Saturday, October 17, 2009

all that and more coming down from the sky

The real tragedy with this issue is that it's the second time it's hit the JIRA. Likely in a few days, some Linden will wander by and say, hey, you should just report this, I'll kill the issue for you--

What is it going to take? I'm still steadfastly against teens joining Main Grid, but this sounds excruciatingly dire. I don't think users of the Teen Grid toss around phrases like 'ghost town' lightly. And the legal recourse we have at present requires a lot of research, a lot of follow-up, and I'm not saying teens can't do that, but that's a whole other level of confusion with copyright law--for instance, can a virtual resident complain about Copybotted items if they're not eighteen? Must one be of legal age to complain about infringing content?

Because if so, with no one on the Teen Grid being over eighteen....Teen Grid is screwed.

(The link works now, btw--sorry about that.)

Meanwhile, Philip Rosedale is off saying everything's fine, he's just leaving. Again. Only not really. Way to vague things up. And Jack Linden, as usual, is dodging questions about grandfathered homesteads entering the marketplace again. Buh?

I remain amused that Miss Widdershins either took her response to me on the kiosk post, and turned it into an entry on the Step Up! blog--or, copied sections of that blog entry, in her reply to me. Either way, it doesn't speak well for the organization, that they're very upfront about the fact that they're not checking on who's getting the kiosk.

It's simple, at least for me--if you're invested in protecting content--I mean, really invested, in that you want it stopped, you need it stopped, and your focus is finding ways to block infringing content--THEN YOU CHECK WHO'S GETTING YOUR KIOSK.

Because otherwise, it IS a tacit endorsement--no matter how often you say "We just can't check everything" and "Hey, it's going to happen".

I ran across a wonderful talk, actually, on the difference between the establishment of copyright law and current applications. And she's right in what she says--copyright, two hundred years ago, was very easy to understand, because copies were arduous to make, and the average citizen had no means to employ them. "A copy" always meant a physical copy, and even twenty years ago, the means of copying media--be that sound, image or word--always resulted in degradation from the original.

Now? Digital advances mean we can take the original of one song (or story, or photograph, or show), and copy it a hundred times, and each of those hundred copies will be an exact duplicate of the original. Copy each of those copies a hundred times and there will still be no degradation, no loss of signal strength, no flaws--that weren't already present in the original.

In a sense, it's no longer copying, per se--it's duplication.

Granted, that talk was given while Bill Clinton was still President, but it's relevant today, even after changes have been put into place. In many ways, we're still dealing with the type of folks who think that all information should be restricted, bought, sealed, secured--versus people who think information should be free and unrestrained.

(And even saying that, please do not think my protests on this blog indicate any sort of support for copyright violation--even knowing everyone on the grid has engaged in it, from Philip Linden on down, I am still not in support of copyright violation. But the problem is so much larger than "educating" people on what "content theft" is--because it's all around us, we see something on the grid that infringes every single day. It's important to understand where we can effect change, to enforce change. And even with that, people will need to want to change.)

I want to talk about the Exodi hunt a bit, though. A group of us went out last night, the night the hunt opened, and as much as I love the eyes, and the skins, I loved the hunt grounds more.

This remains a pretty good overview of the hunt--it goes without saying you're hunting for small, blocky (commercially-branded) candy bars (*cough*), but I found myself falling more in love with the hunting grounds, than the hunt.

Exodi hunt rules

These are the rules. It's pretty straightforward, all things considered: find the bars; right-click on the bars; get a virtual version of that candy, or the skin or eyes that candy holds. Once you get the skin or eyes from that particular type of candy, you don't have to search for that candy again.

Exodi hunting grounds

The huts were just gorgeous small crafted things, sculpted thatch roofs, simple wooden construction, each of them containing a glowing pumpkin. Very evocative of home and hearth and harvest.

Exodi hunting grounds

The hunting grounds themselves were high over the Exodi lands, enclosed in this neat little half-sim-size bubble over the sculpted land base. The glowing orange sky was scripted to move, just a bit, and it really added to the effect.

Exodi hunting grounds

A shot of the place from the cemetary, showing trees, huts and sky.

Exodi hunting grounds

An overhead shot, showing the little picnic area with the haybales, just off from the church building.

All in all, it's well worth the hunting time, and it's a pretty easy walk around, even considering the hunters, the sculpted nature of the hunting grounds, and the script costs. And it's pretty--how many makers on the grid take the time to make their hunting place pretty, in addition to functional?

I highly recommend it, and just based on how this hunt was handled, I'm contemplating joining their in-world group. Very well done, start to finish.

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