The Genus Project, Target of a Second DMCA Complaint, Shuts Down Its Operations Yet Again

Please note that I am taking the entire month of July off as a self-imposed vacation from the blog so I can focus on my other work, except for sponsored blogposts, and major breaking news such as this. See you in August!

UPDATE Sept. 3rd, 2020: The Genus Project won! More details here.

As you probably know, mesh avatar head-maker The Genus Project was forced to shut down completely as the result of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint not too long ago. On July 4th, 2020, they announced that they had reopened their store in-world.

Well, it didn’t last very long.

The news was posted to the Second Life Community Forums just three hours ago, and I went to verify it for myself in the notices from the GenusProject group:

I got a complaint again. I need to close everything again. I’m going to court and I want to settle this. I think it will take time.

Shortly thereafter there was a warning not to spread rumours about who was behind the refiling of this complaint:

It’s so important right now that we keep rumor discussion about other creators out of group chat. Catwa, LeLutka, Akeruka and a bunch of other fantastic SL creators have already demonstrated their support. Please do not make them regret doing so.

Understand that any trouble being caused in other group chats will be reported to me. If it is outside of their rules or considered harassment, the CSRs and Mods must act accordingly.

This was followed by a more complete statement later:

Dear friends and customers,

While we had hoped the DMCA business was behind us, we have received another notice from Linden Labs that we must remove our inventory and our store. As we have not been given info regarding who initiated this the first time, we are left to assume it is the same person and that it is someone with no actual claim.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused anyone – your patience, support, and loyalty to our brand is not something we take for granted. It is unfair to ask you to stand by us and stand with us as we fight this, but nothing about this situation has been fair. Please understand that we cannot provide details we don’t know and we ask that you keep rumors and accusations down while we work with our lawyers and with Linden Labs to prevent this from happening again.

And if whomever has filed this is reading? Please understand that filing these claims does more than hurt us as creators – it prevents us from giving customers the support they deserve. It stops us from releasing updates and letting customers get redeliveries. That is who you are hurting the most.

For an FAQ of what’s going on? Please join us on Discord here.

It would now appear that The Genus Project is going to be involved in a long and costly court battle before they can sell their products again. A major player has effectively been knocked out of the Bento mesh head market for the foreseeable future, and perhaps permanently. This is going to affect not just the team at The Genus Project, but it is also going to impact all the content creators who created skins and cosmetics for this brand of mesh heads.

Honestly, what an evening. First Linden Lab announces that they are going to be acquired, and now this.

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7 thoughts on “The Genus Project, Target of a Second DMCA Complaint, Shuts Down Its Operations Yet Again”

  1. This is why I would never own a SL business. There are have been such actions taken due to venomous people who need to burn the world down. It is not worth the risk.

  2. I don’t understand the DMCA process. Can any idiot file one, even if it’s not legit, and take a business down, at least temporarily? If that is the case, since SL is full of trolls and griefers, I don’t know how anyone stays in business.

  3. I’ve been out for two months and got by all this ***storm. I don’t understand exactly how DMCA works, but I see everyone defending Genus. Hard to have an opinion when we don’t know much of anything, but if Genus were violating some other author’s right, so bye bye. Law must be for everyone. If that’s not the case, of course I hope they are back soon as possible.

  4. I find it odd that Genus states they are unsure of who filed the claim. I’ve seen emails from a friend that got DMCA claim on them and it clearly states in the email WHO filed the claim against them.

    This is a section of the email they received:

    Linden Lab respects the rights of both Second Life residents and intellectual property owners. Accordingly, within two (2) days, please remove or disable the above-identified uses of the (PRODUCT NAME) from all Second Life and Marketplace locations, including your inventory. If you do not do so within two business days, please be aware that Linden Lab intends to expeditiously remove, or disable access to, the allegedly infringing work(s).

    Please direct any future communications regarding this matter to (PERSON WHO FILED COMPLAINS NAME)

    The the full name of the person, address, phone number, and email.

    I removed the persons name and details of course… but that is a legit DMCA email snippet.

  5. It seems to me that Genus didn’t file a counterclaim since it took them such a long time to get back on SL market. When you file a counterclaim you can put your products back in store after 14 working days! (no sane imbecile who files a fake DMCA would hire a lawyer – that’d be super costly).

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