i was reading a post talking about a professor’s move from Second Life to OpenSim and about the woes of cooperative building. in his case, students make different buildings and sometimes he has to wait for them to log in to make changes to doors and so on (he is on a grid that does not have groups implemented, yet another reason to have your own dedicated server and truly your own grid)
his post got me thinking about this whole copyright thing and virtual worlds. i am all for copyright, i even paid $1,800 USD for a font family for a project once, but . . . there are times when the virtual world should emulate the real world. buildings are an example of this and his issue would be solved if you treated buildings like you do in the real world
do you know who built your house in real life? or who built your school or work building?
so maybe when doing a cooperative project, you create agreements as to what will happen with those buildings. in the professor’s case, his students will eventually move on. what i would do (because i am sooo all knowing and smart) is to create either a flickr set or a web page featuring that student’s build, write a little about it like: “Ariel LaPoutine created this wonderful . . . .” and leave it online so that the student could point to it as their work in their resume or what have you. credit is important and should be honoured
then once the build was completed, take an OAR backup of the sim, then load that OAR and voila, the building is now yours to edit as your needs change. this is like real life, i buy a house and i paint it or make additions or whatever
as long as this is known up front then this is a good way to work for the long term. many people are losing great tools and builds when moving from Second Life because of ownership. these are still the rules we are using; in that one person creates and their name stays on that object forever
that is dumb and only a paradigm created by the walled garden of Second Life
with the ability to give items as complete regions, or even discreetly as an inventory item, this paradigm can be changed to reflect something that is a normal and real and legal concept in real life
smaller items, like my in-stream water turbine or a helicopter, can be exported as an IAR file and sold, given, traded, or whatever to someone else. they then upload that IAR and it shows as theirs and they can edit it. it’s a great way to give items, especially scripted ones because the scripts stay intact (as opposed to an XML export of it)
crediting the creator of something is important, but so is the ability to buy something and be able to edit it as times change. i have a 60 year old home, imagine that if i wanted to add more insulation or change the furnace that i had to contact the builder?
rethinking ownership is one of many things moving to OpenSim is doing and also pointing to everyone having their own grid (as far as educators and business). it is easy to imagine the professor above having his own grid and not being subject to someone else’s control (i doubt he can hit the server). that is as full a freedom as you can achieve so far
freedom can be scary and that is why many people gravitate to other grids rather than being on their own (we did), but time will change that