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21 July 2009

Update: Changed his mind.
RightasRain Rimbaud says he is poised to release a sim-copying tool that doesn't check permissions at all. This seems to be a rather unfortunate nose-thumbing on his way out the door that affects a great many people directly, and everyone indirectly. Of course it would be useful in some ways* - but although people claim that to circumvent any permission-checking code would not be hard to accomplish, and that copybot already exists, the idea of someone deliberately releasing a tool capable of copying whole sims at a gulp without making any effort to safeguard people's IP is... not nice.

For Me Personally
I was copybotted and GLIntercepted years ago, which caused me to think carefully about expending a lot of effort on things that are unprotectable. It wasn't that I railed against it, really, more that I could see the landscape and knew what the ground rules were, and decided to build things A) full perm for Combat Cards, B) anything I wanted to make but not holding any feeling that the permissions would stay as I set them. Of course, because of my health it's a moot point now, anyway, and no one would copybot my Giant Potato on a Railway Flatcar - I just build weird things.

For Others
Hard to know how this will turn out. If someone (it could be a "builder" showing a client a structure) copies the build and recreates it behind a firewall, selling someone else's work as his own, the client would probably have no clue about the history. There may wind up being no way of knowing if any work is actually accomplished by the seller, and if you want something original you would choose to build it yourself, go with someone you trust, or watch as it's built. I don't know.

The permissions system even within SL is far from robust and has devastatingly glitchy episodes; there is no general grid to grid permissions system at all. It isn't, truthfully, just a matter of commerce; as a creator one of the very worst things is seeing something you've made listed under another's name. That's where this really hurts: creators rights - rights which should belong to the creators alone - will be put into jeopardy, if this goes forward, by someone who doesn't care (or is spiteful enough to want to do damage) and yet has benefitted from the creative work of dozens of people.

* Corporations and education entities will like it, presumably. Also, about 100 people immediately said, "I've always wanted my own Black Swan!"

posted by - 5:28 PM

I actually saw your Giant Potato in someone's sim, but they had changed your flatcar to a saucer. Not a flying saucer. Saucer, as in "little plate." I was pretty hungry (as I always am) and ate it straight away. It had my name on it. The Potato, not the Saucer.

But to your point, I have refrained from creating a lot of "for sale" items as this issue has always given me pause. I've focused more on developing interesting places, locating similar areas and creating varied and compelling connections between them. I think the web that connects people, places and ideas on the Grid is fascinating and it never ceases to amaze me where one strand can go.
If more people would step up to the plate the way you did the world would be a better place.

JLI held the Tuesday gathering at your treehouse today, but I was late and no one was there when I went in :(

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