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Reader Comments (9)

Posted: Aug 5th 2009 9:38AM (Unverified) said

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It is an interesting read. As you observe, a lot of it revolves around existing initiatives, but the redefinition of "ownership" of stuff you buy to restrict it to SL only is certainly telling.

Basically, they are saying if you migrate to OpenSim, you can't take it with you.

Good post.

Posted: Aug 5th 2009 9:41AM (Unverified) said

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There are certainly some encouraging aspirations in LL's post but lots of devilish details too. One thing that raised an eyebrow was mention of removing (potentially) illegal content as a result of a DMCA filing. As I understand it, LL currently only remove the content visible in-world and nothing from Inventory yet this post explicitly mentions methods for tracking and removing every instance of disputed content. I think that's something they've always been legally obliged to do but historically haven't (been able to get) done?

I would argue strongly for enhanced permissions features to include settings for the 'user-after-next' which would not only do something to protect limited-use content but would, I think, stimulate the whole creative marketplace. This would seem like the idea opportunity to get that into place if it's technically practical.

Posted: Aug 5th 2009 12:39PM (Unverified) said

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Tateru, as always, you've certainly displayed *your* hand here, with your very biased take on this document, which of course anyone can read.

Re licensing, there isn't any "confusion" as you indicate but in fact an indication that some kind of licensing to indicate intents for permissions off the main LL grid will be in the works. We can only hope this won't take the form of the commerce-killing Creative Commons which pressures people into distributing their works for free with the chimera of some income to come mysteriously down the road from this largesse and loss for themselves. Second Life is the opposite of Creative Commons in that regard in that it enables people to offer copies of their work *for sale* with a permissions system build in, not requiring hanging licenses and generally working despite the exploits. The coupling of copyright and commerce is overwhelming chosen over CC type gambits and works pretty good, giving the lie to the whole CC culture. (That's why there's such a determined minority trying to kill off whatever DRM there is and commerce model there is in SL, because it's a huge advertisement for the ineffectiveness of CC).

As for the "vague warnings," they aren't vague at all. Here's what Cyn wrote, which you failed to report:

"If we face a situation in which users or developers of copying tools are engaged in or inducing wide-spread infringement, we reserve our right to pursue necessary means to stop this activity, including technological blocking measures as well as legal action to protect against unauthorized use of Second Life."

Technological blocking measures, Tateru. And while you and other extremists may find this "futile" it is in fact effective *enough* and they're not required to tell you what they are to be effective : )

Posted: Aug 5th 2009 1:39PM (Unverified) said

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I found Adam's response to be informative, and I think he brings up some valid points. What LL really needs to do is add an 'Exportable' permissions bit that well meaning copy/export software tools can use. That along with a space for copyright data (name, date, URL or license text ).

http://www.adamfrisby.com/blog/2009/08/on-content-management-standards-practices/comment-page-1/#comment-8324

The restrictions they mention are a bit one sided and I think needs to take into account the large user groups that allow others to build and share freely.

Posted: Aug 5th 2009 3:30PM (Unverified) said

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Tateru:

Great summary. I'm definitely of the opinion that the Lab has come down with a strong position on the tools that allow copying of content....I don't know why others don't read the same thing, but they seem to be fairly clearly saying that those types of tools (where there is no perm check) facilitate infringement, and that they will take whatever steps necessary to protect against that.

Now, they left wiggle room by talking about the community arriving at new 'standards' but it's clear that if you released a "sim copybot" today, which allowed porting of content including that which you don't own or have full permissions for, that they will do what they need to.

Finally, I'm not sure I understand the basis of the following claim:

"Since replication of content in a system like Project Nebraska would be technically unrestricted and unlimited, the best that the license metadata could do would be to prevent accidentally infringing duplication of content by those who might otherwise be unaware of licensing restrictions."

How do you know that? You make it sound like Nebraska won't have a permission system, or that Nebraska users will somehow have access to the asset servers or whatever.

Maybe you could clarify what you mean?

Posted: Aug 5th 2009 8:06PM (Unverified) said

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It's a very strong hands-off position on policy for copy/backup tools, definitely. It makes sense to stay out of the liability loop by not getting involved. If you skim over it, though, it's easy to interpret it the opposite way. Nevertheless, the Lab's clearly saying that they don't want any part in that process.

As for Nebraska, yes, since that's supposed to be running on the customer's own hardware. Content replication should be trivial. Physical access to the hardware pretty much trumps any protection that might be in place, and we're not expecting any especial security measures beyond the norm.
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Posted: Aug 5th 2009 10:31PM (Unverified) said

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Hmmm....well, it will be interesting to see when they launch Nebraska how that plays out. While I agree that physical access gives a 'level of control' I'm not sure we've seen anything that indicates how the software running on it will be 'packaged'.

I'm not an expert in these kinds of things but I think, for example, of the Google appliance - you get a server, but the "stuff" inside is kind of locked down.

For enterprise clients, they're hardly going to want to hack the server, so the comment that it will be unrestricted and unlimited isn't a certain thing if the admin doesn't have some sort of asset server access.

Posted: Aug 5th 2009 11:26PM (Unverified) said

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Barring any information to the contrary (certainly none has emerged), I'm assuming that access to the data will be no less or more difficult than accessing, say, the wordpress database on a WP installation on your own server.
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Posted: Aug 5th 2009 11:37PM (Unverified) said

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Hmmm....OK. Well, I guess we wait and see, although frankly I wonder if the opposite stance might be equally valid - "Barring any information to the contrary, I'm assuming that access to the data files will be restricted".

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