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Second Life Recognizes IP Of User-Created Objects 190

Posted by simoniker
from the i-made-this dept.
Thanks to TerraNova for pointing to a Yahoo press release revealing that "online world" Second Life now recognizes the ownership of in-world content made by subscribers. According to the press release, "The revised TOS allows subscribers to retain full intellectual property protection for the digital content they create, including characters, clothing, scripts, textures, objects and designs." As well as this, "Second Life has committed to exploring technologies to make it easy for creators to license their content under Creative Commons licenses", but, while these CC licenses are still being discussed, questions about the just-implemented IP issues are addressed at an official FAQ page on the Second Life site.
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Second Life Recognizes IP Of User-Created Objects

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  • Wow... (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by MoxCamel (20484) *
    ...that's a terrible idea. Now you've just sucked your company into disputes between your your customers. Oh, and you get to pay your lawyers to defend your new digital licenses in court, when some bozo decides to challenge it.
    • Re:Wow... (Score:1, Troll)

      by JayBlalock (635935)
      Yes, since obviously, allowing anyone besides major corporations to have intellectual property is a horrible thing and must be wiped out, lest the serfs begin to think they have power. Best to make sure they sign their lives over to you in the TOS, just to be safe.
      • Re:Wow... (Score:3, Funny)

        by MoxCamel (20484) *
        Yes, since obviously, allowing anyone besides major corporations to have intellectual property is a horrible thing and must be wiped out, lest the serfs begin to think they have power. Best to make sure they sign their lives over to you in the TOS, just to be safe.

        I love Slashdot. I never have to use my own voice, I just wait for others to insert words into my mouth for me. I also like it, because you never have to really understand what the poster was trying to say. You just take the worst-possible

    • Re:Wow... (Score:1, Interesting)

      Hey, don't rush to judge. When I first started playing this game, I thought it was going to bore me to tears like TSO did.

      I was quite surprised though when I found myself actually enjoying the game. Oh sure, it's not your hack-n-slash, beat em up, kill em all, find the dragon, do the quest, type game, but it is the type of game I always wondered about, it's what I call a "Sandbox".

      Basically LindenLab's has created the world, but they've given the players the tools (the exact same tools they use) to build
      • Re:Wow... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Kent Recal (714863)
        Shameless plug, huh?

        Well, I actually dug out my WinXP Laptop and gave it a shot. And know what: Yes, it's dead-boring.
        Certainly some interesting playground for the developers but not for the players...

        It looks like a bad experimental 3d-engine with some very-limited scripting language tacked on top. Not even close to a "game". No concept, no gameplay, NOTHING.
        You basically just mess around with it to run into its constraints every 5 minutes.
        Then when you've realized how limited it is (took me about 40mins
  • by The Importance of (529734) * on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:13PM (#7474872) Homepage
    State of Play Blog [typepad.com] and New IP Rules for Second Life [typepad.com]
  • The only thing that could really exists outside of Second Life is textures, and from what I've seen Second Life needs as many textures as it can get its hands on (it has horrible graphics).
    • There are many other things that can exist outside of secondlife that are worth of IP protections. Many objects are scripted. These scripts should be protected no differently than any other code. There are things such as poetry and short story contests the contents of which should be protected. Art in the form of textures as you stated should be protected. The models themselves (although it seems possible to construe them as derivative works) need protection.

      Acknowledging this encourages people to bri
    • It reminded me of the metaverse in snow crash, somewhat. Like how hiro and da5id had complete control etc over their areas, inside the common "proprietary" metaverse...
    • I see potential IP issues here. Not the patent kind though; more like the DHCP kind...
  • ...the similarities between the Second Life logo and the Journey Cloths from Uru: Ages Beyond Myst? Anyone have any insight on that one?
  • 1) Decapitate people with my samurai swords.


    2) Play frisbee with my rat-thing.


    3) Punch that damn Librarian.

    • 1) There's a ton of working swords in second life... hell, you START with a celtic broadsword :)

      2) Hmm, frisbee, I'll have to script that...

