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Why the Grid owners CANNOT do it.

April 1, 2011

The conversation is still going strong. 🙂  Here’s two things that occurred to me:

First, the obvious reaction is “Grid Owners have to find this stuff and get rid of it!”  That sounds logical, but is it safe for them to do so?  I am not sure it is.  Again, I am not a Lawyer/Attorney/Solicitor/Barrister/Student of Law.  You want professional advice, seek it elsewhere.  However, I do keep my ear to the ground, and I see a “trap” that a Grid Owner could fall into if they make a habit of proactively removing content that they deem suspicious.

It might–MIGHT, I say!–violate the Safe Harbor provisions of the law.  I’m not sure how a judge would view it.

Here’s the thing (as I understand it): whether it is YouTube or Facebook or GenericGrid, they are not considered to be responsible for content that is created within or uploaded to their service–the person who actually does the creation or uploading is.  The “service provider” here is a neutral third party whose obligation is to remove content when the procedures in the DMCA are followed by the IP owner.

So what happens if the service provider starts playing detective?  What if they say, “I think this is stolen, I think this is not” without receiving a formal complaint from someone?  Are they still covered by Safe Harbor?

I don’t know, but I’d be scared to try it in that position. Safe Harbor means that, so long as the Grid Owner follows the DMCA, they are covered.  From what I have seen of the law, sometimes when you get too creative and proactive, the courts decide you are on your own.

Second, and even more convincing:

I have 3,151 objects in my inventory in JokaydiaGrid.  We won’t talk about what I accumulated in SL!  What size staff would a grid need just to monitor one avatar with an inventory like that? Let’s face it: my wardrobe is pretty empty compared to some of you guys out there!  Even if they wanted to proactively monitor, and even if they could safely do so?

Labors of Hercules, man.  And the stables fill up with twice as much while you are shoveling out the other end.  A corporation with a thousand employees couldn’t do it.  There is no scale at which it can work.

Please don’t yell at the Grid Owners.  They are in an unenviable position in all this.

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