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FA/IMVU Discussion

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Draconas

Active Member
Someone linked one of your tweets that you deleted
And you personally perma-banned him from FAF and FA, and IP banned him, AND wiped every SINGLE fucking comment he ever wrote on the site, AND locked his shouts.

OVER A FUCKING TWEET THAT YOU WROTE.


Thought I should just point that out
 

TheArchiver

Ace Documenter
Someone linked one of your tweets that you deleted
And you personally perma-banned him from FAF and FA, and IP banned him, AND wiped every SINGLE fucking comment he ever wrote on the site, AND locked his shouts.

OVER A FUCKING TWEET THAT YOU WROTE.


Thought I should just point that out

[Banned for this post]
 

MoonRiverz

New Member
That's solely to verify age, nothing more. I've been sending some users links to their art on the marketplace to help them identify what needs to be removed.

Just an FYI, even if an AP user finds the link to an AP product and sends that to a non AP user, the non AP user cannot view the product or the page. All they will have to go on is your word and if you also provide a screen shot of the actual product page for them. No one, whatsoever, who is NOT AP cannot see anything AP in the catalog, store, game, ect, even if they have a direct link, they will get a blank page and told they must log in, and without AP next to your name you cannot see anything.
 

TheArchiver

Ace Documenter
Just an FYI, even if an AP user finds the link to an AP product and sends that to a non AP user, the non AP user cannot view the product or the page. All they will have to go on is your word and if you also provide a screen shot of the actual product page for them. No one, whatsoever, who is NOT AP cannot see anything AP in the catalog, store, game, ect, even if they have a direct link, they will get a blank page and told they must log in, and without AP next to your name you cannot see anything.

Your move, Piche...
 

Smelge

Hey, Assbutt
Just an FYI, even if an AP user finds the link to an AP product and sends that to a non AP user, the non AP user cannot view the product or the page. All they will have to go on is your word and if you also provide a screen shot of the actual product page for them. No one, whatsoever, who is NOT AP cannot see anything AP in the catalog, store, game, ect, even if they have a direct link, they will get a blank page and told they must log in, and without AP next to your name you cannot see anything.

I find this beautiful.

Dragoneer has been helping people for days by doing something that can't in any way help unless the artist buys access. That's it guys, it's all been completely pointless. This is it, nothing we can say or do can beat this level of terrible.

Seriously, go home. It's over.
 

Tchelline

Member
For a guy who frequents the forums you're not very bright are you? There are people leaving because of the theft, it's obvious they and you don't understand how the internet works, if you put something up, it could get stolen and secretly put up elsewhere. Now, there are ways to take stuff down from IMVU, and since it is known, people can do that. (kinda reminds me of some losers from DA actually, who just posted whatever the hell they found interesting, regardless of whose it was)

If you weren't born yesterday perhaps you'd actually have some sense in that tiny head of yours, calling me a white knight, brown noser, and/or Dragoneer alt shows that you clearly do not.



For some people, it is, I am well aware of that, but it should not be a 'straw' at all, because actually




The two sites are being run independently, Dragoneer has no more control over IMVU than they do FA, and the way IMVU wants people to report art theft is not going to change because they purchased a site with some victims of art theft, unfortunately.



Didn't say he owned it, moron. Said he ran it. He may have a boss, but that doesn't mean he has no control over FA.



IMVU isn't stealing art, its users are. IMVU may be profiting, of course I have no idea how much because who even uses IMVU...

I understand you are a whiteknight but you didn't need to insult people :/
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
Dragoneer has been helping people for days by doing something that can't in any way help unless the artist buys access.
He's a Best Buy blueshirt selling the protection plan to the manufacturer.
 

Verin Asper

The Smart Idiot
at least a user name Fleshy have been much more of a help from IMVU's side who are do actually want to help us
 

FYIAD

Member
IMVU Profiteering!

Alright!
To start, why is everyone going after Pheagle? Your personal opinions and beliefs about one another’s motivations seriously doesn’t further the conversation. Take it easy, right? Try to remember the reason we’re here.

