Moving from Second Life to an OpenSim world means leaving behind the vast majority of our virtual possessions. That's because Second Inventory, the one program that allows you to move items from Second Life to your hard drive only works on items with full permissions. For many of us this means abandoning L$1000's or L$10,000's worth of items such as homes, clothing and SLex toys. And of course, skin.
There is a solution, although it violates Second Life TOS and is a very emotionally-charged issue for some content creators: Copybot programs such as SLBot and SL Copybot allow you to create new full-permission copies of most virtual items. You can then use Second Inventory to transfer them to your hard drive and upload to an OpenSim server (as long as your user name is the same.) It seems to me that using copybot technology is this manner is ethical.
Hundreds of Second Life residents have started registering on OpenSim-based worlds over the last few days in response to the latest Linden Lab debacle. So I'm hoping that the time is ripe to reopen a wider discussion on digital rights and the possibility of ethical copybotting, as well as other options to faciliate the transfer of our virtual assets from place to place.
I'll let this simmer for a while and then take this up in greater detail in Part 2.