Tip of the Week #15: How to get texture info

Torley Textures IX thumbnailsFriendly greetings! Textures are found just about everywhere in Second Life. From the attachments on your avatar to buildings you visit to the virtual holiday gifts you’re getting, textures increase the richness of your inworld experience.

However, since Second Life is almost entirely Resident-created content, using many big textures when such detail isn’t necessary can slow you down (“lag”). I’ve known for a long time that a little education goes a long way, and I’ve also had a lot of Residents righteously ask me:

“Yeah, I know ‘optimizing textures’ is important, but how can I find out what size a texture is if it’s already on an object?”

You’re just in luck โ€” today’s Tip of the Week, right here, right now… HOW TO GET TEXTURE INFO!

Simpler than you thought.

You always get the dimensions of a texture in your Inventory if you double-click it and look under the preview:

Second Life photography - Inventory with open texture (snapshot)

And for those of you who want to learn more about texture tips ‘n’ tricks, here are related resources I’ve referred to many a time. They’ve enlightened me, and I hope they’ll do ya good too:

  • Texture Tools gateway on the SL wiki – LOTS of texture-making programs, tutorials, books & DVDs, and free textures to indulge in! Thanx to those who contributed to this public resource… if you can make it better, go ahead, I appreciate you.
  • Textures and Snapshots in the Knowledge Base – Useful articles to improve your skillz, including some of my past video tutorials. (Go ahead and login if you’re asked to after clicking this link.)
  • Texture Console – Documentation for the technically advanced on how to use this diagnostic tool.

Get your texture on!

Fun with my autograph after vectorizing it (small)

Torley Linden is a Product Manager & more who regularly contributes to the Official Linden Blog. He’s also the creator of the 100s of FREE Torley Textures. See more Tips of the Week!

About Torley

Who am I? See http://torley.com/
This entry was posted in Community, Creativity & Ideas, Resident Experience, Tips & Tricks. Bookmark the permalink.

146 Responses to Tip of the Week #15: How to get texture info

  1. Nice to see that the education of Resis is foremost…. Thanks Torley ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Sylver Bu says:

    Yay. prepare to see a raise in texture thefts. :>

  3. Damen Hax says:

    ~ I hope that texture thing will be fixed soon, specially since the same thing has been applied to sculpted prims ~

  4. As usual, your tip is wonderful. Very informative, and entertaining to boot! Keep up the great work!!

  5. It’s not something that can really be ‘fixed’ by nature. People are just finding out on an individual level what the MPAA and RIAA are learning: it doesn’t matter how well protected it is, if it’s ever at a point where human senses can perceive it in the clear, it can be copied.

    The key here is less code-as-law and more using the laws that already exist, which is difficult for micropayment-fueled SL.

    That said, great tips Torley, MORE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THIS.

  6. Sean Heying says:

    O_o I wonder if that trick of selecting another Avatars attachments will let you edit them… as in Resize other people (read as Noob’s) hair for them?

    I know what I’m trying tonight when I get home!!

  7. Chosen Few says:

    Good tips, as usual, Torley. But why no mention of the Texture Tips forum in your “related resources” section? Several of us work very hard every day to make sure there’s tons of highly useful information over there, and in all of the content creation forums. Anyone looking to learn would miss out on a lot by not reading what’s there..

  8. Milo Bellow says:


    “Tip of the Week #21: How to log in”


  9. Aeper Jie says:

    This is like going to make Alot of Law Suits.

  10. Hadrian says:

    In case anybody’s curious about the “zomg texture stealing!!!1” comments, they’re referring to using “View Admin Options” (ctrl+alt+v) prior to using the texture inspection tool. If you are in “admin mode” while inspecting textures, it’ll also tell you the UUID (key) of the texture, which can then be used to apply the texture to any object you can modify. That’s what the “outrage” is about.

  11. Melanie Milland says:

    So what else is new? There are texture downloading tools, texture-collecting bots, texture-applying scripts, etc.. and there have been for ages.

    Any texture, any shape, any clothing, any skin, any attachment, any build, any animation, any sound, can be stolen, with various levels of effort required.

    The people who are willing and able to invest that effort are already doing this, for them, this is old news.
    New ones may learn, and may use the knowledge. but it spreads through SL anyway.

    The only thing that cannot be stolen is a script, no one can download it, since it lives exclusively in the server.

    So, pipe down, this article is not the end of the world! Torley wouldn’t have made it if the information wasn’t out in the wild already!

  12. Gattz Gilman says:

    When it shows you the texture size when doing ctrl-alt-shift-t, it shows the current mipmap size (when a texture is blurry cause its loading, its actually a smaller version). So you would have to wait till its completely loaded to get the actual texture size. So, if the texture is 1024×1024, you’ll have to wait till its all the way loaded before you can see that its 1024×1024.

  13. nimrod Yaffle says:

    Sigh, thanks Torley….

    (Referring to tip #10 and most likely others after I post)

  14. Dorian Hathaway says:

    Haha, nice tip as usual, Torley! This will -really- help me with changing textures through script! To be able to find out what “side” the texture is on really helps alot!


  15. Flame Swenholt says:

    One more step and you just told the world Key Ripping. Yes this is useful information, no it’s not a good idea to mention you can do it to other people. While without the Key Ripping many features on many Avs wouldn’t work, try to better protect it.

  16. Rea Sands says:

    Well maybe some of you know my trick to get textures.I find that if you have digital camera handy(14.99at the local dollar store)and a couple of good clear catalogs you can click out,oh 50 textures a day no problem and upload to the computer for resizing and editing then upload to SL till your cash runs out at 10L each.Hey you can make custom clothes that are in style,so get clicking.

  17. mimi says:

    @11 this information used to be only to be found only if one looked long for it: it meant that not every single 5 minutes old n00b could find this information. Texture ripping was done far less often when only a few computer geeks knew about it. Now every silly 13 year old can rip! This is crazy! This post is even crazier! I wouldn’t have expected this kind of related issue to be posted, especially by Torley :S

    *very disappointed*

    Seriously, why do the Lindens keep ignoring SVC-676?
    We need their help so much, Torley, you’ve replied to so many issues. SVC-676 has 49 votes now, many from the big shop owners in SL. We need your help in this issue, why is it that after so many months, so many votes, not a single Linden replied?

  18. Kyder Ling says:

    I would just like to add. SERIOUSLY PEOPLE! A tiny prim necklace doesn’t need 1024×1024 textures! Gah! I cringe when I see them employed. Even 512×512 is too much for a single pearl the size of pin head! o.O

  19. Not a Linden Fan says:

    Well this helps show that Lindens Don’t care about content theft.
    But i also agree that the thieves like A&k Designs all ready know about it.

  20. Pingback: The Grid Live » Second Life News for December 14, 2007

  21. Damen Hax says:

    This is a serious issue, sure there will always be ways and tools made to get what you want, but things such as a texture key should NOT be so accessible.. I mean touch a couple keys an you have someone’s hard work.. shocking really.. on so many levels.

    Someone mentioned noobs… Sure noobs (new people) don’t know a great deal, but they aren’t the ones looking to use ‘stolen’ textures in things they plan to sell~.

    I see people selling sculpted prims for a lot of money, how happy will they be when they realize people can copy the sculpted prim and make it as though they are the creator.. Hours of painstaking work thrown into the freebie pile.. yay

    Cache 22, how to inform people about texture info without pointing to a current flaw~ I for one will not be uploading any textures ( used for building) until this is sorted. Sadly my sculpted sword has already been copied and is destined for the freebie pile.. yay again.

