Friday, June 26, 2009

Read All About It - photoLife Trial

Have you ever noticed when a company does something wrong, makes a mistake, causes an error to occur the press is all over them like the bad smell on a three day old corpse? And of course then follows the ensuing crowds of people that trail the press in their own little car on the hate train express headed right for the business owner.

Every business owner in the world who has experienced negative press has surely had the same feeling of wanting to assume the fetal position, under a palapa hut, whilst listening to the sound of calypso music playing on a tropical island they’re hiding out the rest of their ostracized lives on.

I find this to be a strange occurrence. I mean, sure I know all about gawking at train wrecks and rubbernecking on the freeway during an accident, but what I don’t get is why you only get one side of the story in case of corporate mistakes. Then before you know it, this mob mentality that takes over. The crowd has lit the torches as they ascend the hill with every intention of burning down the castle in order to skewer and roast poor old monster Frankenstein.

So today I thought I might try something different. Thanks to the quick response team at the Shopping Cart Disco blog, I’m sure a lot of you have read the blog entries regarding a recent incident with photoLife and a Second Life photographer. I know I have. And as is the norm, SCD did not fail in delivering a quick one sided version of the story. Good job SCD.

I have to say though, I’m a little disappointed SCD continues to do that. I mean, seriously folks, how many of you out there make a qualified decision based on information from one party to an issue? If that were the case, we might still be debating the value of the round wheel.

I look forward to the day SCD decides to incorporate impartial reporting. Snort…oh dear… okay, I had a hard time keeping a straight face while typing that, but never the less, I do mean it.

In response to the SCD article, and those blog articles stemming from it, I thought I might take this opportunity to find out the other side of the story.

But before I start laying out the facts discovered, I want to ask you a question. Who here has not made a mistake? If you’re reading this, and you’ve never, ever, once made an error, big or small, please stand up… or contact me, I need to find out your secret to success.

Let’s be real. Everyone and I mean everyone has made a mistake. Some larger than others. Some were made because one failed to find out everything needed to make an informed decision. And some perhaps were made by simply making the wrong choice. Others still are just stupid, silly, run of the mill, facepalm; “I can’t believe I did that” kind of mistakes. Hell, if any one of you haven’t done any of these, you’re God and I want to meet you.

In the case of the incident I’m going to address, what we have here is, and forgive me for the possible inference to a movie with the following string of words but, an unfortunate series of events. A whole slew of mistakes that just seemed to hit at the wrong time at the wrong place.

But let’s get down to the facts as I know them.

Everyone knows SLB6 is going on right now. Happy Birthday SL! And photoLife like many other in world companies has a booth. This booth has their latest product which happens to be the photoLife 3.0 photo studio. In addition to that, it was thought that displaying photos from some of the photoLife owners would be a nice touch to show not only the great photography but promote the studio as well. No shame there, it’s done all the time in business.

Evidently in trying to get everything set up for their SLB6 booth, photoLife used some photos from the Team photoLife flickr site without asking permission. Mistake number one.

Why you might ask? Well, many times before at other photoLife events, the very same thing has been done. So in other words because it had been done before, doing it again would seem a natural thing to assume was okay since it had never been an issue in the past. Of course we all know now, that’s probably not the smartest business practice.Anyway, the idea always being not only will it help promote the capabilities of the photo studio, but the talent of the photographer as well. It’s a symbiotic relationship, many businesses have them. Nothing new there.

Some photographers were contacted and asked if they wanted to provide a photo for the photo wall at the photoLife SLB6 booth and others were not. Mistake number two.

Why? Well, that’s just it, it was a mistake. Perhaps made in haste, perhaps whilst trying to finish building the booth, coordinate the set up, answer customer service calls, etc. Whatever, it was an error plain and simple.

Mistake number three is by far in my opinion the biggest and most stupid mistake of all. Yes, I said stupid. Because it was. Do I mean the person that made the mistake is stupid? No. On the contrary, but lord knows even Einstein made a stupid mistake or two in his lifetime.

Number three was the wall that was put out to hold the photos. It was taken from a photoLife associates inventory, a pre-made wall he had used prior to SLB6, then it was set up at the photoLife booth, photos were applied to it in prims, and it was on display for the whole grid to see. In addition to that… it was also set to sell… for $10L. NOT $1000L that has been reported.

Now, I personally found this mistake to be of interest to me. How many of you have gone frolicking through Second Life, shopping contentedly when you happen upon the cutest little French living room suite, (or your object of desire of choice) clicked the object to see how much it was selling for, positive it was too much only to see $10L as the sale price? Well? How many? I’ve been here three years and that’s happened to me more times than I can tell you. I mean sure, you know full well it is a mistake, the owner forgot to reset the sale price from the standard $10L setting it to whatever price they really want to sell it at. Have I ever bought items marked this way? Yes, I’ll admit I have. I mean how often can you get a full set of antique French living room furniture for $10L? Was it right? Nooooo. So okay, my conscience finally got the better of me and I make it a practice to alert the store owner now.

But that’s the thing, seeing that $10L price on a wall, not the prims holding the photos mind you, but the wall itself, a big, lumbering long single wall should set off the light bulb over your head that this sir is a mistake.

But apparently an owner/creator of one of the photos on the wall at the photoLife SLB6 booth, took this to mean something entirely different. In fact, meaning that her photo was up for sale and took mighty offense to that. Hey, I understand that. If I saw one of my photos up for sale somewhere I’d be up in arms too. But we all interpret things differently, easy to understand why she might be upset, especially if in fact all three mistakes were made sequentially. And it is possible for the general public to be unaware that you’re not allowed to sell anything at SLB6.

So, as events go, this photographer who happens to live on a different continent than that of the photoLife associate involved in this occurrence, sends an instant message to him with a query as to why her photo is up on this wall for sale. The rest of the conversation you can read as posted verbatim on the SCD blog.

