Imitation is the highest form of flattery

On January 6th, 2012 Haus of Darcy aka -.HoD.- released a set of ear gauges called 'Dragon Spiral Earrings'. Following the release of the 'Lisbeth' piercing and makeup set in December, this was Haus of Darcy's second tribute to the book and movie about 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. And as any other product made by SL's most innovative piercing store, these gauges became a major success.

The problem with success is that it causes envy. And greed. And it didn't take long - until February 29th to be precise - until someone went the cheap way and simply copied this idea. Lacking the skills to actually create items from scratch - unlike Haus of Darcy which used the good old combination of craftsmanship, time and skills - the nano mesh maker [ O P E R A ] was asked to prepare a set of piercings and gauges which were then put together, linked with a root prim and decorated with a texture that wasn't (yes, you might be surprised to read this) self-made either but ripped off of older -.HoD.- piercings. And a new product was born.

Below you see a texture comparison with Haus of Darcy's textures on the left and right (watermarked for publishing purposes) and the nicely put together copy in the middle.

The texture stealing is nothing new. Haus of Darcy created the texture for the 'slide' metal color in March 2010 as you can see here (unedited but watermarked in-world screenshot): 

The 'creator' purchased some -.HoD.- piercings and even blogged them as her flickr shows in February 2011. That must have been the time when she had the glorious idea that this texture might come in handy for her future venture as an SL entrepreneur cause in July 2011 she released 'her' piercing set as a hunt item with exactly the same texture as you can see below:

All this would have probably gone unnoticed if the 'creator' of the blatant copy hadn't posted a dramatic outcry about 'her' piercings getting copybotted. Two wrongs don't make one right. Copybotting is a plague having a seriously negative impact on SL's economy and should by no means be tolerated or sanctioned but the next time you present yourself as the victim you might want to make sure your own criminal record is free of charges. 


  1. IF the texture is indeed ripped then that is a shame but I take issue with this blame game and this "imitation" game.

    These types of plugs are not unique or new, I own pairs of them in real life as I have 7/16th stretched lobes and own quite the menagerie of plugs, tunnels and and what-have-you.

    I myself considered myself a great designer of piercings and came to create my own textures for them and enjoyed building them and making them, as I myself have piercings in RL, just like gauged ears. I know the popular spots all over the body for piercings as well as dermals and I used that knowledge to build my own piercings -- just like all other piercing makers in SL, they are built off of both imagination and basic knowledge of anatomy and what already exists.

    And yet, I was attacked. This same idea, that I "stole" her textures or mimicked them in some way. These pictures above already show you what they are -- simple gradients. It is hard pressed to say if they are identical but again, if they are then she should DMCA'd.

    I come from the other corner in this scenario, only because she pegged me as a copier and I was harassed by plenty of her friends and followers. Her reasoning was also because I "was once a customer" in the snotty notecard I recieved over a year ago which, instead of me dealing with her warped perception on thinking only she need be the one who made decent piercings in SL, I just stopped building.

    She's had me banned from sims, even for suggesting I "copy".

    I'm sorry if her gradient was truly stolen as I have had my own stolen and copybotted more times then I can count but she needs to get off the high-horse.

    -- Verinne Ansar

  2. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment and sorry for the late approval and reply - it's that thing with different timezones.

    And just to put first things first: if protecting one's IP rights and thus one's RL income equals 'sitting on a high horse' for you, I am already at a loss for words but it's your personal opinion and you're free to have it just like I have mine about the whole thing.

    Now for the most important fact: that texture is not a simple gradient put together by clicking a few buttons in PS but hand-drawn. As well as the other two main metal textures used in -.HoD.- piercings.

    It is true, these plugs are not new or unique in RL. In fact, they found wide recognition after the movie came out and every piercing store had at least two variations in dozens of colors. But that is RL. In SL these were first released by -.HoD.-, anything else falls either in the 'blatant rip-off' or 'derivate' category. And while not always illegal, it is at least morally wrong to leech off other people's creations. At least in my very personal opinion. Yes, it's a high horse I'm sitting on.

