AviWorlds shuts off hypergrid for third time

The much-troubled AviWorlds grid has turned off hypergrid connectivity yet again, founder Alexandro Pomposelli announced in a tweet late last month.

The commercial Brazil-based grid turned off hypergrid in late 2012. “Our view on hypergrid travel is that it does create uncertainty among creators having to compete with copy-bot items,” Pomposelli said in a tweet that month.

The grid turned hypergrid connectivity back on, only to turn it off again last fall.

“No matter what hypergrid travel does to become more secure this is already embedded in the creators’ minds that traveling between grids is not safe and they will not come,” he said at that time. “The grid then can’t sustain itself and will end up closing.”

Party on the AviWorlds grid. (Image courtesy Alexsandro Pomposelli.)

Party on the AviWorlds grid. (Image courtesy Alexsandro Pomposelli.)

As during the previous closures, the grid is also restricting the viewers allowed to access the grid, and turning off the ability for users to connect their own regions.

Pomposelli, who is also known as Alex Ferraris in-world, left open the possibility that the grid might turn hypergrid back on, however.

“We will continue to observe future improvements and will consider opening hypergrid in the future when its more stable,” he said in a comment on Google Plus.

There are several issues at stake here.

First, is the ability to protect in-world content. OpenSim already has the ability to prevent local content from leaving the grid, and Littlefield, for example, takes advantage of this feature to protect its creators while allowing its users to travel the metaverse. In addition, there is now an “export” feature for OpenSim, allowing grid owners and content creators to allow some content to travel, while keeping other content local. This is an experimental feature, however, and grids are waiting for it to be thoroughly tested before rolling it out.

Second, the issue of keeping local users away from the freebies available elsewhere on the hypergrid cannot be solved by turning off hypergrid connectivity, since freebies will make their way to a grid, anyway. For example, Linda Kellie’s freebie content is all available in the form of XML files that can be uploaded to any grid, including closed commercial ones.

However, closing a grid to hypergrid travel, or restricting content from leaving via hypergrid teleport, only prevents honest users from taking content to other grids. Dishonest users, hackers, and copybotters have a variety of tools at their disposal to steal content from even the most locked-down grids and, in fact, most content theft occurs inside Second Life simply because that’s where most of the good stuff is. In addition, hackers have the ability to “spoof” legitimate, approved viewers and there is currently no technical way available to prevent them from doing so. This issue has been discussed at length recently on the OpenSim Virtual Google Plus community.

Turning off hypergrid, restricting viewers, and disallowing self-hosted regions creates an illusion of safety for content creators, however, and does help attract them to a commercial grid.

The downside, however, is that it hurts legitimate users, who are no longer able to travel, get access to a wide array of freebies, events, and communities, or save money by attaching home-based regions.

In addition, some creators have openly embraced the hypergrid and, in fact, specifically restrict their content from being used on closed commercial grids. This includes Lani Global, a sci-fi themed content creator who tweeted, “Our product license policy in OpenSim sends a message, to reward non-commercial users and grids with free stuff.”

Until the export permissions are thoroughly tested, debugged, and fully explained to creators, all grid owners will continue to face the dilemma of keeping the gates closed and keeping merchants happy, or opening the gates for the benefit of the residents. Many large, successful grids, like InWorldz, Avination, 3rd Rock Grid and Virtual Highway, have enough to offer their residents that they are able to remain closed. Smaller grids, personal grids, and non-profits typically put their users first and are open to the hypergrid.

This year, we might see some changes to this dynamic as Kitely opens up hypergrid connectivity and Avination continues to develop its export permissions.

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maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Hmmm… I wonder if this hypergrid on-and-off thing is a way to generate publicity for the grid… LOL

    • Arielle

      Thinking the same Maria. Both AviWorld and the Canadian Grid pulled the same sort of bait and switch scam, leaving me to question whether any of their current policies are worth the virtual paper they are written on. I don’t have an issue with a non-hg grid but I do with this flip flopping in midstream.

      • Gaga

        It has been said even bad publicity is good publicity and that worked well for Avination at one time when they apparently allowed gambling and came under heavy attack on SLU from Inworldz supporters. Their numbers of registrations and sold regions rocketed in just a few months taking them into the lead position with daily logins reaching over 300. They just failed to capitalize on the growth and it fell back over the rest for the year settling roughly where they are now. Just goes to show.

        • SoftPaws

          That dramatists have pushed a lot of good folks away over the years… They revel in their misdeeds and the drama they generate without realizing they are hurting the community that they purport to like, love or even support… Case in point is the number of Developers and former OpenSim supporter’s that have moved over to In-Worldz and are working with them to develop their “fork of OpenSim”. In fact, that in itself is part of the animosity for “some people” because they left OpenSim & Viewer Dev’s because of the drama and bull phooey games of some folks. The dramatists and trolls seem to have, or simply choose to, take on hard feelings about that and therefore they bash anything and everything they can, to make themselves feel better about themselves.

          Ironically… The dramatists & trolls have not figured out that they themselves are hurting the growth & expansion of OpenSim by spreading such vitriol. Real developers, Educators, Professionals & Corporates who are investigation Virtual World Technologies look at OpenSim and related forums, blogs etc and pick up on the negativity, infighting, childish (kinder-garden sandbox fighting) and make judgements on that. Most folks want to avoid drama & childish games and when they see it flowing, they walk away… In several cases, this infighting & trollishness has even pushed grps/orgs out of OpenSim and onto platforms like Unity-3D, OpenWonderland and others to accomplish their goals & aims…

          • Vanish

            [citation needed]

          • SoftPaws

            But still on track regardless. If you have a valid rebuttal then speak of it good man instead of sidetracking us.

          • Vanish

            I first would really like to know what you’re talking about in order to be able to adress it, because you put forward a lot of statements without any facts to back them up. Therefor: Citation needed.

          • I wouldn’t go that far. If anybody — outside the people involved themselves — could see childishness and in-fighting, it would be me.

            Open source projects in general exist based on volunteer effort. And most volunteers work for a cause they believe in (the metaverse), to help people, or to help themselves — usually, some combination. Everyone defines this differently. So well-meaning, rational people can easily go off in different directions and there is no one boss to stand up and say, “Do it this way or you’re fired.” That is both a flaw in open source projects and its main advantage.

            Take the most recent split, for example — Aurora-Sim and OpenSim. The Aurora-Sim guys wanted to experiment with features that mainline OpenSim wasn’t ready for, or wasn’t able to commit resources to. They forked, they tested the hell out of it, and now the main feature of Aurora-Sim — variable size regions — has made its way back to mainline OpenSim, and there are folks on OSgrid and Virtual Worlds Grid already using it.

            InWorldz is another example. They forked off from OpenSim a bit earlier, and put a bunch of effort into hardening their platform and customizing it. As a result — or possibly as a result of their demonstrated commitment and investment in the grid — they attracted a lot of users. Now their grid is a convenient first stop for people looking to branch out from Second Life, and they have enough money to invest in cool projects like their exercise app and their mobile info app.

            Remember that it’s the first step into OpenSim that’s the hardest — any marketing efforts or outreach made by ANY grid helps ALL the grids.

