[sldev] My question about intellectual property and Second Life

Ian Betteridge ian at ianbetteridge.co.uk
Fri Aug 29 01:18:39 PDT 2008

On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 8:46 AM, Darien Caldwell
<darien.caldwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> When people are talking IP, it's just used as a general term, and
> there's nothing worng with that. There are no lawyers here, so it
> doesn't have to be 'legally meaningful'.  It's a lot easier to say:
> "I want my IP protected." than to say "I want my
> Copyright/Patents/Textures/Music/Video/Animations/Desgin/Story/Whatever
> else protected."

I'm kind-of reluctant to add to this thread, as I don't really think
that it's the right forum for this discussion, and I know it's been
thrashed about ad infinitum. But having said that...

While generally I'd agree with you, I think it's fair to ask people to
be precise about what, exactly, they want protected. As others have
pointed out, if you're going to create a technological solution to a
problem you need to define fairly precisely what the problem is - and
that involves working which kinds of IP you want to attempt to

At present, technological protections in SL cover very specific
things: objects, scripts, textures. What content creators are, by and
large, asking for is that those protections be respected across grids.
I'm not going to go into the reasons why they're asking for that, or
whether they are ethically right or wrong: what I'm saying is that,
having been given those protections, content creators do not want to
see them effectively removed by the ability to move objects
across-grids, to grids which offer no equivalent protections.

Neither should this be a debate about whether those protections are
technically effective. The current protections in SL alone are not
100% technically effective, and yet they, combined with an effective
micropayments system, provide many content creators with a significant
source of income and the whole world with its economy.

And that will be all I'll have to say on this subject here. I'm happy
to continue the conversation on a one-to-one basis, or in an more
appropriate public forum.

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