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Old 07-03-2018, 10:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Catwa vs Smaller Mesh Head Makers

Anyone else keeping up with the Catwa drama?

Recently Catwa Clip has been really busy filling DMCA take down requests against smaller mesh head creators. She states that they are copying her UV maps. So far I've seen her go after Akeruka and now GA.EG.

All of this has been isolated on Flickr for the moment.


Catwa had a bunch of side by side comparisons of her heads and Akeruka's on her stream yesterday. But it looks like she's taken them down and replaced them with a statement:
Current Situation by Catwa Clip, on Flickr


Here's Akeruka's comparison of his and Catwa's UV maps:
I got intimidated from Catwa Clip (Catwa owner) by KaoZ Koba, on Flickr


Here's GA.EG's comparison of hers and Catwa's UV maps:
GA.EG UV vs Catwa UV by Elle [GA.EG] [MAGNIFICENT], on Flickr

Last edited by Seven Paragorn; 07-03-2018 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Noticed a small mistake.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Both seem to just be the regular SL Avatar head map.



I don't get how Catwa can claim its their map.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah I agree. I don't understand Catwa's reasoning either. It looks a lot like she's trying to intimidate the smaller head creators. She hasn't gone after any of the other bigger ones as far as I know.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramen Jedburgh View Post
Both seem to just be the regular SL Avatar head map. I don't get how Catwa can claim its their map.
If you look at the grid pattern, it's quite different from the SL avatar map. But to my eye, all of the maps look different. I don't see how Catwa can claim these are copies.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Both seem to just be the regular SL Avatar head map.




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Old 07-03-2018, 11:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you look at the grid pattern, it's quite different from the SL avatar map. But to my eye, all of the maps look different. I don't see how Catwa can claim these are copies.
Yeah, I noticed that. Though if anything, the only one that looks real different is the Catwa one. The others all look more like the SL map. The most telling is on the side view heads, it sort of bunches up above the ears on all except the Catwa.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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catwa is one paranoid cookie, I was following her on facebook, but almost every week she was accusing her competitors of copying her, it was really getting awkward.



I can see how she was at the beginning of the mesh head development the frontrunner of a lot of features that later became required for every mesh head, but there is difference between that and copyright breaching I think.


Its also one of the reasons I stopped buying her heads.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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To me it looks like they all started out with the original SL avatar head and cleaned it up, made it pretty. They all did it a bit differently, so that's why the topology is clearly different but the UV maps resemble each other.

The other reason the UV maps resemble each other is because they wanted to make their heads compatible with Omega, and that baked on texture thing in the works. Which actually would make their heads work with old pre-mesh skins as far as I understand.



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Its also one of the reasons I stopped buying her heads.
Yeah I'm not sure I'd want to buy any more heads in the future if she continues to bully smaller creators like this.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I saw and commented on the flickr before she deleted the posts, the large number of comments she was getting there were overwhelmingly bad, with terms like "brand suicide" coming up frequently. It is stupid to try and go after others over a UV map, especially since they're all based on the SL UV map anyway. She doesn't have a leg to stand on here.

All the heads are no mod and are terribly inefficient, so I never supported her anyway since this kind content is plague on SL. Seriously, just the teeth are 30MBs+ of textures.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There are only a limited number of ways to create a UV map.

A good UV map minimizes and hides seams, minimizes distortions, and makes efficient use of the texture space.

Creating a good UV map is the same type of process of turning a globe map into a flat map. We have already figured out long ago that there are only a few different ways to do it well.

If she can successfully claim copyright to the process of following a tutorial on uvmapping a digital 3D human head- well, even Pixar isn't going to be safe.
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If you want to kill your business, this is how you do it. I know people want to be protective of their works -- but as people mentioned it just looks like market bullying to me too.

INAL, but it looks like those UV maps are a derivative of the SL head maps (for compatibility), and she has no claim to make. Unless they're actually legitimately ripping your stuff, you're probably in the wrong.
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Since Catwa deleted their other posts before I could save them, here's the evidence Catwa is posting around that they are basing this on.


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Old 07-03-2018, 02:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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This is where Catwa gets laughed off the grid.


The vertex placement in all 3 disputed maps is unique, so no violation there. The seam and island layout was never Catwa's to begin with as it's the same as the SL standard skin.


Yeah, "Brand suicide" sounds about right.
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Both are using the official SL UV map. this is the ONLY way to make a mesh avatar that is compatable with official system textures. since both are following LL's standard, both will end up identicle without seeing the other's work.

A standard UVMap is a standard UVMap. There is no room for personilization. This is math.

