Tuesday, April 1, 2008
We Don't Play With Pirates:
How Content Providers Should Respond to Piracy
There has been an outpouring of anger at the crassness of A&F Designs. But it's better to get ahead, than get even.
King Linden only enforce the rules as far as it is convenient for him. This is the nature of Second Life. It's the nature of monarchies in general. We knew that when we came here.
Piracy is also a technical fact of life in the computer world. There will never be a situation where there will be no piracy. Piracy is always going to be possible, and it will always be a response when conditions for content buyers are sufficiently unfair. But that doesn't mean that people have to take any of these three facts, the nature of monarchy, the technical possibility of piracy, or the economic pressures of society as a whole, as things to be passively endured.
Instead content providers should do something simple.
Create a banlink group. Join banlink. Get the top content providers to sign up for it, contact current banlink members and ask them to trust it.
Ban owners of places that sell pirated goods. Ban the sim owner if he refuses to remove obvious piracy stores. Ban customers of obvious piracy stores. Tell them what has happened.
This is far better than drama dn griefing. It will be implementable immediately, it will be visible, and create a single place for content providers to keep up on places that are pirate havens, so that they can go and check to see if a DMCA needs to be filed. This is better htan punishing legitimate shoppers by closing stores for a day or so, since most of them can't do anything about piracy. In fact, they, by buying things legitimately are already doing what they can. Providers should also push malls where they have stores to trust this banlist.
Some content providers are already members.
What we do at NME is pay 250L per sim or sim equivalent we have under banlink management, the content provider group should charge its members this much and pay it to the people who run banlink... after all, if you want to be paid, you should have no trouble paying other people for the work they do.
This is simple, it uses things already available, tested and in place, requires no intervention from LL. Providers could create a logo, put that logo on their stores. Tell people that a sim is a pirate free area. Why do stores pirate? To make money. Why do people pirate content? To go places and be seen with that content. No place to play, no reason to buy purloined content.
That way there would be a clear penalty: profit from piracy, or play with piracy, then live in a much smaller Second Life.
That's all there is too it. Get a group together, ban pirates, and put out signs that say "We Don't Play With Pirates." Mall and dance hall owners, who depend on rents from providers would happily join. Content providers would join or trust.
While content providers will find that the efforts will be limited as long as the Second Life economy depends on pervasive abuse of people who work, because the rights of consumers to earn directly affect the ability of content providers to charge, there is no reason for content providers to be ineffectual about enforcing their rights as people who work to the fruits of their labors.
Perhaps they also have to realize that if they sell sex beds to people mkaing less than minimum wage, then it is going to be difficult to convince those same people to pay rl prices for work done in sl.
But first things first... send the message that the only place for pirates, is Davy Jones' locker.