  22. Day Oh says:

    Texture keys are the thing you use to view a texture. Nothing secret about them.

    Great tips, and great info Gatz (:

  23. Nulflux Negulesco says:

    There is a missing link in the security fence that guards our property rights in Second Life. This is not something new and can hardly be prevented at the current time – even people with relatively little skill can rip textures from any object after pressing 3 key combinations, never leaving SL. More advanced external programs are capable of saving a copy of every single image that would normally be loaded into the SL viewer. This same technique can obtain sounds and sculpt maps too.

    Everyone has heard of the infamous copybot which can steal and recreate entire builds. Copybot and variations of the original source code are in relatively wide scale use and there is not much recourse for those who have lost an amazing build to a thief. Why is it so hard to prove that a build is rightfully yours? Well, we (a group of Titanic builders) have had recent experience with this situation.

    In this instance – a thief copied our ship using a work in progress copy that had been entrusted to one of the crew members. The thief made heavy modifications to the ship – replacing the hull and decks with mega-prims BUT there are still very distinguishing traits that are unmistakably our original work.

    A little bit of investigation lead us to admissions of the relationship between the copier and the entrusted crew member. It turns out that this crew member had OUR titanic on display on Linden owned land – an exhibit in her name without giving credit to any of the original builders. From this exhibit the thief used (assumed to be copybot) to copy the ship for himself. Then – after he modified it – displayed it on his sim as a tourist attraction, again – without giving any of the original builders credit.

    For reference – this is a ship that is as long as an entire sim and 60 meters wide with (if I remember correctly) 7 decks that span the length of the ship. A work on this scale is at about 15,000 prims (several thousand more when fully equipped). This is why the thief had to modify – because the TRUE version without megaprims requires the ship to straddle 2 sims.

    The problem here is – how do we prove that this hacked up stolen build is OUR ship? How would you even begin prosecution? The guy entirely denies it is our ship – says he built it all himself!?!

  24. Wolt Amat says:

    Great, but how does one get info on a texture in LSL, BEFORE it is used?

  25. Clash Jya says:

    AHHHHH Thank You!! for taking a visit to the BioHazard Carn-Evil@The Junkyard…..and yes the Bio-Hazard logo I made was one of my first Alpha textures I had ever made…using the clothing template for the size so I will deff…have to remake that laggy texture cool cool—Clash Jya

  26. mimi says:

    @23 just give it up.. lindens labs doen’t give a f*ck about stolen items. About every well known skin in Secondlife has been stolen, many are in the freebie boxes now. Linden Labs does NOTHING about it.

    They could so easily block any texture which was proven to come from a ripper by blocking its UUID. But do they? no! They could make objects which contain stolen textures non transfer, so people can’t resell them. (which people wouldn’t be allowed to, but no..you have to sue every stupid n00b which resells it manually) They just irgnore the issue, and keep telling people ‘you can do business on secondlife’ and ‘your work is protected’, its all a big joke.

  27. JetZep Zabelin says:

    Excellent tip Torley! It almost should be law. I sure am glad to see this because I agree: there is too much creation without regard for optimization.

    A creator who does not optimize things is not only looked at as unskilled, unprofessional or possible high on drugs. But he/she becomes hated by people who are constantly affected by the lag producted by their creation

    Download all your textures, optimize them in a graphic program. Check filesize before you re-upload. It’s worth the L$10 because your environment will rez much faster.

    About theft, welcome to planet Earth. You know the risks (and the internet), so plan accordingly.

  28. Chalice Yao says:

    A few fun facts about textures and keys:

    1. Your client gets the keys of any textures and sounds that get sent to it. it’s necessary. It’s how the whole system works. It’s what keys are all about. You can’t turn that off.

    2. All the textures, sounds, animations you see, -are on your harddrive-. They are in your cache. Wanting to keep a texture from people is like those old internet sites that tried to prevent picture downloading by restricting right-click, while the browser’s cache was filled to the brink with all of them.

  29. John Source says:

    Truly dissapointing Torley Linden,

    You used ot be my favorite Linden. Tell people how to steal stuff? it’s like having instructions on tv , about how to rob a bank without being catched.

    The statement ‘someone that really wants to steal it, will steal it anyway’ is simply not always true

    If it’s easy to do something illegal, MORE people will do it. There are always obstacles of intelligence/skill/info needed/time – that will prevent an amount of people from actually doing it ..Some people probably steal because its so easy.

    Also, there are ALOT of people in second life selling objects that are stolen by someone else..and even if they KNOW those objects are stolen (for example ripped skins) they still keep selling them. If they knew ripping a skin is just one click away, i really think alot of them would at least try it.

    It’s all about obstacles. The moral is simply NOT always the obstacle

  30. Chalice Yao says:


    The ‘texture details’ method does not work on avatars or any texture on avatars. So, no skins, or texture-clothes, no :>

  31. Chalice Yao says:


    Did you even watch the video in the first place?
    He never shows a single key. He never shows how to -get- the key. It was done through an user’s comment.

  32. Kazuma Onizuka says:

    @10 Well if people didn’t know about it before, because of your explanation on how to do it, they do now. Try to use a little thought before making posts…k thx bai bai

  33. Wolfstanus Blackmun says:

    Texture stealing/prim copying is exactly why I stoped building a texturing. And now it will be more rampant than ever me thinks.

  34. Wolfstanus Blackmun says:

    and thanks alot #10

  35. mimi says:

    @32 this comes so close to stealing.. makes it so much easier to get close.. wether the user or not would have posted this, he could have predicted it would give this kind of trouble. Though usually I’m not a fan of closing down comments, in this case I’m sad in this case they aren’t.

    Lets face it, the DMCA doesn’t works its like saying to a kid in front of a full opened candybox then say “your not allowed to eat candies” and walk away and not watch them anymore.

    Shops like naughty island have stopped making items because they get stolen anyway: its so damn easy to steal and so hard to DMCA and SL does nothing. Investing money in SL is a rip off: dont waste your time on creating a shop, since it will get ripped down when it runs well anyway.

  36. Chalice Yao says:


    In itself it doesn’t come anywhere close to stealing. It shows the texture size and if it’s alpha. That’s about it. That’s all he showed. Without a certain user’s comment, all would have been fine and dandy. And yeah, I’m surprised it didn’t get removed immediately.

    Not that it’s possible to prevent texture stealing. it isn’t. At all.

    About that comment of ‘don’t bother opening a shop’..um.
    I’ll be sure to tell the shop owners I know whose stuff sells -extremely- well, yet haven’t anything ripped off at all.Being on the receiving end of stealing sucks, but don’t keep people from creating and selling things they love to make. That’s like closing down an entire market because some stores were robbed.

  37. Hionimi Engawa says:

    Finally you’re telling people widely what I’m trying to tell people,
    don’t, use, big, ass, textures, when, not, necessary! D:

    To make it more clear, depending on the detail of the texture:
    On a surface not larger than 5.000 by 5.000, use 256×256 pixels.
    Surfaces larger than this, use 512×512, not 1024×1024, unless you REALLY have to.
    Surfaces smaller than 1-2.000 by 1-2.000 I’d even recommend 128×128,
    depending on what kind of texture.

    So what I mean by kind of texture detail, lets say if you have a rather
    blurry texture, or soft texture, use lower detail. If you have a texture
    that needs to be sharp, like alphad text, or realistic looking grass texture,
    you can pherhaps make it a size bigger.

    But really, people won’t stand by your texture all day zooming in and all drooling.
    Unless it’s meant to make people oogle it.

