Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The DMCA And Evil Ad Spammers

I don't think I've ever mentioned it before, but I hate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Recently, a number of people have taken to posting pictures on Flickr showing 'Ad Spam' places around Second Life and their owners. Attempting to shame them or inform others about who they are so that no one supports them monetarily.

The example to the left in this post is a mega-prim ad spam. Oh, and it spins. Yes, you too could be the lovely recipient of that in your backyard.

The ad spammers did not like the fact that their name and their handiwork were being splashed all over Flickr. They invoked the DMCA and Flickr pulled down three of the pictures in that stream.

Over on New World Notes, they are reporting about how Rik Riel is trying to provoke a DMCA takedown notice. He is trying to force the issue of intellectual property and fair-use in Second Life. New World Notes makes a good point:

If you're a photojournalist reporting on the news in New York's Time Square, you don't need to get the permission of every business owner whose logo and trademarks will surely show up in the published photo. That's because there's already an established legal precedent of fair use.

I suggest all of you camera mavens and people who live next door to ugliness like this, post to that Flickr group, it would be very hard to takedown everyone.

This also raises the interesting point of what these ad spammers mean for Second Life real estate. The spammers own tiny parcels of land, 16m2, and they try to sell them for large amounts of money. Having them next to you drives down your enjoyment of your land and lowers its resale value. All sorts of things could come about:
1) People move to private sims because you don't have to deal with this.
2) You try to sell your mainland parcel, but can't because of the ads, you have to abandon it.
3) Mainland occupancy goes down, Linden Lab makes less money based on tier.
4) Ad revenue for these things dwindles as traffic dwindles. Eventually the ad land is abandoned due to lack of money.

Basically lots of economic churn, both good and bad.


Dalien said...

I thought the owner of the private sim could do anything ? (i.e. listen to the complaints of the inhabitants and "flush" these 16m2 spots' users ?

Dalien said...

.. So it is either the individual sim owners' unresponsiveness (or irresponsibility ? do they have the same root ? :)

or is it an oversight "by design" for some reason ?

I heard some residents on private islands being kicked out by the island owners - so to me the complaints should be directed to them...