In The Dark Side Of Second Life, an article that was posted yesterday on BusinessWeek.com., writer Catherine Holahan explores the apparently increasing unauthorized copying of Second Life "possessions," and what if anything can be done about it.
Catherine notes that Second Life developer Linden Lab is well aware of the problem, and that the company's "roughly 30 developers are also working to better identify the original creators of designs and make this information easily accessible to the public.
"The hope is that, once people know someone has an illegally copied item," Catherine adds, (that person) "will be shunned by the community or sued by the original designer, be it in a real-world or Second Life court system, for violating copyright protection laws."
To me that opens all sorts of questions I would like to raise here.
You know I think Second Life is not real, and is way overhyped as being something it is not. Like Grand Theft Auto cars are not really stolen, and X-rated video games don't get anyone actually pregnant.
But as I have implied in this post, what if intellectual property theft committed in Second Life carries over into the First- i.e. from silicon to carbon?
Then, we might have a problem.
Ordinarily, I would think such punishment -fines, even up to explusion- should be meted out entirely within the world of Second Life.
But what if, say, I am a clothing designer or a musician, and I (as in this SL creation I grabbed from real-world company American Apparel) use SL to demo my creations for potential real-world clients? Say I take screencaps of my SL clothing designs to link to them, and overnight, before I have a chance to fire up my screen capture tool or link to these designs, they aren't there any more as my creation?
Or say make a YouTube of a song I demo in SL, and then this song is hacked?
So then, what if my SL creations are hacked, misappropriated, etc., and are no longer there, and my ability to use SL as a demo for real-world aspirations and real-world dollars os compromised?