Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A statement from the Not Possible IRL group regarding Rezzable's BuilderBot

Posted by Bettina Tizzy

The members of the Not Possible IRL group held two meetings and shared many thoughtful notecards and IMs today expressly to discuss Rezzable's BuilderBot, and reach a consensus. The conclusions are as follows:
  • The overwhelming majority of those who participated in today’s two meetings agree that Rezzable’s BuilderBot appears to be a useful – even important - tool for serious/professional creators and contractors.
  • NPIRLers denounced the death threats expressed in comments on Rezzable’s blog and expressed concern about the sanity of the people posting them, as well as the safety of the Rezzable employees.
  • We were reminded that Second Life® residents have been asking for viewer-side back- up tools for years, and statements made by Philip Linden on April 16th during Rob Linden's Open Source Viewer office hours were recalled:
[14:30] Philip Linden: on assets... i definitely think we need explicit perms for off-grid to make it OK to move content to other grids.
[14:30] Philip Linden: NOT ok to copy stuff otherwise.
[14:30] Philip Linden: And I'd say we'll act as much as possible to protect folks rights in that.
[14:32] Philip Linden: full perms doesn't mean off-grid, because the creators may well not have understood the implications.
  • Members concurred that most content creators in Second Life are at little risk of having their creations ripped by BuilderBot, largely because it is much easier to use a CopyBot instead of devoting hours to ripping a sim, importing it to one’s OpenSim, and then using a CopyBot to put it back into Second Life.
  • Numerous members noted that Linden Lab did not anticipate or think through many of the issues we are dealing with today and that Second Life sits on and is as vulnerable as any digital content is on the Internet. It was remarked that even before the viewer went Open Source, it was not too difficult to hack the cache. Moreover, content is moving off of Linden servers and “joining the cloud.” How ownership is handled in the cloud needs to be determined now and the solutions to these issues, within the context of Second Life’s current infrastructure, are legal, not technical.
  • A number of members suggested that Rezzable should code in an ownership check, and that including a pay method and a license key associated with each copy of an item created by the tool might be a reasonable way to track copies. “If (Rezzable) could find a way, others will too, but at least they will have the legacy of doing the right thing.”


Skills said...

Releasing a tool like this without permission checks is absolutely unacceptable and shows once again Rezzable's unprofessional way to get things done and lack of programming skills.
Using a tool that circumvents the permission system is directly breaching the TOS and a bannable offense.
Little risk for creators?? No Security by Obscurity, Just because you think using this tool is difficult doesn't mean it's too hard for other people aswell. Of course it's easier to use copybot or other clients but they don't rip a whole sim build!
There have been similar sim-downloader tools around for years now so this is really no news, but for fucks sake, do the extra work and respect permissions!
I can't believe they even thought about releasing it w/o checks. And i can't believe how many people in the comments are like "Oh piracy happens anyway, this won't change much" Excuse me? That feels like a big middle finger in the face of many creators who think their work is actually worth something. Don't release it and keep the source closed. Go and play on your opensim and wait for someone to do it right!

xlent1 said...

NPIRL thanks for comments. See some initial thoughts here: http://rezzable.com/blog/rightasrain-rimbaud/reviewing-builderbot-release#comment-3672

We will look at mods to make this more ripper-resistant.

nimil said...

i really gotta agree with skills here... after reading about this thing the attitude from rezzables seems to be that they don't really care if someone uses this to rip off someone's build. its definitely an insult to creators and shows once more that they are nothing but money hungry fiends who don't care who's art gets ruined in their wake.

yes piracy happens, but you don't have to help it!!!

Phaon said...

You would know a thing or two about it as a copybotter thieve yourself, Skills Hak aka Skills HaX: http://www.hangars-liquides.com/hl-simulator/

Arahan Claveau said...

"NPIRLers denounced the death threats expressed in comments on Rezzable’s blog and expressed concern about the sanity of the people posting them..."

Really? Anyone got a link, I could do with a laugh. It's quite ironic as many people have expressed concern over the sanity of some Rezzable employees and the lunatic that is in charge.

I guess when greed is the motivating factor behind a company you are going to make enemies along the way, and Rezzable were always ruthless and untrustworthy. Personally I wouldn't go so far as to issue death threats, stern disapproval and a boycotting of their products is enough. If you're going to get worked up about a cause there are far more despicable things going on in the world that need your attention.

xlent1 said...

