>Full Perms and Other Grids.

>It’s almost impossible to have a proper discussion on Twitter, in my opinion, or, maybe I am just too wordy to make it work. There is the possibility of stating a point of view, sharing a link or telling a joke, but that’s about it really.

So, I need to take time out in these pages to explore the subject of selling and buying goods full perm for people to take to other grids.

It started as a question by Chestnut yesterday where she asked me if I would sell stuff so that it could be taken to other grids. I replied that there wasn’t really a mechanism in place that permitted me to do that in a satisfactory manner. That is an incomplete answer, partly due to the 140 character limit imposed by Twitter. The full answer goes like this…

If it costs me $30,000 per annum to live and I manage to get online 1000 hours per year then, even if all my costs are met through my RL work, it is a delusion to think that making a product in VW’s is cheap for me. My overheads are, in an economic sense, in the order of 30$ per hour.

To say “well, SL is just a hobby anyway and no one makes any money out of it, so why bother..” is incorrect as an attitude. It is incorrect because it undermines the potential economic reality which VW’s could attain with time. It is like saying VW’s will always be a stupid game for losers and you don’t need to take the economy, and by inference it’s players, seriously.

The economics of production and sales do need to be modeled on a potentially viable basis or we are all just ‘playing’….(not that I have anything against play, but some people do use VW’s to pay some of their bills, or at least tier).

So.. if a product has hidden production costs in the shape of ISP, utilities, dentists bills…etc… then we have to think in the order of 10$ per hour (which is the legal minimum wage in the UK) to 30$ … something in that range.

Now, if a tree takes 8 hours to make, including Blender, Gimp, and construction time, that means it has cost me 80 to 240US$ in real terms. If I ever want to turn this production into a business I should be looking to sell this tree for 3X (that’s a traditional business model) the cost of production.

I’m hammering away at this, because there seems to be a lack of understanding of the basic economics in an emotional frenzy of loss when people have to leave stuff behind in SL, almost blaming the creators for not making everything full perm.

So… my tree has to earn me somewhere between 240$ and 720$ in the course of the tree’s sales life. The Sales Life of a product could be many years, and, if I sell the tree for 1$ it will have to be in order for me to recoup my initial investment.

Asking someone to sell you a product full perms vastly shortens the Sales Life of the product. A full perm object can be in everyones SL invent, free, within 2 or 3 years… on a small grid…a month or a week.

So…my point?? Well, my point is that unless people are prepared to pay RL prices for full perm goods then they are being unreasonable.

I have been asked to build “the best night club in SL” but was turned down when I quoted 30$. I was asked to create an exclusive logo for “under 20$”… so there is without any doubt due cause for creators just to refuse point blank to sell things full perm. Many buyers are completely delusional on prices, and that is not their fault necessarily, as someone will build a night club for 29$ or a logo for 19$… but that doesn’t make it right.

I know someone who made exclusive commissioned T shirts, full perm for 50L…. but I don’t think that’s a good thing.

..so…when Jim Tarber says, in Twitter, that he won’t buy anything that’s not full perm, there is insufficient ink for me to respond fully.

There is, as yet, no possibility for me to sell something that can be used on all grids by a buyer without it being full perm. …and full perm stuff gets handed out free, thereby destroying any Sales Life that product might have.

Now, I realise that this is not the final word on Inventory transfer, but I wanted just to start a discussion by presenting a creators point of view….

:))

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24 Comments

Filed under Economics in VW's, full perms, production

24 responses to “>Full Perms and Other Grids.

  1. >Great post! This is a difficult one! I agree with you and I understand Jims point also. But as u say, sell as full perm will mean a totally different price if its going to be fair to the creator. Geee….

  2. >I agree with you- it is unreasonable.It doesn't need to be full perms for you to make it available on any grid.There is another way- If you sell from a website – and you have an account in all the worlds – you can go into any world and deliver an item to another avatar.I think this is the way things will have to be done in the future – paypal and delivery inworld -whichever world they want.I can't see the day coming soon where creators rights can be protected across grids, but this is an answer that might work.

  3. >Yes, as Chestnut said there is the space for a business opportunity there… like pizza delivery but less chilli.

  4. >Even if it's full perm" the buyer can't currently export it anyway. You can only export to an XML file objects where you are the creator. And, of course, even if you could, you wouldn't get textures and scripts. So for now, this particular mode of commerce is a nonstarter.

  5. >erm. i'm not commenting on this topic in a comment box. ok. maybe one small bit… what about full perm freebies that you acquired in SL? these were given away with the full intention of just letting them go. under the current "rules" one doesn't own full rights to these in order to take them to other grids. does this seem right to you?