Now, since there seems to be some minor confusion about who is profiting from what, I’d like to chime in.

By my eye, I see IMVU profiting from infringing material in three distinct ways.
First off, by forcing users to use IMVU credits, they are getting same advantages you’d expect of any such system; they are selling fake money for real money, and people abandon fake money all the time. This would exist regardless of whether or not IMVU hosted a vast array of pilfered art. The stolen content simply increases the flow of credits, which then increases the profits of IMVU.

Next you have the obvious way, and the one that is most troubling to everyone around. IMVU presumably takes a portion of each transaction as profit; after all, what’s the point of hosting a thriving market if you aren’t getting a little bit of the action as tribute?

Then you have the icing on the cake of the contemptuous monstrosity, the step so devilishly clever that I honestly think it is pure happenstance: in order to file a DMCA notice on an adult work, one must “prove” their age by paying IMVU. I truly don’t imagine this was done so much as to profit directly from concerned artists; however, it is hard to argue that it doesn’t create a fine disincentive for people to chase down infringing users.

Now, the first two have curious details that are worth discussing; however, the first isn’t really doesn’t apply to this topic, so I’m going to hold that off for a follow up post.

The system that IMVU has put into place to screen out offending material is structured in such a way that I have trouble believing that it was put into place in good faith. By my understanding – though to be clear, I have not used it myself – the peer review system works as such: once a user submits content, it is viewed by users willing to act as screeners for infringing material. The screener has two options: Yes/Approve and No/Reject. Regardless of selection, the feedback earns the user some odd amount of IMVU credits. This system is designed in such a way that the incentives are not aligned to reward screeners for being thorough; instead, the system seems geared toward acting as a kangaroo court of approval, where the screeners who vote swiftest and the most often gain the greatest reward regardless of the submissions merits. It also provides just enough protection when paired with DMCA compliance that IMVU can claim Safe Harbor protections.

Now, to be fair to IMVU (read: to play devil’s advocate), there is a habit of developers running systems that do not actually incentivize the desired behavior; said simply, people are just really, really bad at devising systems are achieve the desired effect while being resistant to abuse and exploitation. Isn’t it then possible that IMVU falls into this category? Absolutely! Cockup before malic, that’s my philosophy!

Except that the way that IMVU is designed, an artist must pay IMVU for the right to screen for stolen content; and the sight is simply riddled with stolen artwork to the extent that it is difficult to believe that a good faith effort is being made at policing the problem. In addition, the fact that IMVU is profiting by each sale of stolen content and by forcing its proprietary currency in transactions makes a fairly compelling argument that IMVU has good reason to, at a bare minimum, not correct the poorly implemented peer review system. Again, that is giving IMVU the benefit of the doubt and assuming the peer review system was implemented in good faith.

If it wasn’t obvious before, I shall confess now: I am not a copyright law expert. It simply isn’t in my repertoire, so if I should be wrong on any point then I kindly ask to be correct. However, by my admittedly rudimentary understanding, I feel as though a competent and well-funded law firm could argue that IMVU ought not qualify for Safe Harbor protections. Then again, it’d be a profoundly expensive endeavor with the odds of success not being terribly great; there is simply too much content from too many users created by too many artists to easily sort it all, and that is before you even get to the point of deciding which artists want to attach their legal name to furry porn. To me, it feels as though IMVU is just a prettied up variation of the same case that Viacom brought against YouTube a while back; the site’s protections were laughably weak against infringement, while simultaneously YouTube was profiting from infringing material. This is a bit more complicated, but to me it is the same general theme.


Next, I want to touch upon the notion that IMVU credits cannot be turned back into real currency; this is a claim I have encountered a few different places, and one that I believe to be false. There are two manners in which a user may theoretically turn IMVU credits into cash.

Method #1)

1) Let’s say that I’m paid in IMVU Credit for something I “acquired” elsewhere on the Internet (Acquired is to Stole is as Partnership is to Acquisition; it simply sounds a whole lot better, even if it isn’t exactly the most accurate description.)


