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Second Life and Open Source

Second Life and Open Source

Posted Dec 21, 2006 17:59 UTC (Thu) by mikov (subscriber, #33179)
In reply to: Second Life and Open Source by rwmj
Parent article: Second Life and Open Source

No it's not. The true solution is not to have a business model which depends on computers not to copy stuff. [...] Why not have a business model like Red Hat's where copying is a Good Thing?

I don't see the connection. Second Life is a game. People want to pretend they are in the real world there. In the real world you can't arbitrarily copy physical objects.

Secondly, it is not clear at all how such a business model can be applied to a game and whether it would be profitable. AFAIK, RedHat makes most of its money from support for corporate customers. Again - nothing to do with Second Life's customers.

Besides, "trusted" computing is just as likely to fall to some sort of class break as any previous attempt to do the same (eg. Xbox and numerous other game consoles, printer port dongles, strangely formatted floppy disks, etc. etc.)

Don't get me wrong. I want this to happen. I hate trusted computing. However, XBox was only Microsoft's first attempt in trusted computing. They are bound to get better at it and it will become progressively harder to break their next attempts. For example if everything is on a single chip, it is practically unbreakable.

Even now most people wouldn't/couldn't do the required hardware modifications themselves and in some countries it is illegal to sell already cracked consoles. On top of that in the US it is probably illegal to crack your own console ...


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Second Life and Open Source

Posted Dec 21, 2006 18:32 UTC (Thu) by rwmj (guest, #5474) [Link]

I don't see the connection. Second Life is a game. People want to pretend they are in the real world there. In the real world you can't arbitrarily copy physical objects.

Sure, in this game. But as I understand it we're talking about vendors in the game selling digital objects and then (*gasp*) complaining because they can be copied.

Don't get me wrong. I want this to happen. I hate trusted computing. However, XBox was only Microsoft's first attempt in trusted computing. They are bound to get better at it and it will become progressively harder to break their next attempts. For example if everything is on a single chip, it is practically unbreakable.

I really doubt that even a single chip / combined processor + TPM will be unbreakable. This assumes for a start that MS are capable of writing software without any type of buffer overflow or other exploitable bug. Not just that they fix their bugs, but that they never ever (not even once) write one in the first place, because as soon as trusted software is out there which contains such a bug (even if it has been fixed in a later release) the platform is vulnerable. That's before we even start on hardware attacks.

Rich.

Second Life and Open Source

Posted Dec 22, 2006 9:14 UTC (Fri) by JohnNilsson (guest, #41242) [Link]

The basic fear is that without copy restrictions there will be no value in producing new stuff, everyone will copy, hence no one will have the incentive to create new designs to copy.

To me that seems like a completely irrational fear. One of the most cited problems of the Open Source market (where everything can be copied) is that there is too much choice.

For some strange reason people doesn't seem to be content with just copying, most people wish to add their own personal touch. To fear that the possibility to build upon others creations would kill creativity and the need to express one-self is just stupid.

Second Life and Open Source

Posted Dec 22, 2006 19:27 UTC (Fri) by mikov (subscriber, #33179) [Link]

I don't think the parallel with Open Source is completely valid. Lets
leave the designers aside - they are a minority compared to the number of
users.

People use software in order to do work. It is not for pleasure. So, if
the software is free, even better for them. More work, cheaper!

On the other hand, the "trinkets" in Second Life are purely and only for
pleasure. Where is the pleasure in owning something if everybody else has
the same thing ? Here I am not talking about exceptional pieces of art,
but clothes, etc. There is a sense of achievement in purchasing something
unique, that is likely to remain unique, at least for some time, because
it is expensive.

I think that you and other posters in this thread are mistakenly
transferring the values of developing and using free software to other
areas. It is not completely baseless, it is even attractive, but it is not
very realistic.


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