Eternus Soulstar commented on the Linden Lab blog topic of "Copy/No-Trans, Ethics &TOS" - a reply to another user in a very long thread. After reading her comment and thinking on it, the more I actually like the idea.

Cool Builds

A quick reprise summary: regarding the ethics and how it fits with Second Life Terms of Service: what does it mean if someone where to buy a copyable item, then create a business of advertising these items "for rent" or, rezzing these items all over the grid for friends?

Here is Eternus' comment (abridged by me):
"...i was addressing the OP concern about someone making a 'service' of, say, buying one of your starships [another comment by a creator who sells copyable starships] and renting/leasing them, in effect competing against you with your own product, and pointing out why i didn't think such a service would be viable, and therefore probably nothing to worry much about, which is pretty much all the same reasons rezzing for friends doesn't really impact sales negatively in my opinion. one of which was mentioned in another post and you touched on here, locking some options to the owner.

to mention briefly the issues raised in a couple of other posts, a landlord rezzing a bunch of houses after having only bought one is a point to discuss i suppose but if a landlord is dishonest to start with the no-copy won't prevent that anyway nor will the fact that the illegal copies don't have scripts, so setting no-copy on a house because of that concern is futile.
I very much concur with Eternus!

And, because I am so proud of my reply there, I wanted to repeat here LOL

Very good point. It would certainly be "uncouth" to set-up a "rental" business based on items you have purchased that are copyable. And I certainly can see how this could and would ruffle a lot of creator feathers.

However - and I speak solely for myself here - I would say go for it with my creations. Granted, I would really, really appreciate your asking permission (personally, I'd say 'yes") or at the very least let me know your intent, but we all know that wouldn't happen because the person who does it already would know it's unethical at best (without asking permission) and outright wrong at worst.

The reason I would agree to it is the same as I have mentioned far earlier in this thread: visibility for me. The grid is way too large and full of warm bodies (even after you subtract the bots and alts, you still have at least 1/3 the count of concurrency and that's still a lot)  LOL

The point is competition is far more difficult in SL than in FL: and it starts with getting "the word out there" that your creations even exist. I would view such a scenario as those items I have created that are used for "rentals" (or even friends rezzing for friends) as complimentary advertising models. The more people who see them and play with them the better - it might spark an interest in my product especially when the very genre of my product wasn't even on their mind. Even if it brings only one new sale a month: it's worth it [as any, even a partial sale is better than none at all]. Especially when it doesn't cost me anything at all the throw my creations around at anyone and everyone.

I don't pay for materials or manufacture costs. So why not? How would it harm me (or anyone else for that matter?) The one doing it has paid for a copyable item. The ones using it who don't own it are getting a first-hand experience with it... "shopping" without shopping. I am confident enough in my own products that I would actually invite this process. In fact, I might even prepare a notecard inviting the idea.

We all have seen something in-world and thought "hey, that's nice" - right-click to learn who created it, make a note to visit their in-world shop or pop-over to XSL to see what they have. The more opportunity for people to do this on my stuff, the better.

And I reiterate: obviously I am speaking for myself only, and I am not trying to convince anyone else to see my way of it. Just explaining why I see this scenario as a good thing rather than a bad thing. And besides, it's a lot less stress to look for and find the good in things that happen rather than the bad, as all scenarios include both.

(Via Second Life Blogs: Copy/No-Trans, Ethics & TOS.)