2) I look for a buyer of IMVU credits willing to buy directly from users; Bitcoins would be ideal, but I’d probably lose a significant margin just because most people feel BTC are a pain. (Given 3-C below, I’d wager I could just sell via Paypall; I honestly don’t think anyone is cracking down on this, so the disincentive is tiny and my profit margins may increase significantly.)


3-A) I sell the Bitcoins locally

3-B) I spend the Bitcoins on goods with retailers that take BTC as payment (I could use the goods, or sell them on eBay/Craigslist/Whatever for cash. Remember, the goods aren’t stolen; any gains from here are successfully laundered, and even the IRS isn’t any the wiser. True, it isn’t perfect anonymity, but no one devotes five thousand bucks solving a five dollar crime, rights?)

3-C) I sell BTC and have the proceeds wired to Paypal/My Bank/Whatever – it sacrifices anonymity, but to be honest, no one is chasing these people anywhere near this far.


Method #2

Step 1) I can simply buy things in the IMVU store.

Step 2) I sell said items on eBay, Craigslist, or whatever market I fancy.

Honestly, if I can figure this out on the spot, there has to be people who have done this, simplified it, and make it work for themselves quite well. Or maybe I’m quite the thief and just never had an opportunity to realize it? Odds are, I’m wildly overcomplicating things given the fact that so little attention is being paid and, so far as I can tell, the repercussions of getting caught is having my account closed; it may cost me any credits sitting in my account at the time, but it’s all free money and I can start again immediately under a new account!


Now, if there is another way IMVU is profiting that I did not mention; or, for that matter, if I am misstating a fact, I kindly request I be corrected. I’m rather fatigued at the moment, so forgive any typos I missed or foolish assumptions I made; I wanted to get this posted before I got some sleep. (What can I say? I’m eager to join this conversation!)
 

FYIAD

Member
Deep breath, I'm not mad. =)


I don't ban people who spread info on stolen art. I do, however, ban people who post rumor as facts, spread misinformation or try to make the situation worse. I welcome legitimate concerns.

Well, I do hope you keep that in mind; I've a few concerns that I'm just starting to get into. If I should be wrong, it is that I am wrong in good faith; I welcome corrections as they come.

Kudos to whoever fixed the FAF Registration Verification doowicky by the way; I've been going nuts waiting to get in on this conversation.
 

Verin Asper

The Smart Idiot
I just gonna hope you not only linked to the submission Neer but also provided screenshots due to yes "AP can only view AP links"
we also hope for those aritst YOU DID HELP also providing them with the template we have been given by Fleshy an IMVU user to make the DMCA process much more smoothly

Fleshy said:
Hey there! I'm an IMVU user and wanted to give you guys the same form I use for DMCA's. If done correctly, it should work without any problems, even if you are a non-US citizen. I have this posted in a few art groups on IMVU, to make it easy for others to get stolen content removed (products, textures, homepage layouts, display pictures, etc). I can't post it on the IMVU forums because of the rule about legal discussion, and I was gonna post it on the FA forums, but I haven't received a confirmation email yet. e.e

This form is almost identical to the one provided by IMVU (I simply broke it down and explained the different parts for you all). You can find the original one here: http://www.imvu.com/catalog/info/takedownnoticehtm.htm


Some useful info for you to read before proceeding: http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=414.0
Please do read it.


Okay, now let's fill out the form. Replace all information in red with your own, do not forget a thing, make sure everything is correct, or else they will either outright deny it, or ask you to send a snail-mail instead. They denied me the first time because I forgot to add my zipcode. The second time they denied me was because I included extra commentary. For example: "Omg she's been stealing my display pictures for weeks and I keep flagging her and she cussed me out when I messaged her and her homepage has weeners on it omg do something somebody plzzzz." They don't wanna hear this. Don't even provide evidence the artwork is yours, it is not their job to investigate. All they do it take shit down. Only a judge will compare PSD layers, WIPS, etc, and I've NEVER seen something such as this actually go to court, because the thief knows it isn't their artwork.




