If you’ve never read Ordinal’s blog, An Engine Fit For My Proceeding, you’ve missed on a neo-Victorian treat. Not only is the language fun (in a clean way, just reflecting Ordinal’s role-play era), the author is a person who appears to genuinely have fun in Second Life. Oh – Ordinal’s smart, too. As in a great scripter and creator of scripted items. Also, a wise observer of the affairs of Second Life. So when Ordinal chose to write about the “new” (really, further evolved) Copybot, I paid attention.
The post itself was very thoughtful, and I encourage everyone to read it. I’ll cut to the chase and share a little of Ordinal’s conclusion:
There is a way around this, and that is as stated previously: the owners of the world, the blessed Laboratory, must enforce rules far more strictly. It is not a perfect solution, as clearly there are far more places than can be checked, but without it nothing will happen. Not just “DMCA” nonsense, which is just a mechanism for covering one’s bottom in the face of future legal action, but actively removing duplicated content.
There are all sorts of ways that this can be made easier – registers of content being uploaded, watermarks and so on – but in the end it is the will that is important, and that means governance, active enforcement of rules. Attack content-thieving accounts; delete them and their alts. Enforce DMCA takedowns properly, as rubbish as they might be.
Without that? Oh well, nothing terribly serious. Content creators will be discouraged from ever entering SL. Nobody will bother to learn the obscure, undocumented, ever-changing details of how the tools work – unless they already have a out-world patron, in which case they will rarely be putting anything on the open grid. Second Life will become less and less interesting. And the “Second Life Protocol” will become less and less relevant, and less and less likely to become the dominant virtual world protocol, and then it will be 2009 and we will all be speaking about SL as certain old-timers do about ActiveWorlds.
You know, nothing that anybody might care about.
Go read this one. I’m so glad to see another blogger placing responsibility for this content theft silliness squarely on the shoulders of Linden Lab, the only entity with the power to meaningfully protect content creators in Second Life.