      3) No Librarian yet, but there IS a Library in Kissling... even has a working 3d model of the solar system :)

      Lordfly
    • Whoever modded this offtopic is retarded. Second life is the closest thing to a real-world implementation of Neil Stephenson's "Snow Crash" Metaverse, from which those references come.

      The emphasis on swordplay strongly suggests that this was not coincidental. I haven't closely followed "Second Life" but were the designers at all directly influenced by Snow Crash?
      • the designers at all directly influenced by Snow Crash?

        Yeah, and I'm sure they'll come right out and admit it, because in the world we live in you can say things like that and not worry about a legal clerk knocking on your door 20 minutes later with a notice of intent to sue for violation of copyright, trademark, patent, etc.

        Oh wait, that's the world I *want* to live in...
      • I thought it was impossible that a Snow Crash reference would go over anyone's head here. I guess next time I'll have to draw some kind of connection between Second Life and Soviet Russia to snag my funny-points =)
  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:17PM (#7474924) Homepage Journal
    While it's not a hack-and-slash level-upper like most of 'em, it's got a level of depth to it that can only come from letting users design their own content. Not dungeons, but jetpacks, paintball, rollercoasters, and the like with an advanced scripting engine. The game uses real physics, so it's able to calculate in real time the effect of something you code on a 3D model.

    Really neat stuff. It lets average people get a feel for what programming is like in a MMO environment. So the fact that they recognize your stake in what you create is meaningful, given that you aren't just repositioning in-game objects but actually designing your own stuff to entertain others in the game. I may actually have to give it a try now, although the folks that get a little too into these things have made me leery of doing so to this point.

    • For the same reason why MUD's were so successfull...they let you build your own content.

      Personally, I think the first hack and slash EQ/AC style game that lets users build their own content/quests/etc will take off. Game companies simply can't afford to pump out enough content to keep users busy. Whats better? 30 developers for 100,000 players? Or thousands of developers for 100,000 players?

      When I mention this people talk about quality and making sure the overall theme is the same. Well, create a

      • create a panel that evaluates potential additions to the game

        The "A Tale in the Desert" MMORPG has a great Lawmaking [slashdot.org] system built into the game.

        Once you become a citizen of the gameworld -- which takes a little time and effort, to limit ballot stuffing with crap-accounts -- you can create a bill/petition, gather signatures, and have everyone VOTE on it. There's two types of laws, which makes sense: 1) Changes to the game itself, which the developers have to implement currently, and 2) the in-game rule o

  • by Major_Small (720272) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:17PM (#7474926) Journal
    will you be able to then charge for everything you make? or is it going to be a license where everything you make must be free for everybody?

    i can't wait until people start trading real money if they can... i can see some name brand clothing retailers buying accounts and creating officially licensed clothing for the game...

    • Creative Commons (Score:4, Informative)

      by temojen (678985) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:36PM (#7475128) Journal

      You can read about the variety of options available in the creative commons licenses at the Creative Commons website [creativecommons.org]

      Essentially it's a templated license where the owner selects what terms to use.the options are:

      1. Require attribution?
        • yes
        • no
      2. Allow commercial uses of your work?
        • yes
        • no
      3. Allow modifications of your work?
        • yes
        • Yes, as long as others share alike
        • no

      So essentially it boils down to:

      • Public Domain
      • Public Domain with attribution
      • GPL
      • BSD
      • Freeware
      • In SL everything is always and permanently labeled with the name of its creator. It's not immediately visible, but the info is easy to retrieve by opening the object properties in a little window.
        We also have a "right of first sale" that specifies everything that is not set as fully copyable may be resold even if it is for profit.
        We have a script library where everyone may put their scripts, and also a bazaar for freely distributable objects.
        By the way, one of the clothes every newbie gets for free in the g
  • What? This is a derivative work? But yours has clothes on!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...but NAT routers are really going to mess up this scheme. What if more than one person has the same IP?
    • That's why they use the creative commons license.
      Today the way NAT handles our IPs is boring. But look at how they solve the problem.

      In fact its a good Idea! I'll patch our firewall this weekend so that we apply the creative commons scheme here as well.

