The most recent episode of the show is now available on the Designing Worlds website at the Treet TV archives – and can also be downloaded free of charge from iTunes.
In this show, we discussed one of the most important issues to have come up in Virtual Worlds – the question of intellectual property, and the challenges to it. As part of their planning to move from Second Life to an OpenSim grid, UK-based Rezzable developed a special tool, called BuilderBot, to help them save their existing SL properties and restore them on another grid. BuilderBot is able to copy an entire sim, and Rezzable decided that they were going to release the tool, in free and paid versions, for others to use. This has caused a great deal of controversy, not least because, at least initially, Rezzable intended to release the tool with no checking of ownership (it wasn’t something they needed as they were only copying their own IP).
What kind of a threat, if any, does this represent to builders, designers and other content-creators in Second Life? Do designers need to redefine what “full perms” means in a multi-VW environment? What’s the future of intellectual property in today’s expanding metaverse? We were joined in the studio by RightAsRain Rimbaud, the avatar behind Rezzable, by Gospel Voom and by Angela Talamasca, who has put forward an interesting – and controversial – suggestion for one way of limiting content theft.
But do we need new tools, or new attitudes?
This was a fascinating and lively discussion and many issues were raised, both by the participants and by the audience. As a result, and in the light of the new initiative from Linden Lab – which appeared on their blog while the programme was going out (but unfortunately not early enough for us to reference it!) – we’ve decided to continue this discussion on our show in a week’s time, on August 18th. Make sure you don’t miss it – it should be another fascinating show!