Contributed by Shauna Skye
Zyngo creator Aargle Zymurgy has sent out a “State of the Union” address.
I need to take a few minutes of your time to let you know what’s going on with Zyngo. First, some notes about SL in general:
* The Lindens take a VERY dim view of people doing cloning and copying of original products. Look around: SL is 99.9% user created. If that’s not protected, SL itself isn’t protected.
* Creators can, and do, file DMCA reports against people making illegal copies of objects, skin, clothing, etc. As a creator, I can tell you the removals team does its job.
* For the most part, customer base in SL is very loyal. Some crooks used an exploit to steal skins from a well known creator. Before the day was out, their crooked shop was closed… all thanks to loyal customers of the creator.
* While better known creators don’t always have time to be personal with all customers, we DO know you’re out there and we really put heart-and-soul into new and better products. (I am a customer, too. I know how I’m treated by creators.)
Now, to the important subject. (I was hesitant to make this NC to pass out, but I was convinced it was needed.) Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 6 months, Zyngo has been cloned heavily. How?
* Summer and Fall 2008, 3 different exploits were found (and closed by the Lindens) which resulted in version 2.51 in gross abundance. ALL 2.51 Zyngos, unless verified as an original purchase from me (I have all records) are now subject to removal via DMCA filing.
* There is an age-old exploit which involves conning the Lindens. When that happens, they get as angry as a hive of hornets. Between you and me, the Lindens are as angry as hornets and I don’t blame them in the slightest.
So, what does this mean to you? Since this message is going out somewhat generically, I’ll give several answers depending on what might be your situation.
* You only bought games from me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Those of you who bought from me and had clubs and arcades (we don’t say the “C” word) know I’ve spent huge amounts of time with the Lindens and the lawyers to keep competitive gaming alive and well in SL. And you know I’m there when you’ve had real problems with games. You know I’ve been on top of things when crooks and hackers have made attacks. Those of you in this group make my being in SL worth it.
* You are a used game reseller. The cloners took your market. They saturated it with games that shouldn’t, by rights, exist at all. Someone bought a 2.51 game from me for $2495, decided to leave SL, sold to you for $1200 and you hoped to sell it for $1600 and make a little. Suddenly, all the 2.51 games are being sold for $400 because they got cloned on a massive level. You already know the story. I never wanted a resale market for Zyngos, but I tried to accommodate. Other b’tards ruined it for everyone. Sorry.
* You Bought a lot of games from me, but you were convinced to buy a few “on the cheap.” If those track back to cloners. I have to file a DMCA on them. I’m sorry about that, but It’s the way copyrights work, though; I have to aggressively pursue known copyright violations.
* You bought 1 game from me to license a big collection of games you got cheaply. Sorry to say, those were probably clones. You’ll lose them. Frankly, that was a very unwise thing to do.
* You’re in the group, getting this notecard, and you’re one of the cloners. Believe it or not, I know who you are. August 2007, when coping with the changes in the SL gaming rules, I had a lawyer advising me. He’s active in SL and knows the whole situation. He’s ready to represent me and sue the asses off those cloning. If that’s you, get a lawyer… NOW. He’ll tell you to do what one lawyer already told one person in SL. And let’s talk about that. One person engaging in cloning has a sister who is a lawyer. She advised him to settle with me in SL before it went to the courts. He did, and for costs much lower than a lawsuit would have produced. Those of you in europe, I’m aware that I’m not likely to get lawsuit money from you. I’ll just see you put in jail. Simple as that. That doesn’t sound nice, but I’m not the one who made you seek the exploits.
Finally, let’s get real about something: the clones rob you of customers. Those of you legitimate customers paid for the games. You want players playing them. When any twit can toss them out for free, YOU lose. Your players go to wherever games are. When that is everywhere… welll… you get the picture.
What can you do? The current primary culprit is Zyngo 2.51. It got out of control. If you find one for sale or in action, drop me the slurl. No real chat needed…. I fully expect a few thousand IMs from that request alone. So, please, just drop the SLURL. I’l get it removed from SL and that’s one less place taking your players.
In the end, this takes a lot of my time. Less is spent in game development. I feel I was fortunate to get the multi-player games out recently. But I did it anyways. Players and owners alike are happy and the fun in SL grows.
God bless you all. May you all have peace, happiness and prosperity.
Be interesting to see what happens when things hit the fan for this. I’ll keep you posted!