Wednesday, June 30, 2010

what good is this chanting? I don't even know what I'm reading!

Does Second Life have any lives left?

And we've heard this song and dance before, but I love the third comment down:
If Linden Lab didn’t care, they never would have put the modify/copy/trans permissions system into Second Life in the first place.

If Linden Lab didn’t care, they would have claimed ownership of all intellectual property created in Second Life. In fact, that’s how most game worlds work, and that’s how SL worked until Linden Lab changed their Terms of Service.

The people to complain about, to be mad at, are the people doing the intellectual property infringement. They’re the ones breaking the law.

Even if Linden Lab banned all third-party viewers and managed to keep them from connecting to the SL grid, people would still be able to copy SL content. People were copying SL content before third-party viewers existed.

Here’s what will happen: people will either figure out how to make a living in SL *despite* IP infringement, or they won’t. The ones that don’t will leave SL. The ones that do will stick around and thrive. The law of the jungle operates in SL as well.

Walmart didn’t quit because they couldn’t stop shoplifting. iTunes didn’t shut down because of Pirate Bay. Rolex is still in business despite the fact that you can get cheap imitations on the street. Best Buy still sells lots of DVDs. And SL will continue to exist, even though there are a few criminals running around.
Absolutely. Troy strikes again. But he's right, it's vital that creators learn this trick, and start employing it.

Yes, absolutely, go after infringers. Yes, absolutely, get the word out that copyright infringement is wrong. Yes, absolutely, take a strong stand against it and hold that strong stand.

But no, don't give up. No, don't stop creating. No, don't delete your work and go away. That's giving in, that's surrendering, that's admitting the thieves are better than we are, smarter, more adaptive. That's ridiculous.

Meanwhile, filmmaking has recently taken an ugly turn, namely the casting of Avatar: the Last Airbender. Let me preface this by saying I've never seen more than one, maybe two episodes of Airbender, but I know the concept, I know some of the plot. I missed was that it was a Western-produced animated series, not an Asian anime. It looks like anime.

But really, M. Night lost me completely as a fan with The Happening. To me, it's not a shock, it's just par for the course that he's done something as ridiculous as cast a nearly entirely wholly fair-skinned cast for an Asianesque fantasy universe. Why should this surprise me? He wanted me to be afraid of wind in the last film!

How'ver, Operation Squeegee--by the time this posts--will be open! There's a donation kiosk at my main store for them (making one on each side, now; Operation Squeegee's bucket and post, facing the multicolored ribbon that comprises the Virtual Haiti relief kiosk), and you can also go here to attend the main event.

What's the point, though? Right now SL is kind of glutted on charity events. We've even had an event where charity wasn't the point. RFL is still ongoing, the Virtual Haiti Relief effort is still going, so why another one?

Because--as with cancer, as with the total devastation of every form of Haiti's infrastructure--what's happening in the Gulf really is that tragic. Not only that, but it's a tragedy that could have been prevented with foresight. Like New Orleans.

Second Life,Operation Squeegee,charity,shopping,fashion,events,virtual worlds
(The Operation Squeegee event site.)

There are operations in process, moving (slowly) through the legislature, that will take profits directly from oil and gas royalty payments to use to clean up the Gulf. This is good. But that's later. The Gulf needs our help now.

Second Life,Operation Squeegee,charity,shopping,fashion,events,virtual worlds
(The Veritas houseboat. 53 floating prims.)

Scientists are telling us that children are at greatest risk for contamination from the Gulf disaster. Their systems stand to be irreparably harmed from contact with this much oil, and this toxic a chemical oil dispersant, threaded through the waves.

Second Life,Operation Squeegee,charity,shopping,fashion,events,virtual worlds
(Very fun beach ball.)

Two months after the disaster, things are worse than ever. Over seventy-six million gallons of oil have spilled out of Deepwater Horizon. They're telling us the worst is yet to come; we may never be able to stop what went wrong. We may have to live with this spreading devastation...forever.

Second Life,Operation Squeegee,charity,shopping,fashion,events,virtual worlds
(Blue Ocean dolly dress.)

There's oil rain falling in Louisiana now. It's also falling in Florida. Already, it's not bad enough that the oil's devastating the Gulf ecosystem; it's saturating the water now, which disperses into moisture that is then picked up, carried into clouds, and deposited miles away in the forms of lethal, contaminated, oil- and dispersant-rich rain, dew, mist and fog.

Second Life,Operation Squeegee,charity,shopping,fashion,events,virtual worlds
(Intense prim jellied eyes.)

The National Wildlife Federation is soliciting funds to help in any way they can, but in particular, part of their focus is on an endangered population of pelicans. And their efforts are being hampered in every way possible by BP directly, who is currently still spending their days claiming they're not to blame followed by making everyone they can find in the area sign non-disclosure agreements, or booking smallcrafts, helicopter and light aircraft flight/float times, to prevent scientists, technicians and reporters from actually moving over the area, to observe and/or take pictures.

Second Life,Operation Squeegee,charity,shopping,fashion,events,virtual worlds
(Picture pendant.)

It's staggering, and should it be BP's responsibility? Absolutely. But while they dither, we can't wait. It gets worse every single minute that goes by, and we must help. We can't afford to wait. No one can.

Second Life,Operation Squeegee,charity,shopping,fashion,events,virtual worlds
(Blue and black oil bikini.)

So this. So the Operation. Because the Gulf will die if we don't do something, and that doesn't mean just the pelicans, just the fish. That means everything. People, plants, animals, the land itself, contaminated for decades or centuries, the ocean a wasteland devoid of all life...if there's any way to stop that future from becoming reality, we have to try.

Contact the folks at Operation Squeegee for more information; as they said earlier, "Remember this is all to [benefit] a great cause - helping an ecosystem and all [its] residents recover from the Oil Spill Disaster. All funds collected go towards the National Wildlife Federation via Operation Squeegee."

This is another one where they're being absolutely transparent about where the money's going. Please give what you can and realize; the state you save, the country you save, may well be your own. We are a closed ecosystem; as we've learned with Chernobyl and Mount St. Helens, this will travel.

Give it time. The oil rain is coming. All of us have to do what we can to lessen the blow.

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