      The email of the CEO readable by everybody. The maniac down the corridor pops up a pr0n site and it gets loaded on a random set of screens around the company. And don't even get me started on online banking ...

      delightful :)

      Bind0
  • by Rude Turnip (49495) <valuation@@@gmail...com> on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:19PM (#7474954)
    That's like saying that when I create a document within the virtual world of MS Word, that I get to keep the copyright on the document...and then act surprised by it.
  • You discover it. You can create lemonade from lemon juice, sugar, and water. Nobody else could have created that glass of lemonade. But with information, two people can independently "create" it. So it's not creating, it's discovering.
  • I have never played Second Life... but what happesn if this sets a precedent for other online games. Can you sue someone for killing your character or stealing your stuff? If so, will the defense simply be "It wasn't me... my computer was being hacked."
    • I think the main point of changing the TOS to allow more open IP rights is so people don't feel afraid to upload what they've created into the game. It has nothing about suing people for you "dying"... dying has no consequence in SL anyway, seeing as you lose nothing but 15 seconds of your time. It's just to alleviate concerns about Linden Labs stealing your poetry and making millions off of it :) Lordfly
    • The "It wasn't me... my computer was being hacked." defense is a completly independent issue. For example, people right now can sue for being barred from a game and use this defense in the process. Whatever precident Second Life has set, they haven't suddenly opended themselves to this risk - they and every company allowing public access is already running it.
  • For those of you who aren't familiar with Creative Commons, there's a cute little intro movie [creativecommons.org] in Flash. Think you can do better, or just hate Flash? Good thing they're holding the Moving Images [creativecommons.org] contest.

    From the Rules page:

    (3) Prizes: One (1) First Prize: First Prize Winner may choose either: an Apple(R) Power Mac(R) G5 Computer (Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5) (Approximate retail value ("ARV"): US$3000), or an Alienware(R) 2001DV(TM) System (ARV: US$3000). One (1) Second Prize: Sony(R) Handycam(R) Camcorder (Mode

  • by G4from128k (686170) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:25PM (#7475011)
    These online games seemed doomed to recreate the complications that drive people to play games in the first place. I wonder if Second Life will now have a PTO in the game to register and regulate player-created IP. I wonder if the games will become so much like real-life that some people will craft a simplier MMORPG to play inside a more complex one ("Third Life" anyone???).

    What is the world coming to when one must escape from even escapist entertainments?
    • And thus the Matrix is born....
    • Actually... someone is making an EQ clone within Second Life... called "DarkLife".

      Complete with its own economic model, enemies, weapons, and so on :)

      Lordfly
    • The only difference (and from what I gathered from the posts), is that the "game masters" are actually nice people that listen to what people have to say. If there is a major dispute about features, i'm pretty sure they will be glad to help. Moreover, in real-life you don't have these "gods". In the game, you (probably) can't get sick and need aid or need to eat and starve. Life is good.

      It would be interesting tho, if someone made an item/script X and sells it for Y money, and then someone makes a competin
  • I have wondered about this. What if I want to rape and pillage? Can I break into people's "homes," steal their stuff, defile their avatars if I wish, kill them if I don't and sell their stuff at a pawn shop?
    • Have you played D&D with us before?
    • by LilMikey (615759)
      I don't know if you are being sarcastic however...

      People can have homes (oft built by the player), they can lock the doors (using player built locking scripts), and if you're especially motivated you can probably find a way around the scripts.

      However, objects in the world have permissions so that if the owner says noone can take an object, you cannot take it regardless of them leaving their door open.

      As for defiling other avatars, that (along with most anything illegal in the real world) violates their t
  • A Little Background (Score:5, Informative)

    by jazzyfox (97118) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:27PM (#7475023)
    One of the things that, I believe, prompted this change was a user who wanted to write a framework for an MMORPG style game ruleset in SecondLife. They wanted to have the option to use this framework else where, such as porting it from the in-game scripting language to say, perl. The previous TOS, like most, included stipulations that all content created in SecondLife becomes the property of Linden Labs.

    Now, the TOS reads closer to the Yahoo!/GeoCities one for websites. In fact, that particular TOS was brought up as an example of what could be done. So the new TOS basically gives Linden Labs the ability to use your work to advertise, to delete it if the game goes under, or to debug it when it breaks things.

