Thursday, August 30, 2007

The shady truth about Barnesworth Anubis

Barnesworth has finally come out and admitted it: he is a thief. I always knew that guy was sketchy. Thank God he has publicly apologized to the indigenous peoples of Indonesia and their ancestors.

OK, his post is pretty funny, but it is sad as well. Barnes has the ability to deflate hot air out of a drama balloon with a poke of good humor, but these petty accusations of theft have been going on for so long.

If you take an old concept into a new medium, you do not all of a sudden gain ownership of that concept. You might consider yourself an innovator, but please do not think of yourself as an inventor. We see this nonsense all the time in the US patent system with obvious software patents, and we've seen it for years in Second Life (you brought a miniskirt into SL? no you thief, I did that first! you made a virtual log cabin?! that was MY idea!).

We see people using third party textures or images they find on the internet, and claiming ownership because they think they are the first to load it into Second Life. Absurd. Particularly rich is when someone steals IP from a major brand, and then accuses someone else of stealing when it is duplicated in Second Life. We also see people throwing fits over the natural process of artistic influence that has been going on since time immemorial.

Well, ok, I admit that I think Braque is a second rate Cezanne but that's neither here nor there.

These claims and petty dramas dilute the importance of real IP theft that does go on. Of course, I don't expect any of this to stop but one can always dream.

Still, thank you Barnes for the laugh of the morning.

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