I read a lot today of the issues Second Life is having due to Copybot. I think it’s a really interesting case on how the evolution of the internet has changed our view on copyright. The copybot issue of today just shows us once more how big this issue is. The big difference here that it’s not so much between big corporations and consumers, or corporations amongst each other… it’s between you and me. It’s about one guy copying another guy, or the shop of another guy. All of a sudden we all want a sort of DRM, because it concerns ourselves.
“You see, in something like Second Life, it’s not the megacorps who are having their stuff copied, it’s us. It’s not the big companies that are trying to profit, it’s the little guys. And all of a sudden, the same folks who likely argue cyberliberties and donate to the EFF and have gigs of video stored on RAIDs they keep in their garage suddenly feel the sting of perfect digital copying. CopyBot is a mirror, and what we see reflected in it is the unsavory fact that we all want DRM, if it favors us.”
Second Life shop owners (reports say between 100 to 600) threaten to suit Linden Labs. I can imagine that they are not all that happy with the current response from Linden Labs so far. They have stated that they will act against people who made unauthorized copies of people’s properties… when you find them and file an abuse report. From the official blog:
“Second Life needs features to provide more information about assets and the results of copying them. Unfortunately, these are not yet in place. Until they are, the use of CopyBot or any other external application to make unauthorized duplicates within Second Life will be treated as a violation of Section 4.2 of the Second Life Terms of Service and may result in your account(s) being banned from Second Life. If you feel that someone has used CopyBot to make an infringing copy of your content, please file an abuse report.”
Last but not least, I find it interesting to see how having a company blog, being part of the conversation apparently is a good enough reason not to respond to queries from press anymore. “Linden Lab declined a request for an interview, saying all the company had to say for now was in its official blog.” The downside of blogging?