    I've been playing SecondLife for a couple months now, and it has been amazing. The basic concept is similar to a 3D MUSH, more oriented to social and building activities than combat. But the Lindens have been hands down the most responsive online gaming company that I have dealt with. Unlike EQ, DAoC, etc, the in-game representatives socialize with the players, and have a face. They are real people not just a glowing orb that teleports you out of the lava where you got stuck. The change in the TOS after commentary by players is just the latest example of how well they actually listen.
  • claim responsibility for some of the "content"? [gamespot.com]

    You get what you pay for, so the saying goes.

  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrEldarion (114072) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:29PM (#7475045)
    At least this will take care of the "You can't sell that on ebay, we OWN it!" restriction that MMORPG companies seem to have.

    "Nope, it's MY IP now!"
    • Re:Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

      Uhh. The main difference being that, with Generic-MMORPG, their designers had the idea for whatever item you're selling, their modellers created the models, and their artists created the textures, etc. They are essentially the "creators". In SecondLife, you're doing the grunt work, the actual creation, they're just providing the toolset to do that.
  • by nizo (81281) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:33PM (#7475090) Homepage Journal
    heck I don't even have a first life, wouldn't I need that first???
  • by NineNine (235196) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:37PM (#7475141)
    I play a similar game. It's called "Real Life". I also spend a lot of time creating social relationshipsand building things. Right now, I've got a ton of friends, several hot girlfriends, and I'm building a business. It's really fucking exciting. The best part of it? I don't even need to sit in front of a computer for 12 hours a day! If anybody wants to try "Real Life", just turn your computer "off". It's very interactive, and very, very realistic.
    • by freeweed (309734) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:53PM (#7475275)
      I've got a ton of friends, several hot girlfriends

      Followed by this sig:

      Geek Girls Naked! [ccbill.com]

      No further comment needed :)
      • None of my chicks are on there (I don't think). This is for all of the geeks out there without a geek chick of their own.

        Girls with glasses, tattoos, and piercings. mmmmmm..... Geeky.....
      • Actually, I find it kind of disgusting that there is a referral code in his link. This means he profits whenever someone signs up through his link. Which means he is trying to profit off of the Slashdot crowd reading his posts.

    • Heres the review to the game everyone is raving about! Real Life Review [gamespot.com]
    • Yeah, I play that too, except the graphics suck, most of the players are fat or ugly, or both. You can't fly around without some expensive vehicles, and money doesnt come for free every week, plus you cant build anything decent in 5 minutes, or instantly buy and sell land, or teleport, or fly around shooting your friends with realistic weapons without being afraid of dying, etc, etc...
      When you get sick of your house and want to make it bigger, you can do it in 5 seconds by stretching it. You can lift your e
    • This post, or one almost exactly like it, gets dragged out every time something new or fun or interesting gets posted that might just involve sitting down for a whole 5 minutes. Imagine what lazy lard asses we all must be, with no life to be interested by things that dont all have to do with going outside and being a fascinating outgoing social person. Thank god NineNine was here to show us how we have been missing out on life cause we dared spend a few minutes relaxing in front of a computer. Im glad so
  • by dmeranda (120061) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:39PM (#7475159) Homepage

    November 14, Redmond, Washington - ipRus Inc. has just released the next generation computer game, SimPatent(R)(TM)(SM). It is a massively distributed multiplayer sinulation environment which allows gamers worldwide to participate in the fun world of intellectual property. Previously reserved only for high class CEOs and high payed lawyers (and an occasional 12-year old), this new simulation allows anybody to wield the power of intelectual control to crush their opponents. Cheating is not only allowed, but encouraged as a way to help out those players who are not very good. If an opponent is stronger than you, you may within the game reduce him to nothing by using our patented simulated legal system. Plans are already underway for enhancements, including a legislative system that can be manipulated by players to alter the game rules in their favor. ipRus's game servers are to go online in early December 2003, however the company is already accepting player applications, requiring only the exchange of personal information and email addresses.

