’m trying to stay in the gray area of “good faith” here. “Giving back to the community” versus respecting the rights that artists (who may have abandoned the community anyway) may have chosen to hold over their work.

And, just to make matters clear, for the few items of CC that I’ve retextured and recolored from scratch myself, such as Aelfden’s green vestments or poor Gwynn’s little bruise, you hereby have my permission to do anything you want with them, except put them on paysites or claim them for your own work. Recolor, retexture, remesh, slice and dice at will. It’s the least I can do.

That, and a picture of baby Bertie:

Bertie at 10 months.