            As far as potential users backing away from OpenSim because of drama — I personally haven’t heard of any. I HAVE heard of potential users backing away because of features or stability. (Hopefully, that will keep improving.)

            I just wrote a long article for Network World about how enterprises choose open source projects. Other than features, they also look at vendor support and community strength.

            Unless people are specifically looking for a Java-based platform or in-world shared applications, OpenSim beats Open Wonderland in features hands down, as well as in depth and breadth of vendor support. And on the development side, check the Ohloh site — it lists OpenSimulator as a project with “very high activity” compared to Open Wonderland’s “Very Low” activity level.

            OpenSim has had 1,659 commits over the past 12 months by 25 developers compared to Open Wonderland’s 5 commits by 2 developers.

            http://www.ohloh.net/p/compare?project_0=OpenSimulator&project_1=Open+Wonderland

            With that level of relative activity — plus all the people who debug or submit patches without becoming official contributors — it’s no wonder that there is more disagreement inside the OpenSim camp.

            Finally, another way to measure how alive and successful a project is by the strength of its wider community.

            I just did a story on all the places people can go to for help about OpenSim:

            http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2014/02/best-metaverse-communities/

            Whatever question you might have about the technology, there are lots of people out there ready to answer it. Okay, sometimes they can be snarky. But I don’t see this kind of community around any other open source virtual world project.

            This is why I focus so much on OpenSim in my coverage. Because it’s got the combination of active development, many many vendors and grids, strong and fast-evolving feature set, and a large, diverse and super active community.

          • Anyway, my point is that the more activity there is around a project, the higher the likelihood that some of it is going to be petty or unproductive. You can’t point to a few of those examples and say that they represent the project as a whole. And, again, I’m not seeing anything petty or unproductive happening on the development side. Even realXtend — which branched off years ago in order to bring mesh to OpenSim but never took off as an alternative platform for grids — has become a key foundation for some interesting commercial projects, such as MeshMoon — http://meshmoon.com/

          • Hannah

            Unless you can back up what you’re saying with some cold, hard citations, it’s pretty easy to see your post for what it is:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear_uncertainty_and_doubt
            Regards.

      • Just like to make it clear that it was the owner of GCG that wanted to disable HG so i was only following orders when i converted the grid from standalone to robust. I am all for hypergrid. I think thats the biggest and best feature that opensim has to offer over SL.

      • I don’t think you can lump the two grids together. It’s one thing when a grid launches with a particular set of policies, finds out that there are problems, and changes them.

        It’s another thing when a grid does this three times. After all, the issues haven’t significantly changed — merchants are still wary of the hypergrid. AviWorlds can’t claim they didn’t know what was going to happen.

      • SoftPaws

        Bottom Line: do what is best for YOU and YOUR GOALS & AIMS and ignore the fools who choose to bash… They are only propping themselves up and their own feelings of inadequacy at the expense of others. so please don’t take the fools to heart. Sadly many do not seem to comprehend that COMMUNITY = COMMON UNITY.

  • Vanish

    A few comments:

    1. I believe AviWorlds, though it has a large portugese-speaking population, is actually “based” in New York.

    2.
    The “stability issues” that Alex cited were actually a very specific
    case of what he tried to do through hypergrid (as he explained a while
    later in a different discussion). They offer free parcels of land to
    residents, and had extended that offer to hypergrid travellers as well,
    who in turn rezzed assets through the hypergrid on their AviWorlds
    parcels. Since assets on the hypergrid are still a special case of trial
    and error, this led to the one region to become unstable and generate a
    lot of error messages. Now, as I talked about on the latest episode of
    TMI podcast, this issue could’ve easily avoided changing their policies,
    for example not to offer land to hg travellers to begin with. (More on that here: http://themissingimage.net/2014/03/02/the-missing-image-016-aviworlds-text-adventures-creators-consumers/ )

    3.
    The main problem with AviWorlds is though, that at this point what is
    “unstable” is the grids management itself. Even if I would trust the
    grid to be around in two months still (which I don’t), how am I supposed
    to trust the management to stick to whichever rules are in place at any
    given time? I had considered visiting and even including it as a venue
    in my hypergrid tour, but the change in policy changed all that. It just
    seems that nobody can count on the current rules to be still the same
    tomorrow, the way they keep getting changed from one day to the next.

  • i like to add to this about HG content. Vendor creators can write some lines to their LSL script that can check to see if the buyer is from another grid and denie buying the product. I already wrote code to do that in my vendor system when i was working on opening Little Tech and will still be there if i ever release a vending system again.

    • I would also urge content creators to embrace server-side scripting. In fact, I’m surprised that the commercial grids aren’t offering this as an option already to their merchants.

      Here’s my idea:

      Many content creators could use a simple permanent way to store data. But not all of them can load up a virtual server and whip up a MySQL database at the drop of a hat. But this is exactly the kind of thing grid managers and hosting companies do all day. So, as a bonus to people who rent regions or open stores, give them scripted access to a simple back-end database, one that includes the function of checking whether the request is coming from a home grid or somewhere else.

      Here’s one application: a merchant sells breedable chickens. A user can buy them and take them to any grid, but must bring them back to the grid of origin to breed or sell them, because they won’t breed anywhere else — the back-end database won’t allow it.

      Another application: a merchant sells racing cars. Buyers can take them to any grid and drive them around. But if they want to race them, they have to come back to the home grid because the racing scripts will only work there.

      Another application: a merchant sells a hairstyling application with a subscription fee. As long as the subscription is paid up, the customer can choose from any of an ever-changing selecting of hairstyles.

      Another application: a landscaping tool that, say, instantly updates all the plants and ground textures on a region to the appropriate season that only works on the grid of origin.

      Many content providers in other areas are switching to cloud-based subscription-based models specifically because of piracy. I’m thinking of music, videos, video games, and ebooks. Making it easy for in-world merchants and creators to do the same without needing serious development skills might make a grid more attractive to those content creators. And if your grid offers that, email me and I’ll write a story about it.

      • This topic always just fills me with disgust and shame for the ones constantly whining about content theft of their cartoon shirts or scripts that don’t work anywhere but in these virtual worlds, as if they’ve created some magnificent work of art the likes of which museums crave and terrified somebody’s gonna steal it.

        I mean really. It’s SUCH a petty argument.

        I stand by my position always: if I pay you REAL money that comes out of my bank account, for a CARTOON picture of something that is only useful or viewable inside a VR then that belongs to me to do with whatever I want short of taking credit for creating it. If you want to impose all these restrictions, including jacking up the price on cartoons while taking my real money, you won’t get a single penny of my real money. Ever. I won’t shop in your stores, I won’t visit your grid, I won’t buy anything from you.

        You are the thief as far as I’m concerned, you take real money and then act like a whiny diva refusing to allow fair USE of the products or scripts for the end user.

        (not you personally, Maria – you as in these squawking sorts)

        I’m perfectly happy giving them cartoon money though, and imposing my own restrictions – if I buy a product I can’t copy or modify or transfer, then you can’t exchange the cartoon money for real money, can’t transfer it to paypal, can’t give it to anyone else.

