Internet Librarian 2007


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  • intro My involvement as a law librarian began in July 2006. I created a law collection on Info Island I which has survived and thrived through two moves – the first two buildings I was located in were deleted as the original island evolved.
  • The collection is still located on Info Island I, and now takes up the fifth floor of the “Bell Library.” Other floors house collections such as government documents, history, geography, art, while
  • other buildings on the island house a SF/Fantasy collection, Mystery Manor, an art gallery for in-world artists, an auditorium for meetings, and more.
  • This is part of the current library.... rug is also a visitor counter ... books on left, contain notecards; monitors around border of room contain annotated lists of websites, including live links; pictures = links and notecards Galileo law directory on display
  • I have a “mirror” website at too, where I make the same information available on the web
  • collection of links to free legal resources on the Web and a few bibliographies on current topics (such as the Nov. 2006 election, Banned Book week, etc.) I focus has changed to “virtual law,” a nebulous term which can cover both the practice of law via virtual worlds, and law as it applies to virtual worlds. Another related topic is the possibility of self-governance in second life and other virtual worlds – courts, etc
  • I’ve created a directory of lawyers, law firms and related groups in Second Life, the “Galileo Law Directory,” which is fun, but a lot of work to maintain. I’m also involved with the Second Life Bar Association (an in-world group with >200 members from many countries) and several other groups “in-world” which are working to promote networking, educational events, and even business referrals, as well as discussing self-governance schemes in Second Life and virtual law
  • Law and virtual worlds: The nexus between “real world” law and virtual worlds has been the subject of (mostly academic) discussion for several years.
  • Second Life is a testing ground for virtual world law. Linden Lab, which runs SL, expressly grants Residents the “right to retain full intellectual property protection for the digital content they create in Second Life.” Linden Lab also “sells” virtual land to Residents (“Own Virtual Land…Become a part of history by purchasing land and developing your own piece of Second Life)”. These policies give Residents an economic and legal stake in the world and creates the possibility for conflicts between content creators and other users, between Linden and Residents (Bragg v. Linden), and between out-of-world IP owners and Residents (copyright/trademark infringement, eg, in-world copies of “real world” designer clothes) raises some intriguing legal issues. In addition, Linden Lab has traditionally taken a very hands-off approach to regulating content, resulting in a world largely free of regulations and zoning, in which a virtual sex club or casino may operate freely, even in a residential or educational region.
  • In the past year or so, these issues have appeared in the real-world news and spawned several lawsuits and government investigations. Second Life has experienceda real-world lawsuit between two residents over intellectual property rights; and a real-world lawsuit against Linden Lab by a “land baron” Linden banned after he allegedly abused a bug in the computer system to buy land for L$1. a land scam in which the same land was sold to four different people;
  • Linden has also responded to gambling concerns under 2006's Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) – credit card company complaints French, german investigations of alleged child pornography and other “immoral” content and gambling regulations. .. In the past few months, Linden has made several controversial changes, increasing its monitoring of “broadly offensive” content runs on banks allegedly operating “Ponzi schemes,” and a stock exchange fraud;
  • as well as serious talk of real world taxation of virtual-world income (LL recently began collecting VAT from EU residents)‏
  • as well as serious talk of real world taxation of virtual-world income (LL recently began collecting VAT from EU residents)‏
  • A major strength of virtual worlds is the ability to “meet” in real time with people in any geographic location. The Second Life Bar Association-- all over the world advice, a new script, or a piece of equipment meeting, working with, and socializing with librarians and others from all over. involvement beyond the library. Many librarians are members of 20ish groups, with widely ranging topics. Many are bloggers, or have become active in building, scripting, or making machinima.
