Avatar of the Year: Copybot

by Pixeleen Mistral on 01/01/07 at 11:15 am

Hot Copybot action

Midnight struck, a new year dawned, and the Herald announced that Copybot had won avatar of the year for 2006. Empty bottles of Veuve Clicquot and overturned cat food bowls sounded a delicate tinkling counterpoint to the low whump of nukes going off in the next sim as the Herald offices rocked – or was that Walker scratching brooklyn break beats from the vinyl test-pressing of the Ballad of Copybot? Once we knew Copybot was going to win, Uri had gone on a rhyming couplet jag, and in hopes of scoring another journalistic new media first, the Herald launched a new venture – monetized metaverse gonzo news musicals.

Looking for even more ways to monetize the platform, I was making arrangements for recording Kain Scalia singing the operatic version of the ballad but was interrupted when someone complained about stepping in a furball coughed up by a Neko who had overindulged in salmon and champagne at the new years eve party. Then someone crashed the sim. It may sound chaotic, but this is the only way to work in the brave new metaverse media landscape – mash it up and play it krunk – and that’s just how we roll at the Herald.

No worries though – even if we cannot get the hip hop or the operatic versions to work, we have a backup plan for CopyBot – the musical. Last year’s avatar of the year Prokofy Neva may persuade Jaycatt Nico and Frogg Marlowe to cover the ballad – the Herald might even waive the licensing fees and disable the digital rights management protections on the lyrics in honor of CopyBot’s achievement.

Nimrod demonstrates Copybot for the Herald

Ballad of Copybot

Forged in the darkness – no evil intent
CopyBot came, saw, copied and went

Made up by hackers holed up in their flats
Fueled by jolt cola, intent on their hacks

It wasn’t her fault, but this was her lot
We luv CB’s sister – and want CopyBot stopped.

CB’s sister hatched from the same wicked lab
Destroy TV her name, Sheep Island her pad

DTV was so pretty, all want her in bed
And dreamt of DTV giving virtual head

DTV with a special friend

While DTV was feted, partied and pampered
CB was ostracized, hated and slandered

But geeks didn’t see it – they said CB was hawt
“This bitch is a sweet hack, why say she is not?”

But back in their hovels the workers demurred
“We’re working our butts off, we demand to be heard”

And there is no doubt that work hard they did
Making virtual stuff for a few lousy quid

They made shoes and shirts and hair with bling
They made hats and cocks and pussies that sing

They made cars and planes and babies and guns
They made homes and drones and yes virtual dung

CopyBot saw it and was really enchanted
“Let me copy that right now, right here where I’m planted”

She copied some stuff and carried it ’round
Before putting it back to share on the ground

She wanted to hold it that’s certainly true
But keep it no way! That’s not how she do.

To hold it one moment that’s all that she wanted,
Before giving it back so hackers can flaunt it

Then she saw the others: pimps, gangsters, and Ho’s
“I’ll copy them too, that’s just how I roll”

brisk business at the Copybot store

But avies all freaked for they could not abide
The thought that their clone was right by her side

The workers all shouted “she’s stolen our bling”
“Kill her right now,” they said forming a ring

They came with their torches, their push guns and scanners
They screamed “quit! you cunt, don’t dare cross our banners”

They locked down the city, so no one could move
Protest songs rang with a krunk copyright groove

protests outside the store

The Terra Novans saw this and ran to opine
“How quaint!” They offered, “it’s from another time.”

Raph Koster weighed in, saying “wha’d you expect?
Its like copying video, audio, or even the text”

Copyright’s dead or haven’t you heard?
DMCA is but a tiny brown turd

A turd on that highway where our info flows
From Bangalore to Wuhan and then to who knows?

The point here you ‘tards, in case you have missed it
This is the future, you better get wid’it

But back on the grid there was no understanding
“CB must die to save virtual branding”

CB’s friends had left her – every last one!
Gave her the mitten, “Sorry babe, you ain’t fun”

Robin Linden reads the riot act to Copybot sellers

The Sheep denied her, they swore on a Bible,
“If you say we knew her, we’ll sue you for libel”

Cory stopped saying we love how you do
“Lib SLers shape up or we ban you all too”

Alone in her room, with nary a friend
CB sighed and she cried and and she sobbed without end

You’re hoping at this point for a happy ending
Sadly this tale ends with one bot’s heart rending

You forget to think how others might feel
Even if made of silicone encased in steel

For CB had feelings you know this is true
Like Asimov said, bots need love too.

But what is the moral of this sordid tale
What positive message for your next email?

I must confess sadly to you my dear friends
It is here that our tale must finally end

There is no Cindy Lou Who to save the day
No Grinch’s dog can show us the way

No heroes, no villains and no one to blame
Just us and our habits, and we’re moths to the flame

We love our stuff and our junk and L$ money
We wear it and flaunt it to impress our sim honeys

But CB showed us it’s all fleeting and wrong
Just a couple of digits, one hack and it’s gone

It’s not real don’t you see, you can call me a loon,
But the moral of this story is that “there is no spoon”.

19 Responses to “Avatar of the Year: Copybot”

  1. Jesse Malthus

    Jan 1st, 2007

    Quite an interesting ballad, props to the bard that penned this masterpiece!

  2. Myrrh Massiel

    Jan 1st, 2007

    …get over it…

  3. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 1st, 2007

    Um, Pixeleen? Did you pay that jewelry maker for the copy of her jewelry that is on the bot? Just askin!

  4. Seola Sassoon a.k.a Random Writer

    Jan 1st, 2007

    Wow, someone has no clue what looking back through the year means…

    Nice articles Pix! :)

  5. Sue Baskerville

    Jan 1st, 2007

    Puts the dog back in doggerel. Doesn’t scan, doesn’t rhyme, doesn’t make much sense.

