Over at Ed Felton’s blog, Freedom to Tinker, Ed Felten, observing the CopyBot phenomena in Second Life, asks the question Will It Copy? As interesting as that question is, is I am more interested in a special class of objects that, even if they would copy perfectly, will lose a good part of their value when they are copied.
For example, even if you could make a perfect copy of my suit, it wouldn’t be worth very much to you because it won’t fit you, or, even if it did fit you, it might not be appropriate for your line of work. This isn’t as trivial as it seems at first blink, because many items fall into this class. What’s interesting is that some of these items are already primarily digital in form, so they would be very easy to copy. Once you start to study why things are resistant to copying a whole new category of copybot resistant items can be seen, and those items all have some distinct commonalities.