    And we all complain about lag, but maybe we did it ourself?
    So get stop making excuses: “Buh, but it’s so much work”
    “No one will notice…”, Just shrink them down, it will matter!

  38. Ann Otoole says:

    i think we are closing in on the end of sl as a means of business. its become nothing but a fun place for amateur thieves to hone their skills.

    One day LL will have to step up and make things so you can only acquire texture details on objects you created, acquire parcel information, that is masked when admin options are not enabled, only when you own the parcel or have rights to set that option, etc. pretty much the entire thing called sl is becoming a joke and now we have even more media slamming it down.

    Someone wants sl gone. Not sure who. Seems LL is doing a good job of destroying it themselves by reducing it to a place for taking wacky pictures.

    fact is sl belongs to LL. LL needs to be policing sl and working to make the client not be a hacker tool. oh and yes, open sourcing was not such a good idea. something like sl needs to be a closed system since it is located on a planet occupied and controlled by warring criminals. it was a nice dream though. but it won’t work unless access is restricted only to people that do not have certain genetic traits such as willingness to commit crime and/or behave in an unethical manner. yea right. no hyumans allowed.

  39. Chalice Yao says:


    Agreed. The Admin Option in the client is a huge loophole. It allows several things it shouldn’t.

    the main issue isn’t the act of stealing per se. it cannot be physically prevented if the thief is determined.

    The main issue is that LL promotes this as a capitalistic content creation/selling opportunity without actually taking efforts in measures to react to reported cases of sold stolen goods.

  40. shaq Merlin says:

    Hi, What kind of file type beter use *.tga or *.jpg?

    Best Regards,

  41. Chalice Yao says:

    @41: tga if you want transparency. Aside of that, it doesn’t matter if you use a high quality tga or a high quality(!) jpg

  42. geowhitfield says:

    I don’t understand why people are saying that Torley has now shown us how to rip textures. He never did anything of the sort. If people want to use the useful info he gave for unethical purposes then that is not Torley’s fault. The fact is that texture ripping is not new and as there is currently no SL police force, I recommend residents tackle this issue themselves. If someone steals your stuff then make sure people know about it. I’m not recommending a lynch mob but if enough of us let thieves know that they can’t get away with this and we will make sure no one buys their stuff then this type of activity will become less and less.

    Nicky Ree and other content creators are currently starting a campaign to re-educate newer (and older) residents on the importance of Intellectual Property rights. You can read more about the campaign here: http://muimukerji.blogspot.com/2007/12/christmas-gift-project-from-content.html


  43. Darkstormy Lytton says:

    @39: you can only acquire texture details on objects you created

    This is impossible as the client needs those details to display the texture and they end up in your cache anyway (they need to be stored somewhere in order to be displayed). Moreover, there are open source and third party clients.

    This is not something LL can fix: it is inherent in the digital format; once stored any digital information can be effortlessly duplicated at a negligeable cost. Any measure that prevents storage and/or duplication also prevents displaying the information itself, rendering it useless.


    The admin option is not that huge a loophole, the texture data is stored and available on your hard disk anyway, in an only slightly impaired JPEG2000 format. It has to, if you want to see it in your client.

  44. Chalice Yao says:


    the main issue isnโ€™t the act of stealing per se. it cannot be physically prevented if the thief is determined.’

    ‘Not that itโ€™s possible to prevent texture stealing. it isnโ€™t. At all.’

    I know :> Data reaches your PC, you can grab it.

  45. Hewitt Huet says:

    That trick of ripping the uuid’s is what has prevented me from selling textures or anything with a complex texture on it. It’s fair game as soon as its in world.

    re: Open Source – a horrible idea, given the ‘anarchy’ of second life. Bots, custom scripted griefing client programs – you really didn’t think that would happen? We’re lucky the land prices went down the toilet – lol the bots don’t even want it!

    Open sourcing a thing like the viewer is like saying “Dude, hack my software”. Oh, and as far as the service JIRA issue mentioned, good luck – they still haven’t fixed xml-rpc.

    Cory? Cory?! Wait!!! I have a few questions before you go….

  46. Chalice Yao says:

    On the other hand, Open Source has given us dozens of client improvements and bugfixes. It’s a double edged sword in the SL client case.

  47. Jane Doe says:

    I love these tips.
    Can you also post the “How to find the 2007 October/November Economic Metrics” ?
    Are you afraid to show us how bad the situation is?

  48. mimi says:

    The trick is to make it more complicated so not anyone can do it. Ripping used to be something not many knew, and so texture theft was more rare. Now ANYONE can rip. It takes a 13 year old about half an hour to rip a texture. Thats crazy!

    Off course textures can always be hacked, but why make it so SUPEREASY to do so? Why make an easy option to do it? Why make it available to anyone in just a few clicks?

    If bank robbing would be easier more people would do it. But because bank robbiing is hard and chances are high you get caught (police, security cameras etc) not many people try to. The same goes for texture ripping. The easier it is, the more people will try it. If it would be harder to do so (require hacker skills) and if more people would be caught and forced to pay back the damage they caused, people would think twice before doing so. If SL would actively trace down rippers and would take away ripped textures it would stop most rippers from even trying.

  49. Chalice Yao says:

    ‘If SL would actively trace down rippers and would take away ripped textures’

    The ‘texture info’ method doesn’t rip the texture. it allows anyone to use the very same database referenced texture as the original creator. Thus, LL would not be able to technically remove it, just force the person from using it.

    It’s the same reason why this technique doesn’t allow you to edit the texture, or store it in your inventory/save to disk easily.

  50. Chalice Yao says:

    p.s. being able to reference a texture by key is vital. If you’d remove that possibility, 99.9% of SL would suddenly be grey. You would have to put a texture into each prim’s inventory to texture it. It’s also vital that objects can reference to a texture key that isn’t created/’owned’ by the current owner, else everything you’d sell ‘d turn grey as well.

  51. Milo Bellow says:


    โ€œTip of the Week #21: How to file a law suit against LLโ€



  52. Milo Bellow says:

    Hmmz,,Should That Be Tip #22? :/

  53. Cinos Field says:


    Regardless of this existed, anyone could rip any texture they wanted to. GLIntercept. And then it’d show them as the uploader too.

    Lesser of evils? NOT IN SL!

  54. Tijn Erde says:

    How is THIS feature helping people rip textures? Say what you will but LL is only allowing texture theft, not creating features to do it.

  55. Day Oh says:

    Anyone who would be able to see a texture UUID by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+T would also be able to see a texture UUID by opening the texture picker. So the comments on this post might as well have been in response to showing people the texture picker. What *really* happened in these comments? P:

  56. mimi says:

    Hmm if thats the case, that won’t work by just deleting the UUID.

    I wonder would it be possible to add an extra ‘check’ at the server which hosts the textures to when a texture is loaded with a certain UUID, it checks the name of the creator of the object thats its loading for. If the creators name is the name of a well known ripper, then it doesnt load the texture.

    Or do it the other way around, give people an extra option for their texture, which makes it so that UNLESS the objects creators name is their name or any other name they can set the texture won’t load.

    For example: the real dante skins are only made by Lost Thereian. He is the creator and only one who is legally allowed to sell or use them.

    The ripped dante skin has newbie_template Linden listed as the creator : every time an illegal dante skin would load, and if it would be checked for the objects creators name, this one would fail to load because its NEWBIE TEMPLATE and not LOST THEREAN.

  57. mimi says:

    Sp my vote for the tip of the week: What to do if you’re textures have been stolen? How do i file a lawsuit against someone? How can I get all the clones removed from SL and let the ripper pay for the damage?

