We saw some folks looking for info on our content protection, and it's there but in the TOS, which most people trudge through on an as-needed basis. I've spoken extensively on this subject, both on Gridwrap, my office hours and the Phoenix Office Hours, but felt it was important to put it in a way that was easier to access and review. Sooooo ... here I go! *-)
VIRTUAL RETAILING IS AS REAL AS IT GETS
Let's face it, it's a daunting task to run a store anywhere. Anyone who thinks it's a walk in the park and you make something then step away, simply hasn't ran a successful virtual business. Its every bit as demanding as a real world business and in fact IT IS REAL.
- If it makes you money you're going to pay taxes on it.
- If you deliver to other people, there are going to be a lot of customer service needs.
- If you have a store, you are going to have overhead costs.
- If you are going to be successful you will have to run ads.
- If you make a logo, or original content, you're going to want and need to protect it.
This all adds up to REAL BUSINESS that just happens to sell virtual product, and one of the primary reasons we created SpotON3D was to provide a safer place for creators to create, display, and sell their goods and be more portable in their sales. This way they could tap into the growing OpenSim markets more effectively and less expensively.
REAL CONTENT PROTECTION
- CLIENT SORTING:
We sort all clients other than our own to an isolated region, blocking potentially malicious clients from accessing the rest of our grid. This means only approved clients get into the main grids. If they can't "see" it through special clients they can't copy it.
- VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY DRIVEN DISPUTE RESOLUTION & REAL WORLD ARBITRATION
We support a community-driven Dispute Resolution Panel, by calling out to the community for volunteers to hear both sides and try to come up with solutions to disputes on our grids. We choose 3 to 5 randomly selected premium users, ensuring they are from a variety of walks of virtual life. They have access to legal advice to ensure that their resolutions have legal legs. It's open to the public so no hiding behind closed doors.
If that doesn't do the trick, either of the two parties can pay to have the case pushed up to a real-world judge and have their case heard for a fraction of the cost of going to court physically; and make no mistake - this is as legally binding and secure as going to a real world court, but instead of paying $2K-10K the fee starts at $150 USD. AND since this is not any different than a real world court, the decisions are legal and binding in over 150 countries.
We aren't even involved in the decisions, except to implement the resolutions that run through our services and make sure the TOS and community standards are followed - something I think we can all agree has been needed. SpotON3D charges no fees to file a DMCA. The fees for the real world arbitration go directly to http://virtualcourthouse.com and we make no money off that either. Its a wonderful deal we are able to give our users, due to our CEO Stevan's legal connections. That's not evil or awful. What we feel is evil and awful is the fact that in today's legal system you can't have any real form of justice unless you have at least 2K-10K, and we felt that was unfair. Justice should not be determine by the size of your wallet and right now that's the only recourse for creators outside of our grid.
- MULTI-GRID V-RETAILING WITH DOUBLE DUTCH DELIVERY (DDD)
Many creators think that there isn't enough reason or user base to be bothered with a single grid, and they are right! Two of SpotON3D’s main objectives were to create a Universal Registration and Avatar system built around a community of interconnected trusted virtual worlds/grids. In this way people could travel effortlessly from one virtual environs to the next seamlessly, as they do on the 2D Web today. But for this to be a success the user’s Avatar had to be able to carry its inventory along, making it possible to have a persistent appearance everywhere. The challenge was how to do this in a professional and legal way that compensated creators fairly, respected their copyrights, but also allowed them to service a wider audience in a reasonably secure manner. The SpotON3D team realized that the best way to do this was at the purchasing point, where verified buyers and sellers connected, giving the purchaser the ability to have their inventory legally replicated to every trusted grid on which they shared a presence with creators. This is an OPT-IN program and is in no way a requirement of using SpotONSynergy, SpotON3D's web based marketplace (http://spotonsynergy.com), and is accessible to FREE4EVER users as well as premium account users.
HERE'S HOW DDD WORKS
If you purchase a product on SpotONSynergy that is identified as a DDD item, you’ll get that item delivered to your inventory in SpotON3D, as well as any other virtual world/grid that your avatar and the creator share a presence in. This is exclusive to the SpotON3D Trusted Grid System for security measures, and verification reasons.
Currentlly, DDD works exclusively between the SpotON3D grid and Second Life™. Branded Kiosks located in both grids can be programmed to point to all the content that an artist sells through the SpotONSynergy web site. The shopper doesn’t have to be inworld to received their items on multiple grids and detailed records are relayed to the creator to confirm deliveries so they can keep track of sales.
NEED A FREE PLACE TO DISPLAY BIG BUILDS?
For those builders who can't afford land to set up a store we do have a way to display your builds fully and for free. An excellent example of this is InterSpace3D, a sci-fi themed grid with a 9 region MegaSim community area designed to enable awesome sci-fi roleplay.
SpotON3D has donated land to community web world groups like InterSpace3D in an effort to help them get going in the development of their own micro-communities. For those doing great sci-fi type builds this is a NO COST place to get their builds in front of the residents seeking sci-fi builds at no cost. All the builds donated to the community regions can be made clickable and linked directly to the listing for that build, so they act as a selling tool too and get showcased completely for free. In this way we hope to help builders have lots of content for people to not just view as a picture on a listing, but walk through without having to invest right away in an island for display.
All of us want to thank you for your interest and hope this blog answers a lot of your questions. If you have more, feel free to tag them here and we'll get to them as soon as we can.
Tessa and the SpotON3D Team & Community