A Divided Opensim - Export Filters

Kitely Chic in exportable outfit at the first Kitely Merchant Fair opening mid October.
Free versus commercial. Export or no? Content creators rights. Freedom.

There have been lengthy conversations going on in Opensim this week (links to posts at the bottom of this entry). Retailers, mostly of the newcomer variety, want more protection for their products. Those who have adopted the "free meta" version of Opensim worry that a huge (really huge) amount of free and transferable goods will no longer be in the public domain.

Many feel that Opensim may be on the verge of a schism.

For those of you not familiar with Opensim worlds, they include closed commercial grids such as Inworldz, free meta worlds such as Metropolis -- and many models in between. Opensim also includes private grids only accessible to groups or individuals, not open to the public.

Some grids are connected via a hypergrid, so that on a good day you can teleport via landmark to a large variety of sims and vars (larger than sims) as easily as if you were on the same grid. Simplistically? It is a bit like a long distance phone call or Skype. Aside from money and some items not being available, it is much like you just walked down the street to a neighbor's house.

This inner-connectivity opens up the possibilities of collaboration between artists and creators on various grids.

Balancing the wonderful creative possibilities the hypergrid enables, there is a dark side. It is very easy to steal work, change permissions and rename the creator of items.

That brings us to now. 

I am sure most of you aren't astrology buffs, but there are some interesting energies afoot which became more obvious last weekend.

... a combination of tension and working out of certain issues ...

This can be a destructive cycle and it can also place emphasis on creating solutions to problems that seem intractable.

... the result of action or the choice not to act ...

It’s a reminder that something is not true merely because you believe it. It’s a reminder to answer the question, “Where’s your data?”

Quotes from Eric Francis: Where Ideas Meet Ideals (membership material, but free to read a few articles).  This is a long and technical but extremely good article. If you skip through the planetary material and just read the "outcome" of the energies, it will likely give you some insights.

I have been in VR for nine years now. I have lived, made art, and set up shops on a dozen platforms.  Grids have booms and busts and now and then resurrections. The grid owner and citizens decide (sometimes peacefully, sometimes not) the future of the grid. Even the biggest grids have changed policies when faced with an overwhelming outcry from the populous. Other times, owners make the rules and those living on the platforms cope or leave.

It has been a heated time. Fingers have been pointed; lies have been told. It is difficult to see the other side of the issue -- the one that you do not accept as "correct".

I am in the leave things alone camp for several reasons. I have lived and sold in enough closed grids (and adding export filters so that items cannot leave the grid makes it difficult at best to hypergrid) to have watched them decline. Items may be better protected, but there are also fewer sales -- in essence from those that plan to use the product only on the grid where it is sold and never venture outside the grid.

To be fair, creators will in theory have the ability to update their items and choose if they want to sell things that can still be exported. Generally, from people's comments, those asking for protection will not be selling exportable items -- at least not in the near future.  Those that have gifts they want to export to the free meta will need to mark those items as such.

What I have watched in the past on many grids seems likely to repeat. Some new, often mentioned as "better", creators come to various protected grids and set up shop. They sell things for awhile and then when they have sold to the resident population of those actually living on the grid, sales drop.

Most of these "better" creators do not make a home on the grids; they simply leave their items and go back to the big grids. There is a short time when an influx of new folks make accounts and perhaps buy land. It DOES give the citizens of that grid the ability to buy from a larger variety of items. It does not typically enhance the general well-being of the grid.

One of the biggest worries which as of this writing has not been addressed is what will happen to the myriad of freely giving to the metaverse items that float around hypergrid enabled Opensim. It appears it will break all that content, making it no longer "pass along" as it was intended to be.

The closed commercial Opensim grids have been in decline for some time now. Some have recently shared their code and others have offered to share their code. This could be simply a magnanimous gesture, or it could be that they are looking for a way that would let them comfortably join the larger and definitely growing hypergrid community.

I am stepping back and watching for awhile. Money has been raised to implement this new code. As of this writing it appears that when completed and working it will be added to at least some grids.

How much this will divide the metaverse is the question of the season.


DigiWorldz spearheads fundraising for export permissions fix:

Call for Crowdfunding:

New Record Highs for Opensim:

GCG to Filter Exports:

Avination donates code to Opensim: