Echoes of CopyBot

I’m just now getting to an article over on the Washington Post, “Where Real Money Meets Virtual Reality, The Jury Is Still Out” (Link), that’s worth a read. It’s not an especially good article ; it makes the standard MSM mistakes regarding Second Life and doesn’t do a particularly good job discussing copyright and intellectual property. It does, however, finish strong with some related commentary on issues that Microsoft’s Virtual Earth is facing. From the article:

Microsoft plans to make money by selling advertising billboards in this virtual depiction of urban America.

But the company’s lawyers and advertising executives are still grappling with the question of whether those who own the property depicted in Microsoft’s 3-D images have any control over how their depicted property is used online.

That last part alone is worth the read, especially the example they give. It’ll be fun to see how this plays out.