  6. >The problem with the full perm freebies you have in SL are two-fold, firstly it is against ToS to export them (mind you everything is against ToS)secondly these things may have been made as full perm objects at a time when other grids were not available.The second of these factors means the creator is 'allowing' a far greater/wider distribution of his product than she/he could ever have foreseen. So I wonder if it is morally defensible to say, well, it's full perms, I'll take it anyway.I would think that without express permission to take it to other grids it's a bit crap to do it anyway.

  7. ELQ

    >The thing to remember is that inworld permissions and copyrights are different things. A creation being 'full perms' has nothing to do with taking that creation to another grid, copying it, or selling/giving it to others. I fully agree that there must be a major shift in attitude on everyone's part when it comes to buying and selling creations in virtual worlds. When a consumer is asked why they purchase something rather than just create their own the general reply is "I don't know how to do that", or "I don't have time." Skill and time are both valuable commodities, and together they become far more valuable. Everyone understands this when dealing with the world face-to-face, but lose all understanding when we're communicating online? That's just stupid. People argue that a virtual world is not real and therefore not worth real money – are they mentally challenged? Are we not "real-ly" sitting here at the computer doing this? Did that tree, or script, or chair just appear on the screen because we thought about it? Nothing is free, someone always pays.

  8. >A couple of quick solutions:* Sell downloads of your objects in XML format that people can then upload to their private grids using Imprudence. Or sell OAR or IAR files (OpenSim region archives and inventory archives) that can be uploaded to grids that support OAR and IAR imports — some commercial grids don't allow this, but all the major OpenSim hosting providers do (ReactionGrid, SimHost, Dreamland Metaverse, etc…).* Ask your buyers to sign a contract in which you give them the right to use these objects on, say, only their company grid. Or only on a single grid. Or can only distribute to their employees. You negotiate these contracts the same way all content providers negotiate them — the more rights the client wants, the higher the price. An "all rights" or "work for hire" contract is the biggie here — the creator turns over all rights to the work to the client, as if the client created it themselves. This is often required by companies buying marketing materials, logos, other stuff they want to remain proprietary and don't want to see the creator reselling elsewhere.Obviously, these solutions are more likely to work with enterprise clients — companies, educational institutions, government agencies — because they're used to managing and abiding by copyright contracts. But then, if you're expecting to make $30 an hour, these are the clients you want to be working for, anyway.On the retail side, you're competing against people who are making this stuff for free. You're not alone — poets, photographers, artists, actors, writers and many other creative professionals are in the same boat. Unless you're able to create a brand name for yourself, you're not going to be able to make a living doing this unless you go into areas where people aren't likely to work for free. For example, accountants seldom have to worry about competitors doing it for free.Virtual world are also new. Newcomers to a profession always charge less — or even nothing — for their labor in order to gain a track record (via internships, volunteer work, etc…). If the number of new people in the field is large compared to the number of customers then, again, you're out of luck. You'll have to wait for the field to mature, and keep working on improving your skills and credentials so that you can differentiate yourself from low-cost newcomers and hobbyists.Finally, if you're making commodity products like trees, you should expect them to have a very short shelf-life as volunteer hobbyists inspired by your designs make cheap or free knock-off versions. If you feel that your trees are starting to come to the end of their shelf life, this is a good opportunity to turn them into branding mechanisms for you — include a link back to your website in the description, use them to promote your corporate-oriented design services — and let them go while they're still in demand. — Maria KorolovEditor, Hypergrid Businessmight not work for retail sales, but definitely for B2B channels):

  9. Jim

    >"..so…when Jim Tarber says, in Twitter, that he won’t buy anything that’s not full perm, there is insufficient ink for me to respond fully."Haha, that's the Twitter version, which suffers from the same communications problem you referred to here. :pI buy lots of no-trans items. Obviously they don't make it to other worlds. When discussing purchases for multiple worlds, I think it should be pretty obvious that I only buy full-perms items! Just like everyone else out there.Also, when discussing multi-world purchases, it's almost always builders' products. Textures and sculpts, or animations files in .BVH or other non-SL forms.When I moved to InWorldz, content was limited. There were no couples' cuddles or dances, not even a cuddle bed, very limited male hair, etc. I contacted 20 content creators, specifically getting a confirmation from them for the use of their products that I had, that were full perm, for use in InWorldz. Most immediately agreed (I think one already had it in their terms, but I contacted and confirmed anyway), 1 or 2 refused, and 1 or 2 said they would open a shop in InWorldz. (In the end more did…)Personally, as a content creator, I feel almost all of my stuff should be created *outside* SL, and brought in-world like any other VW, otherwise you might as well say LL owns it. (See my blog entry on that: http://bit.ly/ePs05D for more.)And the other thing I've purchased, in SL, for use in multiple worlds… in this case, without asking for permission, was my music stream for therockparty.com. :) Sometimes what you are buying in SL or XStreet is a password. From SL's point of view, it's a notecard. More power to those vendors who sell passwords to content! That's how I bought my .BVH files from XStreet for use in InWorldz.Nice to have more than 140 characters!

