Thursday, November 1, 2012

Placing My Bet

It has poisoned everything. Everything I see, even everything I dream.  I feels like I have a stone in my chest.  No appetite.

I remind myself that a lot worse things could happen. It's just a job, after all, not a life. But when your job requires creativity, you really need to feel some creativity, and for the time being, I don't. At all. 

"Oh then you don't love creating just for the sake of creating." the copy leftists will say. "You are just greedy!"

Imagine that you have a garden -- you had to dig up rocks and bring in a load of soil and build frames for it -- and you plant the seeds and fertilize using your homemade compost and you water and you weed and you pick off the bugs. All fun! 

Then comes time for harvest, and you look forward to feeding your family the delicious food you have grown.  And then your neighbor comes in with a wheelbarrow and cleans you out. Not only that but he dumps all the harvest into a big fire and burns it up.

How motivated would you be to plant another seed?

(Yes, I know, the analogy is not perfect -- no analogy is. Maybe the neighbor just takes half. Whatever.
Or change it to cooking a big Christmas dinner for your family -- assuming you enjoy cooking for your family -- the list making, the shopping, the chopping, the cooking.)  

I create not just for myself, but for my family, and for my customers, many of whom have become friends. It is not about me creating things in a vacuum for fun and never has been.

I just don't feel like finishing this kitchen I am in the middle of working on when I know that as soon as I am done with it, someone will come along and take it and pass it around as a freebie. I do enjoy making freebies for my customers -- but I want to decide what to give and whom to give to. It is hard to imagine at the moment wanting to spend weeks making something for someone else to copy and give as a freebie at the same time I have it up for sale.

I know other creators, some of them among the best in Second Life, who got tired of swimming against the tide. They got tired of preparing and faxing DMCAs. They stopped creating. Some left Second Life. Quietly, because there was no fight left in them. 


But there is one hope, and only one: The honest people in Second Life, who will delete any stolen content delivered to them rather than passing it along, and will support creators whose content they enjoy using.  They are the one and only defense against those who want to destroy Second Life completely.

Together, creators and honest customers keep Second Life alive, because they are investing either  work or money or both into it.  Together they keep SL living and vibrant with creativity while the copiers try to drain it of its creative lifeblood. The copiers are the cancer of Second Life.

And writing those words, I come to a decision: I am placing my bet on those who support life and creativity.