September 24th, 2010


More on IP Rights and Copyright

I am once more reminded of the utter ignorance of copyright and intellectual property rights. I mean, I really am, and I don't mean that as a slam against anyone in particular.

If I build something, that is MY build, and ceases to be anyone else's intellectual property. There comes a point where a building material manufacturer lets go of their product, and allows it to become a part of something greater. It took MY vision, MY experience to create that unique build.

Listen, folks. Without my visions of building, your building materials are useless.

The lines between a "sane" license of use, and most licenses of uses we see on the grids, have been very much blurred. I would say that those who make building components fall into one of three categories:

  1. Category A: I don't care what you do with my stuff.

  2. Category B: I care what you do with my stuff, but I recognize that once I sell you these materials, you are free to create with them, and I hold no rights over your final product.

  3. Category C: I more than care what you do with my stuff, I have rights over your build, and where you take it, and sell it, and if I don't like a particular place, I have the right to tell you not to take it there and I will cause you all kinds of grief and OMGWTFBBQ if you don't listen to me BECAUSE I AM THE ONLY ONE WITH RIGHTS. FURTHERMORE I CAN CHANGE MY MIND LIKE THE WIND AND I EXPECT YOU TO CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOR WITH IT!

I can hear many of you saying "but there are many suppliers that fall between those categories" and I'll agree with you. MY concern is those who fall squarely into Category C. THEY are the ones who think their rights go too far.

It does not help that providers like Linden Labs also have forgotten about the rights of the builder and have gone way too far in the direction of the "screamers" in Category C. It is that which encourages the screamers, and makes them think they have far more rights than they really do.

All the paranoia about intellectual property rights has also pretty much obliterated the idea of interdependability between suppliers and builders. What happened to the notion of everyone providing a part of a greater whole which can, in turn, benefit a much larger audience? I guess it fell by the wayside when too many individuals popped up wanting to make a quick buck at the expense of others, suppliers and builders alike.

Like it or not, there will always be people who want to make a quick buck, and will steal the hard work of others to do it, if they can get away with it. Be that as it may, it's about time the suppliers started to calm down and accept that this will happen and the only thing they can do is hope that other people tell them about it before the thief profits too much.

Speaking of thieves, not all suppliers are on the up and up, either, which further clouds the issue. If you're creating derivative works of other original elements, especially if they came from the wilds of the Internet, you'd best make sure you can sell those derivative works, because you too can be DMCA'd by the original owner of those elements.

Contrary to Anonymous, I do know my stuff. Obviously, they didn't like what I had to say and had to accuse me of being uneducated and misinformed, in order to make themselves feel better about how they're trying to screw around with builders. See, I'm pretty sure I know who Anonymous is, and they fall squarely into Category C above.

I am hoping to see more suppliers fall into Categorys A and B, above, and stop trying to infringe on the rights of the builders who buy their materials and incorporate them into builds.

I said it earlier, and I'll say it again: Your supplies are worthless if they're not incorporated into a build.

Different Types in 3D Worlds

A thoughtful resident of IWZ brought up this concept and I'll let you read their words - and the words of so many others - here.

My response was lengthy enough that I am reposting it here.


First off, I am definitely a Resident.

I have been involved in Internet community of some sort since the days of bulletin board systems. I have watched Internet "community" grow and evolve, even as I grew and evolved with it. The one thing I always emphasized with others is to remember that the name on the screen represents a real person, with real needs, wants, and feelings, every much as your name represented you.

From my point of view, a few things became apparent. First off, the sense of time is much faster on the Internet. Relationships and communities can rise and fall in a manner of weeks, versus a manner of years. In general, the Internet - by stripping away our physical attributes in favor of the cerebral - has a tendency to amplify both our good points, and especially, our bad points. Many strive to be themselves, and yet others use the "relative anonymity" to unleash the worst of themselves, using the excuse that "it's not real".

It is very real. What goes on in your mind and thought processes is intangible, but the intangibility doesn't make it any less real. Using the excuse that "it's not real" to abuse other people is a thin excuse, at best, and a baseless justification, at most. If anything, the Golden Rule is more important in a virtual world, simply because there aren't as an immediate a consequence for behaving without thought with others.

3D virtual environments, in my opinion, are the next evolution in Internet community. It is our effort to put a body and a face with the human being who has always been on the other side of the screen...and the further we evolve, the easier it is to hurt other people.

I don't find it surprising in the least that our world here (and others like it) is populated with a goodly amount of people who are homebound, for one reason or another, whether that be physical or mental disability or simply a personality that isn't a RL "social butterfly". I happen to have all characteristics in common; I have been on full disability since 1996. I am also an only child who found more solace in her books and fantasies than she did with other children. Lastly, my career field was computer programming and many of the things associated with it, so I took to the Internet like a fish to water.

In terms of a heightening of character flaws, my bane is coming off too heavy-handed. I have little tolerance for those who are careless with another's feelings, and have no tolerance at all for those who toss away any and all caring just to spew their frustrations out on others. I've worked hard over the years on becoming more diplomatic, as I ran this website, or that IRC network, or volunteered for this service or that service. I am human, however, and as prone to faults as anyone else, and I do have my times when I feel pushed against a wall and am not so diplomatic in my response.

Be that as it may, I love Inworldz. I still have a presence on SL, though it's more for other people than myself. I've spent less and less time on SL. The longer I stay here, the more I find myself frustrated, not only by the limitations in SL, but also by the constant profit-driven atmosphere the provider has created by forcing people to find ways to simply afford to be there. If it wouldn't let a lot of people down I would gladly give up my land and concentrate on my projects here, exclusively. I do struggle with that concept - the one of letting others down - on a daily basis. If it were just me, I would've left SL entirely a long time ago.

My world is here, and at times, I do get very undiplomatic in how I defend it - but that comes from a sense of how precious our community is here, and a knowledge that there are those "out there" who would love nothing better than to destroy it.

Please forgive me for being too fierce at times.