Subscribe to

I appeared on Robert Bloomfield’s popular metaverse news and policy show Metanomics today doing the end-of-show op-ed piece “Connecting the Dots.”  Today’s show was entitled “Open Sim and the Future,” and featured IBM’s Zha Ewry and Linden Lab’s Zero Linden talking about the future of the grid, and their efforts so far.  I know there are some bumps ahead on the road to “the grid” but at bottom, I really like the way Linden Lab is handling it, and Zha’s and Zero’s comments today only solidified that.

The full show is available at (video), and my Connecting the Dots segment is destined for YouTube (will update when it’s there).  For text fans, here are the first few paragraphs of my video editorial, followed by a link to the full transcript at Metanomics:

The biggest legal impact of “the grid” is that local laws will govern.  Want to run a casino?  Drop a server in Antigua.  But that’s the easy part.  As [IBM’s] Zha [Ewry and Linden Lab’s] Zero [Linden] noted, content export is hard, technically.  It’s also hard legally.  And make no mistake, content export is coming, even though it’s not in the beta.  The marketplace will demand it.

So what happens to my suit, hair, and skin, all of which were designed by talented residents, when I take my avatar to the Antigua world to play some blackjack? And what if the guy who runs the casino there programs his server to let me make unauthorized copies of that stuff?

That’s not a new question.  I dug up an old audio recording from Second Life’s first birthday where then-CEO Philip Rosedale discusses interoperability and export content from Second Life to other locations on the 3D internet.  Philip says: “I don’t think that we fundamentally object to people being able to take their content with them.  I believe that the content people create, even if there are many digital worlds out there for you to be in, the content you create should be your own property.  In the end, the more open systems will win.”

Philip was actually responding to a resident’s concern that Linden Lab might not allow content exporting to other worlds for business reasons.  Today, residents are far more concerned that Linden Lab will allow exporting — perhaps to grids without the same technological solutions in place to protect content…

You can read the rest of the transcript of Benjamin Duranske’s “Connecting the Dots” re: legal issues and “the grid” over at Metanomics.

Email This Post Email This Post
Print This Post (Printer Friendly Formatting) Print This Post (Printer Friendly Formatting)

Related Posts on Virtually Blind

4 Responses to “Transcript of Metanomics “Connecting the Dots” on Grid Legal Issues”

  1. on 05 Aug 2008 at 1:55 amAshcroft Burnham

    The more difficult that technical enforcement measures become, the more important that cost-effective non-technical enforcement mechanisms become.

  2. on 05 Aug 2008 at 8:09 amDoubledown Tandino

    Yes, total awesomeness in the presentation.

    I have more theories, questions, and what-ifs now than before… that’s usually a good thing.

  3. on 06 Aug 2008 at 12:08 amTurulcsirip - Stephanie Frasco

    [...] Transcript of Metanomics “Connecting the Dots” on Grid Legal Issues: I appeared on .. « előző | következő » Stephanie Frasco — 2008. 08. 06. [...]

  4. on 06 Aug 2008 at 4:57 pmTaran Rampersad

    Good stuff, Ben (as usual). I mentioned before, somewhere on one website or another (haha!) that I used to be completely against DRM because of the fact that it trod so heavily on ‘Fair Use’ and compatible law around the world.

    While code isn’t law, it has a really messy part to play here since a framework for the copy protection system of Second Life (copy/mod/transfer) has to be in effect where content goes – but that system is *not* perfect and has some serious weaknesses as far as licensing. There was a time when people were lobbying for Creative Commons type licensing – but here’s the thing that Linden Lab probably ran into: the quantity of items in their asset server that would have to be grandfathered in.

    I think – or I would like to think – that the framework will not use Second Life’s de facto DRM, but will be compatible with it. It could be so much better. What Second Life was never fully intended to deal with it’s own success… and that is it’s greatest failure.

Leave a Reply

Notes on Comments: Your first comment must be manually approved, but after it is you'll be able to post freely with the same name and email. You can use some HTML (<a> <b> <i> <blockquote> etc.) but know that VB's spam blocker holds posts with five or more <a> links. VB supports gravatars. Got a gravatar? Use the associated email and it'll show with your comment. Need one? Set it up for free here.