Hints of the Coming Replication Age

Both Second Life enthusiasts and a fair number of other people have become aware of what’s called a “CopyBot”. I became aware of this pretty early on and have been watching things develop and I have to say I’ve not been disappointed: it’s a nice mess.

I’ll dispense with the technicalities behind “CopyBot” and simply call it what it is: a tool for replicating digital content inside the Second Life virtual world. What’s interesting to me is that this is, in some important ways, a virtual doppelganger of future rapid manufacturing systems. There’s not that much difference between a virtual device that can replicate and a real world rapid prototyping device that uses similar digital data and some basic raw material.

For those who never quite understood why I’ve tied some topics together, the CopyBot story and the fallout surrounding it should help clarify my thinking. In any event, there are a number of sites carrying the story and I thought I’d post some links that might be of interest.

First up, a whole slew of entries on the Second Life Herald which has been following this from their own particular vantage point. In chronological order (earliest to most recent):

Clones Pwnd?
Is LL’s Copy Protection Pwnd?
Hundreds of SL Stores Shutter Doors!
Mass Unrest in Manitoba!
CopyBot Store Closes; So Does Linden Thread
CopyBot: “Prim Dong Without Functionality”
Cory Linden Stands With Crowdsourced Libbers
Eddy Stryker Banned! Erm…Wait a Minute!
The Day After: Bot Back-Lash and the People Speak

And a few pieces elsewhere, on some of which (denoted by an *) I’ve posted comments. I figure it’s better than posting my thoughts here. If you only have time to read one, I’d recommend Koster’s post as it’s pretty good imo. Anyway, they are:

SL Universe forum: Chat log from #libsl from November 10, 2006

Official Linden Blog: Copyrights and Content Creation in Second Life

Official Linden Blog: Use of CopyBot and Similar Tools a ToS Violation

Tao Takashi: The CopyBot controversy

*Raph Koster: CopyBot

*Clickable Culture: “Second Life” Copier Controversy

*Eric Rice: RIAA-styled rage in Second Life… by everyday people

New World Notes: Copying A Controversy

C|Net: ‘Second Life’ faces threat to its virtual economy

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