  58. Chalice Yao says:

    ‘The ripped dante skin has newbie_template Linden listed as the creator :’

    The object the skin is in, or the skin itself?

    if it’s the skin itself, that check’d not work.

  59. Leo says:

    I don’t share your opinion that texture optimization it just a client side task. Look at the resources: Textures require place on LL’s hard discs, on client hard discs, require LL’s bandwidth and client bandwidth. In order to use LL’s resources we pay the upload cost of 10 L$ – no matter the size of the texture. That is the first mistake. You should charge less for smaller textures and more for bigger textures, e.g., like this:

    1024 x 1024 : 32 L$
    512 x 1024 : 16 L$
    512 x 512 : 8 L$
    256 x 512 : 4 L$
    256 x 256 : 2 L$
    smaller : 1 L$

    This price scheme will help LL and the customers.

    Then LL seems to assume that big Textures on LL’s hard discs will always have to be big Textures on customer’s discs. That is wrong. If you would use a better Level-of-Detail scheme for Texture transfers then the client would never need to see more than a, say, 32×32 sized Texture of a small earring that might even use 1024×1024 pixels on LL’s hard disc. All the information to decide which precision of the texture is required by which viewer is there. Please, improve your system, there is so much room for improvement in the software, before asking us to work around the consequences of your software design.


  60. mimi says:

    And why not use the new great object search to look for ripped items?
    Add a feature that can look into the contents of boxes, and check for ripped objects? Make a list of all ripped textures that people have filed a DMCA over, and check for all objects found if they use one of these textures. If one of these textures is found, it checks the creator of the object. If they have the real creator listed as the creator of the object its okay, if the ripper who was sued the DMCA is found action can be taken:

    1) an email can be sent to the original creator so he knows he has which resellers sell his stuff so he can sue them with a DMCA. (give him the coordinates of where the objects were found)
    2) Send an email to the reseller (owner of the things for sale, is in most cases not the ripper) so he knows his objects are illegal rips and he can be DMCAed if he keeps selling them.

    or even more effective
    4) set the illegal object to no transfer, so it cant be resold anymore
    3) delete the illegal object inmediately

  61. My gratefulness to each and all of you who watched, enjoyed, and learned!

    @Chosen: Thanks for mentioning this, texture guru! I didn’t mean to “miss it out”, that forum is listed on the Texture Tools wiki page @ https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Texture_Tools โ€” feel free to update/edit the description to better it. Pardon if you thought it was an oversight, I personally have a lot of thanks to give for your tips… one of the first places I started learning from in SL.

    And re: “showing texture UUIDs”, I encourage education here too: to get a better understanding of what’s involved, please see https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-1919 (which I’ll link to SVC-676) โ€” I *will* ask the right Lindens for further guidance and followup in there. Thanks for your feedback and discussion.

  62. Matheus Gleeson says:

    Hey everyone, I think we’re forgetting one little thing. Once a texture is uploaded to SL, or an item of content is created… it officially belongs to Linden Labs. We all agreed to this modification of the TOS. That’s kinda *censored*.

    Even so, we really didn’t need a how-to posted on texture ripping. Let’s get this “tip of the week” wiped out before too many more people get to it, and maybe replace it with something that just says “use smaller textures, you’re creating the lag yourselves!” Maybe a few hints on decent texture sizes, as was posted in comment #38 by Hionimi Engawa – very good post.

    As for policing SL, I recall reading something not long about saying that LL tried encouraging us, the residents, to create our own in-world government as long as a year ago. In other words, they gave us permission to have real political power in-world, which translates to the ability to police the world ourselves. “our world, our imagination” becomes the new by-word; no longer “your world” singular, the world is ours, plural.

    This may be worth trying. The Lindens don’t talk to us in-world, don’t take IMs from us, don’t even accept messages from us on the webpage if we’re not premium members… Even tho some of those non-premium members are creating some of the most wonderful in-world content, running some pretty nice stores, and encouraging the economy, which can easily mean even more money for LL than their premium account could be worth.

    “Our world, Our imagination.” Let’s take the world. It’s already been offered to us.

  63. Casper Priestman says:

    In response to Hadrian’s comments below: Wow aren’t you smart….maybe you’d like to give the texture thieves a printed manual while you’re at it. You should have thought that out before you posted it.

  64. Lao-Tzu says:

    @ 10 Once someone has the UUID, then what? Does one use a script that references the UUID or can one insert that UUID into a created texture? Thanks.

    BTW, everyone is assuming that texture ripping is EVIL. The unethical builders and sellers will always find a way to do their dirty business. Do not blame LL for people who lack ethics. I love building items, structures and art for my own land. A perfect example for why I would texture rip: The huge house I bought needs a foundation as the land is not flat…creating a matching foundation would increase the visual appeal. I could think of hundreds of other reasons to texture rip. Profitting is not one of them….

  65. Imu says:

    Regarding the UUID issue – how hard would it be to code a permission check on llSetTexture and llSetPrimitiveParams to check a texture’s UUID (when a UUID is used)?

    If the person running the script lacks appropriate permissions to that texture – the script fails?

    Wouldn’t stop other external methods of theft, but would stop the LSL-sanctioned method of stealing textures.

  66. Casper Priestman says:

    Lao-Tzu : Have you ever considered contacting the creator of your example building and explaining the your dilemna and asking for the texture? There is no justification for blatantly taking what is not yours.

  67. Anonymous says:

    @ Jet Zep; I think maybe YOU are on drugs; to make such a bold statement is simply very unadultlike. “Unskilled…”.. Possibly may be a reflective look in the mirror…Some of us like hi-rez for detail; if it’s not for you (lags you) then don’t go back; pure and simple ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I myself am worried about LLs ability to protect out IP, as I have had several steal my works, only to find them in my neighbors home from ripped UUIDs :(…

  68. Berry Steinhoff says:

    Thanks Torley. Interesting as usual. ๐Ÿ™‚

  69. mimi says:

    @ Torley
    Thttps://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-1919 is a great idea.. thanks for linking it to 676! Great! Thanks also for mentioning this jira report to us: its so nice to know the lindens are working on it!

    I wonder if it maybe would be possible to delete @10s comment from the blog? I hope VWR-1919 will be implemented soon, but it will help the texture creators a little in the meantime reducing the chance our textures will be stolen before VWR-1919 is implemented

    Thanks!!! Thanks so much for taking action!


  70. Ron Crimson says:

    Tip of the Week: awesome.

    Blog comments: giving me a headache.

    Torley Linden: Dude, I’m seriously worried about you. o_O Running the standard viewer instead of Windlight?? Are you okay? Do you need a doctor? LOL ๐Ÿ˜€

  71. Lao-Tzu says:

    In retrospect, I believe that texture ripping should not be made so easy. Since I am not operating an SL business, my previous post was a little to self centered. I know how many hours can go into builds/textures and this loophole is not fair to those who work so hard at this.

  72. Ann Otoole says:

    hey here’s an idea. make all textures consist of your logo. then everyone will be wearing logofied stuff all over sl. not a single good logo free texture in sl will expedite the devolution of sl into the model exemplified by the movie Idiocracy.

    nice work. theres a reason successful “games” have all content controlled. the solution is harsh enforcement that goes well beyond DMCA. complete elimination of accounts when theft is detected and turning over all information and related transaction details to the content owner without a court order. and 100% identity verification to even connect to secondlife. and no bots whatsoever and no clients not released by LL.

    the open source grid is open. all the people that want anarchy and free everything need to migrate over there immediately and have a ball stealing everything that enters that grid.

