How can honest creators win?

I was all ready to smack Hamlet Au around for his Linden-fanboy post, “If CopyBot Comes Back, Should Anyone Care?
But then I saw this comment by a reader named Zetaphor:

CopyBot 2.0 is here. CopyBot never left us, it simply went into hiding. CopyBot is nothing more than the export and import commands of TestClient, written by Eddy Stryker. As of today there are multiple CopyBot applications floating around the web, some free, others not. One of which is SLBot, on SLX. All this is was a copy of TestClient, with an interface wrapped around it. SLBot required registration as part of the purchase, because those idiots think selling free and open source software is fun. So then the Patriotic Nigras took a copy of SLBot, and decompiled it. They then released it on their blog as an executable, and the source over SVN. So yeah, CopyBot is alive and kicking, and this time he has a pretty interface.

Whether or not CopyBot is of any real importance is up to the individual, but at least now you know the facts.
/me flips the bird to those idiots who think selling free software is a good idea!

Information like this is so incredibly frustrating. Clearly, Linden Lab lost control of their Second Life system when they open sourced the viewer. The reverse engineers created OpenSim off of it. And now we’re learning that this evolved CopyBot is all over the grid. Did the Lindens let the genie out of the bottle? If they did, can they stop the damage? Is the reason that they are ignoring one of the most important issues on the JIRA not because they don’t want to fix it – but instead because there’s nothing they can do?

I’m no tech expert – not by any stretch of the imagination. But knowing what I know, I just can’t see a way that the current SL economy grows under these circumstances. And alternate virtual world platforms (at least any that are halfway decent, unlike The Sims or There) should be able to exploit this fundamental weakness in the grid with ease.

Sigh. Guess Second Life will be a haven for hobbyists.  I’ve never been a fan of the corporate takeover of SL, but I’ve enjoyed the creation of cottage industries for some very, very creative people.  How can that culture continue for the long haul?

2 Responses

  1. I’ve written about this on my site and got some great feedback. It appears to me that Linden is going to have to step in with a heavy hand to deal with this problem. Yet, they resist doing so and have thrown up additional roadblocks that may even be a violation of existing law.

    Their resistance to the situation is making a bad situation that much worse…

  2. “How can honest creators win?”

    Lars Ulrich, Prince, Trent Reznor and plenty of other “honest creators” have been asking the same question. I’ve been asking that question (for years). But what on earth made Second Lifers believe they were different? Wake up, people. The issue isn’t technology.

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