Helena Stringer: I have been hit myself by thieves. My first time was only 4 months into my sl design career. Been hit a few more times after, that I know of, and have had designs copied, which is still a theft in my eyes.
There was a time not so long ago, I was getting 2-3 notecards a week with stolen content being found. Not always in my field either. It always made me sad and angry, but I'd do my best to try to find out who's stuff it was, and inform Linden Labs in all ways posibble. The one that really broke my heart was a Last Call outlet chain of stores, selling Ginny's Full Permed.
I'd say the best way to support Original Designers in sl would b to stay aware, help those new people, they have no clue about these things. To the designers, just keep doing what you are doing. It's going to happen in some way, some time , if your big or small, don't let it destroy your dreams.
Milla Michinaga: As far as I'm aware none of my stuff has been copybotted. However, I did have somebody hack my store cards and then buy up my whole inventory. I felt awful after that, and I can only imagine how much worse it must feel to have your stuff stolen and distributed around.
Sheltered Heart: It's disheartening to see something that you have spent hours working on for sale under someone else's name. I can't say I have been to the point of turning away from SL because of content theft, we have had a good many items stolen but nothing like some, who have had their entire inventory taken and spread all over the grid. I can see in the future some designers are going to feel creating in SL not worth the effort with the economy what it is and their items being ripped left and right. If you're already not big money with fat lawyers you're kind of screwed in the theft department and it's always going to be an issue in Second Life, even if LL steps in. Someone, somewhere will always find a way to rip something off, so goes Rl and SL. Best most can do, be it designers or consumers, is to be knowledgeable and support the designers whether you're a customer or kin.