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Linden Lab just killed 50% of all content creation


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I reckon http://cgtextures.com is about the largest source for textures used in Second Life content. And they just changed their usage policy. Noone can use their otherwise free-to-use textures for Second Life anymore: http://www.cgtextures.com/content.php?action=secondlife_licensechange

There's rumors that other open-licenced texture sites have done the same.

I hope Linden Lab will revoke their ToS statements, or they'll be digging their own grave by discoraging users to create content.

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I reckon http://cgtextures.com is about the largest source for textures used in Second Life content. And they just changed their usage policy. Noone can use their otherwise free-to-use textures for Second Life anymore: http://www.cgtextures.com/content.php?action=secondlife_licensechange

There's rumors that other open-licenced texture sites have done the same.

I hope Linden Lab will revoke their ToS statements, or they'll be digging their own grave by discoraging users to create content.

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While I've used cgtextures now and again, and regret their decision, I far more frequently buy textures made by the many excellent in-world texture creators.   If one effect of this is to give a boost to their business, then that is a silver lining.

What other open-licenced texture sites do you say have followed CG Textures' example?  Rumours are all very well, but do you have actual names?

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cgtextures.com has a nice collection of textures. I might have used a few myself, had I known about it sooner.  Too bad the owner got a flea up his @##.  He may even have a valid point, seems like a lot of hairsplitting to me, but I am not a lawyer.   But there are lots of other sources.

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I hardly think so.  I've been creating for seven years and have never used one texture from there or any site like it.  I either buy high quality textures in world from a few talented texture artists, to support them,  or make my own textures.  Most serious content creators i know either do likewise or purchase them from professional texture companies.  Hobbiest have a huge array of textures available to them in world, on other sites and on public domain sites.

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I've been using cgtextures.com myself extensively. But that set aside, I;ve been talking with a rather famous mocap animation artist who things the ToS change stinks. He'll take LL to court if they sell his animations.

But this is not just cgtextures, it's discouraging content creators to upload original content in general.

[16:34] Rather Famous Mocap Artist: it is far to open ended now
[16:35] Rather Famous Mocap Artist: adn even if they dont [use yoru content any way they please], what if LL does sell one day
[16:35] Rather Famous Mocap Artist: new company might not care so much
[16:35] Rather Famous Mocap Artist: certianloy it makes SL look like a very appealing purchase if it comes with all that cool content to resell

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Just wanted to point out that while it is well and good to buy high quality textures in world, MANY of them (not naming names) are BASED on raw stock from PREVIOUSLY perfectly legitimate to use sites. So now, if folks are going to be honest and follow the new TOS, that is no longer legal. And, for some sites it was not legal before. Unless you know that the texture artist you purchased from hand drew the textures you are buying (and there are a few out there) you cannot feel "above the masses" *wink*.

We can no longer use creative commons work or public domain work either which was legal before. We must HOLD THE COPYRIGHT to ALL we upload. That means making the texture from scratch on your computer and if photos are used as a starting place from YOUR photos. 

So it isn't JUST the CG textures thing. We cannot even use legally PURCHASED textures  (even inside 3D programs which pretty much renders the original work useless for anything other than the mesh it was created for) because we cannot hold the copyright on those items. Texture sources never transfer copyrights -- at least none that I have ever seen and I have been working in the real world in graphics for decades.

What is really ludicrous is that there have been TONS of copyright infringement graphics all over the marketplace and inworld forever and very few have ever been removed.

 

Just saying.

Read some more threads. Do a little homework :D.

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I haven't seen a rights grab this extreme since the last century. It seemed, for a while, that every company on the net was trying to cover themselves over the grey areas of how IP law interacted with the workings of the internet. Just displaying an image on a web page involved making a copy. My own guess was that the lawyers responsible were ignorant of thew technology. And some things are still technically and legally difficult. How do you safely remove every copy of a piece of data, text or image, when you have back-ups?

What I understood was the purpose of the most recent TOS change was to cover all the different Linden Labs products. It's as if they cannot cope with Second Life and Versu using user-created content in different ways, and keeping distinct the different content.

I get an impression of ill-informed lawyers and mismanagement of data resources.