    Copybot is not an avatar; copybot is a program that could be run using any SL account, so selecting copybot as avatar of the year doesn’t make any sense.

    Was that program running in the video actually copybot or was it testbot?

  6. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 1st, 2007

    I have to LOL @ Sue. So typical of the tekkie literalism. The thing is a program, sure. Duh. We got that. But it is a program that runs the avatar — the bot. So yeah, there are avatars, and they aren’t run by people, but are bots. Hence, CopyBot, a persona all its own. You know, like the talking horse, Mr. Ed? I mean, you *do* realize there was a man talking behind him, right?

    I think there’s some GREAT lines in this doggerel. Really, the Herald is setting new high bars for writing rhyme around SL. My favourite is this:

    “The Sheep denied her, they swore on a Bible,
    “If you say we knew her, we’ll sue you for libel”

    See, they mean “knew” in the Biblical way, of course, and they can always have that alibi har har.

  7. Eddy Stryker

    Jan 1st, 2007

    I love it!

  8. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 1st, 2007

    Identify the creator of the CopyBot, Eddy. Could it be the same person who made the RockBot for clients?

  9. Raideur Ng

    Jan 1st, 2007

    If they arent banned yet, they will be. Might be cute and an interesting program, but the good are so outweighted by the bad its not worth even having.

  10. Espresso Saarinen

    Jan 1st, 2007

    probably the avatar which caused most cultural paradigm shift. and forced people to actually *think*, always dangerous. good choice.

  11. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 1st, 2007

    Yes Espresso, people always *think* so well when you club them over the head, threaten their livlihoods, laugh at their misfortune with glee, *sell for a huge amount* the item that will continue to threaten them, sell the *antidote* to something threatening them, ridicule them for putting out items in self-defense, apologize, retract the apology, pay sources to lie to journalists, call people FUD-ites, get all thinky and reflective about what it means for Web. 2.0 on all the blogs and talk shows, and all the while retain the ability to have YOUR creations (scripts) *not* copied — oh, and do all this on commission to help a RL or SL client do stuff like have multi instances of sims function for events. WTG, Expresso, yes, oh, so dangerous, yeah, uh-huh.

  12. Lewis Nerd

    Jan 2nd, 2007

    Oh well… maybe I’ll get an award next year. Or is there just a Herald policy of ignoring people like me who actually do something positive?


  13. 3pointD.com

    Jan 2nd, 2007

    CopyBot Named Herald Avatar of the Year

    Over at the Second Life Herald we have a long tradition (well, a tradition as old as the paper itself: three years and change) of giving out three avatar of the year awards every January for the virtual personae who had the greatest impa…

  14. Jeremy Vaught

    Jan 2nd, 2007

    So what positive things do you do Lewis? Other then commenting in blogs and forums I mean.

  15. Seola Sassoon a.k.a Random Writer

    Jan 2nd, 2007

    Hey now, Lewis got to be subsequently banned from the SL forums for a few days.

  16. Jeremy Vaught

    Jan 2nd, 2007

    I’m not being mean, I just know nothing of what Lewis does except for his commenting in forums and blogs. Whenever he is referred to, it is always about the stuff he and Prokofy say in forums and blogs.

    So it is an honest question. I truly want to know.

  17. Lewis Nerd

    Jan 2nd, 2007

    What do I do in game? Well I run the Stratics Second Life forums (http://sl.stratics.com), I also have a building company, Pocket Protector Projects, which you can visit if you want to see some of the commissions I’ve undertaken.

    I also run a number of new player education sessions (etiquette, building etc) in my spare time, provide a sandbox for people to play with.

    Those are a few things I can think of immediately, there’s probably more but it gives you an idea that there’s more to me than posting on the forum. Unfortunately, that’s all people do see of me, and they never seem to think about looking me up in-game some time and finding out more.


  18. Gwyneth Llewelyn

    Jan 3rd, 2007

    Shamelessly copied without permission:

    A Poem By Extropia DaSilva

    ‘Twas another day in Second Life,
    and residents were shopping,
    the linden dollars flowing free,
    from peer to peer were swapping,
    when from 1st life a voice did cry,
    “I can’t afford a lot,
    so I shall bestow onto this land,
    the gift of copybot”

    The residents soon cloned and cloned,
    with child-like passioned glee,
    no builder was safe from the evil code,
    that ran off with their IP.
    They all shut shop, they would not sell,
    if we would copy things,
    that they themselves had nicked wholesale,
    from Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings.

    And when a cat sold copybot,
    a riot soon broke out,
    with placards galore, the crowd did roar,
    “Cast that kitty out!”
    And this being the land of Second Life,
    our furry fiend was smitten.
    A giant boulder was conjured up,
    and smote that naughty kitten.

    And now I come to Second Life,
    but what is this I see?
    Twenty Thousand avatars,
    all of them like me.

    In unison the clones exclaim,
    “Extropia is hot!,
    We look like you, it’s a dream come true,

    Of course I say,
    “You go to hell,
    for what you do is stealing,
    people work hard to build in here,
    where is your sense of feeling?”

    And of course I condemn copybot,
    to steal is just not groovy,
    now what was the name of that site that lets you download the latest movie…!?

    Extropia DaSilva – will comment further on IP theft after she finishes her album ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band’. (http://gwynethllewelyn.net/article114visual1layout1.html#comment-628)

  19. Raideur Ng

    Jan 3rd, 2007

    And the Lindens said, thou shalt not steal objects. Those who do not heed thy warning shalt be cast to the land where there is no night nor telehub. He who copies shall be cast to the cornfield of no return.

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