Thursday, February 28, 2008

an open letter about content theft, protection, and little more.

hi everyone...

i have decided to write a letter to the content creation community about the very real issue we are facing (and have always faced) about protecting our content. also about being forthright in our business practices, and supporting each other along the way.

many challenges have arisen in this world as it evolves, grows and changes. my hope is that by sharing a few thoughts, i can answer the many questions and notecards i get daily on this subject. i simply don't have time to answer each different person, hence the reason for this post. these are just some of my thoughts about the subject and are not meant to be taken as legal advice or anything of that sort.

i'll post my thoughts in bullet points as i am prone to ramble.

1. protection starts with the creator. do your homework, find out how you can protect yourself.
2. avoid "reacting" to the "latest" scare, take a deep breath and realize this is part of a long process.
3. in as much as possible, try to refrain from yelling inflammatory things to "alleged" thieves, it seems to weaken and cheapen the "groups" credibility when one yells such things as "you should rot in hell you f*ing thief!"
4. be careful when accusing others, no matter what evidence you have. use the term "alleged thief" or "alleged theft"... you need to protect YOURSELF in this as well. the last thing you want is a RICH "alleged" person suing YOU for slander. and that is exactly what someone can do. if something has NOT gone to trial and someone has not been pronounced "guilty", YOU will be the one at risk if you blog, type and post things saying, "so and so is a thief".
5. realize there are more of us than them and we will work through this. try not to lose heart.
6. try to stay positive and encourage each other (which so far seems to be going great)
7. if you pass out private im chats, you are breaking TOS rules and YOU can suspended.
8. refrain from any reactions where you are "breaking the rules".

one of the most important things i want to say is this... in as much as you can, look at the ways YOU may be "stealing". i have heard in designer groups, people asking for 'hack codes' for the new PS, maya, etc. and no one has said anything about that. is it ok for us to use software we did not purchase, stolen, if you will, and then expect someone to protect us? just a question for us to ask ourselves... i've heard it so many times... people asking for copies of software, textures and other things and using them in a way not intended by the original creators.

i think we need to look at every way we conduct our businesses. are any of us who have had things stolen, using stolen, or "borrowed" software or textures to create our goods?

we all make mistakes, have things we "turn our heads about", or justify... and so will those who "lift, steal, copy" things... they may not think it's a big deal, any more than some who use 'unbought' software do. i have heard people say... "well ADOBE is a big company, it's different, i'm just one person"... if you are a "big" designer... or appear to be, a "alleged thief" may justify their actions by saying "oh well she owns a big sim and is so huge... i'm just a little person."

again, these are just a few of my thoughts. i'm learning as i go, re-examining myself, my practices, making necessary adjustments, and it's been eye opening to dialogue about this with others whom i respect.

i'm not sure if this post will even be of any help to anyone. i know how it feels to have one's works stolen, and it's not cool. it makes you want to just give up. my incidents were never brought public, and have seemed to be handled ok. we'll see.

we can hope that LL can assist us as we journey through this process of raising awareness, and hopefully coming up with something that discourages theft, but ultimately, the power is in OUR hands and there are more of us than them.i've seen the amazing power of our community to raise awareness, money, and blaze new trails. i believe we can do that with this issue as well. our community is full of amazingly talented, smart, and hardworking people.

one last thing to ponder... in any business, one must figure "theft" into one's business plan. it will always be a fact of doing business. the LARGEST companies in the world are not protected. (only one in 3 versions of microsoft is ever purchased, and good ol bill is doing quite well) but from disney to louis vuitton, rolex to "the gap", there are blatant knock offs in every major city in the world. that's just part of it... so we must remember that too.

i write this with the hopes that some of this information is helpful to us as a community and to encourage us to "ACT" and hold back from "reacting", and to try to maintain a professionalism as a whole. i am proud to be a part of this community and i truly believe we will make it though this challenge and come out stronger.


caLLie cLine

p.s. i wrote most of this letter, save a few edits some weeks ago... and decided it was timely to post it today after being in a few meeting this week about the subject, doing a few interviews, and also speaking to chez about the campaign he started. (which is GREAT!!!!!)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Folders Spill Over

So as a blogger you get perks, yes, you get very good perks! One being that there are times when the talented designers and creators across the grid drop their beautiful creations on you!

