MIMS Final Project 2007

Creative Commons for Second Life Content

Linden Lab is the company that makes the virtual world Second Life. Unlike all other massively-multiplayer online games, Linden lab is a platform for creating content in a persistent, online virtual world. Also novel is that Linden Lab grants the users of Second Life intellectual property ownership for content they create in-world. Recently, the company has considered implementing Creative Commons licensing at the code level that would allow users to add CC license to their content.

This paper is a policy analysis of whether Linden Lab should implement Creative Commons licenses. It argues that there are seeming advantages to implementing CC licenses that include maximizing sharing and a new way regulate content. However, there is already a thriving economy in Second Life based on an extant DRM-like permissions system, with a high-degree of shared content. Furthermore, novel forms of content and new kinds of collaboration make it difficult to determine what can be copyrighted. It's even possible that copyright will cease to regulate certain kinds of virtual world content, making a system built on copyright meaningless. Lastly, the shifting of legal burdens onto the creators and consumers combines for a compelling case that CC licenses should not be implemented as a secondary permissions system.

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Last updated:

October 7, 2016