        Here’s a solution that will expose these sorts for who they really are at the end of the day:

        If you want to impose all these restrictions, then give the item away free. Lock it down…just give it away.

        If you want to make MONEY, then everything that is transacted with REAL currency or that can be converted, is always FULL PERM.

        Simple. They either want to make money or they want to act like control freaks, and the ones who wouldn’t go along with that kind of a solution are the ones who are the real thieves.

        All this is going to do is keep contention and strife going on when the entire POINT of the open metaverse is open source, sharing and reduced cost. These people need to go back to SL and stay there…they don’t get the open metaverse.

        • Arielle

          Interesting viewpoint which I somewhat agree with though keeping in mind that textures, meshes etc are easily ported to other worlds and applications, so at least for them, products are usable in more then S/L and Opensim.

    • Here is how i check HG buyers.

      key buyer = llDetectedKey(0);
      list hgchecklist = llParseString2List(osKey2Name(buyer), [“@”], []);
      string hgnamecheck = llList2String (hgchecklist, 1);
      if (hgnamecheck == “” || hgnamecheck == osGetGridGatekeeperURI()) {
      llGiveInventory(buyer, boxname);

      }else{
      llInstantMessage(buyer, “Sorry but you are from another grid.”);
      }

      Scripters are welcome to use and mod the code above all they want in their vendor scripts to help combat against HG product theft.

      • Michelle Argus

        Christopher, that script only works in closed grids were one can’t export IAR/OAR. In a grid such as OSGrid it is useless as anyone can use a local avatar and copy/modify the content in whatever way they want.

  • Michelle Argus

    As long as opensim and the viewercode is open source, there is no way to prevent unwanted copying or modifications either via god-mode or direct code changes in opensim.

    In closed grids offering IARs and OARs the content can be exported to another grids/standalone were it can easely be modified again. In the current OS state, anyone can access and alter the inventory from other avatars even in closed grids, which btw isn’t to hard to do

    Instead of promoting feel good permissions which cannot exist in open source, we should rather promote the advanatages for the customers in not having “unchangeble” perms and at the same time increase the use/awareness of licencing and law enforcement.

    • Vanish

      I’m all for that, and I find the whole “we closed hg because we want to protect our users” argument sickeningly dishonest. At this point, I’d rather have grids come forward and say what they really mean: “We’re closed to the hypergrid, because it threatens our business model.” At least that would be honest, and not mislead people into thinking hypergrid yes or no would make the slightest bit of difference as far as “security”, stability or “protection” goes.

    • Doug Maxwell

      I disagree in particular with this: “As long as opensim and the viewercode is open source, there is no way to prevent unwanted copying or modifications either via god-mode or direct code changes in opensim.”

      (Or perhaps I just need clarification?)

      It is possible to create a secured framework for content that is based on open source and open standards. Keep in mind that the simulator and the content are separate things.

      My most pressing issue with open simulator is that it is too open. We see manifestation of this “over-openness” in the current problems with the lack of proper respect for IP across all grids.

      • Vanish

        It is not possible to create a “secured framework for content” at all. Music and film industries have tried to create something like that for decades now, and have not been successful at it so far.

        Also, what do you mean with “lack of proper respect for IP rights across all grids”? Do you have any evidence about that?

        • Doug Maxwell

          Just because music and film industry was too cheap and lazy to implement DRM properly doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Back when the CD music and DVD formats were invented, the hardware was expensive. To keep costs down on the players the industry used simple algorithms and hoped the obscurity would protect them. We now know that is wrong.

          Today, we also have examples of DRM that do work. PDF is an ISO standard, #32000-1:2008, that we use to read and write documents. In my work I have the ability to digitally sign PDF documents (contracts and research agreements, for example). The digital signature I use was provided to me by my employer (US. Army) and is considered legally binding.

          I believe content regulation by the modelers and artists in the open simulator ecosystem could be served by an approach such as this.

          You also rely on encrypted communications and a different kind of DRM when you perform online banking and purchases. You are empowered by your bank or online vendor through the use of passwords (hopefully you picked strong ones!) and two factor authentication such as a PIN sent to you via text messaging during a transaction.

          When I say there is a lack of proper respect for IP rights, that was not an accusation to any party. That was simply a statement of fact that the IP cannot be secured at this time and is easily manipulated by anyone with access to the content databases.

          • Vanish

            I was about to get into a detailed response here, but let me just say this: You can make a LOT of money, more than you can ever make at the government job you seem currently to be holding, if you create DRM that does actually work, so if I were you and would know how to “implement DRM properly”, I’d pitch it to Microsoft. They’re potentially very interested in that kind of thing.

            However, if it involves any kind of crypto signature from the US government, then I think by now we all know how much we can trust that kind of “security”. It’s creepy just to mention that.

          • Hannah

            Restrictions such as you describe only serve the interest of a small set of the opensim community -it’s directly againts the interests of the majority of users.

            Yes, everything could be locked down so that no one could do or share anything, but it’s not desireable to do so.

            “Just because you can do something, does not mean that you should”.

            Freedom of choice and openness is the better choice, there’s enough closed modelling applications to serve the turbosquid level creators, while securing corporate, university and other grids can be achived on the access level (IE don’t let any schmuck waltz in with a usb key).

  • AviWorlds

    Maria; I do think that the open sim community already knows that AviWorlds has had its shares of problems. It is totally unnecessary to kee saying THE MUCH TROUBLED AVIWORLDS everytime you mention us in your blog. You email me asking for any news and then write about AvW as if we are so bad…
    I find it totally offensive the way you talk about my grid. I work hard for it and if it is the second, third, fourth time; this should only show you that Im not giving up. Why do you penalise me for getting up and trying again?
    Secondly I had to shut down HG because of its instability that was causing my regions to crasg all the time.
    Another thing you do not mention is that even with all the extra functions regarding export orbnot the creators dont believe, dont want to know and do not accept it. Its a mind set thing that was created long before AviWorlds existed and so please dont blame me or my grid for it!

    Kitely has been HG CLOSED since day one. Why dont you or didnt you crucify it also?
    Is BIAS the word I should say here?

    AviWorlds cannot and will not satisfy everyone. We are trying our best. Sorry for our imperfection but for all of you perfect ones out there you dont deserve us.

    • Vanish

      Nobody can make AviWorlds look worse than you do with posts like this.

    • Alex — I applaud your efforts to try different business models. However, your grid is unique in the NUMBER of different business models you’ve tried, and in the number of times you’ve reversed course.

      And if any grid your size turned on hypergrid, or turned it off, I would be writing about it. The fact that Kitely has been promising hypergrid connectivity since day one and it’s still isn’t there — I’m not a big fan of that. I understand they have things that they have to do first, but they keep raising my hopes and then dashing them, so I’m not a big fan of that. I also had high hopes for Avination turning on hypergrid earlier, and am disappointed in them, as well.

      I hope the technology improves quickly, and both grids are on the hypergrid.

      However, neither of those grids have turned on hypergrid, promoted it to their users and to the public, and then turned it off again. Much less done it three times. They have testing areas where they do whatever they have to do to try out the technology without it impacting users.