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WolfBaginski Bearsfoot wrote:

 

I get an impression of ill-informed lawyers and mismanagement of data resources.

Your thoughts somewhat mirror my own.  I know from long experience what happens with lawers who 'get it', and with those who don't.

When a lawyer who writes a TOS fundamentally understands the technology and its uses, as well as the respective needs of the company and its customers, you get a TOS that is fair for all involved, such as the one SL had before.  That kind of TOS naturally builds up the company by also building up everybody else. The rising tide lifts all boats.

However, when a lawyer doesn't fully understand what he or she is dealing with, he or she tends to default to the simplest possible protective stance for his or client, which is "My client get everything. Everyone else, you're not my client, so you're not my concern."  The larger picture doesn't seem to dawn on these guys.

The puzzling part here, though, is that LL has been at this a long time, and they're well aware of the former principle.  SL succeeded where other virtual worlds failed, precisely BECAUSE the company went to pains to respect the rights of its users.  That, more than anything else, was what made it so unique and compelling when it was new. 

By this point, with that model having been so well proven for so long, the appearance or disappearance of any particular lawyer, or even team of lawyers, wouldn't have been able to affect this kind of apparent philosophical change.  If LL were still a startup, then maybe, but it's been over a decade now.  They do know better.

So, there are only two possibilities here.  Either somebody made a huge mistake, in which case it will be corrected, or this reflects a fundamental paradigm shift for the company itself, in which case we should all seriously consider whether or not we want to remain involved. 

I'm currently waiting for more evidence, one way or the other, before I can know which way to interpret it. If it turns out to be the former, I'll happily stay onboard, and wait for LL to regain its senses.  But if it's the latter, then I'll likely jump ship altogether (which of course would pain me greatly, after having been in it for nearly 10 years).

In the mean time, I'll be treating SL cautiously, pretty much the same way I treat the likes of Facebook, and so many other services whose leadership is of questionable intent.  I simply won't upload anything I don't want to risk.

 

 

Side note:  While we're on the subject of lawyers who don't get it, wanna hear a sad story?  I myself recently lost $70,000 worth of work, due to a game company's new lawyer having no idea how game development works. 

I won't name the company, of course, but I'd been doing a lot of artwork for them on a regular basis, for better part of the last year.  They just dumped their CEO, and the guy they replaced him with came from the banking industry, rather than from the game industry. Some of you no doubt know where this is going, already.

Long story short, the new lawyer who came along with the new CEO demanded radical changes to my existing agreement with the company.  The new terms he proposed were unbelievably unfair, 100% in favor of the company at every turn, with no concern for my rights as a contractor at all. Upon my mere suggestion that we so much as discuss the proposed changes, the company rescinded nearly all the orders for the new work they'd promised me, and refused to talk any further about it.  In my 19 years in business, I've never seen such an unprofessional and short-sighted move by any client of mine, ever.

So, yeah, wacky things happen when lawyers are brought in who don't understand the industry in which their client needs to operate.

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Chosen Few wrote:

So, there are only two possibilities here.  Either somebody made a huge mistake, in which case it will be corrected, or this reflects a fundamental paradigm shift for the company itself, in which case we should all seriously consider whether or not we want to remain involved. 


There's a third possibility. Somebody made a huge mistake and nobody will correct it. This wouldn't be the first time a paradigm shift was unintentional. Don't underestimate LL's incompetence, Chosen!

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Chosen Few wrote:


So, there are only two possibilities here.  Either somebody made a huge mistake, in which case it will be corrected, or this reflects a fundamental paradigm shift for the company itself, in which case we should all seriously consider whether or not we want to remain involved. 

I'm currently waiting for more evidence, one way or the other, before I can know which way to interpret it. If it turns out to be the former, I'll happily stay onboard, and wait for LL to regain its senses.  But if it's the latter, then I'll likely jump ship altogether (which of course would pain me greatly, after having been in it for nearly 10 years).



