Politics and Interoperability Standards

So the focus ought to be twofold: first, what protocol should be used to interchange asset data? And secondly: how do I guarantee that a foreign grid adheres to the same code of conduct that I do? LL/IBM’s proposal to the MMOX Working Group addresses both issues separately, and in a way that allows easy transfer of data between trusted grids, while defining how to enforce policies, both in code (by implementing a way that operators cannot tamper with the data) and in a court of law (by agreeing to mutual policies on contracts that can be overviewed by a judge and present them evidence in the form of non-repudiable packets of data with digitally-signed assets)

Currently, the discussion is taking a different turn. The major issue on the minds of the MMOX participants (besides agreeing exactly on what they’re supposed to be standardising, e.g. if they’re suggesting new intergrid protocols, or just going to use LL’s own as the standard) is how to enforce remote DRM.

This is the Holy Grail of content protection! In fact, it’s a question that nobody has an answer for. Remotely enforcing DRM can be demonstrated to be technically impossible, although, ultimately, making it extremely hard to break is a good enough approach. The problem is only how you know that the DRM is actively being used. Like on the example above, how can one grid operator, responsible for the integrity of the content of millions of content creators, know that the other grids will indeed apply DRM to their own residents?

This is, indeed, what Zha Ewry repeatedly considers to be a hard question to answer (and which others, as said, take it to mean “we will not implement it”). Zha’s and Zero’s answer is to avoid the issue. It’s not to say that assets are not to be interchanged without any content protection. No, the problem is how to make sure that they remain content-protected once on a foreign grid, even if they were digitally signed before transmission. The obvious solution, again, is to make policy part of the protocol. Although it’s been claimed that, for ideological reasons, LL and IBM wish to create a metaverse without copyright protection, that claim is only in the mind of those who are blind to what the proposals actually mean. LL and IBM don’t want less copyright protection. They even want to code policy in the protocol!

You can imagine this as not only sending the data over the wire, but also the Covenant you see on the About Land link on private islands. It’s not just selling parcels, it’s selling them within the guidelines established by a covenant.

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