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Updated LL TOS Claims FULL RIGHTS to ALL CONTENT

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A neighbor had an item I really liked and I was debating on whether or not to buy it. I first saw it a couple weeks ago (before I heard about the TOS change), and looked up the creators store on the marketplace. There it was-along with about 20 other products.

Today out of curiosity I went back to that merchant's marketplace store-EMPTY!

Interesting I think. Maybe just random, but the one item I was keeping an eye on has been removed from marketplace. Hrmm

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Luna Bliss wrote:

LL really needs to clarify this. If they don't I think we can only assume the worst.

 

Two clients of mine already decided to purchase sims elsewhere for their projects due the new TOS, though one really wants/needs the advantange of the large populus here. After contacting their attorney one said he's convinced the TOS means what it says - that LL owns all the content in SL now and can do what they please with it - and he's not willing to spend the time/money to develop sims here when the content won't belong to him.

Thanks Luna for those further examples of the impacts that LL's recent content hi-jacking TOS is having to LL's SL service.  It was also further validation coming from a legal source that this recent TOS wording means exactly as LL has expressed it.

As I am sure many of you have already read on at least two of the large SL / Virtual World Blogging sites, LL Corporate has decided to make their "Official" response and explanation of this recent TOS change to these blog owners.  After reading their official wording on the subject, I am sure many of you have the same frustrated and disrespectful opinions of LL's recent actions on this bonehead move they made.

 

  1. If LL Corp was communicating an official response to the community's anger toward their recent TOS wording, WHY WOULD THEY POST IT THROUGH EXTERNAL 3RD PARTY BLOGGERS??  This move alone screams typical LL Corporate incompetance.  So as a corporation that has just ticked off a huge critical portion of their userbase as well as other critical sources where your service's content comes from.  It stems from what they believe is simply a mis-understanding and mi-interpretation of their wording. 

     

    So to ease fears and show a serious message to your userbase that they are all wrong.... the Corporation posts "comforting" "Take a Pill" official communications on 3rd Party blogger sites?  They dont even post this reassurance on their own official BLOG / FORUMS community sites?  If the "comforting" reassurance statement already held ZERO legal weight because it was not stated in the TOS, LL further reduces its value by only posting their response informally on some 3rd party blogger site? 

     

    Yeah.... that move by LL presents a lot of confidence that they stand behind what they posted.

     

  2. When you read their response, it screams as a back-handed condescending apology to all those that have misunderstood, mis-interpreted, confused, and jumped to conclusions on the wording of their latest TOS.  Basically LL Corp's response to this fiasco is that YOU ALL ARE DUMMIES AND CANT UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS WRITTEN AND SHAME ON YOU FOR ASSUMING WE WOULD EVER TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ANY ADDITIONAL POWER THAT THE WORDING OF THE TOS PROVIDES US.  No where in their unoffical "carries no weight" responses to the public did they admit that they screwed up in how they worded this TOS by wording it in a way that clearly does not convey their true spirit and intention of the TOS.

     

  3. Their response is basically, we worded the TOS to take full shared legal control of all content for internal coprorate efficiency reasons and take a pill and trust that even though it appears we can now do what we want, you all should be ashamed by not trusting us to not abuse our new founded powers.

     

  4. Finally, their unofficial statements through 3rd Part bloggers carries ZERO LEGAL WEIGHT because LL Corp does not want to make these same re-assuring statements and clarifications in the TOS.

So, LL's latest responses to the community not only changes NOTHING but it was a further insult and slap in the face to all this users by calling us stupid and blaming us for not trusting them.

 

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Haven't logged into the forums in a while but thought I would to see the chatter.  Actually, the premise that they don't have any "intention" to sell your content is irrelevant as they still have the right to do so.  Having no intention at this time does not mean they wont or can't in the future.  This is much like the US Federal Government saying, "we wont violate normal peoples rights with the Patriot Act" and now we see that they have and do.

In essence, what they are saying is that they have no need to enforce copyright anymore but this presents a sticky issue as the TOS would not be able to cover any content created prior to the new TOS.  That is simply a point of law and as many of you know, this is what I do.

Regardless of what the TOS says, there are still laws that it cannot circumvent.  One being third party "exploitable" rights.  In this case, if I were to have the rights to use a brand that I am promoting in SL.Say it was Pontiac and I then use this to build a corporate region.  LL would have a very hard time if they were to use this brand without the permission of the brand owner and the 3rd party rights holder would not have the right to extend these rights.

I would love to litigate one of these when they come up and I assume some day it will but more over, I see this as being a very slippery slope particularly in the area of grandfathered content loaded into the system prior to this attempt at removing any copyright liability.

In the end, this is a "washing their hands move" and little more.  Time will tell but as for me, I am no longer creating anything new in this system as long as this TOS is in place.  I would advice anyone concerned about their IP rights to do the same.

 

 

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I loved (well it was sad and disturbing but appreciated) your reference to the Patriot Act which most everyone I know was against.