  • Weird requirments (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FrostedWheat (172733) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:48PM (#7475237)
    To join Second Life, you must:
    • Be a resident of the U.S. or Canada

    Well that was fun while it lasted :)
    • That's just legal stuff... my neighbor in SL hails from Germany, and there's a ton of Europeans who formed a group called "Illegal Immigrants" :)

      Lordfly
      • Yup, I myself am from Portugal, I've been there since april and I've made no attempt to hide my nationality. Actually I advertise it with pride since I'm the only portuguese person there so far :)
        • Yup, I myself am from Portugal, I've been there since april and I've made no attempt to hide my nationality. Actually I advertise it with pride since I'm the only portuguese person there so far :)

          The rest of the nation is awaiting the Linux port... ;)

  • by katsushiro (513378) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:49PM (#7475240) Homepage
    Allright, really quick now, let me dispell some myths and doubts, since I've noticed that almost no posters even know what Second Life is, since they keep referring to it as an MMORPG and talking about swords and monsters and PK'ing and being able to 'patent your inventory'.

    Second Life is *not* an RPG, there are no monsters or quests or anything. It does *not* have PK-ing, tjhe ability to steal other people's objects, or damage other's property (although you could code all these behaviours and more into objects you create, with the tools the game gives you). At its base, it's a glorified chat room, where you create an avatar and then fly around the world, meeting people, chatting with them, etc. However, certain things set it apart, the biggest one being that you have the freedom and ability to create 3D objects in the game, import textures and sounds, and use a specialized scripting language to assign actions, movements, behaviours, etc. to those objects and to your avatar. The depth of this creation system is absolutely stunning, and limited really only by your skill (and that's *your* skill as the person behind the keyboard doing the modeling and coding, not your character's artificial skill stats) and imagination. While a lot of people limit themselves ot just making things like t-shirts, paintings, and simple houses, I've seen very large, complex creations around the Second Life world, including entire floating cities, RPG systems coded in game with the scripting language, dragons, roller coaster and amusement park rides, sports arenas, game shows, and a lot more, all fully created by the players.

    All these creations require time, effort and skill from the person making them. If you create a sword in Second Life, you actually model the thing, create the polygons, upload and tweak the textures, and script its actions.. you don't find the sword after killing a rabbit or roll you 'swordmaking' skill for the 'crafting' aspect of the game. You spend real time and effort to make it. You can imagine how much time some people have invested in their more ambitious creations.

    That's, I think, what makes the difference here. The reason why IP should matter in a game like Second Life, as opposed to, say, Everquest or any of the other MMORPG's, even those with 'crafting' components, is that effort involved in the actual creation of the item. I don't mind a game company telling me that I can't sell a sword I won after battling a dragon in Everquest for real money because they own the IP on that sword. It's their right, they made the sword, they coded it and made the art etc. etc. etc. For all the effort I put into killing that dragon, I earn the right to use that sword of theirs in the game and reap its benefits, in game. However, when you're talking about a sword I crafted myself from bare polygons and scripts, that I spent hours on the Gimp or Photoshop tweaking the textures for, and you tell me that that item isn't mine and I can't sell it for real money if I want to, that's another matter entirely.

    I personally applaud Second Life and their staff for recognizing this, that the effort and dedication that the players pour into the game with their creations makes the game itself better, and they deserve the fruits of their labour, and to keep the rights to their own creations. Second Life is far from perfect, it's got its bugs, its griefers, and its issues.. but with moves like this from their staff, it's also taking several very large steps towards setting itself apart from all the other MMO games and creating soemthing truly unique. Kudos to the founders for this decision.
    • you actually model the thing, create the polygons, upload and tweak the textures, and script its actions.. you don't find the sword after killing a rabbit or roll you 'swordmaking' skill for the 'crafting' aspect of the game. You spend real time and effort to make it.

      By doing this they have also made it quite difficult or impossible for a vast amount of people to also create things.
      • Question: have you ever played Second Life or done any modelling in it? The controls are actually quite simple, and after a couple of hours goofing around with it you can become quite proficient. Case in point: My fiancee recently began to play it as well, since she found it really interesting. She has only basic computer skills, and she's a psychology major, so she's never touched a 3D Cad program in her life. However, within a couple of days in the game she was cranking out truly interesting items, houses
      • FPSs like Quake or Counter are quite difficult or impossible for older people or even teenagers without good motor skills. Online RPGs in general are quite difficult to people without the right mindset (and the will to keep killing rats and rabbits for hours till their skill with a sword gets good enough to allow them to kill dogs and cats, reload and repeat).