First let me just start by saying I’ve read that conversation a few times. I can honestly tell you that my first reaction was; wow… could he have been less of a customer service representative? Dang, I think not. I mean without a doubt the photographer was due better service, more grace and less snarkyness. But after thinking about it for some time, I decided to ask the photoLife associate exactly why it went down that way. I wanted to know because I know this guy. And as long as I’ve known him, I’ve only known him to be more than helpful, always friendly and always willing to lend a hand no matter what. So no one was more surprised than me by the way this read because it seemed so out of character for him. Of course I realize that a text based environment tends to loose a bit in the translation but still it did come off rather frigid and I thought I really need to know if I’m missing something here.

After talking to him for awhile, I recognized the need to be a bit more understanding as it was 4am his time when this occurred. Asleep in a recliner near his computer he heard the ding of an instant message. For a moment he thought about going back to sleep but came to see what it was.

Mistake number four. Never, ever talk to anyone, a client, a friend, a family member, a wife, lover, dog, a neighbor and surely not an unhappy person at 4am in the morning when not fully awake, tired, grumpy or whatever. Always a bad idea. Always. Just keep snoring. Oh and, the now infamous “belch” that keeps being referred to, I asked about that. Apparently when the photoLife associate was woken, he didn’t realize his mic was still on and as human bodies do sometimes, his released some excess gas by way of a belch. Frankly I think everyone’s lucky he didn’t fart. But that’s just my opinion. God, I hope I never leave my mic on when I’m unaware. But anyway, does he regret how this situation played out? Yes, indeed he does. And I believe he has made every attempt to apologize to the photographer in question.

Having said that, by now you can see where I get the reference to an unfortunate series of events.

1. Using a photo without permission

2. Failure to contact ALL parties to ask permission

3. Inadvertently placing a prim out that is set for sale WITH someone else’s photo on it that had no permission

4.Opening mouth and inserting foot otherwise being less than gracious

As soon as all of this was brought to the attention of the owner of photoLife, Oompoppamowmow Snookums, he and his team immediately set into place new policies to prevent these mistakes from happening again in the future. In addition, apologies were made to the person involved for the improprieties and Linden Lab was consulted with and presented all information for their opinion. According to O. Snookums, LL has found this to be, as stated a mistake. An error. An unfortunate series of errors. NOT intentional and not malicious.

Now, knowing all of this and of course assuming you believe this to be the truth, which I do. Is the company guilty enough to deserve to be treated like pariah? Tell me, because I really would like to know the answer to what a company can do in reparation if in fact they’ve made mistakes like these. What would be to the satisfaction of the public? It appears Oom sincerely tried to admit to the mistakes, take responsibility and apologize in a response he made on the SCD blog, but wow people, you really let him have it. He was cooked, ate, digested and expelled within five responses to his public admission to what happened. So tell me, what exactly would suffice? A liver? A kidney? First born male child?

The best part and I’m being sarcastic is, even after he apologized, stated what happened, admitted the mistakes, a lot of people just kept picking at the wound. Let’s not stop there the thread read, let’s all pull out our bag of unhappiness and sprinkle it around some. Meaning, after that public apology there were plenty of instances of people regaling why they were unhappy with him. “Yep, I was unhappy when he did this… or didn’t do that…, I got screwed because of this, or I was not paid attention to when I thought I should be”. Wow, God help us all if this is the way things are handled by the public in the physical world. Personally I hope I get a more mature judge and jury when it’s my turn.

Well according to the blog responses I read, it appeared nothing short of OomPoppaMowMow’s head on a platter or worse would make people happy. It’s unconceivable to me, the amount of venom spewed and guilt found so easily to where only a public lynching would suffice and the crowd then silenced. I just don’t get it. Every business owner, hell every person has people they don’t get along with, or have had issues with. These people typically wait for the right time, just the right circumstances to crawl out of the wood work index finger stiff in the pointing gesture telling the entire world why they hate said business owner/person and you should to.

I always hoped that SL would have a better societal practice, different than what we see in RL, but sadly that has not turned out to be the case.

So again, I’m going to ask you to dig deep, look at yourself in the mirror, perhaps looking where you’ve chosen not to look before because it’s ugly and easy to avert your eyes. Have you made a mistake? Are you guilty of doing something rashly? Have you taken advantage of a situation (think $10L furniture)? Have you mistakenly done something due to lack of life experience? Have you inadvertently done something wrong? Have you set up a business and never had to make changes to it because it was perfect from day one? If any of you can say yes or you’re not guilty, then you’re indeed the lucky ones, you’re perfect. I’m not. And apparently neither is photoLife. I’ve made mistakes and I continue to make them, but thankfully most are new mistakes. I try and learn from each one as most of us do. As most of you know me, I’m not malicious or spiteful, it serves me no purpose and I honestly do not believe this incident was in any way malicious or spiteful.

I’ve known O. Snookums, since his very first creation of photoLife and I can tell you that while he is surely not perfect, and we may not always agree on everything, I can say with assurance he has integrity. He’s one of the hardest working people I know on the grid, and he’s one of the most honest. In addition, he’s one of the few business owners on SL that still makes house calls. At any given time I’ll see someone on the PL group chat box ask for help with this or that on their studio. If Oom’s online, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen him respond with, “tp me”. Tell me how often you get that kind of service now days. In addition his staff are some of the most friendly, helpful people I know. Geezus… Colleen Criss, photoLife’s General Manager gives me a freaking cavity every time I talk to her she’s so sweet.

I guarantee you I could not keep up the kind of patience these people do, admittedly I am not equipped.

Now for full disclosure I should tell you that I’m currently CCO of Opium Fashion Agency a company partially owned by OomPoppaMowMow Snookums. I’ve also worked for photoLife in the past, but not currently. I’m a certified photoLife photographer and a member of some of the photoLife groups. Does this mean I would write this, wholeheartedly believing it to be the truth if I didn’t? Absolutely not. In fact, Oom knows if I don’t agree with something, I’m going straight to him and we’re going to talk about it. I am not a yes woman, never have been never will be. If I felt for one second this was a malicious act, a sneaky attempt to make money I would be the first one in his face reading him the riot act.

But I don’t and I’m not. And I’m not writing this to convince anyone of anything, simply to state my opinion and encourage people to see both sides before forming their own opinion.