      On the other hand, every time you guys do it, you get a lot of coverage and attention, so maybe your approach is working as well, in its own way.

      • AviWorlds

        When you say the TROUBLED AVIWORLDS it instigates that aviworlds is still in trouble. AviWorlds is far from being troubled and now we are even better! The fact that Im trying again means I learned from my mistakes and Im moving forward.
        HG is too unstable right now and even you say that Kitely and Avination are still developing a better one or improving on it. So give me a brake ok.
        AviWorlds is better than ever now, we have a partner who has also 10 years scripting in lsl,now OS also and programming.
        AviWorlds is SOUND not TROUBLED!
        And we tried HG and it keeps coming back to us as too unstable and not ready! Just like Kitely and Avination, and island Oasis and Inworldz also say its not ready.

        AviWorlds at least tested it two times and every time I have to go closed commercial because it is not stable. Like KITELY has said it and Avination still developing bla bla bla…So dont kill me for doing it also.;…At least I tried and NONE of these have yet to try!
        I think Avination was open once but they closed it down… Not ready.

        Hypergrid Travel is good for stand alone grids with maybe 10 regions and no TRAFFIC.
        Grids like AviWorlds with tons of traffic, people uploading, bringing objects from other grids, teleporting, dancing, talking, IM, group texting and more….It is not ready!

        A grid where there is a community being built or one exists already cannot EXPERIMENT or if it does experiment and it does not work it needs to act immediately.

        AviWorlds is creating scripts that before people say could never be done! Our scripter is a genius and he is also my partner. We are building it and we are going to be in the 10 most popular again and perhaps next year bigger than InWorldz.

        • just a quick fyi clarification here, if I might…Kitely, tho the date keeps being set back, is, in fact, on tract to enable HG.

          Possibly Ilan will expand on the tech stuff, but in the meantime, as I understand it, they are working on the HG marketplace delivery aspects now, due to go live very soon, which also includes some fixes they needed to enable HG for avatars.

          I do watch this rather closely, even tho in a much limited way, it is one thing that does interest me a bit.

          I look forward to them enabling HG so I can add some of the really nice region creations to my Metaverse Destinations blog, which is for HG only grids.

          A further fyi, if it is even possible, which I doubt due to their fork and proprietary coding, I doubt inwz would ever enable HG, and we can be all thankful for that.

          IO and inwz, being sl clone grids should stay doing exactly what they are doing, it’s a good thing.

          AVN, who knows, really…I sure don’t.

  • Lani Global

    HyperGrid is here to stay. Get used to it.

    Good entrepreneurs will learn to live with HG and embrace it, because it is the future.

    HyperGrid is good for the open metaverse, good for grids, good for content creators, and good for all users. In the true spirit of the open internet, it is especially good for freedom.

    Welcome to the free world.

    • lmpierce

      Freedom is not just about being open, but the freedom to set boundaries. HyperGrid is an enabling technology for those who would value it, and it enriches the possibilities for experiencing virtual worlds. For others, it is an issue that complicates their choices and preferences.

      HyperGrid has been elevated to an ideology, but in a pluralistic world there will always be competing ideologies. I think that is the kind of free world we need to get used to.

      • Vanish

        You seem to have a very different idea of ideology and freedom as I do.

        To me, hypergrid is as much an ideology as the internet is an ideology. Or as telephony is an ideology. Or streets. In other words, it’s less of an ideology as it is the way things are now.

        And the boundaries to freedom in my world are set by laws, in a complicated, frustrating political process. Freedom is never the right of individuals to take away other people’s freedoms. That’s vigilantism at best, and tyranny at worst.

        • lmpierce

          Hi Vanish,

          From your comment, I don’t know if we disagree or not.

          I do not think the HyperGrid is an ideology, although it has been spoken of as though it is an ideology. In those terms, and for those who view HyperGrid as such, I would carry through with the ideology concept and make the point I did about pluralism in the world.

          On a more down-to-earth level, I would say that while many grids wish to embrace the HyperGrid it’s understandable that others do not. As far as the issue of freedom, the freedom from something is just as important as the freedom for something. It’s a balance that exists in every aspect of life. Declining to use the HyperGrid does not seem to be to be a refutation of freedom, any more than I refute “freedom” because I lock the door to my house.

          I had originally thought to use the expression ‘tyranny of freedom’ in my first comment, but that seemed unnecessarily strong. However, since you’ve touched on the idea, I would just add that the price of democracy has always been complication and frustration in the political process. Again, I’m not sure if we are acknowledging that or disagreeing. As for individual political freedoms, we all trade some freedoms for others in any society. There is no sustainable state of absolute freedom for all. On the other hand, vigilantism and tyranny are examples of when people act with impunity which is how we might speak of griefing or content theft, and again, I think we agree that’s undesireable.

          • Vanish

            Well, I like to think of grids as websites, to use an analogy that I can understand to wrap my head around what they’re doing. And on the web it’s not unusual to have website efforts that try to keep their users tightly bound to the website (facebook, myspace, AOL, yahoo, google, etc.) but on the whole, the web is fairly open and interactive (sites can be linked, pictures embedded, etc.).

            And yes, I can understand why many grids try to lock their “site” down – it’s a simple and pretty transparent effort to keep users bound and exploit that bond commercially. Like facebook does. Like google does. Like AOL (probably still) does. I think it’s stupid, and I think it’s petty, but I don’t really care about anyone that locks their grid down. In the end, they’re doing it to their own and their own user’s detriment.

            What I care about are efforts that try to paint the hypergrid as something it isn’t – be it “unstable”, “insecure”, “copybotting” or whatever else people come up with. And I care even more when these efforts have real implications on the way the hypergrid works – through DRM or whatever other technical measures people may come up with that impact the way my own simulator works.

            I’m all for the frustrating political process, because it creates guidelines that are binding for everyone. I’m against people making up their own rules and trying to impose them on others just because they can. DRM is one of those sets of rules.

          • Don’t forget that the Web isn’t all open either, though.

            For example, many companies have set up internal websites — intranets — for their own employees to use, or password-protected public sites for customers to access.

            The equivalent in OpenSim would be behind-the-firewall corporate or school grids, or limited-access grids hosted externally and closed to the hypergrid.

            Some companies offer hybrid sites — some pages are public, others private. For example, when I go to Amazon, most of the stuff I access is public, but some pages — like my account information and shopping history — is completely private. Even Wikipedia has password-protected areas for editors and for individual user account management.

            There are also many subscription-based sites that offer games, investment information, access to proprietary databases, specialized news, and so on, where very little of the site is public and the rest is behind a “paywall.”

            Hypergrid technology already allows for these kinds of hybrid grids, where some is accessible via the hypergrid, and some is available only to registered users. Plus, of course, you’ve got the group-based access controls, and so on and so forth.

            All of these different use cases have a purpose, and I expect to see all the various options emerge in the metaverse, as well. Which one is better depends on your particular use case and business model.

          • Vanish

            There are good and valid reasons to restrict access to a grid, or site, and it would be silly to deny anyone the option to restrict access.

