Content Theft, Avatar Rights, and the RIAA

No PiracyYou had to be very distracted to have missed the recent massive cry-out against content theft in Second Life. As the world grows, and as griefers and similar people commit misdemeanours all the time and get away with it, the situation can not improve by itself, as more and more petty residents find out that the best way to make money in SL — sometimes a cartful of money — is by illegitimate means.

Cons, content theft, extortion (when you happen upon someone’s sensitive data) — all these are part of the dark side of Second Life, and have been so since at least 2004. A broken permission system sometimes allow people to copy what they shouldn’t. Naive content creators leave “freebies” around that are later re-sold for a profit. Exploits allow people under certain circumstances to block others out of their own plots (and demand payment to get back what you rightfully own). Ad farmers block the view to extort money out of their neighbours to make the ads disappear. The list is endless as people’s creativity to illegitimately part innocents from their L$.

Recently, however, the situation seems to be getting out of hand, and this time, like so often in the past, the content creators and the digital law advocates have risen (sometimes backed up with real life lawyers), organised themselves once more, and launched all sorts of campaigns against content theft — aggressively.

But will they actually be successful?

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