Typically, I'm an organized person, but there are times when that organization turns into organized chaos. So today I took the bull by the horns and sorted, and realized all the lovelies that I haven't given the time and effort to that they deserve. And although these items have been around for a while, I always like revisiting for those of you who get busy and don't have a chance to check everything out the minute it comes out.

So here is my review mix for the day. Featuring ETD hair, Canimal skin and eyes, dresses by Pin Upshaw of Pin Up Dolls, Jewelery by Alexandra Nichols, and shoes by Maitreya. Ta Ta for now!

Hair: ETD Camille - Blackberry, Eyes: Canimal Essence Soul - Brown, Skin: Canimal Essence Charisma, Dress: Pin Up Dolls - Cosmo Gown Great Grape, Jewelry: Dahlinks Center of all Things Onyx Necklace and Earrings, Shoes: Maitreya ChiChi Black.

Hair: ETD Camille - Blonde, Eyes: Canimal Essence Soul - Green, Skin: Canimal Essence Charm, Dress: Pin Up Dolls - Cosmo Gown Deluxe Edition, Jewelry: Dahlinks Tahitian Black Pearl Earrings and Necklace, Shoes: Maitreya ChiChi Black.

Hair: ETD Camille -Elika's Red, Eyes: Canimal Essence Soul - Blue, Skin: Canimal Essence Grace, Dress: Pin Up Dolls - Cosmo Gown Ice Blue, Jewelry: Dahlinks Double Strand Classic Grey Pearls.

Hair: ETD Camille - Caramel Blackened, Eyes: Canimal Essence Soul - Brown, Skin: Canimal Essence Lust, Dress: Pin Up Dolls - Cosmo Gown Fresh Fushia, Jewelry: Dahlinks Urban Cheek Black Pearl and Silver Necklace, Bracelet, and Earrings, Shoes: Maitreya ChiChi Black.

Hair: ETD Camille -Espresso Burnt, Eyes: Canimal Essence Soul - Brown/Green, Skin: Canimal Essence Mystery, Dress: Pin Up Dolls - Cosmo Gown Citris Tist, Jewelry: Dahlinks Urban Cheek Black Pearl and Silver Necklaceand Earrings, Shoes: Maitreya ChiChi Black.

for-NEVERMORE!!! yes!!! it's true

i'm gonna totally GUSH in this post... for a few reasons... but first of all, THE NEW NEVERMORE SKINS ARE OUT!!! YES!!! FINALLY... some of us have been waiting 2 years... and... they are worth the wait...

ok, so now to gush... santana lumiere, true artist extraordinaire who is the creative "genius" behind all nevermore products (and i personally do NOT use that term lightly) made these skins in a week..

1200 of them... ok i don't totally get that, but...

so what i really like about these skins is:

1. the body...
2. the face...
3. the option to "lighten and darken" your skin in appearance (you can even add the linden freckles!)
4. what you get with each skin.

OK SO YOU NOT ONLY GET A TONE YOU CAN MAKE REALLY LIGHT OR DARK TO SUIT YOUR MOOD... BUT you get 2 eyebrow options, thick and thin (and GREAT brows btw) a lightly freckled version... and dang, i can't remember what else, lol... oh prim lashes, face light, and some other goodies... so for ONE face you get like tons of opportunities to get different looks and just 1k each...

ok so to gush....

santana doesn't have a blog... she rarely puts her new stuff in the forums, and much of her stuff is NOT brand new... but this girl was a trailblazer in SL fashion. her hair textures on her OLD hair made years ago still looks fresh and lovely. her eyes are great, manicures, jewelry, her dolphie boots are like works of art, and have you ever seen her furniture??? oh and... her body suits???? basically MOST of her stuff, (not all) can stand up to anything being put out.

