Lab update on missing inventory

On Tuesday, December 16th, the Lab issued a brief statement on the matter of missing inventory which has been affecting some SL users since Wednesday, December 10th.

News on problems first arose via a forum post as people started noticing animations from Akeyo and Vista (among others) being replaced by “IP replacement” placeholders – which usual indicate removal as a result of a DMCA action. Some of those affected additionally indicated that they had also received an e-mail on the matter from the Lab – although others apparently did not.

How widespread the issue actually has been, is hard to judge; the forum thread itself involves a relatively few people, although this is obviously no accurate barometer of the overall impact and certainly not any form of mitigation for those who had been affected. Matters were further confused as a result of some support tickets raised on the matter being responded to as being a “resident to resident” issue, and therefore outside of LL’s remit.

By Sunday, December 14th, a number of SL users were pressing both the Lab (through their official community account) and Ebbe Altberg for comment, prompting him to reply:

missing-inv-3Ebbe Altberg's Tweets on the issue

Ebbe Altberg’s Tweets on the issue

Quite what went wrong isn’t clear, other than it apparently being a possible fault within an internal process. Even so, it appears to have caused a few headaches for the Lab in terms of sorting out. On Tuesday, December 16th, Ebbe further Tweeted:

Only this turned out to be a little premature, as a blog post was subsequently issued indicating that the Lab was still working to fix the matter:

Due to a recent internal error, some Residents may have noticed a few items were recently replaced within their inventories. We are working to reverse the process and hope to have the original items restored quickly.

If you believe that your items were affected, please keep an eye on your inventory – you should see the original items restored soon.

In addition to restoring the original items as quickly as possible, we are also taking steps to resolve the issue that caused the error so that we can avoid repeating it in the future. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

As this article is being written, some people are still indicating that they have yet to see inventory items reinstated. An important point to not here is that if you have been impacted by the situation, do not delete the “IP replacement” placeholders in your inventory; if you do, you may adversely affect the return of your items by the Lab.

Per my comment above, precisely what went wrong is unclear. However, mistakes can and do happen, and generally  without malice aforethought. But that said, given there was something of a serious mistake made, one in part exacerbated by a degree of confusion in communications from the Lab (vis e-mails sent to those affected and support tickets being closed), one hopes that the lessons learned in both correcting the matter and as a result of reviewing how the problem first arose will be taken to heart.

6 thoughts on “Lab update on missing inventory

  1. I know the issue of IP replacements is pretty widespread and a hassle for those in the SL dance community. Having bought animations from reputable vendors and then having them replaced with no notification is frustrating, to say the least.
    I myself visited Vista and Akeyo yesterday to pick up their replacement products, along with their apology for the hassle (it seems they are as in the dark as everyone else). This morning, those animations have been IP replaced as well. Again, frustrating.
    As for notifications, I have NEVER received any notice from LL about the replacement. I just get a nasty surprise when I go to use an honestly purchased animation.

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  2. As of 12:45pm SLT today, I still have several IP Replacement animations/dances from Akeyo and Henmations in my inventory. I suppose they will eventually be restored. If asked to produce a record of their purchase, it would be impossible as they are all well over a year old though I suppose Akeyo and Henmations likely keep such records. (Least one hopes they do!)

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  3. It took quite a bit of head-bashing to keep my support ticket open, which is the frustrating part to me. Eventually, I cut-and-pasted Ebbe’s tweets in.. it was closed again with the “IP Infringment” form letter… then re-opened and I got a bit rude with the support person in the ticket. It hasn’t been closed again, but the issue isn’t resolved either.

    As of Tuesday night, if I take a particular animation from Vista out of the HUD, place it in a folder… it is IP Replaced overnight. Consistently. (It’s really the canary, there’s a dozen animations all fouled up in my inventory.)

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