CopyBot is a debugging tool used to access the virtual world Second Life. It is able to, among other things, export objects within Second Life to an XML file, which can then later be imported for use in the game. LSL scripts cannot be copied at this time.

Original use

CopyBot was originally created as a debugging tool by the libsecondlife development team, and was created with such purposes in mind as an import/export or "backup" tool, or to assist in the development of AIs and NPCs.[1][2]

Possible uses of the import/export function:[3][4]
  • No reliance on Linden Lab for data backup services.
  • Importing content created on other grids such as the preview grid (currently Aditi, previously Siva).[5]
  • Importing content created on a locally installed simulator (and thus not having to rely upon the availability of official simulators).
  • Exporting one's own intellectual property to other environments.

These intended official applications required creator and owner permission, and a response to a disclaimer before content could be copied.[3]

Later revisions

The source-code for the official CopyBot was made available via the libsecondlife website. It was downloaded, edited and recompiled into the application which is now used to replicate objects and avatar appearances without the owner's permission.[6][7] This activity stimulated an emotional discussion in the Second Life community and numerous articles in the popular media. Residents also began selling links to the software in exchange for Linden Dollars[2] (L$), Second Life's virtual currency.[8]

CopyBot does not operate within the Second Life virtual world. It is written in C#,[9] not LSL. Software was distributed via third-party sites and services such as SL Exchange. Currently (April 2008), most legitimate Second Life out-of-world operations do not allow the distribution of CopyBot, although there are programs which use either original Copybot code (heavy modified) or this funcionality re-implemented as well as some kind of copyright protection (i.e. allow only copying items/dropping restrictions if you are creator). This is an attempt to recreate what was the original intention of CopyBot (backup purposes).

Current variations

From the open source code of Copybot, several businesses have formed promoting safe and responsible use. Among these is Inventory Backup. Inventory Backup promotes the legal and responsible use of the CopyBot program to protect creations and offers video tutorials to help learn the software.[10]

Public reaction

Official Linden Lab statements


  1. Yamamoto, Baba (November 13, 2006). "CopyBot". Archived from the original on March 19, 2013. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  2. 1 2 3 Au, Wagner James (November 16, 2006). "Copying a Controversy". Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  3. 1 2 Yamamoto, Baba (November 15, 2006). "libsecondlife and CopyBot". Archived from the original on August 27, 2013. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  4. Martin, SignpostMarv (November 15, 2006). "Open Forum: CopyBot Controversy". Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  5. "Community: Beta Test Grid". Linden Lab. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  6. 1 2 Terdiman, Daniel (November 15, 2006). "'Second Life' faces threat to its virtual economy". Retrieved 2006-11-16.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Linden, Robin (November 13, 2006). "Copyrights and Content Creation in Second Life". Linden Lab. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  8. "LindeX: Currency Exchange". Linden Lab. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  9. "libsecondlife FAQ". libsecondlife. Archived from the original on 2006-08-19. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  10. Inventory Backup (October 18, 2008). "Inventory Backup". Inventory Backup. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
  11. Au, Wagner James (November 14, 2006). "Open Form: CopyBot Controversy". Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  12. Murray, Moopf (November 14, 2006). "Open Forum: CopyBot Controversy". New World Notes. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  13. Murray, Moopf (November 15, 2006). "Open Forum: CopyBot Controversy". New World Notes. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  14. Hunt, Kurt (2007), This Land Is Not Your Land: Second Life, CopyBot, and the Looming Question of Virtual Property Rights, 9 Tex. Rev. Ent. & Sports L. 141
  15. 1 2 Linden, Cory (November 14, 2006). "Use of Copybot and Similar Tools a ToS Violation". Linden Lab. Retrieved 2006-11-16.
  16. "Terms of Service". Linden Lab. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  17. Linden, Daniel (November 16, 2006). "CopyBot Action". Linden Lab. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  18. Linden, laurap (April 11, 2008). "Protecting Your Copyrighted Content". Linden Lab. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
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