Six Degrees of Reverse Reputation

I just posted this on the Second Life forum (thread – Link). I think the idea might be worth pursuing. Here it is without the difficult-to-read “quote” format:

Last week I posted something on Blogspotting (Link) that’s been extended by this thread. Let me give you an example.

Let’s say someone posts here on the SL Forum that they hate Metallica and download the band’s music but don’t pay for it (why they’d do that I don’t know, but I’ve seen people post those kinds of comments before). Imagine someone like Turbo thinking “Fine, let’s see how they like it turned around on them.”


Simple. That person either creates or consumes. If they create, it’s easy enough to grab their stuff, copy it, and distribute it for free in ways the Lindens can’t or won’t deal with. If they’re a consumer it’s more interesting; like a reverse “six degrees of separation”.

Let’s say they don’t create anything, but have friends who do. Well, it’s those friends who are targeted instead. Imagine how angry someone would be if the attitude of a “friend” affected their SL business. And when the freebies get released, it would explain this cause-effect chain quite clearly so that the person getting ripped off knows why and because of whom.

Let’s instead assume that this person consumes but has no friends who create (or none that are claimed). No problem. Anything they purchase becomes fair game. If they have a purchased skin, then that gets put in the Free Distribution Pipeline. The effect? Sellers will either not sell or will tie price to reputation. So if this person wants to buy a skin, instead of L$4000 it might be custom priced at … L$1,000,000.

Imagine a world where the things you want are tied to your personal behavior – the respect or lack of respect you afford those who either create or have a hand in bringing creations to the people.

Fun stuff.

For reference, this story over on NPR, “Groups Unite in Dislike of Freeloaders“, might be worth a read. Interesting and relevant to this idea.

Also check out an earlier entry dealing with this topic, “Reputation Rebang In Progress” (reLink).

{Update: Turns out a related post has popped up on Terra Nova (Link). It’s another one about Google’s recently-reported virtual ambitions, but with a focus on the problems … the kinds of problems which a reputation system might help to reduce.}

4 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Reverse Reputation

  1. Isn’t moral judgement a bit relative, though, to be passing judgement and ostracizing people? In that same notion, perhaps that same mp3-pirate is protesting the years of cronyism and payola that has infected radio airwaves with crappy music, a harm much much greater than not paying 99 cents to download “Until It Sleeps”? I don’t know about you, but I was pissed when Metallica sued me and a million other fans. I guess it’s about where you’re standing, right?
    (Though, I actually owned the CDs for the mp3s I had of them, AND I haven’t bought their music since.)

  2. If you’ve read my previous posts and comments on this, then you know that I’m firmly against protesting by taking something to which one is not entitled. This isn’t bread and water. It’s music. It’s a luxury – not a necessity.

    For those that believe they’re really hurting the labels by taking instead of paying, I think you’re wrong. I’ve said so in the past. I’ve gone over the mechanism for how it can and probably already does work. By simply tracking those illegal downloads those people who have “infected radio airwaves with crappy music” still have the upper hand. If I were a label exec, I’d be more than happy to have people downloading the music because I can still leverage that to my advantage.

    The way to “protest” is to ignore the company and the product. Anyone serious about leveling the playing field, needs to be serious in their actions. Anything else is an excuse afaic.

  3. I agree, I think it’s fruitless to steal music as a way to protest. I don’t. I have stopped listening to Metallica, myself. My CDs of theirs sit in my CD case, longing for a day when they apologize, or perhaps die of a drug overdose or plane crash or whatever it is rock stars die of these days, in which case I’ll assume they made their peace with god for suing their fans. :)

    Oh, but to my point – it’s not that I think that pirating music is a good protest, but rather, I think that protesting this protesting by endorsing revenge tactics on peoples’ friends is even worse. :D

  4. I’ll assume they made their peace with god for suing their fans

    Anyone who disrespects them and their work by going against their wishes regarding the music they created can hardly be called a “fan”, imo.

    I think that protesting this protesting by endorsing revenge tactics on peoples’ friends is even worse.

    Who’s endorsing revenge tactics?

    My words were: “Imagine someone like Turbo…”. That’s not an endorsement; it’s a recognition of reality and what’s to come.

    It’s apparent you’ve not read the NPR article. Studies show that sanctions (i.e. revenge tactics) against freeloaders is actually beneficial. I suggest you take the time to read it.

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