I believe anyone that has researched digital copy protection, its history and technology, knows it is a seemingly impossible task that to date is a proven an impossibility. So, anyone that wants to go that route needs to devise the plan, patent it, and get rich. Then we’ll believe it can be done. Because the habitual experience over decades is it can’t.
In RL we can’t stop theft. We make it illegal and set penalties. The result is the hourly rate for robbing banks is WAY below minimum wage. Still, there are those that think they can pull it off.
In Second Life how do we adjust the benefit ratio to make theft an obviously poor choice to the not so bright? And what cost are we willing to pay to do that? Here, again, philosophy plays a key role in coming to a workable answer. It is a matter of a ‘we’ not ‘them’ paying. It is easy to try and push the cost in labor, time, or money off on the Lab and then scream when they object. It is the basic entitlement philosophy our culture is immersed in.
Any plan one offers they should personally be willing pay for in effort, time, and money. I don’t mean spread the cost over all of us. It’s your idea, you pay to try it. When implemented that ‘cost sharing’ may be reasonable and appropriate. But, until we have something we know works, why should we pay to experiment with your ideas?
Cathy Foil has offered ideas, see video, that are used in real life; a sting, honey pot viewers, digital watermarks… these are mostly labor intense and some verge on entrapment.
A honeypot in the computer world is an enticing Trojan target. It isn’t what it appears to be. It is the cheese in the mouse trap. A fake copybot viewer used to trap its users would be a honeypot.
Entrapment is a subtle legal thing that has to do with encouraging/enticing someone to commit a crime they may not otherwise commit. It’s a mouse trap sort of thing. Is the mouse hungry or intending to steal? We don’t care in the case of a mouse. But, our society in its philosophical wisdom has decided we will not allow our police forces to entice people to commit crimes so they can be caught.
Cathy in her statements seems to have prejudged those that would use a copybot viewer as only being thieves. Thus, all that use them should be banned without due process. A philosophical shortcoming.
But, there are technically legal uses of a copybot viewer. So, honeypot viewers will create more drama and headaches. And… since viewers are open source… I think they would be a source of the code needed to build your own thieving viewer.
We talked about the legal complications of ‘taking’ money from ‘thieves’.
Medhue relies on making complex things, the cat, which are difficult to reproduce in working versions from the stolen parts. But, how complex can I make my next pair of yoga pants? So, I can’t see ‘complexity’ scaling to work on a general level.
There are the calls for being licensed to be a ‘seller’ in SL. But, we have to figure out how to make that work with the Lab’s philosophy of making things easy for users.
Read the accounts of music and game copy protection plans that killed sales and decimated user numbers. Sales were driven down and users left when copy protection was too annoying for legitimate customers. There were more paying customers and sales when copy protection was removed. (Reference) On the business side, it is more profitable to limit copy protection to a level that does NOT annoy paying customers.
The point is, for the Lab to buy in on any plan we cannot propose measures that violate the Lab’s philosophy of how to attract customers. make SL enjoyable, and increase operational costs.
Licensing requires effort, time, and money. The government likes to license and it always turns into a mess. How many of you love the DMV?
We know what Sansar is going to do. Ebbe has told us. You can have a free account, but, you can’t ‘initially’ sell through the Sansar marketplace. But, over time as you build a reputation and become more involved in Sansar you get more rights and at some point, selling things is one of those rights.
So, throw-away accounts with selling rights will NOT be a part of Sansar.
Would that work for Second Life? We could just build a clock that prevents new members from selling for some time, 6 months? That seems like it would be cheap, labor free, technically simple… Not intrusive on longtime residents, new members need time to learn so while annoying probably not overly so… and limits can be adjusted.
Over time bans would knock down the number of free accounts selling stolen goods. The problem of them coming back the next day would be gone.
The time-to-selling-status change might significantly reduce the number of people selling stolen goods in SL. Those determined low life thieves will get more creative. But, at least a time-to-selling-status would complicate their lives.
Our possible solutions are way less than emotionally satisfying. While I’m not willing to give up and accept things as they are, I am pragmatic enough see humans as they are and try to deal with what is.
Plus, philosophically I am averse to more organizational control and supervision. A time limit wouldn’t affect me. But, morally I do have to consider how it would affect everyone else. This seems like the least intrusive.
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