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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Important Information from Ozimals

Hello Ozmites!

There have been a few rumors and incorrect statements being passed around about a copybot situation and I haven’t commented until now as I needed to discuss with our attorney on what could be said on the matter.

A week and a half ago, several of our beta testers made us aware that there was a store advertising an open beta for breedable bunnies that were incredibly similar to the Ozimals bunnies and recommended that we take a look. Our sculptor determined quickly that these bunnies had been ripped from Ozimals sculpts and some of Ozimals textures she created. They added in poorly modded versions of our fur textures and a freebie ear on some models from xstreet in an attempt to disguise the theft. They also copied nearly all of our game concepts - down to using nearly identical hovertext stats (including a memory stat - which was only for debug in beta) and nearly all our game terms. There were a couple of Sion chicken game concepts used as well.

To correct a few rumors that have been passed about – they did NOT get access to the scripts we use for Ozimals – there were several indicators that made that obvious. What they DID do was attempt to duplicate the Ozimals system using their limited knowledge of our game structure - specifically an older closed beta package acquired by their alt - as a guideline. Even still, they were attempting to create an entirely new company using our content, not pretending to sell legitimate Ozimals bunnies and they were only advertising a beta, not anywhere close to selling anything at all.

As this was a ludicrously apparent example of copyright violation and IP theft, a DMCA was filed against the person responsible and the entire “business” was swiftly shut down by Linden Labs the next business day and the content removed from the copier's inventory shortly after. After consulting with an attorney who deals regularly with SL’s content theft issues, we have determined this is likely to be the end of the matter. Should a similar attempt be made, we will again act to aggressively protect our rights AND the rights of our customers. Content theft affects everyone in Second Life, and it is up to all of us to be proactive and shut the thieves down before they can even start.

Ozimals beta bunnies cannot be sold to anyone presently since they are no transfer. (Obviously they will be transfer at release.) There has been no hint of anyone attempting to sell bunnies as Ozimals and I believe with our large dedicated group of watchers that we would know as quickly as we knew about this incident. In addition, there is no motivation for any thief to even attempt it, as any consumer who would be interested is aware that Ozimals is in open beta and the bunnies are no transfer so it would be an obviously counterfeit item.

At release, you will have a simple way to verify that any nest or live bunny you purchase is a legitimate Ozimals product, eliminating any fear of purchasing a copybotted bunny shell or an empty nest.

We’d like to take a moment to thank those Ozimals testers who came to us immediately with this information. We are enormously grateful for your caring, loyalty, and support. You will be the ones to keep these few bad apples from ruining everyone’s experience – and we thank you!

As a last note, the Ozimals Team is ~very~ approachable and has multiple methods of contact, including email. If you ever have a question, concern, or in this case – hear some unverified rumor, please come to us directly and we will give you the facts. Information you’ve only “heard” is likely to be false. We are always available to you, our friends and customers.

Much Bunneh Love,
Your Hard Working Ozimals Team!

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