Friday, December 30, 2011

ROMA Copybotted (UPDATED x2)

It has finally happened. ROMA has been copybotted on a large scale.

In spring of 2010 Torin Golding, the owner of ROMA (SPQR) in Second Life, and several members of the ROMA community spent months building a reconstruction of the ancient Roman fort of Binchester in Second Life. The reconstruction (slurl to ROMA Vinovium) is an academic partnership with the Binchester Archaeological Project run by Stanford University in the US and Durham University in the UK.

It came to light today that last month (November 2011) at least two avatars came to ROMA and copybotted almost the entire build in ROMA Vinovium. They extracted this stolen content to another online grid, Inworldz. Several ROMA Citizens discovered the stolen content in Inworldz, along with other items illegally copied from other citizens including Achille Back, Tonina Rodenberger, Alekso Minotaur, Popea Heron, and Lef Leven.

The avatars whose name is on the stolen content- Ronja Abrahams and Chaja Abrahams- have been banned from the entire ROMA estate along with other names we have been able to link to those accounts between Second Life and Inworldz. We are also working to file official reports.

You can find pictorial details on the stolen content at this Flickr album.

The owners of the copybotted material, along with another avatar named Chantale Anatine, have begun a land and group in Inworldz called "Roma SPQR". Along with the stolen content this suggests that they are attempting to impersonate and mimic the Second Life estate of ROMA (SPQR), which has been in existence since 2006, in the new online grid of Inworldz.

It is a shame when people without scruples rip off hard working content creators, and attempt to exploit others' good name for their own selfish ends. We hope that the managers of Inworldz will take action and remove this stolen content (and these individuals) from a growing online world.

More copybotted content in Inworldz has been found, also owned and listed as 'created' by Ronja Abrahams and Chaja Abrahams. Some of the newest round of copybotted items can be seen from this point on in this flickr album. This includes a familiar sign that clearly states some of the content was build by Tonina Rodenberger, peter Woody and Achille Back, not by Chaja Abrahams which the Inworldz inspect window lists.

Additionally other members of our ROMA family have been copybotted by these individuals in Inworldz. One of the hardest hit was Ars Avete owned by Popea Heron and Lef Leven. The details of the items they had copybotted (with side by side photos) can be found in this flickr album.

DMCA reports have been filed and we hope the Inworldz authorities will act on them swiftly.

As of today it looks like all of the offending content has been removed from Inworldz.
  • No items owned by Chaja Abrahams or Ronja Abrahams are left on the properties. The "Ancient Rome" sim has been reclaimed by a land baron (who interestingly is also in the "Ancient Rome" group started by Ronja and the suspiciously named "Roma SPQR" group started by Chantale Anatine)

  • Torin, Popea, and Tonina are banned from the "Ancient Rome" sim (the only three people on the ban list).

  • Chantale Anatine still owns the suspiciously named "Roma SPQR" sim to the north. No copied content was found here but she did seem to be at least partners with the copybotters.

  • The ancient Roman builds Chantale Anatine (Ancient Pompeii) and Ronja Abrahams (Ancient Herculaeum) owned in SL are gone, although the groups still remain in SL search.

  • Ronja Abrahams and Chaja Abrahams still show up in the Inworldz search.

Hopefully this looks like the matter has been taken care of. We would like to publicly thank the Inworldz management team (including the individual who helped us personally and kept us informed of developments) for diligently working very hard to solve this issue. Thank you very much for your time. It was appreciated.

-Torin Golding