  73. noname submitted says:

    Im here to say something most people wont like…

    I copy stuff

    Oh shiii… he didnt just say that, did he? Yup yup i did, but please wait til you pass judgement.

    Usually ive been asked or have realised myself that this product needs optimisation – from a chair having 1024×1024 textures to even something stupid as a lamp being the wrong colour. I dont need copybot to copy something, the wireframe that shows up when chosen is enough to get the prim sizes/cuts and twists. if the textures are needed id use the technique documented on O’reilly’s site. Ive once even – by eye – copied an entire building that covered roughly 1/4 of a sim – the original creater couldnt be contacted and the build was obese on prims, i just copied and optimised it – once copied i 0l$ ‘sold’ the original back to the sim owner with copy mod off.

    I have never sold or given away to someone who didnt own the product in the first place, when i did pass it onto someone who did own the product i made it no copy/no mod (hark i know) and left in the objects desciption who the original creater was.

    People say this tool is evil, a hammer is evil in the wrong hands, so are megaprims and huge textures and flexi-prims and sl ‘guns’ and lolcubes and…. and… &… … … .. .. . . … …..

    Copybot dont kill buisness, people do.

    This is where a ‘Policing’ force is needed – Linden labs has a very basic sl policing force only concentrating on serious crime – i remember being in sl when the average people online was 2000 people and being reprimanded for accidentally leaving an object in the sandbox for sale – i got 7 days suspended – now days you can do that plus advertise and have pornographic imagry without a sniff of a reprimand. Im fed up of Hippiepay – ‘******* is for sale now!’ and EVEN the second life book people ADVERTISING in the sandboxes and events! go to educational events now – i bet that every 2-4 hours their is AT LEAST one mention of the second life book!

    If LL opened a job position for policing i would apply imediatly.i dont mind for 8 hours a day 5 times a week just purely being on hand to deal with such issues – from deleting hippiepays of public land to stripping wrongly applied stuff in the events pages. Im sure this position being opened would make the SL community happy aswell.

  74. the bat says:

    as long as there are good free graphics programs and you can take a decent high rez photo of any object — “texture theft” becomes a crime everybody who has ever taken a photo including anything they didnt actually build/texture themselves — your “protected content “id spread on countless harddrives all over the planet already .
    Nice job torley with the post as always.

  75. Chalice Yao says:

    @73: Open source isn’t the issue. The system beneath that sends info like keys to internals is. But that’s how it works.

    Or in other words: copybot got created during the time the viewer was still closed source. Funny how that works. Security measures shouldn’t be client side, they should be server side. Else it’s like trusting the -browser- to keep the -website- secure.

  76. Jordana Heron says:

    Torley, I have a problem, I’m not sure if it’s a bug or not.
    I can’t edit/select other people’s objects. When I try, the edit window opens, but it’s always greyed out with no info available. Not even prim counts, or creator/owner name. So, with whatever this problem is, I can’t use this tip because changing to select texture doesn’t actually do anything unless I own the object.
    Is this a bug? I haven’t seen it on the Jira, so until now, I wasn’t sure if it was just me, or something that had been changed in on of the client updates. It’s been happening to me for months, long enough that I’m not sure anymore when exactly it started. Should I report it?

  77. Cinos Field says:

    #77, disable “select only my objects” in the Tools menu. And “Select only movable objects” too.

  78. Jordana Heron says:

    Oh thank god! Cinos, you’re my new hero, because that’s the first time someone was able to tell me what was wrong, and I asked everyone I knew… Now, I can finally check prim-counts before buying things again!


  79. Mija says:

    @mimi / post #26

    you are so right!!

    may the day come where people pull out their assest from sl and stop buying things period. are the lindens aware of the fact that we, the active users, are the ones who make them rich???

    i rather watch a movie instead of wasting my time making a texture, etc. from scratch for others to steal my sh__t.

    wow i am really amazed about so much ignorance. customer care may not be the lindens strength.

  80. Strange Uh says:

    Torley Linden – 14/Aug/07 07:03 AM
    Thanks for your continued feedback — we have an internal issue to “Remove texture UUID information from UI unless full-perm” which I’ll sync with this. Please understand, to be absolutely clear here, that this is an “illusion of security” and won’t stop the determined. But if it makes you feel happier, then that’s good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  81. Supa Shang says:

    House keys are everywhere… but what if you leave them on the fridge and then (haha silly billy!) happen to lock yourself out of your house? This week children we’ll be showing you how to disable that pesky burglar alarm and break into the kitchen window using just a simple crowbar and a towel!

    Classic! Lmao

    *Ugh… Downs a whiskey, places revolver firmly on the desk and looks up at the ceiling!

  82. Droopz says:

    I love all those really great tips but first get your Soft and Hardware together and then start with all the glitter and glamour -_- make sure your house of cards dont collapse cus ya put to much snow on it -_- hint hint… problems with voice.. prolly the run through europe that is screwed just fix it kthx laters

  83. blackcrow6667 Garmes says:

    Yeah, I’m surprised they haven’t disabled this a long time ago. My guess is they’ll get on it before long (lulz) but, as others have mentioned above, thievery is something that cannot be avoided in this case simply because all display information is cached locally.

    If you’re an artist or make textures, super-impose your business logo over a sample texture and sell in bulk. Linked objects return all faces as Torley demonstrated so that won’t help, and you cannot hide say a painting within a prim and be safe either since you can edit that and highlight it with the mouse.

  84. Lao-Tzu says:

    @ 74 That is a great post.

    I keep going back and forth in my mind if copying a texture is really “stealing”. Many texture “creators” have simply taken real world photos of people’s creations then uploaded them. Or, texture “creators” copy images from other websites and upload them. Who is the thief? The person who copies from outside SL or the person who copies within SL? I say NEITHER. I think that the only true case for theft regards those that steal sculpted textures. RL artists that create 3D images through software and upload them as sculpted textures should somehow be protected. Some of the works of art sell for many thousands of lindens.I am not an attorney, but the only situation that could arise to legal problems are those that upload trademarked/copyrighted images or ideas.

    PS: What about thos that use in-world Snapshots? Instead of a digital camera, one can easily take in-world snapshots of textures and then texture your own objects with these snapshots. Is that stealing?

  85. HOLY SMACK I hope Kayliwulf looks at this tutorial!!! LOL And a few others I can think of.

  86. blackcrow6667 Garmes says:

    @85 I was thinking the same thing and look at all the Half-Life 2 textures out there being sold (I can’t stop running into them) ..and then there’s the audio issue, we know well over 90% of in-game audio , albeit clips or full songs, are not user created.

    I think all of this is something we’re going to have to accept at some level much like downloading mp3s, something that everyone freaked out about in the beginning though have grown accepting of over time.

    All they can and really should do is remove the ease of attaining the UUID you can limit the amount of texture grabbing. People will continue to do it, but many will just avoid the hassle of trying to grab it and outright purchase it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  87. Troy Vogel says:

    Seriously who cares about how to use texture UUIDs right now, I can not log in. The logins have not been working all morning and noooo post to inform us what’s going on.

    Oh btw… it’s great to know that now anyone can use the textures I slaved over.. Thanks a lot. I love Second life. I think Lindens rock. Woohoo Lindens. I am so happy that we did the latest update. It is great. The grid has not been more stable since 2002. Everything is wonderful in SL. Thanks a lot for the hard work. Wow I love it.

    There… now we wont need some alts to type of pro-linden responses. I did it for you.

