Second Life Marketplace: full permission product scams

MP Scams
Image: Strawberry Singh

The Second Life Marketplace is both a convenience and a pain. Convenience because it provides an ease of selling / buying to users. Pain because its sheer size can make it difficult to effectively police, leaving it open to various forms of abuse.

However, Strawberry Singh has highlighted one area of concern content creators are facing, and has asked for people to pass the word on.

In Full Perm Marketplace Scams,Strawberry points to the abuse of full permission items content creators make available on the Marketplace.  Typically, these items are offered individually or in kits as templates for people to re-use in their own creations, and they generally come with an end-user licence agreement (EULA) specifying their intended use. More often than not, these EULAs forbid the re-sale of such items on an “as is” basis and / or re-sale as full permission items. And if a dedicated EULA isn’t offered, the fact that the items are not intended for full perm resale can generally be found in the listing description.

However, there are unscrupulous individuals doing just that: purchasing the items and reselling them unchanged, as full permission items, thus violating the original creator’s intent and licensing. To add insult to injury, the items undercut the original creator’s own market price.

To help raise awareness of the problem, Strawberry offers some advice on how to identify or avoid such items:

  1. Before purchasing look at the seller’s other listings. If there is a hodgepodge of brand names and the vendors all look different, they are most likely an illegal seller.
  2. Purchase the items from the in-world store of the full perm creator instead of the marketplace, to ensure that you are not purchasing from an illegal seller.
  3. Most of the illegal sellers have blank profiles. Real full perm sellers usually have a full profile filled with links to their websites, main stores and marketplace stores.
  4. Most Full Perm sellers have started using water marks on the vendor ads which say the name of the avatar that is supposed to be selling it. The illegal sellers are still using those ads, even with the watermark. So it is important to look at the name of the creator on the watermark, and if it isn’t that person selling it, don’t buy it.
  5. Try to find a way to report these items, either to Linden Lab by flagging the listing or to the original creator of the items.

It’s sound advice for anyone looking at full permission items. I’d perhaps only expand a little on point (5.) for clarity. While we may grumble about the DMCA process, it is the means by which such items can be most effectively removed from the Marketplace, as the nature of DMCA filings requires that Linden Lab respond to them accordingly.

So, if you believe an item on the Marketplace is being illegally sold and can identify, or are aware of the original creator, do be sure to contact them directly and make them aware of your concern.  Provide information on the item: where it can be found (listing, etc.), so that they might investigate for themselves, and if necessary, file a DMCA. This approach not only helps the creator take the required action to have violating listings removed, it also potentially helps to establish a history of violations which they can also put to the Lab, if necessary, which might in turn encourage the Lab to take more stringent action against repeat offenders.

Strawberry also has an article concerning in-world Giftbot scams as well. Given these are still very much a problem in-world,I’ll point you to that piece as well.

4 thoughts on “Second Life Marketplace: full permission product scams

  1. Reblogged this on Magick Thoughts and commented:
    It breaks my heart to see so many scammers out there who steal and do as they wish. I am sharing this with all of you and I know everyone is reblogging on this topic but I want to add my own 2 cents as well. Also, I Saw on Facebook this website by Izzy. If you are a creator of original mesh you will want to look into this and fill out the application to be on Izzy’s Legit List. The list is getting a big response already! –Love Amanda


  2. Since many (most?) of these crooks are by definition lazy they use the original creator’s sales image, and THAT can be put into Google image search. An imperfect tool to be sure but it will identify when the same image is being used by more than one vendor.


  3. One way to be reasonably sure you are getting honestly vended stuff is to enter the vendor’s name in the search function and see what else they are selling. Most real Creators focus on one specific thing; eg: Propeller aircraft of WWII. If you see aircraft. shirts and pants, cars, and other non-related items offered for sale, it’s most likely ripped (stolen). A number of sims forbid ripped item entry, if you’re lucky you’ll be asked to either leave or de-rez whatever you’ve brought in, otherwise you’ll just be banned with no reason given (some Content Creators can be major jerks over this). [airport owners can be especially hard headed over this]
    Look, there are Counterfeits in real life and you check suspicious items being sold for a lot less. There is usually a reason for this, and being a counterfeit item is a major one. Check, ask,and compare. You’ll be glad you did.


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