When you are finished, email it to: dmca_agent@imvu.com
(this email can be found on the TOS page where DMCA information is listed)


Now, on to the form:


------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------


Sender Information:
Jane Mary Doe
1234 Memory Lane, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 USA
(410) xxx-xxxx (phone)
YourEmail@email.com



Recipient Information:
Designated DMCA Agent
PO Box 390012
Mountain View, CA 94039
vox: 650.321.8334
fax: 650.321.7263




Sent via: Email
Date: March 12, 2015

Re: Notice of Copyright Infringement
To Whom It May Concern:


As required under Sections 512(c)(3) and 512(d)(3) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. §§512(c)(3) and 512(d)(3)), and in conformance with IMVU's posted guidelines for the filing of notices of copyright infringement (the "Guidelines"), the following is hereby submitted:


OWNERSHIP:


Jane Mary Doe exclusively holds all rights of copyright in all authorized versions of the artwork as well as any additional intellectual property associated therewith.


THE COPYRIGHTED WORK CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN INFRINGED:


-Link to YOUR artwork goes here-
(If the artwork can be found on your FA gallery and it is publicly viewable, you can link that. Or just a direct image link)



THE MATERIAL WHICH IS THE SUBJECT OF INFRINGING ACTIVITY AND THAT IS TO BE REMOVED OR ACCESS TO WHICH IS TO BE DISABLED:


-Link to stolen work here-
(Wherever the thief uploaded your work without permission. If it's a furry poster, for instance, link the product page.)



I HAVE A GOOD FAITH BELIEF THAT THE USE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OWNED BY ME IN THE MANNER COMPLAINED OF IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY ME, MY AGENT, OR THE LAW. I HEREBY STATE THAT THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS NOTICE IS ACCURATE AND, UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, I STATE THAT I AM THE LEGAL OWNER OF THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY COMPRISING THE COPYRIGHTED WORK.


Regards,

Jane Mary Doe

Signature: (I draw my actual signature and link it here from imgur or wherever)





----------------E N D---------------------------


(if you don't have a drawing tablet to make your signature, you can also attach a copy of your ID card or drivers license)


Remember, filing a DMCA takedown notice is a legal procedure. Never file one if the property isn't yours. After sending the email to the DMCA agent, they usually remove the products/artwork after a few days and in many cases, disable the account. If the thief wants to fight it, they have to file a Counter-DMCA notice, which they usually never do in cases like these.


Again, fill out the information exact. One little error could get your notice denied. Do not include extra commentary. Do not use your IMVU/FA name. Do not be a prick, the DMCA agent can be a bitch and will say rude things to you back.


I know it looks like a lot, but it really is only a matter of copy-pasting the form with your own information. It takes me less than five minutes to fill it out, and I've been doing it for a few years now with no problems (except my first time because I had no one to help me and the IMVU forums gives ZERO advice on how to do these).

Good luck! If you have questions or need help with it, lemme know.

if you are helping, please actually go the full process than just doing half ass:
Provide a link
Provide a screenshot also if its AP so the user themselves CAN actually view and confirm it
and provide a template to ease the DMCA process.

Remember: The Boss is watching you, you have to make us content or its your livelihood on the line. Welcome to the life of "Trimming the Fat" you are now bound to make sure things are running smoothly ALWAYS. At my job we experienced this for 8 years so I know to make sure not only our customers are fine, but also the employees cause pissed off employees lead to bad service and bad service leads to angry customers, and angry customers leave bad reviews and bad reviews can ultimately shut down a business cause "its not viable"
 

TheArchiver

Ace Documenter
Careful about double posting. Also, I would like to ask that next time could you be a bit more concise, please? Your post is somewhat unorganized though I have read it through.
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
Re: IMVU Profiteering!