I firmly believe all facts should be presented before making a decision. In this case for me at least, it’s fairly clear that this was an unfortunate occurrence and no one was intentionally set out to be taken advantage of, hurt or used. It’s kind of sad actually, because truly I believe had the conversation between the photoLife associate and the photographer been different I would not be writing this now. Had he just said something to the effect of, “omg I didn’t realize that prim was set for sale! I’m so sorry, I’ll take care of that right now! God I feel like such a moron, thanks soooo much for bringing that to my attention”, this would have been a mute point. But, alas that didn’t happen, and I’ve already covered why. And because those words were not chosen, the smack down train was loaded and the circus came to town blowing this way out of proportion.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Please forgive me in advance for any grammatical butchering as everyone knows I'm grammar challenged. I now return you to your normally scheduled broadcast. Oh, by the way, the opinions voiced here are mine and mine only, they may not represent those of the general public, the staff, management, or my cat, there that’s my disclaimer. ;)


Ann Launay said...

This is an interesting take on the topic, but I do wonder why you neglected to address the part where, to add insult to injury, Darkley was accused of being a troublemaker and asked to leave the photoLife group(s). I don't know how she feels about it, but that's what really stood out the most for me in the situation.

Darkley Aeon said...

I have over 10 witnesses to the 1000L price tag - are you really going to continue to state it was 10L?

What other people make of the chat logs is their interpretation, and for the record the 'apology' i recieved from Photolife was passive aggressive and qualified, not a geniune apology

I was kicked from the group for trying to protect my IP.

Anonymous said...

I think this all could have been handled privately between the parties involved (says the girl who names names in her blog). I have no idea why she went to SCD anyway.

Darkley Aeon said...

I tried to handle it privately, but I was removed from the group and any further customer service.

Anonymous said...

I must be a complete and total dumb ass but can someone please show me where it says Photolife or whoever doesnt have the right to download your work? I thought that because of the lawsuit involving a girls pic that was used in national advertising campaign that was downloaded from her Flickr account that we had to specifically say, yes or no you cant use my stuff. My understanding is the default is yes you can use my stuff. If anyone knows please let me know. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

@Darkley - Why the heck SCD? They are not known as the bastion of unbiased journalism in SL. If anything going to them shed doubt on your side.

Darkley Aeon said...

All my work is labelled 'all rights reserved' which means I reserve the right to all my work.

The thing is, it would have never got any further if I just got a straight, honest apology. But I didn't my work was on a wall set for sale for 1000L, my name was not there, so nobody would know it was mine and to be told that "You should be honoured" and to "get over it" upset me. Then I was ejected from their flickr and inworld group.

What would you have done in that situation?

Anonymous said...

All rights reserved - ah got ya. Like I said I am a dumb ass and dont know the TOS of Flickr, LOL and the default is yes anyone can download. Well I know I would not have gone to SCD. I wrote for them and for the most part all they care about is one sided gossip - all you are is a source of info. They are not respected is my point. Would I have blogged it? Hell yeah, but on my own personal blog. Anywho thats just my opinion.

Cherie Parker said...

Ann, I'm not sure what the answer is to that exactly. But I can say that I'm not privy to private conversations normally so I'm not sure if she and photoLife associates have had problems in the past. My gut tells me that she might very well be a problem. Anyone that takes this simple mistake to SCD for resolution is not out to solve a problem or correct an error they're typically out for something else. Having said that, let me again say, how she was addressed was certainly not the proper way. And for that she did deserve and received an apology, several in fact.

Cherie Parker said...

Darkley, what exactly do you qualify as "genuine"? How are you to know if someone says I'm sorry, they don't mean it. I've talked to these people and from what I know, they're genuinely sorry and deeply regret the mistakes and any hurt feelings. In addition Darkley, the only reason I know they asked you to leave the group is because you indicated you were filing copyright infringement against them. Correct me if I'm wrong but why would you remain in that group if you're doing that? Why should they be expected to keep you there? Darkley, I don't you, but I sense you're quite upset by all this and for that I too feel badly for you. However, this was made into much bigger an event than it ever should have. Agreed it was handled badly to start. But from what I know you've been contacted by everyone involved and apologized profusely to. Now the question is, what more do you want?

Darkley Aeon said...

Nobody has apologised profusely, and I didn't say I was going to sue for copyright, what I said was I AR'd the build.

I stay in the group for notices and to Help people which I used to do daily.

Anonymous said...

Here is where I stand on the situation. 4am or no, the way he talked to her was uncalled for. I appreciate him having the heart to take a CS call at 4am but then he should have a little bit of decorum when it comes to how he talks to people. It is not a secret that Darkley is not one of the more revered PL Photographers. She is been called a complainer and whatnot because she feels she is overlooked time and again for things others (and in my opinion less talented photographers) are handed without hesitation.
Instead of him saying he was sorry he made it like she should be kissing his ass just because he chose pictures of hers (without permission), that is uncalled for. And he may have expressed sympathy to you for what transpired but not him, Colleen or Mallory has expressed any remorse for anything that was said to her. All 3 exhibited poor form when it comes to talking to people in SL.
SCD May have only said one side of the story but from where I sit it seems to be the truth. They set her picture for sale, well Greg did. Whether he meant it or not how do any of us know someone didnt buy that picture and now he is 1000L richer? Not to sound paranoid but I think the least Darkley deserves is a written apology from not only Greg, Colleen and Mallory but Oom himself. Their behavior and response to the situation has done nothing but make them look bad. I look at that stream and see a half dozen at least of potential customers who will never deal with the photoLIFE name in general again.
So I guess Cherie I understand your need to defend the people you work with and I am sure they are all nice people but they are the ones who made themselves look bad, not Darkley. I know if someone used my material without permission I would be mad, and if there was a price tag on it, purposefully or not I would file an AR. I work hard for my craft as I am sure you have and having anyone steal it, be it the so-called World Class Photographer or some newb stealing textures to make skins... you would do the same thing.

cora said...

yes i would like to see where exactly she was "apologized profusely" to!

also if the "1000L" label is true, as darkley has stated it is, you should edit your post, or you would be just as "guilty" as SCD of presenting twisted facts.

i read the facts and judge for myself. much of your post was about how "don't throw stones if you've never made a fuckup in your life". yes, we all make mistakes, but pL's attitude and customer service in retaliation towards darkley? it's clear they are not sorry. they are angry and blaming her!

you are taking their side anyway, so I doubt you'll listen. i am glad you mentioned that pL should have simply apologized and darkley would have ended the matter. your post seemed fairly objective, but when i read your comments it now appears to be that you think darkley has been fairly treated. has she, really? "apologized profusely" indeed. pL is not sorry one bit. go look at their ultra-defensive reactions and comments. they are STILL blaming darkley and even insinuating that her previous dissatisfaction with their service had led her to such actions?!

cherie, how can you take the side of pL!

