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Copybot is a tool just recently made available on Second Life by a group called SLLib. Many Residents of Second Life are afraid that Copybot will steal things that it took many hours and sometimes significant money to make. Many stores and sims have closed, and there have been widespread protests. Some of these protests, though, may be based on misunderstanding the important fact that Copybot is a little girly-man.

OK, I’m not an authority on Copybot, but here’s what I get so far. If you see any inaccuracies, please comment! I’ll fix the original post and put the changes in large, friendly red letters.

Copybot is not all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-powerful. It can look at prims and make copies of them and make copies of visible textures and take things that are freely copyable, so for instance it can look at an avatar and make a copy of that avatar’s shape, appearance, clothing, and visible attachments. However, apparently the clothing shapes are lost on next login, so even that ability is limited.

It can also copy visible textures and shapes from objects. For instance, if you offer demo hair at your hair store with a big demo sign on it, Copybot can make a complete copy of the demo hair and allow its owner to strip off the sign, since whatever Copybot gets, Copybot’s owner gets full permissions to.

But that’s about it! Copybot …
* can’t steal secured scripts
* can’t copy secured animations
* can’t take things out of buy boxes
* can’t steal textures that aren’t visible and/or copyable
* can’t copy individual articles of clothing; it just makes a picture of the entire outfit, which can’t be separated out into pieces

I’m advised that Copybot can be defeated by IMing !quit to every avatar within 96 meters. (Thanks, Sciamachy!) [Later edit: FridgeMagnet points out this this can be an annoyance and may be easy for some Copybot users to get around.]

So I’m entirely behind the people who say that Copybot should be eradicated by the Lindens, but think the mass hysteria may be based on some misunderstandings.

Thanks to Marcus for most of the accurate information posted in this message. Any inaccurate information is something I just made up for fun, to tease you.