  • Some skills you will learn are quite specific to Second Life. Scripting. Flying. Walking without smacking into (too many) walls. Where to buy professional outfits for your avatar. Where to buy costumes for the upcoming theme social (goth, 70’s, cinco de mayo, etc) at HV-950, the club on the rooftop of Bell Library. Skills you already have that will be called upon, with a Second Life “twist”: working on multiple questions and projects at once (juggling multiple IMs while attending a meeting); working with distant colleagues, many of whom you may never have met (and some of whom may not even be human, er, wear a human avatar); constantly adjusting to new technologies and finding ways to use them to improve services. Meta-skills: while many of the SL tools may become obsolete in future 3-D worlds, becoming proficient with the conceptual framework of navigating, communicating, and providing services in SL will be useful for any world in the future. New worlds are coming. (Metaplace, Multiverse, VastPark, google’s rumored world, etc etc). Second Life may not be the ultimate platform – in fact I’d be quite surprised if it is – it’s clunky, difficult to learn, and requires fairly high-end computer and broadband access, which will exclude many potential users. But experience in SL will only be helpful as the technology moves forward
  • Avatars DO ask for books but it has become clear that static collections are not a primary interest to SL residents.' exhibits and live events. libraries in SL may not be “about” collections but rather about activities. The strength of Second Life and other virtual worlds is in collaboration and communication – adjusting the services offered by libraries to take advantage of these strengths get actual experience taking advantage of those strengths.
  • If your organization is not ready to commit resources, but you’re interested, try doing reference or developing a collection for the Alliance Second Life Library.
  • There are (nonlibrary) groups for all kinds of interests. Libraries can partner with these groups as well as with the existing library projects. arts -- museums; over 100 groups; 96 “places; 10/29 art talk (Join prominent SL artists to discuss their works, others' works and just art in general. Non-artists are welcome. We'll be doing this weekly.”) – music, over 100 groups, regular concerts – video/machinima teen SL has library outreach to high schoolers (recent college fair); There's a special branch of the library on the Teen Grid, the “Eye4You” library http://eye4youalliance. youthtech .info/? page_id=281 At least 23 colleges attended a college fair on the teen grid on October 20 and 21. government (Hackerford project).
  • Internet Librarian 2007

    1. 1. SL Lawspot Bringing the law (library) to the virtual frontier Kate Fitz SL: Cat Galileo
    2. 2. Bell Library Towers Info Island I
    3. 3. Bell Library Towers Info Island I
    4. 4. Bell Library Towers Info Island I
    5. 5. Lawspot Library on the web
    6. 6. Second Life Lawspot <ul><ul><li>Free legal resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to free legal resources on the Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current topics – elections, Banned Book week, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Posters and displays </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Virtual law” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice of law via virtual worlds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law as it applies to virtual worlds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-governance in Second Life </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Lawspot’s links: free legal resources on the web <ul><ul><li>Primary law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>,, EUR-lex, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secondary sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>'Lectric law Library, Emory Law collection, Cornell Wex, Washlaw WEB </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-help resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>, free forms sites,links to public law libraries around the country </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> (Mary Minow), confidentiality of library records, copyright for libraries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law student resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Law school rankings, SL resources for students </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Virtual law at Lawspot: Practice of law in Second Life <ul><ul><li>Galileo Law Directory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>69 lawyers and law firms </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>10 dispute resolution services </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>11 professional associations </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collection of SL resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Historical Terms of Service </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional Groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SL Bar Association </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual Law Association </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SL German Bar Association </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Abogados SL </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avogados </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paralegal Association </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Virtual law at Lawspot: Legal issues affecting virtual worlds <ul><ul><li>Links to web reports and commentary on legal issues in virtual worlds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Virtually Blind, Law of the Game, Terra Nova, more </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Index of court cases involving virtual worlds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bragg v. Linden, Eros LLC v. Doe, Blizzard v. IGE, and more </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bibliographies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Law review articles, news reports, books </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources for practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Second Life Terms of Service (history of changes)‏ </li></ul></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Second Life as legal testing ground <ul><ul><li>Residents' stake in Second Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intellectual property rights reserved to residents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sales of goods and services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>$L – US$ currency exchange </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Land “ownership”* </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Linden Lab's nonintervention policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No centralized “zoning” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Minimal regulation of content (“broadly offensive” standard)‏ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No policing of transactions – caveat emptor </li></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 11. 2007: Second Life in the courts and the news <ul><ul><li>Copyright disputes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eros, LLC v Doe </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eros, LLC et al v Simon </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ copybot” controversy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right of publicity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Celebrity “look-alike” avatars </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trademark disputes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trademark infringement: easy, safe, widespread </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Land disputes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bragg v Linden – settled out of court </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Landbot” class action – rumored </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Land scam: same land (allegedly) sold to 5 different buyers </li></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Unauthorized use of SL trademarks…
