Sunday, July 13, 2008

DRM-related links

Since, alas, the topic of DRM is coming up in the context of Second Life, I want to post some links to related information and organizations in one spot for ready access:
I urge you to inform yourself about the issues involved.

UPDATE: Better still would be to create a list of links that won't disappear as time goes on... so that's what I've done.

1 comment:

Hiri Nurmi said...

Whilst I have every sympathy with an anti-DRM stance in general, the bottom line is that at the moment it's worthwhile for me to make and sell things in SL precisely because I can sell as Copy/No Trans or No Copy/Trans. This is in itself a limited but effective form of DRM and one that ensures I can recoup the time spent developing any individual item by multiple sales.

If links to OpenSim grids were implemented such that I could move any content to and from any OpenSim grid at will - which I think is what you are advocating - then that would enforce all content to be Mod/Copy/Trans because the rights management is a function of the asset server the asset is located on, and once I move the asset off the SL asset onto an OpenSim asset server then then the honouring of the M/T values are dependent on the manager of the OpenSim asset server, not the Lindons.

I'm running an OpenSim server on my own network for example (on Ubuntu, installs easily enough). If I could move any asset off my SL account onto it with no control then it would be absolutly trivial to obtain full M/C/T copies of everything I own and then export them back to SL with full perms and ownership whenever and as often as I wished.

In those circumstances I, and I believe nearly every other 'commercial' content provider in SL would shut up shop. Whilst there is a piracy issue at the moment it is small and manageable. Opening SL to unfettered and unregulated (i.e. completely DRM free) transfer to and from other OpenSim grids would end that.

The obvious and most likely solution is that there will be a form of DRM based on trusted domains. If Joe's OpenSim grid agree's with Lindon Lab that all content from SL would be handled with the same permissions on Joe's Grid as SL, and furthermore will not be passed to other OpenSim grids without similar arrangements then that would work fine.

There's multiple scenarios that could be envisaged to handle a web of trust relationships that would protect content-creators and allow degrees of freedom to content-owners. But the bottom line is that there will have to be content protection in some form - call it DRM or whatever you like - or else it simply won't be worthwhile to make content.