Second Life Will Save Copyright

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act may give shopkeepers the power to force Linden Labs to delete copied items, but it will not provide financial compensation to the victims of infringement unless they file a federal lawsuit. Given the cost of these virtual goods, there aren’t going to be many infringements worth the expense of suing.

The next phase of Linden’s response is more interesting. The company plans to develop an infrastructure to enable Second Life residents and landowners to enforce IP-related covenants within certain areas, or as a prerequisite for joining certain groups. In effect, Second Life’s inhabitants will self-police their world, according to rules and social norms they develop themselves.

This is exciting, because it turns Second Life into a laboratory for trying out alternatives to prevailing real world copyright rules. —Jennifer GranickSecond Life Will Save Copyright (Wired)