    13. 13. 2007: Second Life in the courts and the news <ul><ul><li>Gambling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (probably) applies to Second Life </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linden Lab bans gambling ads, then all gambling </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taxation of in-world transactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>US government investigating taxation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tax in S Korea for major virtual businesses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bank runs, exchange scandal and “ponzi schemes” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ginko bank collapse </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SL World Stock Exchange fraud </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contract law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enforcing agreements in a semi-anonymous (and international) context </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. 2007: Second Life in the courts and the news <ul><ul><li>Criminal law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Financial fraud, identity theft, hacking (DarkLife theft) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Belgian rape investigation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Porn, money laundering, terrorism? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rights and liberties on international stage -- most </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>restrictive common denominator? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Broadly offensive” standard of behavior -- ambiguous, different standards in different areas and cultures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gambling -- prohibition based on U.S. law; Europeans claim unfair </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linden Lab response to government demands for info -- whose standards will they use? </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Lawyers are taking notice of virtual worlds <ul><ul><li>2 new ABA committees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State of Play annual conference, organized by Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, New York Law School, Trinity University, and in 2007 Nanyang Technological University in Singapore </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law and business school courses: Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, Seattle University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nova Southeastern University’s law library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Books, articles, blogs…. </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>A major strength of virtual worlds is the ability to “meet” in real time with people in any geographic location. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>with other librarians: advice, new scripts, sample equipment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>with other SL communities (patron base!) </li></ul></ul></ul>Benefits to libraries and librarians: Networking and collaboration
    17. 17. <ul><ul><li>Librarian skills, transplanted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second Life-specific skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>scripting, flying, building </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meta-skills: learning “what works” in virtual worlds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>conceptual framework of navigating, communicating, and providing services in SL – and other virtual worlds </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Metaplace, Multiverse, VastPark, Google(?), “bespoke” (customized) worlds </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Benefits to libraries and librarians: Early experience with new skill sets
    18. 18. <ul><li>“ The project involves reconsidering everything we take for granted about what a library is and does.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Alliance Information Archipelago </li></ul><ul><li>Annual Report , page 11 </li></ul><ul><li>Exhibits, events more inviting than collections </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SL's strength is bringing people together, not collecting information sources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>New types of exhibits </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What does SL enable that “real world” or traditional web cannot? </li></ul></ul></ul>Adjusting expectations: SL Library is not 3-D version of brick & mortar
    19. 19. Second Life business is “just like a real world business in the sense that to succeed, you must have a plan, be committed, have the talent, the time and the energy...” “ [Businesses] have to study the community and figure out how to fit in. Those that do that will not be scorned.” Daniel Terdiman Author,“The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Second Life” Take it seriously: Treat like a new branch in the “real world”
    20. 20. Interested? <ul><li>Groups for all interests (in-world and out)‏ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Health and wellness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tech groups and businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business, corporate, and entrepreneurial groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic institutions of all types </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arts -- museums, music, video/machinima </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political, charitable, special interest groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teen grid: Eye4You library </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Being there Becoming a Second Life native Beyond Info Archipelago: Read a few blogs -Second Life Herald -Second Life Inside -Second Life Reader -many, many more “ Best of Second Life” Landmark of the Day Metaversed “Things to Do” group Events - - /category/events/
    22. 22. Stop by the law library! Second Life: “ Cat Galileo” Bell Library (central tower) ‏ Info Island I (SE corner) ‏ Kate Fitz Sacramento County Public Law Library [email_address] Presentation notes and further reading at: Thank you!