  10. >Balancing the need to protect IP/creator's right to income with the consumer's need and desire to have portable virtual goods is a huge issue. The person who creates a tool that will bridge the needs of sellers and consumers in virtual worlds will get very rich.

  11. Jim

    >I read the other comments and clearly the one attributed to me (which isn't actually a quote) is out of any kind of meaningful context. In fact, I don't really remember saying anything like that, although I may have regarding builders' products. I won't buy full-perm builders' products now unless they are multi-world permitted.sororNishi: "So I wonder if it is morally defensible to say, well, it's full perms, I'll take it anyway.I would think that without express permission to take it to other grids it's a bit crap to do it anyway."The one Twitter comment I can find that I made on all this was: "I contacted those I've bought from for years confirming the creators OK to use SL/XS purchases in InWorldz. It's not up to #LL" Note the last sentence. A content creator decides the terms regarding other worlds, not LL. The SL ToS are there to protect the content creator, not to restrict them.

  12. >@ Jim, yes, I do apologise, you didn't say full perms, you said something like VW permissions, which I misthought meant full perms. There are in theory , as has been pointed out, other ways to give VW permissions if asked without full perms. I would suggest that this is very very seldom used… I was generalising.

  13. >@ Wizzy, I mentioned the ToS because, in actual practice, the only way to get a full perm object out of SL which you hadn't created would be to use a copybot or "unrecognised TPV"… and both of those are against ToS.

  14. >For some strange reason this post was not printed…its from Maria….A couple of quick solutions:* Sell downloads of your objects in XML format that people can then upload to their private grids using Imprudence. Or sell OAR or IAR files (OpenSim region archives and inventory archives) that can be uploaded to grids that support OAR and IAR imports — some commercial grids don't allow this, but all the major OpenSim hosting providers do (ReactionGrid, SimHost, Dreamland Metaverse, etc…).* Ask your buyers to sign a contract in which you give them the right to use these objects on, say, only their company grid. Or only on a single grid. Or can only distribute to their employees. You negotiate these contracts the same way all content providers negotiate them — the more rights the client wants, the higher the price. An "all rights" or "work for hire" contract is the biggie here — the creator turns over all rights to the work to the client, as if the client created it themselves. This is often required by companies buying marketing materials, logos, other stuff they want to remain proprietary and don't want to see the creator reselling elsewhere.Obviously, these solutions are more likely to work with enterprise clients — companies, educational institutions, government agencies — because they're used to managing and abiding by copyright contracts. But then, if you're expecting to make $30 an hour, these are the clients you want to be working for, anyway.On the retail side, you're competing against people who are making this stuff for free. You're not alone — poets, photographers, artists, actors, writers and many other creative professionals are in the same boat. Unless you're able to create a brand name for yourself, you're not going to be able to make a living doing this unless you go into areas where people aren't likely to work for free. For example, accountants seldom have to worry about competitors doing it for free.Virtual world are also new. Newcomers to a profession always charge less — or even nothing — for their labor in order to gain a track record (via internships, volunteer work, etc…). If the number of new people in the field is large compared to the number of customers then, again, you're out of luck. You'll have to wait for the field to mature, and keep working on improving your skills and credentials so that you can differentiate yourself from low-cost newcomers and hobbyists.Finally, if you're making commodity products like trees, you should expect them to have a very short shelf-life as volunteer hobbyists inspired by your designs make cheap or free knock-off versions. If you feel that your trees are starting to come to the end of their shelf life, this is a good opportunity to turn them into branding mechanisms for you — include a link back to your website in the description, use them to promote your corporate-oriented design services — and let them go while they're still in demand. — Maria KorolovEditor, Hypergrid Businessmight not work for retail sales, but definitely for B2B channels):

  15. Jim

    >Still not sure what statement you are referring to, so just to be clear here, even if I'm referring to VW permissions, I'm likely not referring to anything technical but rather to permission from the content creator to use that content, as in the case of the 20 I contacted above. In other words, permissions in the form of an IM or email. I'm referring to the content creators' blessings. Nothing to do with SL at all really; LL can bite me, the terms between a content creator and a customer are none of LL's business.