            I guess what I’m opposed to is not restricting access to the grid altogether, but restricting access to the content in such a way that it only benefits the grid, or the site.

            In your examples, when I pay the subscription I get access to parts of the website I couldn’t get to before, but I get the items themselves. I can read the site, I can copy text, I can save pictures, etc. Other subscription/paywall models however deny me that level of access and try to keep the “content” for themselves.

            For example, when something is locked in as with Netflix, then I pay to be able to watch the movie, but I still don’t get the movie. Netflix keeps it, and I can only watch it on their service. Or, closer to home, when we take the Avination-style export permissions, then I pay for an item and still do not get the item. Instead, I get access to the item on a specific grid, but when I leave that grid, they keep the item.

            I hope it’s clear that there’s a difference there.

          • Ah, I definitely see what you mean there! I guess that comes down to personal preference.

            For example, I love my subscriptions to Hulu (for TV shows) and Oyster (for ebooks).(I also use my library’s e-lending platform, Overdrive.) I don’t want to have this stuff piling up on my hard drives. Mostly, because I just watch or read it once. But also because I have trust in my provider that if I want to go back to it, it will still be available in the archive. I also like the fact that a monthly subscription is often less than the cost of a single item that I might purchase outright, so I come out way ahead! But if it’s something I really want, I’ll buy permanent copies of it. For example, I buy paper copies of all the Terry Pratchett books because he’s my favorite author.

            But to keep my business, those subscription services have to make sure that content doesn’t disappear from their archives, that’s easy to find, and convenient to access from multiple devices. The minute that changes, I’ll switch to their competitors! I’m willing to sacrifice ownership for price and convenience… but only to an extent!

          • Vanish

            I know, and maybe my problem is too esoteric for many people (which is why Netflix is so popular and vo.do is not). The thing is just: We’re all bad at predictions, especially when they concern the future. Nobody knows what will happen to a specific service 1, 2, 5 or 10 years in the future. I don’t know if the kindle will still be around in 2 years and if my (non-existent, so purely hypothetical) ebook collection can be copied over to the next reader. And I don’t know if Avination is going to be around in 2 years either, and what will happen to my (likewise hypothetical) inventory that I purchased there. As long as a service only sells me access instead of content, then it’s out of my hands.

            And it’s really not about trust. I don’t think Amazon wants to do anything “bad” to me. But businesses go out of business all the time, even major ones. Or they get taken over, change policies, discontinue products and services or may just ban me for one reason or another. There are just too many unknown variables in play to trust a third party with my data.

            Furthermore, there are use cases when I actually need the data itself, be it for satire, review, quotation, education or any other fair use of the material. Those cases may be specialized and not important for everyone, but they are important nonetheless.

          • I totally agree — that’s why I buy printed copies of books that I re-read or use for research. With virtual content, however, if we’re going to be realistic, everything out there today will be completely obsolete in five to 10 years as bandwidth and processing power improves and virtual environments get more and more detailed and life-like.

            Some people will want to keep these things around for nostalgic interest (like, say, old video games) or for historic reasons. But, unlike books, music, and movies, it’s not a mature medium yet where something produced today will still be interesting twenty years from now. Plus, while the physical format of books is pretty much fixed (after hundreds of years, it would be funny if it wasn’t!) but the physical formats of music and videos are still evolving, making personal copies of those obsolete after a few years. And the digital formats of all three are likely to change as well, though at least here, there are usually conversion utilities you can use to update your files. Hopefully!

          • Vanish

            Well, okay, I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of SL assets that I still regularly use and which I purchased literally 7 years ago. I don’t know if your point is that it doesn’t matter when VW assets are locked down because after a while they’ll be obsolete anyway, but if it is, I think we should leave it up to the customers to decide when and if something is obsolete, and not to the service.

          • You’re right about SL content! Though I don’t know it’s a good thing or a bad thing that that this is still in fact the case! (You’d think that the platform would have evolved more since then!)

            But yes, I was speaking of myself, as a user. I’m happy to invest a lot of money in my printed book collection — or even older media, such as sculptures or oil paintings — but am less willing to invest my money in music CDs, and even less willing to build a large library of movie DVDs. For each particular item I buy, I have to make calculation — am I going to use it again? Is it going to last? Do I even care if it disappears?

          • Vanish

            Well, that’s true, and I think everyone’s mileage varies there. I do have a vast music collection that cost me most of my income over the years, and I even still buy vinyl records, out of nostalgia, even though that technology has been obsolete for quite a while now. The thing is, though, that I have my music collection on my harddrive, and if at any point in the future I would decide to convert all MP3s to, say, opus, then I can just do that, because it’s my data. I can not do that when the data is being held by someone else, and my new-and-shiny player doesn’t play the old format anymore.

            I guess, when it comes to virtual items, I’d answer all your questions with “yes”, or rather “YES!”. I am going to use them again. They will have to last, and I do care, deeply, if they disappear. So I better have the data on my own machine.

          • Vanish

            (Imagine a closing a-tag after opus)

          • lmpierce

            I can’t imagine how a service can do anything that only benefits that service – nobody would participate. Isn’t the question: how much does the service offer and for what price? Lower prices usually mean restrictions, while higher prices usually mean more access, or better quality access or the ability to retain access, such as a CD or DVD purchase.

            I’m also not clear if you think that Netflix is confounding access or simply providing a particular kind of access that makes sense, but only if understood and well-defined and fairly priced.

          • Vanish

            Well, the problem is, that we don’t really understand any and all implications a decision may have at a given time. Yes, a service may come with restrictions and is cheaper because of that, and as Maria said, many users are okay with that. Would they still be okay if they knew that said service was going out of business in 2 years and all their purchases would be gone then? I don’t know. The thing is, nobody can think of every possible scenario when they make a decision, so many times we’re just bad at judging the pros and cons of something.

            And that’s fine, I’m okay when people “only” want to watch a stream. It’s just that I, myself am not comfortable with that concept, and I prefer to have the data on my computer. Because I’ve seen streaming services come and go, I’ve seen streams get deleted and policies getting changed. And I honestly don’t even care that much when it comes to streaming video, but I care a lot when it comes to virtual world assets. I don’t want my inventory to be at the mercy of a grid, as much as I may trust them or not.

            Over the years, I’ve just seen too often how short-lived OpenSim services can be, and how quickly they can change and disappear. What about all the people who put their trust into OpenLife Grid? Or in Meta7? In 3dMee? In fact, there are so many over the years that I’m surprised that in this community the virtues of having a backup of your own inventory still need to be explained.

          • lmpierce

            Yes, I can easily relate to your concerns expressed in this way. One reason I use Kitely is that from the beginning I’ve felt that they were not only well intended, but have demonstrated excellent execution, both as a technical framework and as a business. Nonetheless, I regularly back up my work because experience has taught me nothing is guaranteed, either through “acts of God” or human-made failure, changes in ownership, negligence, bad-fortune, malice, and so on.