Anonymous said...

@Cora - "My gut tells me that she might very well be a problem. Anyone that takes this simple mistake to SCD for resolution is not out to solve a problem or correct an error they're typically out for something else."

Seems to Cherie is expressing her opinion based upon other battles in SCD, is critiquing their blog and is not necessarily taking the side of PL.

Yeah I dont like SCD and I am very vocal about that fact but they do have some good writers now and they tend to get lost in the muck unfortunately.

colleen said...

For nearly a year now, as General Manager and before that as photoLIFE PR, I have have been involved with helping and assisting pL users. On many occassions Darkley came to me for help and concerns and I did the best to get her issues resolved for her as quickly as possible, and if I could not I found someone who could. Greg Paslong , myself as well as Oom and the entire Team photoLIFE staff and group always do the best we can to reslove any user (studio) issues asap.

Countless hours have been spent with Darkely on all of her issues from studio complaints, to *education* to just friendly *chat*.
Darkley was never satisfied with anything we did. While we continually get compliments on how our customer service and support works, sadly she never saw that.

Oom once asked her to give him an example of a company in SL that she felt offered the kind of service and support she could feel good about. Her reply was there are none. Simply put, she could only be satisfied with pL if we offered customer support on a level unlike any other business in SL.

Many including Toran Babenco tried to set up times that would be convenient, but as she wished us to accommadate her time zone , stating her offline life was 1st ect. and did not take into consideration , that considering the time difference we had lives as well and refused to meet us in the middle on several occassions.

Out of over 1000 pL users , Darkley stands out the most for having more attempts to please, and being the least satisfied. The request for her to leave was based on her unsatisfied status that we had no remedy for. While every attempt has been made to link her leaving the group with the single issue of Greg having dispayed her photos improperly, there was much more to this. The part you havent read on other blogs.

She was upset about not being selected as a CP, her studio didnt qualify .. there was no seperate area to enter or gallery in that area. Oom himself went there to help her remedy that and she showed me the improvements. They were perfect. Her work is good..... sadly her attitude was poor. From slamming photoLIFE on her plurk, to causing trouble in group inworld, to her blatant slams to Greg the list goes on and on. There was another CP, who had never been anything but helpful to her, she spoke ill in front of a full room of people about her while she stood there. Her blatant rude behavior towards the photoLIFE staff and policies have been well known in the group for a long time.

She IM'd myself as well as others about how the CP selection process was biased, it is not biased at all . The current active CP group each get to vote . The program is structured so that nobody can keep any well qualified Cp out. Not me, not Oom, not anyone. Her piers get to vote on those qualified applications.

She had 4 different meetings with Oom, into the wee hours of the EST zone some lasting 2-3 hours to show her different perspectives of photography and to help her with her business. Still she was not happy. Yet she continued to apply to the Certified Photographer Program of a company she did not like.

The question here must be asked , why? Why want to be part of something you dislike?

And still, I granted her wish and made a public apology. I complied to her wishes and then I asked her to end all relationship with photoLIFE. She complied. She was given a choice, where she gave us none.

She was never ejected, she left on her own and I have text to support that. She was not ejected from support either as she knows very well how to contact all of us, I would never refuse studio support to anyone in the group or out of the group. Owning a studio does not mean anyone has to be a member of any photoLIFE groups at all, we would still be there to support them if they needed that all they need to do is go to the main store and tap the customer service boards

Cherie Parker said...

Ok you guys, I appreciate those responses. Absolutely I want to know what you think. No, I can assure you I'm not taking the side of pl. But I do believe that this whole thing has been so blown out of proportion that it's just unbelievable. I just got out of a meeting with Oom and Darkley and I guarantee you she received heart felt apologies and that's not all. In every way shape and form Oom asked Darkley what he could do to resolve this. He made every attempt. He apologized, yes profusely and he invited her to rejoin the groups. He told her he would make public apologies and we would write something up and post it here on my blog as well as the Opium blog sharing the resolution of this problem. But, sadly Darkley said there was no resolution. To me, that just screams immaturity. She just wants to remain angry. What good does that serve? I don't understand that. I made attempts to talk to her rationally, calmly, Oom did the same. But sadly I think what she really wants is, exactly what she said, and this is a direct quote "[12:10] Darkley Aeon: i had nothing to lose and nothing to gain, and after my reputation was trashed in group i wanted a little payback, sorry, but i was shaking with rage at being spoken to like that, after what PL did" I think she just wants payback still. I'm sorry that she feels that way. I'm sorry that others are being affected by it. Mostly, I think I'm sorry because I hate to think of someone in that kind of emotional turmoil. A couple of things I need to address here. Anonymous they never set her picture for sale, it was the prim wall for sale, her photo was on a separate prim not marked for sale. And I'm not defending them, so much as I'm standing up for actions and what they cost people. Everyone has been affected by this and that's sad because, and I did clearly state in my article they screwed up in handling this, but it's just a bunch of mistakes, and maybe just maybe some bad judgment. At some point you must reach a resolution or remain at odds. Myself? Well, I'm all for resolving things so everyone benefits.

Cora, again I'm not taking sides, and who is blaming her and where? The information I received was from the pl associate about the $10L price of the wall. That's all I can go by. I do have one thing to correct, it wasn't copyright infringement but rather an AR filed. My bad on that one.