  88. Lao-Tzu says:

    @88 Can’t log in? Go read a book, call a friend, take a walk etc. Everything will be OK. Hang in there ,tiger.

    After doing some research, Linden Labs themselves teach its residents how to set other’s textures to one’s own prims. A very simple script once one has the UUID. Thank you LL.


    Like I have said, I believe a vast majority of those who use the UUID method of setting textures are not thieves out for profit. This is an interesting building tool.

  89. leliel Mirihi says:

    @ everyone complaining about content theft.

    When are you people going to wake up and realize that there is no technological solution to this problem, only social and legal ones.

  90. Rex Cronon says:

    @ “#21, Damen Hax Says: December 13th, 2007 at 9:11 PM PST”
    @ “#85, Lao-Tzu Says: December 14th, 2007 at 9:53 AM PST”
    And for everybody else that wants a little more protection for sculpties:
    -modify the alpha channel of your sculptie image.
    -u can either make it totally transparent(fast and easy way), or put your name(a better way) or a copyright notice in it(possibly the best way).

    although my method won’t stop somebody who really wants to steal your sculptie, it will make it harder. Possibly, not everybody will have the time and/or knowledge to edit the alpha channel, therefore it might be easier for the creator to prove that their work was stolen.

  91. Blinders Off says:

    Great tip Torley.
    People have often mentioned TEXT BASED summaries of the videos. I find the videos helpful, but in this one, the entire thing could be summed up as follows:

    Initialize your CLIENT menu (ctrl-alt-D) if not already initialized.
    Select a texture using your EDIT function.
    Press CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-T. Texture info appears lower left screen.
    Textures are loaded in sizes of base 16 (64,128,256,512,1024…)
    The smaller the texture, the fewer the textures, the faster they load.
    You can possibly save some time by loading large, multi-panel textures and offsetting them on your builds.

    Tada! 5 minutes saved, and the text is copyable for quick reference. ๐Ÿ™‚

  92. sigh says:

    rofl – and this wasn’t an accident – it’s a design feature! (note i didn’t say documented – that’s probably pushing it lol )

  93. Kaeria Repine says:

    Oh wow. Way to overreact everyone.

    @92: it’s powers of two, not base 16.

    @everyone: calm down, 90% of people wont bother ripping stuff, either due to lazyness, or due to inability. You need admin options open somehow to rip, anyway. If SL causes you stress, you just lost the game. Try RL, I hear texture ripping is really tricky on that.

    Disclaimer: I’m an open source scripter/filthy hippie.

  94. Dytska Vieria says:

    Security by Obscurity doesn’t work.

    What @10 disclosed is no different than the methods that security researchers do when an exploit is discovered, the vendor is notified, and, if after a time there is no response or action, then the exploit is sometimes exposed. It depends on the researcher, the damage factor and many more factors.

    Granted it is unethical to disclose such exploits, that fact remains that usually after an exploit is published and you get the vendor’s attention, the vendor will usually put more effort into distributing a fix.

  95. Alyx Sands says:

    #92: But it’s far funnier to see Torley try create a cube in a no build zone…I nearly spilled my tea, that was….really funny, somehow! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  96. Great video torley!

    I loved it when things froze…”OMG Awkward Moment”. Great to see those normal daily minor annoyances happening in a video, makes it feel like you’re definitely one among us in a sense of dealing with the same things we all deal with ๐Ÿ™‚

  97. Gaius Goodliffe says:

    You know, I’ve never felt any great need for knowing the dimensions of a texture (I already know the dimensions of my textures on my builds), but this tip was worth it just for the info on how to get the game to quickly tell me what the face number of a particular prim’s face is — I can never what number corresponds to each face, particularly on complex hollowed & cut prims. Thanks for the tip, Torley!

    @39: LL has as much of a positive role to play in policing texture theft as web hosting providers have to play in policing plagiarism and image theft on websites. Your comment seems to be at odds with reality. Since just anyone can right-click and save images from any website (even if they have those silly right-click “blockers”), if what you were saying is true, then we must be “closing in on the end of the web as a means of business”. Without some sort of protection against that, above and beyond the same laws that protect both web and SL content, the web is doomed, no? If not, then why is SL?

    Your concerns aren’t imaginary, but the level of hyperbole surrounding them is astounding. Just to put some perspective here: for the first couple decades of its existence, there were no protections at all surrounding the copying of Microsoft’s software, such as their operating systems or their office products. Indeed, Microsoft’s software has be the biggest target of piracy in history. No company has had its products pirated more than them. Nevertheless, Bill Gates is still the world’s richest man. He became that while operating in an environment you claim will be the end of serious business in SL — an environment where anyone could copy his products with ease.

    It’s ridiculous to suggest SL business will come to an end merely because piracy is possible. I’ve spent my life as a software engineer, making products that could be easily ripped off by anyone with a floppy drive/USB drive/portable media of choice. And I’m still doing it. Reality contradicts you viewpoint here, decades of experience and thousands of successful companies prove you wrong every day.

    It is neither LL’s job to wave a magic wand and make the impossible happen, nor is it the end of the world if they don’t.

  98. John Source says:

    Why do we have locks on our doors?Why on cars?

    ” people can steal them anyway!!!”

    —-> *makes no sene* <—–

    Let’s skip the whole permission system..things can be stolen anyway? That’s what alot of people here say

    “people can steal them anyway”

    – THINK –

  99. Wyald Woolley says:

    Off Topic…but where else could I pass this along?

    Apple has released QuickTime 7.3.1, which addresses a number of security issues. The release is available for Windows, Leopard (10.5), Tiger (10.4), and Panther (10.3) and available as a software update.

    This update is recommended for all QuickTime 7 users and addresses a widely publicized security flaw in QuickTime revealed by Symantec. Details of this and other security fixes are listed in the support documents.

  100. Joshbear Sojourner says:

    #10 … why are you shocked… Linden employees were on the team that developed CopyBot. It was only after a lot of people screaming, the Lindens did anything.. which was not much.
    A lot of old builders no longer build new cool things because LL approves and helps build theft devices.
    Its too late now to stop … its just a fact of SL that anything you make .. might as well be free .. because it will be soon enough.

  101. Chosen Few says:

    Thanks, Torley. I didn’t see the link to the forum at first glance, since it’s down at the bottom under Misc.

  102. Eric Boyer says:

    Comon torley, ya should have just popped into God mode to fix that pesky no build area issue……

    Besides that good tutorial

  103. Mimi says:

    @98 theres a few differences in SL compared to RL
    in SL stolen objects tend to spread much faster than stolen software. in RL many single/home users are not stopped when they use stolen software, but bigger companies are. They can get in legal trouble if they use stolen software so most companies use legal ones.
    In SL, your stolen object ends up in the freebie pile in no time, because most n00bs who buy textures from rippers don’t know how to set permissions. Freebies spread faster than normal items, theres no beating that up. There no way to sue anyone legally for wearing a copied skin, sculpt or putting them in their house in SL no matter how professional they are. Most people don’t even know if they buy stolen items! In the end the original creator is the one who is blamed of selling freebies. “hey that skin is just 2$ in that other shop! You ripped me off!”
    Theres also a difference on the www and in SL: the www is not owned by anyone, thats where one of the problems are in real life. SL is owned by Linden Labs. In real life theres isn’t anything you can do, but in SL in the end Linden Labs have control of anything. Do they really want to end up like mp3 and the pictures on the internet when they do something to prevent so many of it?
    Pictures on the internet are not worth a dime, since they are copyable for anyone. The music industry suffers a huge loss in income because of illegal spreadings of mp3s. These companies do not own the internet, don’t own every website that hosts the pictures or mp3s, so they cannot even remove all content if they wanted to (and they sure they wish they did). Techically it would be very impossible to track down all items or even a large part of it.
    SL, in comparison can still do a lot to make ripping textures less easy and stopping the spreading. SL owns secondlife. SL owns all land items are on. Sl can list items in a search engine, check the creators and in the case of outside uploaded textures can check and remove their wrong UUID. SL can fix their leaks for the ‘easy’ stealing and make textures harder to rip. Sl can ban rippers, ban all their known alts, and block the IP of them (which will not stop all rippers, but it will stop many…since it will make ripping far more time consuming.. ) Though SL can’t make things 100% safe, they can make it 80% better just by making stealing harder. Thats where the difference lies. Let’s just hope they finally will do something.