            But if I understand you, the main issue is control over our digital lives, which is obviously a huge subject. For example, I have concerns related to this that arise from huge investments in professional level work and software. In particular, as more and more companies move to a subscription model, I feel more and more “trapped” in a very uncomfortable dependency. Namely, the month I stop my service, I lose all access not only to the tool, but also to my work, since only that tool can access my work (I’m speaking here of proprietary formats, such as .psd / .psb for Photoshop and .ma/.mb for Maya). If I am able to purchase the program (license) for my indefinite use and re-use, I would be able to access my work for an equally indefinite time into the future without paying an additional premium to do so. Although the situation hasn’t become entirely black and white just yet, it’s moving in that direction, and I feel it is a manipulation by companies stemming from their own desire for consistent revenue streams, and not so much from the purported benefits for the user, such as more frequent and timely updates.

            So, yes, I agree that it is undesirable to feel vulnerable to, and used by, a service. I would only add that unfortunately, this has been a dynamic in the world of business in even larger ways for quite some time, so I don’t think virtual worlds are by any means inventing this wheel.

          • Vanish

            Well, I think at this point, in Virtual Worlds we still can influence the direction into which things will be going. If we, as users and customers, demand the actual data instead of just access to that data, there will be a marketplace around that data. If we are okay with buying items just on a grid and keep them in the asset storage of that grid, and never even ask for backups, then we may have the Photoshop/Netflix situation in the future.

          • lmpierce

            My guess would be that we’re going to continue to see both models, side by side, and it will be caveat emptor well into the foreseeable future.

          • The buyers should definitely already beware, because the fact of the matter is that while some folks bandy about that they “own” some virtual land in a closed grid [as opposed to running their own simulators instances where they do actually “own” the whole thing], nobody “owns” virtual land but those who have the servers.

            In other words, none of those land barons or single region “renters” in closed commercial grids “own” anything, at all. They “rent”, and that rent has all sorts of disclaimers, in reality it is hardly even “renting” even my real life standards.

            I personally feel the wording in all this needs to be clarified as often as possible, because when people think they “own” something, when they do not, they also get the feeling they have certain rights of ownership, which they, in fact, do not.

            So, while the pure thoughts behind “caveat emptor” apply, in that people should beware, in reality, in legal terms, they “own” nothing….and thus have none of the legal protections “ownership” gives people.

            I find it continually amazing the disconnect some have [not referring to you, just the royal “some”], that even despite continuing things happening that people pontificate about ad nauseum…eg lost content, software errors, account access removal, TOS fiat changes, lack of proper business owner acumen…some feel they still have some kind of ownership rights to things they do not own [referring to virtual land primarily in closed commercial grids].

            What I would like to see is more choices, people supporting less restrictions rather than restricted environments, and hypergating freedom.

            It is my hope that, being realistic, Kitely will show people some type of hybrid can be done, and thus help show people a way to continue things in much less stressful ways. They appear to have that similar vision.

            Choices and options should be concentrated on and those who would restrict us should be more and more marginalized until, or if, they go away or they join us.

            People of smallish and limited visions are holding this back and we need to do whatever we can to expand it.

            The closed commercial non-hypergated mentality is a dinosaur and it is obvious it is going away, how quickly will be up to those who can see more clearly a vision of a future less corrupted by some few individuals who wish to continue to restrict us.

            I also find the penchant for some people to give things to restrictive environments, which only adds to the appeal of those environments, and only lines the pocketbooks of handfuls of people, to be counter-productive.

            In reality, unless one works for McDonalds [henceforth referred to as mickieDs…lol], nobody is going to go in one and simply give them things that enhances their bottom line and increase their sales and adds to their appeal….not for free anyways…and mickieDs is likely not going to even consider such a thing, they will pay for someone to do such things….

            So why is it that some people do that in virtual reality? I have no clue. Why would even give something to a closed commercial grid, in time and efforts, without pay, when the only ones who stand to gain the most is the grid owners? I have no clue.

          • Vanish

            There is an ongoing court case about this very issue and from the way things stand now, it seems that if a grid uses terms of “ownership” or gives the impression that users “own” their virtual items, then they actually do.

          • If it is ongoing [and I would look at a link to this] then anything is possible, and even with a first ruling, appeals, often not much heard about, if at all, could change it in real regards, or reverse it.

            I look at this in real terms, personally. And frankly, there is enough anecdotal evidence that crops up fairly often, that there is not only no “implied” ownership, but that there is no “reasonable assurances” that anything will even work properly, at all.

            Again, I am not referring to content and all that stuff, something I am not only not qualified to discuss, but don’t want to discuss. This is just to the concept of virtual land “ownership” and any land rights at all.

            I was a Realtor for many years. I helped people sell land and homes, helped people rent. Nothing we have in all this, related to the commercial grid concept, implies any real ownership. And as I stated, even in real life rental concepts, nothing in this implies or guarantees anything at all concerning any legal consequences due to renting and any “good faith” efforts for recourse.

            Anyone who has rented a parcel, only to find it gone some fine day when they logged in, can see this clearly…or at least they should be able to.

            And anyone who has had their account access removed also knows this clearly.

            And anyone who has helped a grid only to find it gone the next day, knows this.

            The disconnect, as I said, amazes me.

          • Vanish

            They’ve reached a settlement, so the case is pretty much done and decided.

          • Yea, I started reading your link after my post, sorry…lol

            I do recall reading some of that now.

            However, this;

            “Update, November 26th 2013: The amount payable for virtual land held by claimants meeting the revised criteria of the settlement agreement is L$2 per square metre of land held held. The amount payable for inventory held by claimants meeting the revised criteria of the settlement agreement is $15 USD per account. Claimants may additionally be able to forego the payment if they wish, and attempt to sell their items via the SL Marketplace.”

            Which, while the L$2 per square metre may be sufficient for some very few persons, most ppl would never bother with the hassle of suing if it was not a given…the pay off is just not enough. And, likewise, the sl clone grids, in which the numbers are substantially less, certainly would only leave maybe 1 or 2 who would stand to gain enough to sue.

            So while this may be a good step, the reality is that it is not really useful in a realistic way.

            My personal opinion is that we need to follow paradigm changers, where focusing on freedom would be the key basic tenants. And to stop letting ourselves get diluted by commercial enterprises where only a mere handful of people actually make any real money.

            The reality is that most people will not sue, and this court case you cite, tho it gives case precedence in order for some few who may avail themselves of it, is only really just one more thing of others that were already available.

            Any of those grids could be sued already for several legal abuses…whether or not the plaintiff would win, is, of course, another matter…but someone who has the available money and time and interest could already sue and simply in the sueing accomplish some ends also.

          • I agree — I try to use the phrase “rent land” instead of “own land” as much as I can.If it goes away when you stop paying a monthly bill, it’s not ownership!

            I don’t understand why Linden Lab ever used the phrase “buying land.”

          • Vanish

            In all fairness, then you’d also have to say that people are “renting” virtual clothes, skins, boats, or whatever else they’re “buying” in SL.

          • and in any of the sl clone closed commercial grids….exactly-))

          • Clothes and other virtual content is trickier — you don’t have to pay a monthly fee to continue wearing it. You just pay for it once, so more like a traditional purchase. Except, of course, you’re only buying a limited license.

