Exporting stuff, permissions, and licenses (was Re: [sldev] realXtend Global inventory tests successful)

Lawson English lenglish5 at cox.net
Sun Aug 24 11:24:36 PDT 2008

Sean Linden wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 23, 2008 at 8:23 PM, Lawson English <lenglish5 at cox.net 
> <mailto:lenglish5 at cox.net>> wrote:
>     Gareth Nelson wrote:
>         Surely the permissions flags constitute a form of license?
>         Aside from this, what's wrong with a new "transfer to other
>         grids" flag?
>     Many of us want to see that. Problem is that neither Zero or any
>     other technical Linden can speak for LInden Lab about what they're
>     going to do until the lawyers are consulted, etc.
>     BUT, before LL comes to a decision about how LL will handle its
>     own database of user-created assets, we can still experiment with
>     a dedicated server or two, to see what makes sense, both
>     tethnically and from a user's point off view.
> Personally, I think any flag that's not attached to some technological 
> protection mechanism will only result in confusion. For this 
> particular case, the flag could be "exportable" and it could be used 
> to allow the owner to get a cap to be able to download the asset 
> itself directly, perhaps translated to some XML export format by a web 
> service.
At the level where the automated decision is made to release assets to 
other regions, that form of protection will be built into anything that 
LL does, I am certain. However, the issues of trust, permissions, 
licensing, etc., are quite complicated, as I've pointed out, and Zero's 
stated goal for the AWG is to create a protocol that can accommodate 
multiple models, including whatever LL decides to go with for assets 
held in the Second LIfe asset servers.

The other part of the equation is how to ensure compliance on the part 
of regions that accept such protected assets and what to do if they 
don't follow their own agreements with the source of the protected assets.

> For everything not directly attached to some technological protection 
> mechanism, it seems like just a URL specifying the license, along with 
> concerted efforts to minimize the number of licenses people use, would 
> a flexible and universal mechanism to tell people what they're allowed 
> to do with stuff. Perhaps there could be a blanket "minimum" license 
> to allow distributing stuff in each grid, though I don't know whether 
> such a thing is necessary. "Minimum" would mean that if something has 
> the copy flag it doesn't matter if the license says they can't have 
> more than one copy; the copy flag trumps.

That goes against the current policy of LL as far as assets currently 
stored on the LL asset servers are concerned and I suspect, what anyone 
would expect about new assets (or current ones) designated as available 
for the open grid (or some specific subset that has agreements/contracts 
with LL concerning intellectual property). In all cases, as I understand 
it, copyright law says that the intent of the creator trumps other 
concerns as far as what is legally allowed for redistribution. Any 
automated system that LL puts into place will have to automatically 
enforce creator's intent as far the mechanics of redistribution goes or 
they will be in big trouble, and any redistribution agreement that LL 
makes with other grids will need to require that the other grid enforce 
the automated permission system as well.

It may be possible that some expressions of owner's intent will be too 
complicated to put into the automated distribution system, but that can 
be accommodated simply by setting a flag saying "don't release to other 
grids," which would forbid LL's asset servers from redistributing those 
assets at all.



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