Darkley Aeon said...

My picture was on a prim wall set for sale at 1000L, would you like a list of the people who were actually there and saw it?

And the resolution offered involved me returning to the group. I am not prepared to go back to the group.

Darkley Aeon said...

I am no longer angry, I was but it's been dealt with, I am quite content with being out of PL now, what happened in the past happened, I have no brought any of that up. I stuck to the facts - other people wrote comments. Colleen has made her personal feelings about me very clear, but I have no been personal in these blogs.

I will not be releasing further chatlogs, as it will do nobody any favours.

The issue for me - was that my work was uploaded without my consent, when I questioned it I was spoken to in a very derogatory manner. When I complained further I was 'asked to leave the group' which to me, in my opinion means booted from the group. There was an announcment/passive aggressive apology to say I had been asked to leave.

Cherie Parker said...

Darkley I'm glad you're not angry anymore. :) That's got to feel better. Personally I think you'll feel better letting go of anger. :) Perhaps this in and of itself is a resolution of some sort.

Anonymous said...

I think if had seen the wall for "sale" like that, I would have contacted whoever put it up first...knowing that it was most likely a mistake. And I would have given someone a chance to correct it before I ran off to file grievances with LL. I would be interested to know if this is the first time Darkley has done this.

Darkley Aeon said...

No, this is the first time my work was taken without my consent and set for sale.

Anonymous said...

so why didn't you just contact Oom then? You've said yourself that 10 other people witnessed it. Obviously you were telling everyone BUT Oom. Why blow it out of proportion and bring it to this? That's the only part I can't understand. I guess my rational mind can't wrap around how there are people who just seem to want to make waves. And yes, I have put boards out before that were used previously without thinking. I've even put out some that had split profit scripts still in them...but they have been mistakes on my part. Stupid mistakes, granted...but simple mistakes. All I'm saying is that if, God forbid, next time you think someone is trying to "rip you off", stop and think about it before you immediately assume the worst.

Katey Coppola said...

I can't help noticing that Darkley "taking this" to SCD has been repeatedly mentioned, and want to just clear up something there from what I see of it.

Darkley posted what happened on Plurk, and it rightfully garnered a shocked response -- and someone from SCD decided it warranted writing about.

I never saw Darkley say, "SCD please fight my corner".

Balanced or not, SCD don't lie, and didn't lie while they reported what happened here. They tend to stick up for people who have been wronged quite often.

Also, in the chatlogs, please show me where Greg says "your photo is not on sale for 1000L" when he is questioned about it? I really don't know why that is being doubted either.

Darkley has been a customer of mine before in several capacities, and has requested customer service before too - never has she been unreasonable, or demandng, or rude. In fact, the opposite - she's a pleasant person to know.

Yes it was nice of Greg to offer customer support at 4am, however, Darkley is a customer and why should she pander to PL's requests to only give customer support when it suits them, as Colleen seems to think, above? If you're running a business charging 10k for your product, I'd damn well hope if I buy it and have a problem with it there'll be someone around to help me.

The ego of PL is just astounding. Ugh.

Cherie Parker said...

Katey first of all there were probably many things Greg should have said and didn't. The fact is, this being obviously just a mistake, because it was never her art for sale it was a prim wall, why not just as others have said contact Oom about it? Instead she goes and complains on plurk to incite or provoke a response. This is not the first time she has complained in a group forum either. It appears to me at least that instead of wanting to resolve a simple problem, she wanted instead "payback". Which she clearly stated in the meeting she had with myself and Oom yesterday. Now as far as the validity of what SCD posts, well that's for each individual to decide. The fact is they only show one side of a story and I'm sorry, that for me is not enough to make a rational, intelligent decision. Attempting to tear down a business simply because one is pissed off is not rational or mature. The mole hill should remain a mole and the mountain should never be made. Again, just my opinion.

Vivianne Draper said...

What world do you people live in where you do not know that it is unethical at best and illegal at worst to download someone else's work and sell it as your own? Have you folks been living under a rock for the last 10 years? I cannot even believe that you are trying to wiggle out of it this way. Furthermore if it was a simple mistake, as you say, then fine. Own up to it, take responsibility for fucking up, apologize to Darkley, and move on. But nooooo you folks have to go on rampages to defend your lame actions like it is something you can actually defend.

Get over yerselves. Darkley has the ethical high ground here and nothing you can say or do, including lying about how much it was set to sale for, can excuse your actions.

Darkley Aeon said...

Oom wasnt online, and wasnt due online for another 12hours, in the meantime I was being trashed in group.

Cherie? what other side of the story, they are chat logs....

Katey Coppola said...

I don't see how IP theft is making a mountain out of a molehill as you say.

Whether it was the wall or the picture for sale, it USED the picture. The picture was All Rights Reserved and was downloaded without consent from the artist. It was then uploaded by someone else, who is now free to distribute the picture - and he does NOT have that right.

It's not a full perm texture that you can use in your build. It is a picture.

I seriously don't understand how PL or anyone associated them think they have a leg to stand on here.

midi said...

This is a bit crazy isn't it? Darkley tried to do the right thing, she contacted the company as soon as she saw what had happened, gave them every chance to respond in a professional manner, and was met with rudeness and the attitude that she should be pleased her work had been taken. And then, after trying her best to resolve it privately and professionally, she was kicked out of the group. After all this had happened, she decided to make it public. I really think many of us would not have been as restrained as she was, and find it very hard to understand why she's being painted as the villain of the piece.

One last thing. It may have been a mistake, a series of mistakes, whatever. That does not absolve the people who made the mistakes from all responsibility for them. "oh it was a mistake, but I'm not at all sorry for what happened, and you have behaved badly for drawing attention to it" is not a responsible attitude.

Anonymous said...

Cherie Parker, I don't believe you could be anymore patronising if you tried.

Most sane people can see what happened. Someone messed up, breaking SecondLife Terms of Service and breaking the law in the process. Darkley contacted the company staff and was treated like dirt.

This same company and its representatives instead of apologising are now trying to drag her into the mud, bringing up various percieved wrongdoings and opinion.