            I guess a real-world equivalent might be buying some protected art in a country, where if you leave the country you can’t take the art with you.

          • I would suggest, technically, and even legally, it would be more of a limited use rental concept, rather than limited ownership concept.

            It, too, can easily disappear.

          • For me, the sticking point is having to pay money every month. Even when you buy a house and get a mortgage, you eventually get to stop paying the monthly bills!

            Or … does Linden Lab see their $300 monthly payments as the equivalent of property taxes?

          • If you buy content in a restricted environment such as the closed commercial grids, and you leave for whatever reason, you no longer have access to the content..it is not in your closet to resell/give away/burn…lol

            So, unless you created it, you only have some kind of rent of it. Rents can be for all sorts of terms. I rent to people on my land in 7 day increments, for example.

            I doubt LL puts the income from land rentals on their books as property tax collections…lol…and, if so, where can I apply for my exemptions from it??? hehe

          • If you have something in your virtual closet, and you leave the platform — the stuff stays in your closet. You come back, and it’s still there. (Unless they cancel your account.)

            You don’t have to make any regular payments (on whatever the schedule) to keep this content. So, say, if I rent a couch, and stop paying the rent, they’ll come and take it back. Except for land, you won’t lose any virtual content simply by stopping your regular payments.

            Though I can see why the word “owning” would be very problematic on closed grids that don’t allow you to actually do anything with your stuff.

            I think, eventually, we’ll get to the point where the “buy” button will actually be more accurate, allowing personal backups, and allowing people to take the content with them when they move grids. Just like the way the music industry eventually did away with DRM, allowing people to back up their collections, or play them on new devices. And are focusing their enforcement efforts on the distributors — folks who sell pirated DVDs, or set up online stores selling pirated music.

            It will probably take quite a bit of time, though, and customer push-back (if, say, everyone stopped buying DRM-protected content in favor of vendors who allowed backups and exports).

          • “If you have something in your virtual closet, and you leave the platform — the stuff stays in your closet. You come back, and it’s still there. (Unless they cancel your account.)” yes, but, for…

            Grids close, grids change their rules, grids could sell to someone who changes the rules, software has bugs, grid owners go insane [ok, that last part is just me being silly]…etc

            “I think, eventually, we’ll get to the point where the “buy” button will actually be more accurate, allowing personal backups, and allowing people to take the content with them when they move grids.”

            And I suggest more people need to focus on this aspect of things.

            In reality, I own my land [and my car], even though there are ways to take them from me…via eminent domain or for payment of back property taxes or if they found out I have marijuana plants growing all over and found my meth lab…but there is an established legal method for doing such things, I get notice, I have ways to counter it…In property tax back payments takings I could even feasibly buy it back, sometimes for less than the amount owed, even.

            Those seeking to continue the status quo are only doing so in order to keep lining their own pocketbooks, and even in that they are not even making all that much, and it is a mere handful of those.

          • KeithSelmes

            I’ve assumed LL were trying to create and a market a feel good concept in non technical language. Personally I found it initially confusing and obfuscating, and always explain it to others as renting space on a server. Whatever service I’m using, I’m not a resident owning land, I’m a customer renting space. That makes more sense to most people, especially as many now have a website or storage space as part of their broadband package, amazon account etc.

          • my morning energy burst is fading, but…I still have more to say…lol

            Yea, I slip sometimes and say “own” and I have been also cleaning up places I notice I used it also. It was an incorrect lack of perception and lack of discernment, I suppose.

            The problem is the legal connotations it implies. And, frankly, if more people realized this it would be better for free opensim where they can actually “own” if they wish to.

          • I had a really bad experience just like this. My company was using the DabbleDB online database for years to run our editorial workflow and accounting, and then they were bought up and the service closed down with only a few months notice — not enough time to move every single thing to a new platform! We were scrambling with a combination of Google Docs and a few other tools for about a year before we finally found a workable alternative that brought everything together again. (A hosted version of Filemaker.)

            Today, my company processes (and websites) are all running on platforms that are vendor-independent. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for email (I use Google Apps for business) or my operating system, Windows (I use a lot of open source software but Filemaker doesn’t run on Linux and I haven’t found an alternative I like yet).

            I can see having a bigger presence on commercial grids if I was, say, running a chain of stores with outlets in various locations, but I’d still use my own grid for building and warehousing.

          • Personally, I’m 100% with you on that. I have avatars on closed commercial grids, usually for purposes of meeting people there or checking out new features for a story. Since I’m hardly ever one those grids, I stick with the default freebie avatars. With one exception — I’ve bought some outfits in Second Life, since I’m often called on to give speeches, and don’t want to wear the same freebie jacket every time!

            Instead, in OpenSim, I own my own grid where I have the ability to make a backup of all content, either in the form of OAR region files, or IAR inventory files, and I try to be careful and only get content that I’m allowed to make backups of. I’m looking forward to buying stuff on Kitely’s marketplace once it goes global, and am happy to pay extra for the export permission.

            For folks who don’t have the capacity to set up a private grid, most hosting companies (like Dreamland and Zetamex) will allow you to connect to open grids *and* download copies of your regions and inventories. As will self-hosted versions of OpenSim such as Diva Distro, Sim-on-a-Stick and New World Studio.

          • lmpierce

            Hi Vanish,

            Your comment is clear and brings up an important point: Intellectual property, especially in the digital age, presents new challenges in how we define ownership.

            I agree that virtual worlds present the odd situation that if one purchases an item to use in one grid, they cannot necessarily take it for their use on other grids. I can’t think of any examples in the world where this happens, except when it comes to digital products.

            Software is usually similarly locked and one solution has been some form of activation (think of computers as grids for my example). But this would be onerous and impractical for the multitude of items people acquire for virtual living.

            I probably don’t agree that everything commercial or controlled is nothing but an attempt to keep users “bound” to the detriment of all. I would only make that kind of assessment on a case by case basis. I think Kitely has proposed a unique offering that addresses this issue – they plan to enable HyperGrid, but give creators the option to control whether their products can be exported or not. This allows individuals to determine and act on what they feel is in their own unique best interest.

            I do agree with you that maligning HyperGrid technology out of hand is not valid. There are reasonable concerns that are being addressed by the technology infrastructure creators themselves, so it seems to me safeguards are being developed but without the pretense that any safeguard is foolproof. On the other hand, most creatives work hard and make a lot of sacrifices in terms of time, security and income, so it’s understandable that some of the talk about totally free access to everything as a universal good is a bit threatening to them and others. I think it will still take quite a bit of time and experience and reasoned dialogue, as well as the development of new systems of distribution, for these concerns to be worked out to everyone’s satisfaction.

    • you are so right Lani, and let me try to sneak this past the censors…lol [I joke!! I joke!!]

      http://minethere.blogspot.com/2014/01/irreconcilable-differences.html

    • Actually, also, I am keeping my eyes open for a trend I am seeing, that of free opensim content being sought after for closed commercial grids.

      I am going to be changing all my notes and stuffs over time removing the license for them to use anything I create….and I think more should give this some serious consideration [and yes, I know you do already, Lani].

