by Pixeleen Mistral on 15/11/06 at 10:39 am
LL to address CopyBot rights management issues sometime next year?
by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk
“i will NOT be adding anymore products until LL amends SL to entirely negate copybot and similar technology – lip service to the TOS is not enough. second, i will not be the source of any more income to LL due to their sales of L$ that would pass through my store.” said Jacqueline Trudeau in response to Cory Linden’s attempt to reassure metaverse shopkeepers and content creators. Jacqueline Trudeau was one of over 560 citizens responding to the Cory Linden’s blog post in the wake of serious fallout from the CopyBot scandal.
To address the scandal, tuesday night Cory Linden declared that using CopyBot-like programs to duplicate copy-protected objects is a violation of the TOS. Shortly after this announcement, two citizens selling the CopyBot in-world – GeForce Go and Prim Revolution – no longer appeared in the find people tab – apparently having been banned for TOS violations. However, these action have not calmed the content creators of Second Life.
Cory Linden’s announcement had garnered mostly negative responses as of press time – with questions being asked about why LL is involved in the libsecondlife reverse engineering effort. These questions are especially telling because currently the Second Life server does not verify the messages sent from a -possibly hacked- client or proxy – opening the door to a number of exploits. Residents also questioned the feasibility of abuse reporting and DMCA complaints as a mechanism for policing DRM violations – the Lab’s staff has been visibly stretched by the growth of the metaverse and Linden inaction to abuse reports is presumed to be the norm by many residents.
With no immediate technical solutions promised, residents are left to fend largely for themselves without new tools, as Cory Linden said, “I am very sorry that we have not already completed the features needed for you to address these concerns yourself. We are working very hard to complete them and will release them as soon as they are ready. In terms of prioritization and scheduling, additional asset data will be deployed in Q1 2007”
The level of anger was perhaps due to the perception that the Lab is not playing fair. For instance, Jeremy Bender said, “It’s like living in a country where the law enforcement officers and politicians are in cahoots with the business elite and organised crime elements to test the very laws they are entrusted to create, defend and enforce.”
Questions also swirled around how content and business will work in a more open environment, with Property Resistance suggesting, “You need to make a statement how asset and transaction security will be handled in an open source development environment. Will we see clients designed to “click and copy” every asset then? Or will this be efficiently prevented. You as company need planing security, we do so too.”
The common theme to all this is an understandable need on the part of residents to know what the new rules of the game will be and a desire for more transparency from the Lab about its development roadmap and timeline for addressing these issues. How seriously this affects the in-wold economy will be a story that plays out over the next few week as content creators ponder the incentives and costs in the new world order.
Meanwhile, at least some residents ask how the DCMA applies to a company helping create some of the technology to defeat its own copy protection, and CJ Carnot pointed out that using the copybot “may be against the TOS but creating it violated the DMCA. LibSL created it and the Lindens are involved with this project. Should we file a DMCA against LL ?”