(wall of text)
I don't... What? I'm scratching my head reading this trying to figure out what the thrust of the post was, but it's mostly just fluff. The part I did understand was about reselling Credits for BTC, but... Well, that's not officially supported (IMVU would prefer you purchase additional funbux through them), and the money stays with IMVU either way.
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Site Director
Administrator
Just an FYI, even if an AP user finds the link to an AP product and sends that to a non AP user, the non AP user cannot view the product or the page. All they will have to go on is your word and if you also provide a screen shot of the actual product page for them. No one, whatsoever, who is NOT AP cannot see anything AP in the catalog, store, game, ect, even if they have a direct link, they will get a blank page and told they must log in, and without AP next to your name you cannot see anything.
They just have to include the links I give them in the DMCA (which you send by email). They don't have to have AP access.

As I said, I'm working with them and can provide them with screenshots/proof. I am helping the artists directly. You don't need an IMVU account to send a DMCA.
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
Can we get an example (like, a mockup) of something you would pass onto the artist / to IMVU as a means of visualizing exactly what you mean by helping?

Like, guide us through the process of getting something AP taken down. That would be beneficial both to artists and to people trying to wrap their head around the process.
 
Last edited:

MoonRiverz

New Member
They just have to include the links I give them in the DMCA (which you send by email). They don't have to have AP access.

As I said, I'm working with them and can provide them with screenshots/proof. I am helping the artists directly. You don't need an IMVU account to send a DMCA.

You are correct, to file a DMCA they need the PID (product ID number) which is located at the end of the link you are sending them. I commented soley to inform you that UNLESS you are also sending them a screenshot as well, they cannot verify that the link you gave them is indeed their intellectual property. So they would/could be filing a false claim, if you were wrong in your linking. You see?
 

fleshy2

New Member
Sorry for sending messages like a creeper, my first account was never sent a confirmation email so went ahead and made a new one just now.

I just want to clarify one thing:

The correct email address for the DMCA agent is: dmca_agent@imvu.com. The old address was dmca@imvu, which for some reason is still listed on the IMVU TOS page after three years. It's no biggie, if you do send it to the old address, they will simply give you an automatic message with the new address.

Staff post about it here: http://www.imvu.com/catalog/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpbb2&file=viewtopic.php&t=441457

I've been filing DMCA notices with IMVU since 2012 with no issues. Non-US residents can file a DMCA takedown notice just as easily. If, for some reason, you make an error in the notice (such as using a fake name or address) you will be asked to send a snail-mail instead, which will cost postage. But out of all the people I've helped these past few years, not a single one had to do that.

If you're looking for stolen art, the "Wall Hangings" and "Picture Frames" categories in the IMVU catalog is the first place you should look with the keyword "furry." I've taken screenshots of these two categories with the AP (Access Pass) filter on, for those of you from FA who do not have an AP.


If you recognize anything, please contact the artist. If they wish to file a DMCA Takedown Notice, they will need the product link which I can provide (you could also ask Dragoneer or any IMVU user with an AP), as well as a larger screenshot of the poster itself in case they aren't sure it's their work.


Picture Frames (32 pages): http://imgur.com/a/oAtuI


Wall Hangings (22 pages): http://imgur.com/a/FTLDL
 

Verin Asper

The Smart Idiot
Sorry for sending messages like a creeper, my first account was never sent a confirmation email so went ahead and made a new one just now.

I just want to clarify one thing:

The correct email address for the DMCA agent is: dmca_agent@imvu.com. The old address was dmca@imvu, which for some reason is still listed on the IMVU TOS page after three years. It's no biggie, if you do send it to the old address, they will simply give you an automatic message with the new address.

Staff post about it here: http://www.imvu.com/catalog/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpbb2&file=viewtopic.php&t=441457

I've been filing DMCA notices with IMVU since 2012 with no issues. Non-US residents can file a DMCA takedown notice just as easily. If, for some reason, you make an error in the notice (such as using a fake name or address) you will be asked to send a snail-mail instead, which will cost postage. But out of all the people I've helped these past few years, not a single one had to do that.