Very well said and I am right there with you. Won't be hanging out at the Mesh board much for awhile. After "finally getting it " (well enough to fix my own mistakes most of the time) I will be sad to put that skill aside.  Both the disappearance of rights and the inability to use anything but "handmade" from scratch graphics kinda put a damper on it all for me. Luckily I have lots of other duties in SL so the hole can be filled easily. I just need to muster up some enthusiasm which I am having a hard time doing.

And sorry about your real life woes. Happily I can't say I have had too many similar issues, primarily because I most always worked for very small companies (hence no big buck lawyers), but I do still see these issues arise with all kinds of "specialists" that really no nothing about what they are doing.

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Wow. I really do not feel like making every single little texture for everything I create if it is going to be used for whatever SL feels like using it for. I do mostly make textures for things that I sell, but I will use free textures to save time on personal projects. I will have to think about if I really want to continue making things for SL.

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Hi Innula - I to use textures purchased in world BUT what worries me a little is the license for said purchased textures normally states that they are for use in SL only.  What does this mean for the artists I wonder?  Also, If I've used a purchased texture in a mesh (as a derivate of the original purchased texture that I know that I cannot sell as a texture) I also can't license LL to do with the texture as they please...  better get the camera out I guess and learn how to use GIMP properly....

 

Black

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Inara Pay of 'Living in a Modem World' has an interesting post where she requested clarification about the new TOS from the Lab. They actually replied.

“As evidenced by Second Life’s extensive history, functionality and well-documented policies for providing a platform on which users can create and profit from their creations, Linden Lab respects the proprietary rights of Second Life’s content creators. We regret that our intention in revising our Terms of Service to streamline our business may have been misconstrued by some as an attempt to appropriate Second Life residents’ original content. We have no intention of abandoning our deep-rooted dedication to facilitating residents’ ability to create and commercialize such content in Second Life. In fact, we strive to provide Second Life’s residents with evermore opportunities to do so.”

 

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Thanks Loki for quoting that.  Personally I wasn't concerned about the CGtextures thing, but I was a little nervous about how the TOS impacted my own work. Nice to know LL's intent isn't as evil as it might seem.

At the end of the day, their commercial success depends on the user base, and they gain nothing by alienating that.

 

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Good to know. I would feel better however if they would "roll back" the sections that specifically state that they CAN "appropriate Second Life residents’ original content".

There is actually a hint in there about what this may be about :D. It was mentioned by some RL friends. So that would be a good thing. Still the wording is VERY BAD and hope they rectify that.

Thanks for posting.

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Does this mean that we can use textures not from scratch, as long as they are allowed for commerical use? Maybe I will not be able to use CG textures or any other texture resource that does not permit SL use. I am hoping that I do not have have to make every single little texture for my personal projects that I am not selling.

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Under the strictest interpretation of the new TOS, you should not upload any asset to SL for which the owner has not specifically granted you the right to redistribute the asset itself. In nearly all cases, when you purchase a commercial license to a texture, that's not a right you're given. You can distribute models you've made that have the texture on them, but not the texture itself.

 

Under the previous TOS, this subject was a bit of a gray area. Even though it was technically a license violation, many texture sellers would look the other way, since the TOS language made it clear that LL's only interest was in running the service, and that they would only use assets in the necessary manner to make SL function. Under the new language, that guarantee no longer exists. They now can do literally anything with every single uploaded asset. Therefore, your uploading of any asset you don't have the right to redistribute would be a definite no-no.

 

LL has really created a fine mess with this one.

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Assuming that that is indeed a genuine reply from LL, great. They should have no problem backing it up by clarifying the TOS to once again appropriately limit their rights. If they're not willing to do that, then it looks awfully fishy.

 

When one is sincere about something, one can and should ALWAYS be willing to put it in writing. When one is unwilling to do that, something is very wrong.

 

Wity that in mind, I look forward to LL correcting their mistake very soon.

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Loki Eliot wrote:

Inara Pay of 'Living in a Modem World' has an
where she requested clarification about the new TOS from the Lab. They actually replied.