    Now for your personal 'woe is me, I got bullied' situation. As far as I know - and I can only judge from the documentation I have seen and trust in full - you received a polite notecard asking to have a look at some pictures and consider any similarities between your creations and already existing ones. Your reply was snotty and irrational (again a very personal opinion) and followed by one of those drama-mongering flickr posts you have already become notorious for.

    I don't know the true reasons why you stopped building but please do not blame someone else for your own shortcomings or business failures. Someone with the true desire to create and a clean conscience would carry on doing what they really want...

  3. I have had encounters with both the owner of the store used in this blog that was being pointed at for stealing textures and the comment above yours.

    The store taking textures owned by HoD, is owned by a girl who has a long going reputation for lacking originality. It does not surprise me that she would stoop to this level.

    As for the comment, the girl is a snarky, self-centered individual who thinks she is better then everyone else. Your words to her were needed and I praise you for that. She gets a rise out of internet bullying herself, picking on people for useless reasons and then when things happen to her, she expects the world to be at her feet feeling sorry for her. She in fact is the one needing to get off the high-horse. Shes as unoriginal as the other, in fact not all of her creations are of her own either.

    I applaud you friend. Amazing words here.

  4. I mean no disrespect to anyone who is being mentioned here or to the author or commenters, but I have to say, that texture is SIMPLE to reproduce. When I saw this posting earlier, I jumped into photoshop to whip one up, and low and behold, I had a texture exactly like it within less than 10 minutes. I am not siding with either party here, but it's not far fetched to believe two people could make very similar textures of this nature.
    Another thing I kind of wanted to point out was that in this picture (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A70lYwNxbyo/UCIJ85ekqtI/AAAAAAAAAig/Mm4gRHuhZVc/s640/Unbenannt-2.jpg), the largest blurred area looks a lot bigger in the non HOD version. So it appears to me, they aren't the same texture. Am I saying you are wrong, Takuya? No.. I'm just saying what it looks like to me. Were you able to overlay the two textures to make sure the variation I mentioned above isn't there?
    My thoughts on this are mixed. Could the textures be copies? Sure, but I couldn't say for sure not having both textures to overlay in Photoshop. Are the said textures easily reproduced? Absolutely. You can literally reproduce the texture by making two white dots (with a variation in size) and blurring each at a different amount.
    Now, truth be told, I don't know anything about the person who has been accused. If she had a history of such type of thing, the possibility is very real that she could have swiped the textures. Since I don't know anything about that history, I won't touch on that area.
    Like I said above, I don't mean to offend anyone or point fingers and say you're wrong. I'm just lending my view. Thanks for reading.

  5. Thanks for sharing your view, Sae.

    Yes, the texture can be easily reproduced in PS but that's the whole point. The original and the corresponding copy show the same offset (they are not perfectly centered) which came from the simple fact it was NOT made in PS but hand drawn. Such things happen when you draw freely instead of relying on the good old gradient tools but they also make it a kind of signature and easily recognizable for the creator. Kinda hard to see in the tiny pics maybe but I guess it is also understandable that we do not provide a not watermarked closeup. :p

  6. Ah ok, I see. Yes, I couldn't tell that by the pictures, but thanks for replying to let me know... it def. changes things to know that.

    I completely understand the reasoning behind no close-ups.

    This is the kind of thing that when true, makes you feel sick even if it wasn't you who was stolen from. It's a sad day when someone can't create something as simple as a texture for a piercing on their own.

  7. Without dealing with the completely biased retort, Sae pointed out exactly what should be pointed out -- they are simply gradients. Yes, hand drawn as mine are as well but still a gradient.

    Saying I have short-comings is a bit ridiculous and I have no failures within my business ventures or any other thing I undertake. I'm notorious for speaking my mind, so be it. I do not bully, I am honest and honesty is categorized as bullying anymore because every one doesn't know what it is.

