[SLED] Export tools and Linden's "Policy on Third-PartyViewers" (is it legally binding?!)

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at gmail.com
Fri Apr 30 12:07:05 PDT 2010

Morgan Leigh wrote:
>> Whilst we're all up in arms about this, can I suggest that a big part of
>> it is that IP legislation is a real mess. There, in my opinion, NEEDS to
>> be a clear way that I can say it's OK for you to backup content I've
>> made OR a an equally clear (and probably implicit unless specifically
>> waived) way to say you can't. There needs to be a way to let Google
>> offer a service that a lot of us like, that allows a team of us to share
>> our ideas via their systems without making it look like we're waiving
>> all our IP rights even to the most paranoid of lawyers.
> You have hit the nail on the head. IP law is incredibly broken because
> it suits those corporations trying to distribute content.

Agree, mostly.  But we are actually in a quite new world.  The 
communication and computation revolutions are making information and 
mere bits the core of value.  This is even more obvious in a virtual 
world.   Information has the very interesting property that generally 
the more widely and closer to zero cost you distribute it the more of it 
you get in both terms of quality and quantity.  Many IP law areas were 
written to cover material things, whether they be the things covered 
themselves, or their actual usuable embodiment.  So just applying those 
laws in a realm where neither the things themselves, nor their 
embodiment is physical is bound to be broken.    What would be very 
excellent is to get to a situation where the actual nature of this new 
content was maximally enhanced such that:

1) copying and wide distribution is actively very encouraged;
2) there is some pool of money/value existent that creators can be paid 
3) that how often some bit of digital stuff is used is somehow very 
cheaply tracked;
4) that creators get paid in proportion to how much their creation is used.

Note that users do not get charged extra per use in any way in the 
above.   I don't know if this is doable.  In particular how to set up 
and replendish (2) is a big question.  And making (3) work without 
leaving too much room to scam the system will be a challenge as well.    
Some sort of flat price subscription might work with some caveats.

And no, I don't propose that something like this applies to all digital 
goods.  Although it is a thought. 

A step further out (or serveral), some day I hope to see molecular 
nanotechnology capable of building anything from raw elements, a bit of 
energy, and knowledge of how it is constructed.   Then the physical 
becomes more or less identical to the world of bits for many physical goods.

Lastly, please note that accelerating technology means that increasing 
everyone has the means to capture in full fidelity and transmit 
everything they see or hear.  That tech becomes ever smaller and more 
ubiquitous.  Eventually I expect wearables and then implants.  It 
becomes part of our very selves.   This means that the nature of the 
entities involved changes out from under old assumptions.  Why do I need 
to buy a copy of a movie when my friend who saw it, just by the nature 
of being there in normal extended mind abilities, has a perfect fidelity 
recording and can communicate it to me at nearly the speed of light?     
It would be highly unnatural to attempt to corral some sight/sound 
compositions and some facts with a lot of artificial restrictions.  

We are still at the stage of attempting to pour very new wine into very 
old bottles never made to contain it.

- samantha

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