        Second Life audience is likely to be quite different from Everquest or Ultima, since their most important point is the original building capacity.

        *
      • By doing this they have also made it quite difficult or impossible for a vast amount of people to also create things.

        It is difficult for a vast number of people to create usable computer tools as well. If it weren't, many among the /. audience would be flipping burgers and offering "fries with that". SL mimics the Real World(tm) that way. Some will aspire to build floating cities, while others will make t-shirts because if everyone were a Wizard, the environment would be pretty boring.

        On the other han

      • "By doing this they have also made it quite difficult or impossible for a vast amount of people to also create things."

        I don't think so. There will still be a lot of copyright free stuff to be had. In fact I doubt most people will bother to enforce any sort of copyright on their creations.

        This move was important for programs such as Second Life however because the creation exists entirely on the server. Without this change in the TOS the obvious interpretations would be that Linden Labs owns everythi
      • Items can be instantly copied, sold, given away, etc. Each object possesses a "Properties" panel which lets the creator assign permissions similar to the creative commons licensing system.

        Going from memory, it was something like this:

        Object can be:
        - Copied
        - Modified
        - Sold/Given Away
        Next owner can:
        - Copy
        - Modify
        - Sell/Give Away

        The "Next owner can" set of permissions will be applied to a copy of the object at the time of purchase.
    • they deserve the fruits of their labour, and to keep the rights to their own creations.

      It would be interesting to see how many people choose the standard "AllMineMineMine!" copyright vs. the other more open licenses. You would think open source's share and share-alike would flourish except in cases where the object creator is especially selfish, or in cases where someone wanted to sell temporarily unique data on Ebay for cash in the real world.

      Heh - funny thought: Imagine a gameworld divided up into zon

    • As a member of a civilization that got along fine for thousands of years without the concept of Intellectual Property, I think it's a ridiculous attempt to graft a relatively recent and already obsolete legal contrivance onto an artificial world.
  • by Francis (5885) on Friday November 14, 2003 @01:51PM (#7475252) Homepage
    In the SL world, everything works on Linden$ (L$). Everything you build costs money. For instance, if I want to build a cube (or other type of primitive) it costs me $10. If I destroy that cube, I get my $10 back. If I decide to keep the cube in the game at all times, even when I'm not logged in, I get taxed on it. This is to encourage people not to leave stuff just lying around, cluttering up the landscape, and more importantly, the game server with processing your junk.

    Every week you get a stipend, of roughly L$1000, which will never increase your account balance beyond $3500. To gain more money than that, you have to earn it. One way of earning L$ is to sell things, such as clothes, models, or scripts.

    Unless you figure out an exploit, you cannot steal anyone's things. Every note, script and object you create has a list of permissions, such as copyable, modifiable, moveable, buyable.

    In most of the SL world, you cannot hurt anyone. In the areas where you can be hurt, if you die, all that happens is you get teleported home. That's it.

    You don't have to worry about someone beating you up and robbing you :)

    My favorite thing about SL is the scripting language. Like Hiro in snow crash. You can literally click an object in the game, and bring up the scripting code in a window, and start futzing with it. This is a really good toy version of the metaverse :)
    • This is a shameless plug but a (very young) SecondLife Wiki is available at http://www.lilmikey.com/slwiki [lilmikey.com]
    • Like Hiro in snow crash. You can literally click an object in the game, and bring up the scripting code in a window, and start futzing with it. This is a really good toy version of the metaverse :)

      Sounds like Squeak [squeak.org], a version of SmallTalk.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196)
    Will there be a database of 2nd Life code? Like a sourceforge? How about a 2nd Life UI for interacting with it? Like a smithy/library, where avatars meet to demo and haggle? Auctioneer avatars taking their cut of licensing transactions?

