Sunday, August 22, 2010

Request to Second Life Vendors

Dear Second Life Vendors,

Please, please, please, whenever possible, make your products "Modify/Copy/No Transfer". Many products are set "No Copy/Transfer" or "No Copy/No Transfer" making it impossible for the consumer (me) to make a copy of the item(s) in my own inventory. This has a few deleterious effects:
  • I cannot make copies of an item for inclusion in other folders. For instance, I like to create "outfit" folders containing all the items worn/attached for a particular outfit. This makes it relatively quick and easy to change outfits. Items that are "No Copy" have to be hunted down in whatever folder they reside.
  • No Copy items that contain scripts like a resize script either must continue to contain the lag inducing scripts after use or the No Copy item can no longer be modified after the scripts are deleted from the object(s). The owner of the item must make a difficult choice between being able to continue to use the scripts or reducing the resource consumption of the No Copy item.
  • The owner cannot make a backup copy of her purchases in case they become damaged or lost.
The first of these (making copies for inclusion in outfit folders) is somewhat alleviated by the My Outfits feature of Viewer 2. Residents who use Viewer 2 now have the ability to create symbolic links to items in their inventory and these links can be used in various folders. However, many of us do not use Viewer 2 and do not yet have the ability to create symbolic links.

The second and third objections apply to all viewers and are really the most important reasons to make your items "Copy/No Transfer". Lag inducing scripts should really not be left in an object after it has been modified/resized. Of course, in some products the scripts are really what makes them valuable - here I am talking about stuff like hair and shoes which usually come with resize/color scripts which, once used on a copy, can be deleted. This reduces lag and should be a high priority for all residents, vendors included.

The ability to make a backup of your inventory items should be a right, not a privilege. I've had many items simply disappear due to server or sim weirdness and through no fault of my own.

Some products may reasonably need to have Transfer permissions. Items typically purchased as gifts need to be transferable. In these (relatively rare) cases, if the vendor does not want to allow their product(s) to be freely redistributed/resold, then they must also make them No Copy. I understand this and I am not suggesting that ALL products be sold "Copy/No Transfer". However, the vast majority of products are used strictly by the purchaser and not subsequently transferred to another resident. Even items which are frequently given as gifts can be released in two versions - "Copy/No Transfer" and "No Copy/Transfer" so the buyer can select which is preferable.

As for the Modify bit, I just do not understand why some vendors sell products like a skirt that is No Modify. Do you think all our butts are tiny like yours? Maybe you are trying to protects us from ourselves? Unless your product requires No Modify for some reason, please make it Modify so that I can resize or alter it in other ways to suit my particular needs.

Some vendors may believe that setting Copy permission on a product makes it more likely or easier for CopyBots to illegally copy and redistribute their product. This may have been true in the past, I do not know. However, currently, I know of no evidence to support this belief. My guess is this is an erroneous belief carried forward from years ago. If you know of any factual evidence or technical support for the fear that Copy items can be illegally copied please let me know. I cannot believe this is the case since most of the reputable and successful vendors in Second Life sell their products "Copy/No Transfer".

I do occasionally purchase No Copy items but, if I am aware in advance an item is No Copy it does effect my buying decision. Basically, a product that is "Copy/No Transfer" has higher value for me than one sold as "No Copy/Transfer". So vendors, simply by correctly setting the permissions on your products you can increase their value and thereby increase your sales.

Thanks for listening,

Missy Restless

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