If you’ve been reading the feeds recently you cannot fail to have noticed how much the ‘Step Up’ campaign has been making the headlines, and how much controversy has surrounded ‘The Artist’s Voice’ campaign. There are two trains of thought; not uploading new content to the grid today, or not participating in anything related to SL; be it blogging about products, buying, selling or uploading. Because of the way my shifts have dropped in real life I’ve not been able to go in-world and gauge reaction from my friends, but I know from reading the various blog posts about the subject that this day of protest has generated as much copy as the actual problem of content theft. Like both campaigns, I heartily agree that something needs to be done. OK, backtrack: Yes, I am blogging today. But that doesn’t mean I disagree with the protest proposed by The Artist’s Voice, which I think shows the determination and militancy that this issue genuinely needs. That said, I don’t support the idea of not buying content today, nor do I support the non-blogging gesture (obviously) but I’m not opposaed to anyone following that course of action. My own personal feeling is that it is very important that content creators don’t suffer, and they are suffering enough due to the distribution of stolen goods, so those thoughts have shaped my response to the campaign.
Like any protest, it is up to the individual to decide how to voice their concerns, either individually or through a representative organisation like the Artists Voice or Step Up Campaign.
My ideas? I think a formal union should be created, which content creators can join en masse. The organisation should therefore be huge due to the amount of creators in world. I think a board should be established, by vote, to represent the members of the union. I then think the union needs to hold regular meetings with Linden Labs working towards resolution of this issue, and any others that the union becomes involved in. There is no doubt that there is strength in numbers, and through campaigns like Step Up, and groups like The Artist’s Voice, we can show that we refuse to take Linden Lab’s lack of action anymore. This is Linden Lab’s opportunity to show the metaverse that they take this isuue seriously, and it’s time for them to prove to the in-world residents that after all, pay their wages.
In fact, why don’t the two campaigns merge? It’s obvious that both feature prominent individuals from our world, and this is not an exercise in ego, it’s an exercise in achieving a common goal that, like climate change in real life, has a genuine impact upon our beautiful virtual world. The Lindens need to understand the impact upon morale that this issue is having and they need to act because failure to do so will inevitably lead to the decline of Second Life, and none of us wants that to happen.
Leave your pride at the door and let’s unite on this issue, step-up to the challenge and find our Artist’s Voices and say NO to content theft.