First of all, I'd like to thank Larry Pixel and Sasun Steinbeck for organizing the NMC discussion and for inviting me to participate as part of the panel. A big thanks also to Nimah Ash, our wonderful panel moderator, who had to handle all six of us over voice chat. :) Their official event blog is here
(with audio), with a Flickr foto stream here
. -- Thanks to Vlad Bjornson for providing these links.
The experience was a unique one for me, on so many different levels. Although I had interacted before with the artists on the panel, adding a voice to the avatar enriched my image of the person beyond the pixels. The brief part of the conversation that took place before we went "on air" was filled with our remarks about each other's voices. Curiously enough, we all sounded just as we had imagined, based solely on text interactions. (This would make for an awesome pshychology study)
Moving on to the actual content of the panel, I enjoyed the first two related topics about art in SL, making the clear distinction that this is real art in a new medium, and the freedoms only SL can provide. I felt that for these first two topics, each member of the panel was able to chime in with some very interesting snippets.
The waters got a bit murky when we approached the topic of artist rights and the section 3.2 of the TOS (in which Linden Lab maintains the right to use art created in SL for marketing purposes). DanCoyote Antonelli spoke very strongly against LL's partial rights over artwork and connected the issue to how a collector assesses the value of artwork. The position held by the other artists was mostly one of gratitude and amazement that they can take advantage of the opportunities of SL to be creative and to share their art with a live audience.
From what I "heard" in the text chat, there also did not seem to be a huge concern over section 3.2 because people did not feel that LL would be "owning" their art per se. Many felt that it was a fair exchange for the company providing the world to also be able to use images of content created here to promote their business. I also added that in the grand scheme of things, LL is still pretty much the only company that allows users to hold close to full intellectual rights over their creations.
While I'm sure the debate could have been carried out differently (i.e. better, more productive), the question that remains in my head is...maybe not now, but are full artist rights something we should move towards in the near future?
I'm left wishing that there had been a LL representative present, but this is perhaps another detail to consider if there should ever be a follow-up discussion.