  16. >I tried branding…people screamed and ran away though :( i think they sent sheriffs after me too.I mean, the irons weren't THAT hot, really…

  17. >I tried brandy too, but it gave me a headache..

  18. >let me describe this scenario for you… a programmer develops a rezzer tool for me, the artist, to use as i see fit. this rezzer tool uses an object, a widget, as the rezzing prim. this is placed into the rezzer, and was "Created" by the programmer, not the artist. the artist then configures the rezzer to create an original artistic creation. only problem is, this creation is created from prims that were created originally by the programmer. by the current logic, this "original" creation by the artist is not recognized as a creation by the current perm system and is not allowed to be exported to other grids. again, a limitation of this rationale.

  19. >@ Wizzy, OK…I agree that's a shit outcome. I was talking much more generally tho about normal stuff people buy… I wasn't trying to lay down rules, or dictate any attitudes. I was trying simply to put forward a general creator's point of view as to why, as their is no satisfactory mechanism in place for this type of permission, creators are tending to refuse to make their stuff full perms.

  20. >I'd like to see an online sales system eventually that would host magic boxes FOR me on the respective grids. I don't mind making an account in various places, but to be vested financially in each one is a tough mountain to climb. I wouldn't even mind a fee payable to the host site. Maybe an option could be to charge per grid."Please select which grid you'd like this item in:1. Second Life -2. Reaction Grid X3. Inworldz X4. SpotOn3d -5. etc etc (N/A)Item cost: $4 U.S.D. (or whatever, real world currency seema more doable than on a grid by grid basis).Note: Your account will be charged the item price for each grid chosen."So in the scenario above, I'd be charged 12 dollars assuming I had credit or some payment method. Something like that anyway.There's sites like Cariama out there now that deliver to other grids, but hosting your magic box is up to you, which makes it difficult. Not to mention if you're not active on the grid, a means to communicate with you. Creating an account is one thing, buying currency, finding a landlord, and renting/maintaining land is another. No offense to any specific grid, there's just a lot of them. I would take the time to set up an account and a single prim magic box on a hosted site though, even if they did charge me monthly via the website. Exporting/Importing isn't terribly difficult once you've made the leap beyond Second Life. Some day, it'll happen.

  21. >Sorry, I meant 8 dollars.

  22. >Not sure what happened but my original never posted so if this a double, sorry.Basically said I'd like to see a commerce site service multiple grids. There's some that do this already, but I'm talking about going deeper. Sign up for an account, verify an avatar in each grid you reside in. HOST delivery boxes in each grid. Have an inbox/outbox so I can handle customer service as needed.The hardest part from a merchant POV is not selling in each grid, its being active in each grid. I can create an account anywhere. I can export/import content anywhere relatively easy. Especially once you've made the jump from Second Life already. What I can't do is rent land, maintain land, and log in each day everywhere at once. No offense to any grid, but there's just a lot of them. The content is already on people's HD's as xml's, its just a matter of distribution.Here's something like what I want to see on my item page after my item pic and description:Select which grid you'd like to purchase this item for. The cost listed is for a single grid. Multiply for multiple grids.1. Second Life -2. Inworldz X3. Reaction Grid -4. Meta7 -5. OSgrid x6. etc (N/A)Price=$4 U.S.D.

  23. >Good comment by Johnny Night which got aborted somehow…I'd like to see an online sales system eventually that would host magic boxes FOR me on the respective grids. I don't mind making an account in various places, but to be vested financially in each one is a tough mountain to climb. I wouldn't even mind a fee payable to the host site. Maybe an option could be to charge per grid."Please select which grid you'd like this item in:1. Second Life -2. Reaction Grid X3. Inworldz X4. SpotOn3d -5. etc etc (N/A)Item cost: $4 U.S.D. (or whatever, real world currency seema more doable than on a grid by grid basis).Note: Your account will be charged the item price for each grid chosen."So in the scenario above, I'd be charged 12 dollars assuming I had credit or some payment method. Something like that anyway.There's sites like Cariama out there now that deliver to other grids, but hosting your magic box is up to you, which makes it difficult. Not to mention if you're not active on the grid, a means to communicate with you. Creating an account is one thing, buying currency, finding a landlord, and renting/maintaining land is another. No offense to any specific grid, there's just a lot of them. I would take the time to set up an account and a single prim magic box on a hosted site though, even if they did charge me monthly via the website. Exporting/Importing isn't terribly difficult once you've made the leap beyond Second Life. Some day, it'll happen.

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