    Regardless, as Sae said, you can easily create and/or "hand draw" a gradient to work on a piercing in Second Life and that was my reason for responding.

    The fact that you have any information regarding the situation between her and I causes a bias, as you are her friend but I thank you for allowing my comment to be posted and for your reply.

    As always, regardless of how mean, rude or what-ever descriptor someone wants to throw at me, I am at least thankful to the people who do not mute voices.

  8. OK. Have a great rest of the week! :-)

  9. I have no problem with different opinions as long as they don't come with personal insults, so thanks for commenting, Verinne.

    Which takes me right to Anonymous whose comment went straight in the trash as incoherent ramblings and personal butthurt are nothing I'd waste my time on. But please try this here:


  10. Whats the issue here anyway?

    The style of the prims? well those are found in every single rl piercing store or just by looking into any wholesale website of piercing jewlery.

    The sculpt models, anybody can do them like that in blender, maya or 3ds max, i've done them myself under custom work sculpt/mesh in a few minutes.

    As for the textures I'd like to know who could be that uhm Silly to "rip off" a texture anybody with a very few photoshop knowledge can, those doesn't seem to be a copy just: making a circular selection, filling it with white, Gaussian blur, lowering opacity over a black background) is not like a real hand drawn texture or a render.

    Also it's piercings is not like the great thing to make on sl, if it were something that you put hours or days of work well yeah anybody would be pissed, kinda remind me of those "shirt designers" who take pictures out of deviant art, rl logos or just google them. and overlay them on their shirts and then cry outloud because someone stole their fabric or their "idea".

    And why hasn't the owner filled a DMCA to LL? thats the very first step when you think your products are stolen, or used and modified.

    1. As Mister Kawashima, the one with a minimum of politeness and patience is offline, it seems I have the incredible honor to answer your questions, which would be somewhat obsolete if you had properly read the text or the comments.

      And as my love for anonymous comments is limited I’d first and foremost like to recommend you to grow a spine and next time use your name if you want to voice your opinion. You know what they say: ’if you want to bitch, you better go pro’.

      The issue here is a wannabe content creator with a lack of creativity, skills and morals who shamelessly leeches off other people’s talent, time and most of all RL income. And still shouts the loudest on her flickr stream when someone dares to copybot her awesome stolen creations.

      I congratulate you on your amazing sculpting skills and your ability to check out wholesale websites for piercing jewelry. Here’s a cookie!

      As for the texture thing – bingo, it’s getting warmer towards the answer to ‘what’s the issue here’. If you had spent your time reading anything written here, including the comments, instead of yapping about the issue of template users which doesn’t play the slightest role here but was obviously mentioned to add some substance to your ramblings, you might have noticed that – and excuse me for using caps here, it’s not yelling but making sure you actually find the relevant information at first sight – IT IS NOT MADE IN PS BUT HAND DRAWN AND THUS EASILY RECOGNIZABLE FOR THE CREATOR. Got that? Awesome, here’s another cookie for you.

      Again, grow some balls and use your name to bitch if you want to be treated like a mature individual. Creepy internet cowards only get two cookies and a snotty reply.

      Much love,

    2. Alright, Anonymous, congrats! You actually reached that point at which MY patience for morons has expired and I usually have a high tolerance. I am not going to publish your latest comment (seriously? again?) as your egocentric 'me me me, I am awesome but I love mandala pictures' bullshit makes you look like a stoned ex-hippie rather than a person with a sound judgement.

      I doubt I actually count you as a flickr contact as you seem bitter and one hundred percent talent-free and I suffer from bad flickr ADD. Feel free to link me though, I'm not going to hunt your crap down and give you more time than you deserve. Desperately in need of attention? Hell, you already got cookies.

      That being said, please sink back into the mediocrity that seems your natural environment.

  11. It is sad to see that people prefer to be ostriches - hiding their head in the sand to pretend not to see.
    This attitude has helped SL to become shit.
    Aida Ewing


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