    @95 @10 didn’t help us at all.. SL doesn’t fix things even if 100ths of people on blogs complain about something. He just took away the last inhabitance many people might have for stealing all that is in SL now. A big thanks.. NOT.
    I won’t be releasing anything texture based anymore till SL shows any at least any action. VWR-1919 might be implemented but it may just as well end up in the ‘fixed internally but never released’ pile just as well. Torley is the man of the great action so I still have hope! But I have to see it to believe it!

  104. Tegg B says:

    Hmm replayed it a couple of time, my version must be edited, Torley doesn’t seem to say anything about how to rip off other peoples textures, but several people in here have explained how to do it ๐Ÿ˜›

    I want know when we can stop paying for high capacity highspeed broadband to re-download the same textures we saw yesterday?

  105. Pingback: Lemix

  106. Lao-Tzu says:

    Lemix, I could not agree more.

  107. Droopz says:


    he is right, quit the fancy jibberish and get it working first? eversince the DNS error today its all been fubar, and they come up with some nice tips n tricks lmao they need some tips and tricks for their soft and hardware :/ no offense Torley, the things Torley does and nice and i do enjoy them but if its all crap the majority of the 50k people are most likely wanting to enjoy the experience without any flabber before moving on to the more “side features’ eversince the DNS failure today have been having problems with voice or as in wont work at all, if its a server routing issue or something else i dunno just fix teh stuff. that being said im looking forward to the havok sims and more stuff from Torley

  108. JJValero Writer says:

    Could be possible to replace a texture with other of lower resolution keeping the UUID?

  109. Luna Larsen says:

    Thank you Torley. Good tutorial ๐Ÿ˜‰

  110. Jane Doe says:

    Hey Torley, can you ask your coworkers where are the October/December Economic Key Metrics? Or are you preparing a great financial surprise for us? Maybe I need to sell all my land and objects…

  111. Jane Doe says:

    Sorry, October and November Economic Key Metrics.

  112. Chandni Khondji says:

    Great tip of the week, as usual, keep up the good work ๐Ÿ™‚

  113. Thank you torley for the tips I always look forward to them, I also show them to my friends and other people that just joined sl! They come in handy! Keep up the great work!

  114. ripping NOT necessary says:

    need a texture got L$ + monitor + Digital Camera! thin upload.
    NEED Key Metrics for November please.Please and PLEASE! ๐Ÿ™‚

  115. Damen Hax says:

    I need some great snow textures for a build I’m making, anyone got a nice snow place i can visit?~.._

    I live with admin mode on, so do many of the people i know. If any of them didn’t know about the texture stealing thing, they will after watching this tut.

  116. JetZep Zabelin says:

    You guys, you can’t stop people from taking textures without also reducing my rights as an artist (the ones who actually make the textures).

    This post by Torley is about reducing your textures so that your place rezzes better. If you don’t reduce your textures, I’m going to snapshot your place and use it as a texture on my trashcan.

  117. ArchTx says:

    Torley did not tell anyone how to steal textures, his video was a good tutorial on optimizing texture usage. Hadrian is the one idiot who told everyone how to steal textures, how come no one is yelling at Hadrian? That is where the outrage should be directed.

  118. fdg Freund says:

    About texture theft – how about automatic scaling down on uploaded texture by LL’s server? Let me explain:

    A texture designer designs his textures in let’s say 2048×2048. When uploaded the server scales it down to let’s say 512×512 and stores this texture – and most importantly it only delivers this 512×512 texture to the clients.

    Now, if a ‘texture thief’ copies this texture and uploads it again, it again will be automatically scaled down – now to 128×128.

    This would be a huge quality loss and in no way comparable to the original texture quality.

    And about the loss of quality when uploaded by the original designer: When LL discloses the algorithm of the down scaling and explains exactely in a language a non programmer but a designer can understand, the designer will know in advance how the stored down scaled texture will look like – and there could be easily written programs for the designers using this same algorith for checking the down caled texture in advance before uploading.

    By the way, this won’t work on servers like opensim or grids based on opengrid, becuase there the asset server could be patched to not down scale the uploaded texture automatically.

  119. Milo Bellow says:


    โ€œTip of the Week #23: How to post off-topicโ€


  120. fdg Freund says:

    Hm, on a second thought about my suggestion …

    The ‘texture thief’ can simply up scale before uploading – knowing the algorithm of the down scaling he will probably be able to add details when up scaling which would be removed at the automatic down scaling process so the stored texture will look nearly exactly like the original texture.

    Ok, then sorry, forget about my suggestion. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  121. Nulflux Negulesco says:

    I’ve read all the replies in this blog post and this is the solution that I propose to curb property theft by ID.

    1) You should not be able to apply (through script) an asset ID for which you do not have permission. The viewer SHOULD be able to load asset ID’s normally – but the Server itself should deny the application of an asset ID to an object if the correct permissions have not been granted by the creator of requested asset.

    This is a very simple, server-side, solution. While it would NOT prevent third-party programs from ripping the asset by other means (through OpenGL hooks, or from the cache for example) it would prevent all forms of asset theft by ID from directly inside SL.

    Why is this important? Because the current system does not make any effort to keep our asset IDs safe and allows asset abuse en masse. By allowing unimpeded use of asset IDs Linden Labs has provided asset thieves an easy way to avoid upload fees by taking advantage of uploads paid for by legit content creators.

    Preventing unimpeded access to assets by ID would force these thieves to acquire the assets using an external program and THUS incur upload fees to get this asset back into SL.

    This new system will enhance a content creators ability to take legal action against the asset thief. Right now – it is not illegal to copy an asset ID because asset IDs ARE public and easily obtained. You cannot sue someone for copying an asset ID. By preventing server-side misuse of asset IDs you have forced the thieves to re-upload the stolen asset – in effect proving that they copied your asset illegally. In court – little things like this – can make all the difference.

  122. Al Sonic says:

    Well I disagree with the claim that Torley has made anything significantly worse; I already knew about Ctrl-Alt-Shift-T, but I didn’t know how to find others’ UUIDs, and still didn’t until I read the comments (though maybe some needed to mention it in order to argue their point). I suspect Day Oh (57) has a GREAT point :D. But I’ll take this discussion as a sign that there’s an ongoing, tense issue which some residents can’t help but take the opportunity to speak out about.

    But first for a few on-topic words, thank you Torley for highlighting one of the great cures for lag.