NO she hasn't learned sculpties yet, i don't think, but really there isn't an artist i admire more in SL. we've chatted a lot in the past as we became friends... and i've been equally impressed by her way of looking at what she creates. in normal conversation she says little pearls of wisdom that just make me step back and say... "wow"...

because i wear her skins pretty much exclusively... i send folks over there often, and always people are like, "OMG i NEVER knew of her!!!"

but there isn't a designer i know who doesn't admire her work and i'm just thrilled that i get to say... YAY, HER SKINS ARE OUT!!!

i was gonna show a photo... but.............. i think it's best you go check out a demo and see for yourself. today i invited my group over to see them (at her place) and a few put on demos and it was like WOW!!!

anyway, THAT'S all for my gushing.. i told santana.. 'you know people have asked me if you paid me' cuz i have spoke about her skins so often... and she said... "wow, that would be pretty lame if i did.... if i had to pay someone to wear what i make, i guess that would make me wonder if it was even worth making at all."

and THAT is what i think is so amazing about her....

anyway, congrats santana... please make more stuff too... like clothes, and other things...

a very happy callie signing off!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

This Week's AvaStar Style Hotline

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To see caLLie's weekly column plus more great fashion tips and finds, download the AvaStar at

Monday, February 18, 2008

This Week's AvaStar Style Hotline

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To see caLLie's weekly column plus more great fashion tips and finds, download the AvaStar at

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Staring at the Sea with PixelDolls

I meant to blog this when it was released but my good intentions got eaten by the monster that is First Life. Better late than never I suppose, and this set certainly deserves a second look.

I don't buy fatpacks or full collections very often but when I do it's usually at PixelDolls. The Revenait Au Rivage collection hooked me from the moment I saw it on the designer's blog. Like the Innocent Dans L'Amour set, this is a complete avatar: shape, Stella di Roccia skins (each gown has its own makeup to suit), AO, light, eyes, lashes, hair, complete outfit *including* boots. Whew! This time there are four colorways in the collection: Ocean (pictured to the side), Midnight, Seaglass and Iridescent. The cost is normally 400L each, with a reduced price fatpack, BUT until Tuesday they are on sale for half price at the Chartreuse location only. As in the Innocent sets, some items (eg. lashes) are the same across colorways, but this time each outfit has its own eye color (and they are lovely). The ad copy mentions a HUD, but I didn't see one in any of the folders so I'm not sure if it's to change the colors of the boots or the hair, or if it's a typo in the ad. I also found the item permissions in the Revenait set a bit confusing: the outfit and skin are transfer only (boo!), while other items are no-transfer. Please note that I bought my fatpack when Revenait was first released, so things may have changed since then.

As every fashionista knows, price is less important than a gorgeous dress. Revenait is an interesting mix of elegance and edge, with torn fishnets and fabric that looks water-spotted. The lines of the off the shoulder bodice and tiered skirt are familiar to PixelDolls fans, and they work very well with these textures. The movement of the skirt is lovely too. I also like the versatility of this dress; I've worn it dressed up or mixed with casual pieces and it looks great either way (even for something as silly as seahorse riding - see picture at end). I'm always trying to streamline my overstuffed inventory, so I value pieces that aren't limited to working with one style. As is normal for PixelDolls, the designer has supplied each piece on every possible layer for ease of making your own outfits.

I'm happy to say that I liked the hair colors from Revenait a lot more than those in the Innocent set. They're unusual multihued colors, but quite striking and they suit the style of the dresses well (unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of them). I also like that they're only 14 prims each - I'll be looking to these next time I'm headed to a fashion show or other laggy event.

The skins are lovely, though I would prefer a less heavy brow. The makeups are dramatic and certainly not ordinary (clockwise from top left: Iridescent, Midnight, Ocean and Seaglass). I can't really pinpoint it, but the Stella di Roccia skins I've tried have a certain tone or lustre that gives them their own feel that is different than any other skins in my rather large collection. I don't feel quite myself in them yet, but I like them very much and find myself reaching for them more and more. They do make my avatar look more mature than many other skins I wear, which for me personally is a welcome addition to my skin repertoire.

The more I wear this set, the more I like it. Once again, PixelDolls has brought the grid something special at a price almost anyone can afford.

Wearing: Revenait Au Rivage in Ocean (dress, stockings, boots, skin, eyes, AO), hair: TRUTH Olivia (Fire), neko parts: Hybrid and Jungle Voodoo

This Week's AvaStar Style Hotline

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To see caLLie's weekly column plus more great fashion tips and finds, download the AvaStar at

Sunday, February 3, 2008

This Week's AvaStar Style Hotline

*Click image to enlarge
To see caLLie's weekly column plus more great fashion tips and finds, download the AvaStar at