If you're looking for stolen art, the "Wall Hangings" and "Picture Frames" categories in the IMVU catalog is the first place you should look with the keyword "furry." I've taken screenshots of these two categories with the AP (Access Pass) filter on, for those of you from FA who do not have an AP.


If you recognize anything, please contact the artist. If they wish to file a DMCA Takedown Notice, they will need the product link which I can provide (you could also ask Dragoneer or any IMVU user with an AP), as well as a larger screenshot of the poster itself in case they aren't sure it's their work.


Picture Frames (32 pages): http://imgur.com/a/oAtuI


Wall Hangings (22 pages): http://imgur.com/a/FTLDL
Thanks again for helping to resolve this issue
 

fleshy2

New Member
You are correct, to file a DMCA they need the PID (product ID number) which is located at the end of the link you are sending them. I commented soley to inform you that UNLESS you are also sending them a screenshot as well, they cannot verify that the link you gave them is indeed their intellectual property. So they would/could be filing a false claim, if you were wrong in your linking. You see?

Hopefully the DMCA agent will compare the two links (original and stolen) before processing the takedown. If she doesn't, that could result in someone being banned unfairly, and probably even worse consequences. Those who want to help out and provide the product links, should be very careful and take a screenshot of the entire product page (also showing the browser url) as well as load the product in the IMVU client to double check that the icon and actual product match.
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
The disturbing thing to me is that we've got people saying that they've gone through the process and it takes months and requires all kinds of back and forth regarding facts and proof of ownership, and we've got people saying that it's quick and easy. Have any images been successfully taken down in the days since the IMVU purchase was revealed?
 
Deep breath, I'm not mad. =)


I don't ban people who spread info on stolen art. I do, however, ban people who post rumor as facts, spread misinformation or try to make the situation worse. I welcome legitimate concerns.

Why did you ban Rowe then? I saw people in this forum asking why and someone asked you on twitter and you ignored them. He told me you removed all of his comments and closed his shouts so no one could post on his page
What rumors was he posting? I want to hear both sides of this
 

PnKnG

New Member
I have just been noted of this

Sorry for the random note, but I was on IMVU and found that somebody had made a fur of your character Violet as a custom for another member of the IMVU community. Here's a few links for you:

http://www.imvu.com/shop/web_search.php?manufacturers_id=57868728
http://gyazo.com/81d186ed78a9936b0727a8de07fe91e8
http://gyazo.com/ae68664eb0d9d38ca006d46fbc56683f

Now I'm not sure if they asked you permission to use your character or if you were at all involved in this, but I wanted to give you a heads up about it.

Violet is my character that I created. I have commissioned art of her by numerous people, partly since I'm not an artist myself.

In this case can I file a DMCA or otherwise get that taken down? since I was never asked for permission. and should I link my gallery in that DMCA or the gallery of the artist that has drawn it for me?
 

Verin Asper

The Smart Idiot
I have just been noted of this



Violet is my character that I created. I have commissioned art of her by numerous people, partly since I'm not an artist myself.

In this case can I file a DMCA or otherwise get that taken down? since I was never asked for permission. and should I link my gallery in that DMCA or the gallery of the artist that has drawn it for me?
USUALLY the system would require the artist to do it due to the information needed
even if its your character, its was still drawn by someone else who have THEIR signature on it.
 

fleshy2

New Member
Thanks again for helping to resolve this issue

Thank you, as well. It was annoying not being able to participate in this thread lol.

I hope this is a wake up call for IMVU. There needs to be a better system in place to prevent and take down stolen work. We do have a Peer Review system to screen products, but there is no option to fail for Copyright Infringement. It wouldn't be possible to add it, either, since we have no idea if the person submitting the artwork is the artist or not, or has permission to do so. The forums wont allow anyone to ask for advice on filing a DMCA takedown notice, because there is the risk of someone giving wrong information or bad advice. It really seems like they don't care. Not to mention, a massive number of disappointed IMVU users built their own website to sell art, since IMVU would do nothing about theft. http://www.gasrforum.com/
 
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