The only thing open to debate is weither Catwa forgot they did not make their UVMap and wrongfully issuesed DMCAs, in which case they should appoligize, or if they knowingly filed illegitmate DMCAs, in which case they should appoligize.
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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heads compatible with Omega

And for shits and giggles, here's the list of compatible (female) heads from the Omega site:



Catwa vs Smaller Mesh Head Makers-100ca1815c.png

Supported Meshes Female | Omega Solutions

Men's here: Supported Meshes Male | Omega Solutions
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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@Isoldel do you have any more information about what we're looking at here? I'm really not understanding what this is, but at first glance it appears that they're actually demoing two different skins, each projected onto their model's own UV map, one somehow associated with the "SL" UV map, the other with "Catwa"... or... something.

It would be hard to dispute that they're at least citing Catwa trade dress here, but I won't hazard a guess whether anything is technically infringing here.
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hmm, it looks like the GA.EG head has a button for a map that works better with skins made for the Catwa heads specifically? I can see that being a requested feature just so the head looks better with a wider variety of skins.

Qie, that doesn't look like two different skins, it's two different UVs with the same skin. I suppose it must be two different meshes or materials with slightly different UV's that the button switches on/off.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I don't have much information about those images in particular since they were posted as comments on GA.EG's image. The ones Catwa had posted on their own Flickr and subsequently deleted had more details from their viewpoint.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:41 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I never got a Catwa head simply because they have never looked as good on my avies as other heads - which I thought was a shame because so many other people have made them look gorgeous.


But now, well... I don't like bullies, and this strikes me as 'I'mma protect my brand by getting rid of competition'.
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:04 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have a few catwa heads and I am disappointed to read this. No one needs a monopoly on mesh heads.

I also have several heads from other designers, including GA & AK and they are all unique in their own way. There is plenty of room for all the designers, I love that there is so many to choose from. Catwa is not for everyone, just like AK might not be for everyone.
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:14 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I am really not impressed with this at all and will no longer be wearing my Catwa head or using it brand photos. Furthermore, an upcoming makeup collection I have been working on will be only using Omega appliers, no Catwa ones(redundant anyway-all Catwa heads have omega support).

If you look on the marketplace there are numerous beautiful small time/boutique heads with the same functionalities but with less lag, texture use, a lower price, and superior scripting. There is even a free, open source head packaged with the Ruth Opensimulator avatar on Outworldz.com that's fine for personal use, if you know what you are doing. My fave small time heads: Candy by Starlust(very round, can be made to look photorealistic, at least for my own face!) and the Ball Joint Doll Male head by Raven Bell, which despite its name is 100% androgynous and can look beautiful across the gender identity spectrum.

Some of the bigger creators in Secondlife need to log off for a bit and gain some humility and perspective. They are big fish in a small pond- and tadpoles in an ocean.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:11 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Wow, any remaining good will I ever had for Catwa has been shot to hell.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:39 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I am really not impressed with this at all and will no longer be wearing my Catwa head or using it brand photos. Furthermore, an upcoming makeup collection I have been working on will be only using Omega appliers, no Catwa ones(redundant anyway-all Catwa heads have omega support).

Furthermore, if you look on the marketplace there are numerous beautiful small time/boutique heads with the same functionalities but with less lag, texture use, a lower price, and superior scripting. There is even a free, open source head packaged with the Ruth Opensimulator avatar on Outworldz.com that's fine for personal use, if you know what you are doing. My fave small time heads: Candy by Starlust(very round, can be made to look photorealistic, at least for my own face!) and the Ball Joint Doll Male head by Raven Bell, which despite its name is 100% androgynous and can look beautiful across the gender identity spectrum.

Some of the bigger creators in Secondlife need to log off for a bit and gain some humility and perspective. They are big fish in a small pond- and tadpoles in an ocean.


Looking forward to that makeup collection; I went nuts looking for Omega-only makeups at the Skin Fair and there was very little. Skins too were overwhelmingly just Catwa or LeLutka.
If there were more Omega skins and cosmetics it would probably give the smaller head makers a boost too.



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Old 07-03-2018, 11:06 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I also did not screenshot original posts and her replies to comments as they were pretty WTF and essentially shown that Akeruka's map looked better than her's which added to hilarity (it made features match mesh more). In addition, a lot of commenters were skin designers who worked with both heads and known the maps were not the same at all. Another comment mentioned Catwa likes people releasing only for her heads but no idea on that matter.



The sad thing is - she's probably the only one who makes unisex heads or more androgynous ones that can go both ways. I have used Akeruka in the past and as first head but then used one of Catwa's none-bento female ones with Omega neck (neck from Omega - it fixes seem issues when going with male body and female head and lots of others). Was very happy until all features allowing us to see complexity and such appeared - it is .... 500k and millions of vertices. The only other I can change to? Also Catwa, just newer and unisex one. Ugh. Not that others are much better in that just maybe not as big bullies :| .
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:15 PM   #25 (permalink)
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My favorite side by side comparison so far, thanks to a comment by Violent Seduction.
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