Cherie - you have shown your bias, you are associated with PL, and The Opium Sim, you have also shown in a previous blog entry your friendship with EnCore Mayne, so that explains the distate for SCD. I am afraid you opinion and 'facts' are worthless

Anonymous said...

This is just too precious.

Kade Klata said...

and gosh..we all know how Katey loves to use Plurk to help her 'causes' along, don't we?

Cherie Parker said...

Well you certainly are all entitled to your opinions. And I appreciate you posting them here. But the fact is, I'm not biased. I'm concerned where mob mentality is in play and continues to make attempts to keep bashing whatever entity it is at the time. This particular occurrence was not done on purpose. Were bad choices and bad conduct in play? Absolutely and I said so. However, amends have been attempted to be made. In a meeting with Darkley herself where everyone attempted to do anything possible to rectify/resolve this issue. Darkley herself said there was no way to resolve this. So tell me, what does that say? When every attempt has been made to make a situation that was wrong, right, what is one to do? You guys tell me. I would love to know. I'm sure photoLife would like to know.

Viiane, you say "Own up to it, take responsibility for fucking up, apologize to Darkley, and move on" trust me, those things have been done. In fact in the meeting held yesterday with Darkley it was suggested by Oom that we would be happy to write a public apology, on both my blog and the Opium blog along with of course another statement of how badly this was handled. She said no to that. The fact is, photoLife has made a public declaration on the SCD blog if you read that, that states exactly what happened how much they regret it, etc. etc. So in essence they did try and do just what you said Viviane. And to be sure, I never lied about anything.

Midi, you need to go back an read all the circumstances. And the order.

Annon I'm sorry if you feel I've been patronizing, I assure you that is not my intent. And no one is trying to drag Darkley thru the mud. Simply stating the facts, the chronological order, and the rational is all I've been doing.I'm glad you liked the integrity article. It too is one of my favorites.

Darkley, after yesterday's meeting where you clearly said, you did this because you were angry and wanted payback and there was essentially nothing that Oom, the company, or anyone with the company could do, say or produce that you would accept as a satisfactory "payback" I would really like to know why you keep this rolling at this point. More payback? Still not satisfied? I was sure after you said you were not angry anymore we could let this die and move on with all of our lives. I really hate to see anyone in such emotional turmoil. I think I'm going to wrap this up with, I hope one day you find a way to move ahead and not remain here in this little place where anger and vengeance seem to live. I just can't imagine that to be comfortable or a good place to be for very long. Again, I wish you well.

Darkley Aeon said...

I am continuing with nothing.

The resolution offered hinged on me returning to the group - which I am not prepared to do. There is nothing that can be done, because there is nothing I want from PL, and there is nothing you want from me, so thats the end of it.

Seriously Cherie - I am not angry, I don't know how many times I have to say that.

you have lied, because you continue to say you have the 'facts' when I have shown you repeatedly that you do not.

I have not been personal, I have not assumed to know you state of mind or intentions - How on earth could you possibly know who I am and what I am like when I have had the minimum contact with you - ever.

I suggest you stop 'worrying' about me. I am fine thank you very much

Cherie Parker said...

Darkley I have the facts as I received them. You have never shown me anything, so please do not say you have, that is in face a lie. I have not lied here, I am not lying now.. and I won't lie for anyone or anything. Period. I'm glad you're not angry, and I never presumed to know you or your state of mind. The only state of mind I think I have commented on is one you yourself provided. Other than that, I simply comment on the actions in play. And I worry about lot's of people even if I don't know them well. If the actions of someone says to me, they may be in crisis, it's my human nature to be concerned. But after thinking about this I considered perhaps it's important to you to have the last word. If that is the case then by all means I'll be happy to let you have it. If it will help you resolve any further actions, I'll be happy to allow you this venue to have the last word.

Darkley Aeon said...

"Well you certainly are all entitled to your opinions. And I appreciate you posting them here. But the fact is, I'm not biased. "

You work PhotoLIFE and the Opium Sim and are friends with EnCore Mayne

"I'm concerned where mob mentality is in play and continues to make attempts to keep bashing whatever entity it is at the time. This particular occurrence was not done on purpose. "

The mob mentality at Team PhotoLIFE, where they are making jokes about copyright? Where I am recieving IM's accusing me of lying?

"Were bad choices and bad conduct in play? Absolutely and I said so."

far too small, this is the CRUX of the issue

"However, amends have been attempted to be made. In a meeting with Darkley herself where everyone attempted to do anything possible to rectify/resolve this issue. Darkley herself said there was no way to resolve this. So tell me, what does that say? When every attempt has been made to make a situation that was wrong, right, what is one to do? You guys tell me. I would love to know. I'm sure photoLife would like to know."

Attempt to rectify the situation HINGED on me returning to a group where I am patently not wanted and which I have no desire to go back to - there was no other option so I declined. Politely.

"Viiane, you say "Own up to it, take responsibility for fucking up, apologize to Darkley, and move on" trust me, those things have been done. In fact in the meeting held yesterday with Darkley it was suggested by Oom that we would be happy to write a public apology, on both my blog and the Opium blog along with of course another statement of how badly this was handled. She said no to that. The fact is, photoLife has made a public declaration on the SCD blog if you read that, that states exactly what happened how much they regret it, etc. etc. "

The apology in SCD was qualified.

"So in essence they did try and do just what you said Viviane. And to be sure, I never lied about anything."

you lied about the 10L price tag.

"Annon I'm sorry if you feel I've been patronizing, I assure you that is not my intent. And no one is trying to drag Darkley thru the mud. Simply stating the facts, the chronological order, and the rational is all I've been doing.I'm glad you liked the integrity article. It too is one of my favorites."

The integrity article which you state your stance on content theft

"Darkley, after yesterday's meeting where you clearly said, you did this because you were angry and wanted payback and there was essentially nothing that Oom, the company, or anyone with the company could do, say or produce that you would accept as a satisfactory "payback" I would really like to know why you keep this rolling at this point. More payback? Still not satisfied?"