      I don’t really wish for-profit ventures to profit off [by way of it adding to the coolness of their grids] of what I do anymore unless they are at least open to hypergating.

      They can find people themselves, and pay them, since they get paid and restrict content, themselves.

      • Vanish

        I’ve thought about this years ago when I started choosing a license for
        my own items, and keep revisiting this idea time and again, and I still
        come to the same conclusions:

        1. I want my items to benefit all
        users of virtual worlds, wherever they are. Just
        because a grid decides to be locked down shouldn’t mean that its
        users (which have little or no control over the
        policies of the grid) aren’t allowed to use my items.

        2. The CC non-commercial licenses themselves aren’t very good for that kind of restriction anyway, because they look at the way an item is used, and not where it is used. I can use a non-commercial CC-licensed item on a commercial grid, as long as the way I’m using it doesn’t generate any income for me in any way, shape or form. It doesn’t matter if the grid is generating income as long as they’re not the ones using the item.

        3. The use cases I definitely don’t want to see with my items aren’t represented in any of the CC licenses anyway. For example, I’m fine with most commercial uses, but I’m not okay with advertising. I just don’t want my stuff to be used to sell… Doritos. Or cars. Or beer. Or whatever. Or, I’m not okay with my items to be used by the military, be it commercial or non-commercial (though one could argue that all military is commercial in one way or another). But there’s no “No Ads” or “No Military” clause in Creative Commons, and were I to change the license, I wouldn’t be able to call it Creative Commons anymore, and there’d be a lot of confusion.

        So in the end, I decided that “more open” = “better”, because it potentially benefits more people than it would with a more restrictive license.

        • You are on a roll commenting here, and I am just reading and passing by, mostly…lol

          But I would suggest, or at least I see it this way, and it could be worded better, I am sure, if I cared enough to take the time…that ANY help given to a non-HG commercial grid from the free Meta *adds* to their appeal.

          Since they restrict content to their own grids, and since they have land rental business models, and since they profit concerning anything that happens in their grids, then they can pay people for any content they get…or, they should pay…however, most if not all of them have people in their grids who give them stuff anyways, so it hardly matters.

          And nobody is restricted nor do the not have the option to simply leave such restricted places…if they choose to be there, in a commercial environment which mostly benefits a few grid owners, that is certainly their choice, but they can then do their commerce inside that restricted atmosphere.

          I won’t help them anymore, in any regards, unless they open to HG.

          • Vanish

            I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t do that. Everyone is free to define their own license terms. I just think that if you want to do that, Creative Commons might not be the right tool for it. (I wrote a short primer about this very issue here: http://opensim-users.info/showthread.php?tid=151 )

          • Yea, I know that…lol

            Licenses, and any contracts for that matter, are only as good as how far one is willing to go, or can go depending on many factors, to force compliance, so I just KISS and leave all the talk and such to ppl who enjoy doing such things.

            Anywho, I will keep watching you all discuss.

        • I use a CC0 license for all my virtual worlds stuff (scripts I share, textures or OARs). (This may change if I ever go into the content sale business!)

          The stuff on my website has a different license — you can make print copies for yourself or friends, or run excerpts on your website, but if you want to reprint an entire article you should buy a reprint permission. (Because I’d rather people just posted excerpts and linked back for the rest.)

          But on my day job, everything I write (such as my Network World articles) is either under work-for-hire or first-publishing-rights license agreements.

          • Jonny Vayro

            Hi Maria. Do you have a link to your content website please?

    • AviWorlds

      Free world was never made by FREE only and capitalism free environments. If you think FREE only is going to get you somewhere you have to think again. FREE only is an illusion and it has no objectives and no incentives.
      Another thing why free if the FREE is full of restrictions? As far as I see it now a paid item has a lot more freedom.
      HG is here to stay yes but remember that the creators of HG are doing everything they can to develop it in a way to include the non free creators and you know why? Without capitalism there is no development. In fact the more capitalism we have more freedom we also enjoy. This myth of everything free and equal does not work. Must be a balance. And I have also said that yes we will be observing HG to see if we can open up again.

      • Vanish

        Let’s see:

        My free items come with the right to:
        – be modified
        – be copied
        – be shared
        – be sold
        – be included in any and all derivative works
        – be used in any Second Life or OpenSim-based grid
        – be included in other virtual worlds or 3D modelling that supports it
        – be used without DRM

        Paid items in AviWorlds come with the right to:
        – be used in AviWorlds in the way the DRM restricts them to be used

        Tell me again why “the FREE” is full of restrictions and “a paid item has a lot more freedom”?

        • AviWorlds

          Man you read my post and yet you did not see it or understand what I wrote. Cheers!

          • Vanish

            Dear kids,

            today, we’ll talk about the FREE. The FREE is when you are not free. It’s called the FREE, because you’re FREE of freedom. That’s how it works.

            The opposite of the FREE is the paid. With the paid, you are more free than with the FREE, because you have paid for it, and because that’s how capitalism works, which makes us all more free.

            Always remember: Freedom is slavery. War is peace. And we’ve always been at war with Eurasia.

            – The Ministry Of Truth

          • no, it’s Eastasia [the green colored lands]….gosh

  • AviWorlds has again adapted its business model, now charging for texture uploads:

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AlexFerraris/posts/7ziwNfXPwPe?cfem=1

    The goal is to reduce the temptation for people to upload copybotted items.

    However, it will also hurt legitimate users looking to upload Linda Kellie and OpenSim Creations content.

    Either way, in-world merchants will benefit by having fewer freebies to compete with, but regular users will suffer as a result. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out, since one of the appeals of OpenSim is free texture uploads.

  • $92909390

    The real story should have been..
    “Alex cannot afford the costs of a real public commercial grid”

    He cannot afford the ..extra data costs..from uploaded content but instead of dealing with the issue he has choosing to say his residents are copybotter’s
    He is now recreating a new police state..
    My advice to Alex.. Just use SoaS for yourself..

    ………..Alex makes it clear below…………….

    AviWorlds will now charge an uploading fee for textures,images,objects and mesh. This will be put in place in order to preclude or minimise the uploading of illegally copied content from SL and other grids. A fee will serve to inhibit these activities but yes it is not 100%.
    The problem with a 100% free uploading strategy is that people instead of purchasing the content inside the grid instead they bring illegally copied items in order to satisfy their need for content. So this scares creators away even more and kills any demand for content created by a growing community.
    So if the community really wants the grids economy to be legit and able to prosper; they should agree with the fees for uploading.

    AviWorlds will offer uploading fee credits for all real creators.

    AviWorlds is also blocking all viewers currently used for illegally copying content. Although it is not 100% sure to stop ALL ILLEGALLY MADE COPIES; the uploading fee plus the viewer blocking plus a strong grid police and rules will be sure to slow down or even minimise these activities to a very minimum.

    Groups will also be charged a fee of 100AV$.

    AviWorlds is now a closed commercial grid with the intentions to protect all content created by creators that currently have businesses inworld.

    Thanks
    Alex Ferraris PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER
    Avi World CEO

  • Sebastian

    Why would I move to a small grid which has no HyperGrid access? It makes no sense.