Icons under scrutiny

As reported on news.com.au, there’s increasing scrutiny of iconic Aussie landmarks in SL and the copyright implications of their use. The two under the microscope at this stage are the Sydney Opera House (found on both the BigPond islands and the Australia sim) and Uluru (on the BigPond presence).

The news.com.au article asserts that Telstra have confirmed they didn’t approach the traditional owners of Uluru for permission, so this is a grey area that may to attract a lot of attention. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald however, quotes Telstra denying breaching any copyright. Either way, the resolution of the issue will set a precedent that will hopefuly provide some clarity for future development.

What are your thoughts – should people be free to replicate iconic Australian landmarks in a virtual world? And if so, under what conditions?

(Thanks to the Mindtracks blog for pointing to the story)

Australia? There is at least one in SL.

Australia is an island continent, so it’s not surprising that someone would have an SL island of the same name. Tucked away and un-named in an SL search result is an interesting commercial venture that is simply called “Australia“. Whilst the island is not in the shape of Australia yet, its developer, Richard Tripp, has plans to terraform to the Australian shape in the near future.

Covering a handful of the best-known destinations for visitors this build has some important variations to other SL offerings of Australian icons.

Fancy a walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge or a stroll around Uluru? Though the Harbour Bridge isn’t in the same league as the Telstra BigPond offering, there is an undoubted attempt to offer an alternative experience to visitors.

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If the Harbour Bridge is less than expected the inside of the Sydney Opera House is certainly a different proposition. This build is a marriage of SL construction and RL photography to display 360ยบ views from inside this icon of tourist destinations. It has a different aspect to that of the BigPond structure and gives visitors a closer understanding of the actual building’s impressive architectural attainments.

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The commercial nature of this venture can be seen in the Australia Harbour Centre. Opened only in the last 2 days it is a three level mall awaiting businesses to set up shop. The build skirts closely to the look of the RL Darling Harbour.

Without doubt the developers of this island are still in the construction stage. Their project’s shopping area and Australia-flavoured destinations certainly highlights the efforts people are making to fly the Aussie flag. It will be interesting to watch their progress over the coming year.

Pontiac sims – heaven for the petrol-heads

The Pontiac sims are a haven for everything motorised, as long as it has wheels. There’s a dirt raceway and a more traditional speedway plus a large range of motor-related vendors.

There’s plenty of vehicles to test drive (although most aren’t tall-friendly):

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The speedway:

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Two fellow residents at the speedway:

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Like a lot of scripted objects in Second Life, their performance can be a little unpredictable – or maybe it’s just my driving.

Check it out in-world

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