The typist was watching a television show the other evening, the protagonist loudly affirming that it wasn't cheating unless you were caught.

Now that has never been my point of view, but it got me thinking (OK, it was the next day in the tub where I do my best to ponder and solve world problems). We have a variety of issues in Second Life, not just the hijacking of our creations. Long before that --- LONG before -- a history of head hiding in the sand began. Not by creators of course, by The Lab.

Even though I haven't been around all that much of late, I frequent the SL Forums -- mostly MESH and MERCHANTS but I try to help out in other arenas if I know the answer. Not all that many folks are forum groupies. While I joined during instigation week, I didn't actually post much until a couple of years ago. The helpful folks in the mesh forum got me through the trials and tribulations of learning and I am deeply grateful for their assistance.

I learn a LOT on the forums as I generally never read the official Linden blog. Recently there was a post pointing out a new requirement for Marketplace merchants. Now this sounds reasonable enough. It appears (appears mind you) to be aimed at lowering the thievery and indeed the selling of stolen products on the Marketplace.  But let's look at this a bit more closely.

Let's overlook the probable (I did a small sampling among friends) flaws in the payment info system and the likelihood that it wouldn't be too difficult to "fake out" that requirement. Check forum posts if you want more info; I don't intend to pass along "cheating" methods *wink*.

Instead let's look at the Mesh thefts and illegal mesh items that abound on the Marketplace. Creators on the forums are forever complaining that fake account folks can upload stolen mesh faster than actual creators can legitimately build it. It has been going on a long while AND you can only upload mesh WITH Payment info on file and WITH the mesh test taken. So, in my mind the new requirement is just a step at placating the disheartened merchants, not at actually cutting down the selling of stolen goods on the Marketplace.

The Labs have given us plenty to be thankful for (it's that season unless you are in Canada where it has passed). Project Sunshine and the new Project Interesting will likely make life easier for many folks. I know Project Sunshine is working well for me when I am out in crowds (not often - granted). What they have not been good at -- historically or of late -- is keeping out cheaters.

First there was the copybot scandal, made possible by Linden Lab.  That was November 2006, long before my time. I have talked to some old timers and they agree that it was much like the current TOS issues with many merchants closing their shops rather than having their goods copied. The Lab's comment back then was that you couldn't copy scripts so it wasn't all that big a deal. That didn't sit well with TEXTURE designers, and clothes were all system based textures back then. I can still remember the copybot sentry scripts that would greet you at the entrance of most shops. Certainly annoying, but also understandable.

So from my point of view, Linden Lab isn't interested at all in protecting us, simply having it LOOK as they they are trying. LL seems to have taken themselves further out of the DMCA process with the current TOS; testing in court will be the only way to know if that is true.

Those of us still here are here. We have accepted in some way the "state of the nation". We may still be fighting on paper or in our hearts, but it is a quieter fight now -- something I expect The Lab counted on. I have no trust left and I do still believe there is more to this. New improvements to the platform, added "protection", all encompassing TOS.

It is their platform so it can't be cheating.
Content creators made this world.

You decide.