@arahan, you really think that is funny? We take that very seriously and condoning it, making light of it is encouraging it.


Arahan Claveau said...

@RaR -
I haven't seen examples of any of the alleged threats, but from the information given in this post, which is all I have to go on, it all sounds rather silly and overblown.

I already said "stern disapproval and a boycotting of their products is enough". So no condoning of anything here Sir.

Bettina Tizzy said...

@Phaon - That's a serious accusation and not a relevant one to this discussion, which is about BuilderBot. I was tempted to delete your comment but would instead suggest that you need to work things out with Skills directly. Whatever she may or may not have done (and I certainly hope what you say is untrue), she is creating flipping amazing content and no one else comes close to it.

Charles said...

Totally agree with the NPILR statement. As a creator and builder, I often include prims made by others in my builds. While I am perfectly comfortable buying something that I know can't be passed to others, I am completely uncomfortable knowing that my time spend assembling a multiprim object could be lost in a serious breakdown or bankruptcy or whatever at Linden Lab. It sure would be great to have a way of backing up my entire inventory, not just the stuff that is fill perm. I also ought to be able to place inventory items in other worlds for my own personal use and enjoyment. Currently none of these things are possible, as far as I am aware.

qarl said...

i've noticed in these discussions that content creators are eager to dismiss the opinion of us programmers, claiming we're insensitive to their plight.

on the contrary - our position has been reached after MANY long years of wrestling with the exact same issue.

for your consideration, a letter from Bill Gates written over 30 years ago:


Bettina Tizzy said...

@Qarl - You made me smile! Interesting letter. I found most of it relevant to this discussion and spot on, except his promise to flood the market with "good software," but that's a topic for another day. Seems I battle Windows as much as I do anything else these days. Sigh.

As text on this blog suggests, for me, Second Life is the ultimate convergence of art and technology and I thank the techies at Linden Lab every day for making it possible. It does seem imperative that management, tech, and legal look at this harder than ever before and make some decisions NOW that are going to shape at least the next few years. The clock is ticking.

As one NPIRLer pointed out yesterday, it seems that the argument for building a new Second Life from the ground up - ready to withstand the new challenges - is well supported. We know this platform is a super cool idea, a fabulous tech-facilitates-biz/art/edu place, etc. If I were an investor, I'd be funding the development of just such a product, with all the technical bells and whistles that would address and establish parameters for the very issues we are now facing. I bet the programmers working at Linden Lab agree with me. I really really bet they do.

Bettina Tizzy said...

Sorry, I hit "publish" instead of "preview" and I wanted to add the following:

@Arahan - I understood your meaning and agree. If you are going to get your knickers in such a knot, there are much bigger issues.

@Charles - Not possible till now, to my knowledge. Even so, BuilderBot cannot copy scripts, and that would render many of my favorite things null and void.

Arahan Claveau said...

Quite so Bettina. I'm not a fan of Rezzable but neither am I a fan of armchair anarchists, they are all talk and no action. There are really important issues out there that need support, fighting over virtual property seems rather trite and futile.

Truthseeker Young said...

Please, qarl.

All the eye-rolling, face-palming, analog-hole-ing dismissal that comes from scripters & coders on the various SL fora is awfully easy to dish out when YOUR content is inherently protected by being server-side.

And it's running up against wall after wall of THAT shit when voicing concerns about IP vulnerability that leads "us content creators" to be so "dismissive" of you poor widdle programmers.

Let's hear you tell us with a straight face that you'd be so calm and philosophical about this if RaR was talking about releasing a way to slurp up scripts, too.

And no, a heartfelt 'open letter' from the internet era's greatest robber-baron from back in his hobbyist days isn't much comfort, really...

qarl said...

Truthseeker - i've been a professional programmer for over 20 years now - VERY rarely is my code protected on a server (including the code i write right now, the SL viewer, which has no protection whatsoever.)

you learn to live with the theft. because - like living with gravity - there's no alternative.



Lauren said...

you can please some of the people, some of the time but it is much more difficult to piss off all the people all of the time. As to death threats...they must always be taken with the due they were given and at the same time believe they are really just from frustrated nob heads.