I really have to repeat myself?

I dont want anything from PL

I dont want to return to the group

I am happier and better off on my own.

Do I need to say it again?

There is no resolution because there is nothing I want.

"I was sure after you said you were not angry anymore we could let this die and move on with all of our lives. I really hate to see anyone in such emotional turmoil. I think I'm going to wrap this up with, I hope one day you find a way to move ahead and not remain here in this little place where anger and vengeance seem to live. I just can't imagine that to be comfortable or a good place to be for very long. Again, I wish you well."

And yes, this is patronising, I am not angry, I havent been personal, I havent accused you of being manipulative and devious, yet you accuse me of wanting vengeance.

I will say it once again for emphasis

There is no resolution because there is nothing I want, and I have no desire to return to the group - which was the KEY point of any resolution from PL

I am not angry

I do not want anything

I do not want or accept your 'concern' for me Cherie, I am perfectly happy

Darkley Aeon said...

Are you going to deny that I gave you a list of people who were there at the SL6B stand who WITNESSED the price tag?

you know the 1000L price tag you keep insisting on being 10L despite you not being there

yes, that list i gave you

Cherie Parker said...

Darkley I just checked my transaction list and I see nothing passed to me from you. I received no list. I have not lied. What I stated, is what I was told. End of story.

I still intend to honor the "you can have the last word" statement I made, but if you continue to ask for answers from me, I feel obligated to reply.

Darkley Aeon said...

in open chat

I gave you a list of people in open chat, would you like a copy of the chatlog?

Cherie Parker said...

Oh, no, but thank you I do have that chat log as well. I've heard from none of them so as I said earlier, I can only go by the people I have heard from. I hope this suffices for a response.

Cherie Parker said...

Ok folks just so you know, I've received two private IM's in world, from people that Darkley asked to contact me and state they had seen the $1k on the wall. Having said that, I told them I appreciate them letting me know and I would post that here. That being the case, and all things being equal, I guess a mistake was made on the numeral part of the prim wall as well. Now that this has been posted here, I do hope that satisfies Darkley and we can close this chapter as well. I'm personally happy to always have both sides voiced here and it's good to know there are people who can vouch for others. :) Thanks guys!

Anonymous said...

You people that have not had to deal with Darkley are just posting a lot of ignorant rhetoric. She HAS been a problem maker in Team from the getgo. And after one attempt at applying for a CP postion, when she didn't fulfill the basic requirements. She bad mouthed the team, the staff and the Photolife people that bent over backwards to help her to others in the group , and she STILL complained. What is wrong with you all? lol SL is supposed to be enjoyable , not filled with individual, over blown egos or people like Darkley that think everyone owes them something because they are all "that". If you can't see where Photolife and their staff have admitted their mistakes and have tried to rectify the situation , and Darkley is STILL on her poor , poor me quest. Then you need to get a grip on things too. The world. SL or Rl doesn't revolve around anyone of us and Photolife will grow and prosper in spite of people that have "head" issues about themselves. I gain no benefit from this at all. It effects me in no way. Just as a person in SL and in real life. I find it sad that so many people have their heads up where they can't see how Darkley turned this into something that shouldn't have been because of her ego and her own self centered personality. We all make mistakes. Everyone of you know it alls have made them too. So just move on and get a grip on both your lives. SL and RL and be a better person for it and not someone who just flames and stirs the fires , when you really have NO idea of the day to day drama that some people like Darkley can stir up in SL and IRL too. I think it's what they live for. LOL And Darkley? You need to realize that not all think you are all that. Especially to a group of people that AREN't on the PL staff and try to always help people but don't need that" aren't you just wonderful " comments for doing it.

Mallory Luke said...

I'd like for each of you to try a little experiment. It won't take much of your time, I promise. Create an object. Edit. Change the price. Name the object. Place it back in your inventory. Now pull that object backout. What's the price say? Amazing isn't it? The price stays the same. Greg used an object that was previously used. When he placed the item, in this case, the wall, it already had a price on it. He forgot to look. He was creating a build at a location that doesn't permit selling of any kind. Is it really all that hard to fathom a mistake like this?

Mallory Luke said...

And Next..Next, part of a conversation I had with Darkley was posted on another blog. PART of the conversation. I have no idea if Darkley only sent them part of the conversation or if it was edited by the blog owners before posting it. Either way, I was quite surprised to see it posted. Maybe now is a good time to show the actual conversation:

[9:22] Mallory Luke: Hi Darkley :-(
[9:23] Darkley Aeon: hey
[9:23] Darkley Aeon: apparently its my fault
[9:24] Darkley Aeon: im kicked from teh group, inworld and on flickr, because im trying to protect my IP
[9:25] Mallory Luke: Can we talk about this?
[9:25] Darkley Aeon: i would love to, but ive got to take my daughter to brownies, ill be back soon though
[9:25] Mallory Luke: i have to leave for rl work in about an hour
[9:25] Mallory Luke: I'm sorry this is happening
[9:26] Darkley Aeon: ill be back before that, I am being blamed, i got a snotty 'apology' too, its like the last straw with PL the way i am treated
[9:26] Mallory Luke: Well i'd like to talk about this
[9:27] Mallory Luke: I want to hear your concerns
[9:27] Darkley Aeon: I never AR, ever, this was legitimate
[9:27] Darkley Aeon: updated with colleens response
[9:28] Mallory Luke: i read it
[9:28] Darkley Aeon: ah ok
[9:28] Mallory Luke: i wanted to talk to you myself
[9:28] Darkley Aeon: ok :)
[9:28] Mallory Luke: i know there's been a lot of pull and tug
[9:28] Mallory Luke: and i just want what's right
[9:28] Darkley Aeon: ive stayed away for ages, i havent said a word to anyone
[9:28] Darkley Aeon: kept quiet
[9:28] Darkley Aeon: bit my tongue
[9:29] Darkley Aeon: but my work was stolen, and i had to say something
[9:29] Mallory Luke: Do you believe there was malicious intent by posting your work for other's to see?
[9:29] Darkley Aeon: no not at all
[9:29] Mallory Luke: it possible that Greg was trying to promote your work?
[9:30] Darkley Aeon: my name was nowhere, you wouldnt have known it was mine
[9:30] Mallory Luke: ahh ok
[9:30] Darkley Aeon: other people were asked for photos, and theirs have their names on
[9:32] Mallory Luke: I do not believe anyone was being malicious here. I wish you would have handled things differently Darkley. There is a right way and a wrong way for getting things done.
[9:33] Darkley Aeon: i asked him repeatedly, he was rude, belching over voice dismissing my concerns,
[9:33] Mallory Luke: By coming to us first, and sharing your concerns, you would have been instrumental in policy change
[9:33] Mallory Luke: I'm sorry that happened.
[9:34] Darkley Aeon: i have tried that, repeatedly, and ive always been ignored
[9:34] Darkley Aeon: i always offer to help
[9:34] Darkley Aeon: and im ignored, i offered to run classes for euros, and was ignored
[9:34] Darkley Aeon: i kept quiet about the stolen skins
[9:34] Darkley Aeon: but i was treated like crap for that too
[9:35] Darkley Aeon: I went to greg and colleen first
[9:35] Darkley Aeon: they wee online
[9:35] Mallory Luke: I'm sorry you haven't been happy at photoLIFE.
[9:35] Mallory Luke: It's not for everyone.
[9:35] Darkley Aeon: i work hard
[9:35] Darkley Aeon: always have
[9:35] Darkley Aeon: now im booted
[9:36] Mallory Luke: You haven't been happy here Darkley, why would you want to stay?
[9:36] Darkley Aeon: honestly, I dont know, I am here because I like helping people, and because I thought i could change things, but obviously I cant
[9:37] Darkley Aeon: I didn't do anything wrong
[9:37] Darkley Aeon: I spoke to Greg and Colleen first, they dismiss me
[9:38] Mallory Luke: explain what you mean by "change things"
[9:39] Darkley Aeon: so that people who are on euro or aussie timezones can get some help
[9:39] Mallory Luke: alright
[9:40] Darkley Aeon: ok, gotta take her now, we will be late
[9:41] Mallory Luke: i'll be on after 7 pm slt

The saved notecard is dated: 2009-06-24 12:41:19 note card

Alianna Logan said...

I would like to preface my comment by freely admitting to being biased so that you don't have to accuse me of it like I don't already know.

Though Oom and I were recently estranged and some know of my resignation as CEO of Opium Fashion Agency, I have also known the photoLIFE creator for about a year and just feel compelled to speak.

I have nothing to gain by speaking, as I no longer work for Opium. It is simply my need to stand up for very dear friends that I know the characters of better than many can claim to via close personal experience.

I don't know Darkley other than hearing of her and so I do not have any negative personal experiences with her whatsoever. I find her work to be interesting from what I've seen on her now publicized Flickr and I think she's got talent. That's about the extent of my thoughts on her, not knowing her.

I believe, just as Cherie has stated over and over, that this situation was handled poorly by photoLIFE. This is something that photoLIFE does admit to. It isn't in dispute at all that it was not handled as it should have been handled. Were I still a staff member at Opium, I would currently be apologizing to Darkley myself.

No doubt about it, she has every right to protect her property and had every right to be upset about being treated poorly in this instance.

That being said, it unfortunately did happen. My purpose in posting isn't to defend improper actions but rather to point out that this one incident is not and should not color everything that photoLIFE ever was, is, or shall be.

I know from seeing it with my own eyes how hard Oom works to serve the customers who have bought his studio because it does have a learning curve and oh my gosh the hours upon hours upon hours he's spent scripting and trying to make it better for everyone. He doesn't leave anyone out there hanging on their own trying to figure it out. If they ask for help, they get it.

Not only from Oom himself, but from Colleen, Greg, Vivian, Mallory and the wonderfully giving users who make up the teamphotolife group inworld. In my opinion, you aren't going to find customer service on this level, in this environment, anywhere else.

Is it perfect? Are they perfect? No. But do they try and try very hard to be customer service-oriented? Yes, they do.

I am sincerely sorry that this happened to Darkley. I don't like seeing anyone treated poorly. But when I read a comment on the SCD blog about the pL3 being outdated and implying that it is not worth its cost, I had to seriously beg to differ.

As a pL user since the OM-10, I am still in awe of this studio and absolutely consider it to be my most prized possession. There isn't any one item in my inventory more valuable to me than my pL3.

Once you buy you it, you get free updates for life and since it is my humble opinion that Oom is a scripting genius, I know this means that if something new comes to SL technology-wise that will help the pL to be a better studio, Oom's going to be on it, adding to and updating the pL for delighted users. Give him good feedback that actually helps and he acts on it. I've seen it. I know it.

Oh yes...the pL is worth every linden.

I'll hush now. Again, I'm sorry Darkley what happened to you. The whole situation royally sucked.

For those who have considered purchasing a pL and were on the fence, it is still a marvelously spectacular buy.

Thank you for this forum, Cherie.

Anonymous said...

OK look it comes down to this, Greg had NO RIGHT to take anyone’s pictures off their flickr without their permission. I do not give a god damn if they are in your group or not. If you didnt hear it from them that you could use it then dont. I mean Greg put up a shitload of pics of him and his wife, then he can put some more (someone is really vain if you ask me). Should have given more time to get response from people or used multiple ones by a particular photographer. Taking things without permission is so not cool. And Greg, as far as I know you have never apologized to Darkley for being a douchebag, you may want to try that. I bet if you did people would stop thinking so bad.

As for the rest who want to defend the actions of Photolife… Give me what you are smoking… cause I want some of that. Cause on no planet were they right. If you stole my stuff I wouldnt have given you the benefit of the IM, you just would have had your ass AR… putting a price on the prim or not.

Cherie Parker said...

Gee Anonymous... someone... and by someone I mean you, has some anger management issues. For someone with such strong opinions, one would think you would use your real name. But, then that would indicate you have a spine. I suspect we all know who you really are. Why not let this just die a happy death? Oh, I know why, that would mean lack of attention.