    @123 Nulflux: That sounds like a truly good idea, though I have the feeling it will break some legitimate content somewhere. More to the point, we’d need to make sure that this restriction doesn’t end up applying to textures that people try to make Free-to-Copy, because some people quite enjoy being able to share their textures simply by passing around a UUID on the web (or other means, likely including handy scripted stuff). If given this assurance, I’d support that proposal (because c’mon, stealing should at least cost L$10 per effort). Got it on JIRA? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh and if it could be done, I’d strongly support (as I’m sure someone already proposed somewhere) the deletion of texture assets that are reported and then verified as blatantly re-uploaded copies. It’s true that a few unsuspecting purchasers (maybe even loads of them) could end up with an unfortunate surprise, but it would teach everyone to be a lot more suspicious of the sources of their materials, and it seems a lot of merchants would love such a turn of attention toward guaranteeably-legitimate sellers. The only question is – what would the deleted texture change to? A courteous Blank white? “MISSING IMAGE”? “STOLEN IMAGE” even? Hehe, okay so the latter could be a little too hard on those hit with the surprise, but it’s a fun thought (and at least nobody would complain that the Lindens “lost” their textures).

  123. mimi says:

    @123 agree totallly.

    @124 Making UUID theft impossible would be great @123 states that “the Server itself should deny the application of an asset ID to an object if the correct permissions have not been granted by the creator of requested asset.” so that would mean texture creators could decide themselves if they want their texture to be spread. If they want it to be free-to-copy they can. But that way only THEY can decide it and not some stupid ripper. It would be great, and suprised something like that isn’t done already.

    @124 Agree also on the deletion of texture assets that are reported and then verified as blatantly re-uploaded copies.

    With these two methods together the spreading of stolen items up would be stopped for the majority of rips.

    I am for a more friendly approach (if technically possible), why not implement a feature so all objects with have illegal UUID textures are set to no transfer? (if this is technically possible) That way it does exactly what a DMCA would do to them if they would sell it: it does not allow them to sell it anymore or give it away. This would hurt people far less, because most simple customers could keep their skin or object, just not do anymore what they are not supposed to do: give it away or sell it.

    When people remove the illegal texture the item could be set to no transfer again, so merchants who accidentally used a stolen texture which they bought in a texture shop still have the ability to repair objects they sell. Though @124s approach would be far more better and together with @123s idea most likely will stop most rips from spreading, I don’t believe LL will ever imply something like that.

    Most older freebie skins are rips so the problem isn’t new. LL is not stupid so they probably came up with these ideas long ago. I don’t know why they keep ignoring these problems

  124. Jeff Kelley says:

    OMG !!! 512×1024 on prim hair !!! Don’t ask why your FPS drop.

  125. FireFox Bancroft says:

    We’re sorry, this video is no longer available.


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  127. Leeloo Nykvist says:

    The problem with disallowing people from using a texture UUID when they don’t own the texture is that this feature is used by scripts. Imagine that you buy a scriptet object that changes textures by using the UUID. You own the object, and thus the script, but the textures are owned by whoever wrote the script. Disallowing a script owned by you from using textures not owned by you would break these object (and many of these already exist, so saying “don’t write scripts like that won’t help. These objects WILL break).

    So, you might say, let’s check the creator of the script instead. This will fix the problem of the script not working when sold. But the script may be changed later by other people, and the creator will still stay the same. So when someone else changes the script, it won’t be able to use *his* textures. However, it will be able to use the creators *other* textures, which it should not.

    So, allow both creator and owner? Still won’t work, when more than two people are involved. A creates the script and gives it to B, who builds the object and adds textures, and then sells it to C. A is the creator, C is the owner, but the textures belong to B.

    It’s not as easy as it may seem.

  128. Mimika Oh says:

    I read (on one of the scripting Wikis, I think) that it used to be possible to play animations purely by UUID, but this feature was removed because of theft. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

    A lot of people seem to think it’s not worth doing anything because stealing textures is “possible”. Well, almost anything is “possible” but what is important is the cost/benefit calculation that the potential thief does in their head. Make it sufficiently inconvenient and they won’t bother. This thread has shown how it is waaaaaay too convenient. Talking about “possible” is really missing the point. I could change my operating system to copy textures from the graphics pipeline. Does that mean that all textures should be free for all to copy? No! Allowing textures to be applied to things by UUID without respect of permissions is a GAPING HOLE.

    This is the metaverse. Of course this problem can be solved if there is the will and the imagination. We can do magic here. But LL aren’t showing any evidence of will or imagination on this subject. It’s very hard to tell if they care.

  129. Ralph Doctorow says:

    I’m mainly a scripter, but it seems to me that SL needs to have a real way to protect textures particularly for sculpties. They are the main IP in SL beyond scripts, which are already protected.

    It would take a little work, but why not have password protected UUID textures? UUID textures can only be applied by a script, so require the script to first submit a password to unlock the texture before using it. Once unlocked, they could use it as often as needed with no more than the current delay.

    To protect against hacked clients ripping textures there’d have to be some kind of non-open source module to deal with encryption of images and sculpty shapes. The argument that it will be cracked doesn’t seem to me to hold water since changing the encryption every time the client code is updated would require re-cracking which would soon get tedious and not worth doing. It’s not like DVD player encryption where there’s no way to update the code in the millions of existing players.

    Images are probably not really protectable since they can be grabbed from the video system, but sculpties are and the above would make image theft a lot harder.

  130. It seems to that a system for preventing people from “stealing” textures would put a lot of added overhead on a metaverse which already has a lot of trouble handling textures as it is. It also seems like any texture copy-protection scheme could be hacked… hacked by users so they could go ahead and use the textures anyway and hacked by malware artists as well.

    Although selling clothes and fixtures is a big business, and those rely a lot on custom textures… selling textures per se is not a huge business. And usually texture packs sell the textures for very little per texture… it is more cost effective to buy the packs than to hack the UUID of each texture. Also, the biggest buyers of textures are other content creators… so even if it actuially was possible to prevent a texture from being placed on a transferrable/copiable item, it would be bad business to “protect” them that way.

  131. Ralph Doctorow says:

    Based on what seems to be the official Linden position that it’s not possible (or not desirable) to protect content beyond scripting, then what’s left for an economy in SL beyond land and entertainment?

    Perhaps the notion is that like the web, SL will be based on selling RL goods and services, not the internal virtual economy. If that’s the business plan, then open content isn’t an issue since the virtual economy is microscopic compared to even a small RL one and content creators will be paid by RL merchants. It’s an interesting idea, but demands that SL become viable for RL applications pretty quickly if there’s going to be any incentive for content creators.

  132. SySy Chapman says:

    oh boy. *sighs*

  133. Linden Lab’s best option is to treat textures the same way images and text are on the world side web… i.e., they are stored on servers and on client machines as freely available content which is not protected against casual copying. Even though content can be “stolen”, a copy protection scheme would add a lot of overhead and be vulnerabler to hacking and abuse. Both SL and the WWW rely mostly on low-rez graphics anyway.

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  137. You should create content in Second Life for one reason: Because you want to contribute content and shape the experience for others. In my opinion, you should not even be creating content if your motivation is the pursuit of the almighty Linden Dollar, or if you are at all concerned that somebody might “steal” your work from you. You have a right to disagree with me, of course. I can understand that many people want to at least try to make Second Life a cost-neutral affair. But I’ve seen very little in the SL universe that can fuel controversy and aggression the way the pursuit of money does. I don’t think I have personally made a single object in-world that had any permissions unchecked, except for private photos that I uncheck “transfer” from time to time.

    Do as I do. Participate for the experience of it. Create things for the satisfaction of having created them and given them away. Create things for people as a barter, instead of using the Linden Dollar as the only vehicle of barter.

    You won’t believe how happy you can make somebody just by spending a few minutes making them something. And when I do that, I don’t see the point in making it no-copy, no-modify, or no-transfer.

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