    How about a 2nd Life virtual machine for running 2nd Life code on my Gnome desktop? How long before we move that desktop *inside* 2nd Life, for development teams?
  • I remember the days when the only people who had to give a damn about copyright laws were those who held 'em and the big piracy rings who infringed upon them and sold the bootlegs in Times Square. The big arms race of the new millenium seems to be for everyone to horde everything they can under the umbrella of copyright/trademark/patent. I'm surprised you can masturbate any more without signing away the rights to your bodily fluids. It is sad that because of a world controlled by a handful of wealthy polit
  • This bugs me. Recognizing IP should be easy right? 127.0.0.1. If they mean copyright say copyright. IP has an existing definition that is decades older.
  • by Che Guevarra (85906) on Friday November 14, 2003 @02:13PM (#7475417)
    What a lot of "programers" don't realize is that there is a very rich and textured world of legality that exists in the corporate world. What is actually taking place is the legal precedent of rights. There is nothing like this in precedent, so there is an ongoing establishment of "rights" taking place. Its important in the legal/courts environment, but not necessarily in the court of public opinion. However, these issues need to be addressed to determine business practices.
    • I'll reply to my own question. The Legal world is just as rich as the programing world. It's very much a game of give and take in that the interpretation of what is right and wrong is fluid. Lawyers aren't inherently evil, they just know all the alley ways to take in order to turn what would be a just verdict evil. How that effects society, they just don't care, because they've spent an enourmouse amount of money on their education and the .... Oh my god, I just became a lawyer and I'm going to kill mys
  • Both Snow Crash (someone mentioned Hiro and the manipulation of objects in his environment) and Tad Williams' Otherworld feature this sort of behavior in their environment. Player-crafted and -owned objects are common, and in fact are really what bring a player prestige.

    I like the idea of an online environment where one's creative abilities and hard work are appreciated and rewarded, because it encourages similar behavior in others. Instead of spending hours just clicking on ingredients to craft something,
  • by Doctor Cat (676482) on Friday November 14, 2003 @04:35PM (#7476494) Homepage
    As usual, the companies with the big PR budget get the attention (and the press coverage, be it on /. or elsewhere.) Here's an excerpt from our Furcadia user agreement, which we've had for quite a while...

    Copyrights for any original works made by Content Providers belong to them, or jointly to them and Dragon's Eye if their work is based on Furcadia artwork or other content to the extent that it constitutes a 'derivative work' under current laws. By uploading their original work and/or derivative work to Furcadia, Content Providers automatically grant their permission for other players to use the Furcadia software to view and experience those works, a process in which the software may download copies of the works to the viewer's computer for viewing. In addition, the act of uploading grants Dragon's Eye license to redistribute the work in other formats or on other media that the software may support in the future, and to redistribute it in any way that it deems beneficial towards the goal of promoting Furcadia to the general public. Content Providers recognize and acknowledge that making their content available for other players to view and use incurs a certain amount of risk that some of those players may use, modify, or distribute that content in unauthorized ways which may infringe on the copyrights of the Content Provider. Each Content Provider agrees that they assume the entire risk of such infringement when they choose to upload, that they indemnify Dragon's Eye from any liability resulting from such infringement by third parties, that Dragon's Eye assumes no responsibility for taking punitive or corrective actions against such copyright violators, and that the Content Provider will pursue any and all remedies for such infringements on their own, whether these consist of requesting the infringer to cease and desist, filing a civil lawsuit against the infringer, or any other measures. In the event that a Content Provider chooses to file suit on a copyright infringement matter, Dragon's Eye agrees to provide any requested information regarding the transfer or use of the content involved that it may have in its records in a timely fashion.

    I suspect that games like Regenesis and Alpha World were treating user created artwork and such as belonging to the user before we were, though I never actually read their license agreements.

  • IP been stolen? Guy looking at you funny? Virtual dog bite you? Come check out the SecondLife law offices of Duey, Cheatem & Howe..

    I'll make a killing online..
  • Do we not have enough problems with people calling ideas "property" in the real world?

    What is to come of this? If you create a virtual T-shirt, will you be able to say that any avatar wearing a T-shirt is "stealing" your "intellectual property"? What if someone claims to be the first to create a character with wings and goes suing every avatar with wings?

    The legal concept of "intellectual property" should be erradicated, not expanded. Ideas are not property! They never have been. They never wi

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