My name is Gala. For the last seven years, I’ve been running Curio Skins in the virtual world Second Life, run by Linden Lab. Curio has not only been my primary source of income, it has also been a labor of love for me: prior to joining Second Life, I had worked as an illustrator and a designer. I've always loved to create art, and in Second Life, I could share my creations with people who not only appreciated them but would wear them and become loyal customers and even friends.
Recently, I learned that a competitor in the Second Life skin business, Hush Darkrose, was selling skins that looked substantially similar to mine. I followed the DMCA procedures available to me, but Hush filed a counter notice. Given the high cost of a copyright lawsuit and the sheer number of infringements of my work I deal with, I decided not to proceed.
However, in May, Hush filed an infringement complaint against me in Canada and sent a DMCA takedown notice to Linden Lab. My works were removed from the server. I then learned that Hush had written a blog post claiming that a court had reviewed the matter and judged me an infringer. She even wrote something making it sound like the court had granted her an injunction. This post was entirely false. No court has reviewed this matter, and I am not an infringer. There was no injunction granted against me, and no court review or ruling.
Please see http://curioonline.org/2012/07/05/curio-news-release/ for more details on this situation.
However, for right now, my business — this work that I love so much — is in limbo.
Why I need your help:
Legal action has been initiated against me in the Canadian courts. While the action is groundless and I am very confident I will prevail, I still need to fight it, and I need to fight it in Canada to get my business back. Copyright litigation is extremely expensive, though, both in Canada and in the United States. Seeing a case through costs around $20,000 on the low end. My business in Second Life is my primary source of income. Without it, I have no means of coming up with so much money.
Fortunately, many amazing and generous content creators, designers, and supporters have come together to hold a fundraiser in-world. In the first few days, we have already raised over $10,000, and I expect we will raise more before the event is over. However, many people have asked for a way to donate outside Second Life, so I have set up this page. Because of the success of the in-world fundraiser, I am keeping the goal of this campaign more moderate.
The Second Life content creator community will not be intimidated by bullies abusing a system that should protect us. Please stand with me.