“As evidenced by Second Life’s extensive history, functionality and well-documented policies for providing a platform on which users can create and profit from their creations, Linden Lab respects the proprietary rights of Second Life’s content creators. We regret that our intention in revising our Terms of Service to streamline our business may have been misconstrued by some as an attempt to appropriate Second Life residents’ original content. We have no intention of abandoning our deep-rooted dedication to facilitating residents’ ability to create and commercialize such content in Second Life. In fact, we strive to provide Second Life’s residents with evermore opportunities to do so.”

 

Whether they intend to or not, the TOS does take the right to sell your product though that letter wouldwork against them in a Court of law.  But your saying in a Court "I didn't think they'd exercise the rights I granted them may not really cut it.

More problematic in that letter is the claim that they need that clause because of the Marketplace.  That is umitigated hogwash.

"Additionally, Linden Lab often acts as an intermediary between Second Life residents (for instance, in its capacity as the operator of the Second Life Marketplace) which necessitates that Linden Lab have certain rights (such as the right to re-sell) in order to effectuate such exchanges or transactions.”

 

They are NOT a reseller and the rights they are now claiming in the TOS have nothing to do with the Marketplace. Re-SELL implies they purchased first. That is not what they do in the Marketplace.

Via the Market Place they are a DELIVERY SERVICE and I’ll be gob smacked if UPS or the Postal Service or any other Service needs re-sell rights to deliver a product. They are acting as the AGENT.

Compare Itune’s TOS. They don’t need the right to resell. In fact, look at this as an example:

“You acknowledge that you are purchasing the content made available through the iBookstore Service (the “iBookstore Products”) from the third-party provider of that iBookstore Product (the “Publisher”); Apple is acting as agent for the Publisher in providing each such iBookstore Product to you; Apple is not a party to the transaction between you and the Publisher with respect to that iBookstore Product; and the Publisher of each iBookstore Product reserves the right to enforce the terms of use relating to that iBookstore Product.”

http://www.apple.com/legal/internet-services/itunes/us/terms.html#GIFTS

You can check other sites that provide similar services for digital content and none of them claim to be 'resellers.' 

Consider this:

 

SL MARKETPLACE FEES AND COMMISSIONS

FOR MARKETPLACE SELLERS:

Seller Sales Commissions

We charge SL Marketplace merchants a Commission for each sale that the seller makes...........

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/listing_guidelines?

You are the Seller, not them.

They are not re-selling, they are simply the delivery service / agent.

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Perrie Juran wrote:

They are NOT a reseller and the rights they are now claiming in the TOS have nothing to do with the Marketplace. Re-SELL implies they purchased first. That is not what they do in the Marketplace.

 

SL MARKETPLACE FEES AND COMMISSIONS

FOR MARKETPLACE SELLERS:

Seller Sales Commissions

We charge SL Marketplace merchants a Commission for each sale that the seller makes...........

You are the Seller, not them.

They are not re-selling, they are simply the delivery service / agent.

Well... just for the sake of entering the argument.  I could still argue that Linden Lab are the selling agent and I provide them content under a credit arrangement.

When someone buys off MP, they pay LL and Commerce Linden pays me, less their commission.  Thus in this transaction, LL is the seller and pays me, the creator in return but i'm not sure that i'd agree that I was the one that sold it, I didn't.  LL did.  They are not the "re-seller" though, that I agree with, they did not first buy it from me but nonetheless, LL was very much the seller.

Now, if LL had removed the intermediary just as I suggested a long time ago with a corresponding JIRA and the full reasons for it, then I would very much be the seller as the funds transfer would have been direct from buyer to seller, me.

Of course UPS etc. are not re-sellers but then they didn't take the funds for the purchase of the goods.  They take a fee for the delivery of the goods, somewhat different.  LL do plonk themselves directly in the middle of the financial transaction for the case of Marketplace purchases.

All good fun semantics :)

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Well, until all this is sorted out, I won't be building 

not because I'm concerned about LL taking control of and selling my items, because I really don't believe they would want that responsibility - customer support etc. I don't think a Linden would have the ability to troubleshoot my products

but, because I did rely heavily on CGTextures as a starting point to creating my own texture. Most of the time it would be hard to recognise once I'm done with it.

The way things are heading, it's becoming more and more likely that the people who will succeed as content providers in SL will be those who have no problem with being dishonest.

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