When we updated our Terms of Service in August 2013, the revised language of Section 2.3, the “Service Content License,” caused concern among certain Second Life creators. The revision to this section was worded in such a way that these creators expressed concern that we intended to appropriate their original creations and sell or license such creations without their permission. As our historical practice demonstrates and as we have since tried to clarify, this was absolutely not our intent. Creators are the lifeblood of Second Life. It is you who have populated Second Life with a petabyte worth of unique content and experiences, and it is important for our collective and continued success that you remain confident in continuing to create in our world. To be clear: Linden Lab respects the proprietary rights of Second Life’s content creators and prides itself in its success in providing platforms on which users can create original content and profit from their creations.
As part of an update to our Terms of Service today, we have made a modification to further clarify Section 2.3. The updated section still provides Linden Lab with the rights that we need in order to operate and promote Second Life, so you will see that we have retained much of the language as the previous version. However, the updated section now also includes limits that better match our intended meaning, and we hope will assuage some of the concerns we heard about the previous version.
First, the modified version limits our rights with respect to user-created content in Second Life by restricting our use “inworld or otherwise on the Service.” Additionally, it limits our right to “sell, re-sell or sublicense (through multiple levels)” your Second Life creations by requiring some affirmative action on your part in order for us to do so. This language mirrors the corresponding User Content License currently in Section 2.4, which has been part of the Terms of Service for years.
We know that the legal language of documents such as the Terms of Service can seem daunting, and we expect that some creators may continue to have concerns about particular elements of the updated agreement. Today’s revision to this section of the Terms of Service more closely expresses our intent - that we do not intend to appropriate or sell your content outside of our Service - and our hope is that the limitations clarified in the updated language of this section will support creators’ confidence in our platform.
As with any document like this, it’s important to read the whole Terms of Service before agreeing to it. Section 2.3 isn’t the only thing that’s changed - we’ve also added the updated policy for skill gaming, which we blogged about here - but we wanted to blog about this update to be clear about what’s different in this section, what it means, and why we made the change.