Rezzable, which recently announced that it was (mostly) departing Second Life for the promise of OpenSim, developed a tool which allowed them to copy content on a sim-wide basis and is now preparing to release the code as a convenience for other builders, content creators and sim owners.
BuilderBot is offered because Rezzable “think this is pretty handy stuff and thought it would make sense to release it for serious content creators” and are inviting comment before they release the source code.
The catch to their tool is that it doesn’t conduct a check to see whether you own the prims that you’re backing up. Rezzable explains that since they own all the prims on their sims anyways, they didn’t need to build this into the tool. And in releasing it, people may misuse it, but they’re misusing other tools anyways, so it’s not like they’re adding anything evil to the world, since the evil already exists (emphasis added):
“Our intention is to make tools for serious builders. So now someone can more easily take a copy of their build off SL and archive, keep it safe. Taking stuff linkset by linkset is really slow and painful. BuilderBot allows for a significantly better way to handle content. You can then save versions of builds to make a sorta library and then use these versions to make new iterations. It is your stuff, so now you can take care of it. The risk is that rippers can also use the tool to take unauthorized copies.
Rippers don’t seem to care much about DRM and already they can use copybot to take (and sell usually) illegal copies of content. In fact there is really no way to stop this technically. It is more about not giving content thieves safe haven to sell and benefit from their theft. I don’t think this is any different that issues with music being copied or dvd films. It is just a reality of creating digital content and virtual content creators need a better way to address rather than just filing DMCA protests.
I suppose their rationale is something along the lines of “look, someone already invented Napster, so inventing another one isn’t going to hurt”.
In any case, they invite comments although I suppose you’d better hurry, since they make it fairly clear that they are “ready to release this now”.