I too, along with lots of folks I know, have stopped creating in Second Life. Not a good time to do that for me as things were going very well, but we make our choices and following my morals was mine. For anyone that is also not building and would like to spread the word, I have Aztral's notecard in a poster with a texture of a sign that my friend made calling for No More Uploads because of section 2.3. A click will get you both and you can put up your own sign if you wish.  Or just make your own statement with your own thoughts, that works too.

I remember long ago when designers were getting naked for their rights. I bet some folks reading this have a poster in their inventory.


You can find at TP in the top listing in my profile. I feel it would be inappropriate to post it here. You won't have any trouble finding the sign :D.

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Thank you for coming and posting, especially knowing that you have an expertise in this field.  I was really hoping you or one of the other SL knowledgeable Attorneys would speak up because so far all we have had is  Lay Person's understanding being posted.

The slippery slope as I see it is that LL is trying to absolve themselves of responsibility for 3rd party rights by getting us to agree that we won't upload anything we don't have the right to transfer rights to them.  (I hope the way I stated that makes sense).  I don't think a Court will buy, "the up-loader had agreed not to upload content he couldn't transfer rights to" as a defense if they should violate a 3rd Parties rights.

A Court might show some mercy if you can prove that you did not know something was illegal, but in the case of copyright infringement LL would have a hard time proving their innocence.

 

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Darrius Gothly wrote:operations.

Based on my reading of the new ToS, even those parts of these products that exist completely outside the purview of SL, LL and any of their systems .. are still included in the stuff they claim to own. In effect they have laid claim to software, databases and proprietary data mechanisms that they do not have any access to whatsoever!

These products are clearly hosted on multiple platforms, and each one is useless without both the LL-hosted and externally hosted parts working together, so it can be argued that since LL claims rights to the part within SL then they also claim rights to the parts that live outside as well.

I'm not sure about this...I have some services like this as well, and no server side script, no database, no file necessary to those services has ever been "uploaded, published, and submited to or through the Servers, Websites, and other areas of the Service." I'd like to think that not even LL would be dumb enough to claim rights to content fetched by an in-world client (not just http scripts, but also parcel media & streams, prim media, even a viewer's internal browser) is theirs, but then I wouldn't have previously thought they'd be dumb enough to put this in their TOS.

Fortunately, I retain control over my external server, and have pretty high confidence that my current hosting provider would laught at LL presenting such a claim to them.

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I would love to put something in my profile.  Do you or anyone have a suitable texture I could use and then I could put some of the wording from the notecard into it?

I've also stopped creating/uploading.  I was going that direction anyway, but this last TOS move sealed it.  I am now just enjoying SL as I can while I can. :)

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Hi there. Sorry been busy trying to contact the last of the RL businesses in SL in my list...lol.

TY Chic for posting that.

Czari I will send you a 'care package' in world :) feel free to hand out, edit, or whatever

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As likely most of my fellow SecondLife Creators, Artists, Merchants are as well, I am a SecondLife resident on Facebook.  I have just under 500 SL friends. 

I have already made two large postings to my sphere of SL friend to inform them of this serious LL TOS Content Hi-Jacking issue, pointed them to this thread as well as the Google posted thread, and I have asked all my friends that care about the protection of their own content and the growth of new created content to share my posting.

If you have a SL identity on FB, then do the same thing to make all your SL friends aware of LL's hi-jacking of resident content.

 

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My email to Linden Labs.

"It was recently brought to my attention there were changes made in your TOS that you have the right at no cost to sell and re-sell my created virtual goods.

This is an outrage. I do not remember having to agree to these terms. I don't remember the TOS agreement form popping up before log in. I always read it when I have to agree and in all cases before this last change have I fully agreed to your terms as it protects you the provider and me the user. But now whether you intend to or not you have the right to all the content I have created to be used, sold and exploited by you at LL at no reimbursement to me the creator.
But since I unknowingly agreed to these terms I am at the mercy of my own lack of knowledge in agreeing to these terms.

The only recourse I have is to take a stand in my own way against these ridiculous and I feel criminal terms. I will be canceling all my adds on the marketplace, I will be canceling my premium membership, I will be selling my mainland parcel and I will not be uploading or spending any more money on uploads of MY virtual goods.

Over the years of using your service I have spent thousands of US dollars, in uploads, in-world pictures, in-world goods, services etc. I will no longer be spending that money into the economy. And since this was brought to my attention by other SL merchants in outrage, I'm sure many of my fellow users will be following suit.

It is a shame, I had big plans for my in-world business for the coming year, I guess I will have to take my goods to another platform that doesn't exploit and hijack my content."

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Just zip by my shop and you can pick it up as stated. Look in my profile.  It is full perm. I think posting it here would be a VERY bad plan *wink*.

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That was answered further down the thread (and I know it is a LONG one now). Those items were from awhile back when LL apparently paid some creator to make special items for premium members. So not "our hijacked" content :D. It does show however that they have the ABILITY to market our goods on Amazon.

 

 

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Chic Aeon wrote:

Just zip by my shop and you can pick it up as stated. Look in my profile.  It is full perm. I think posting it here would be a VERY bad plan *wink*.

Well true, I wasn't suggesting to post it here. *Grins*  Astral sent info to me which is now in my profile.  Thank you as well for the offer.  

It will be interesting to see if we (informed merchants/customers) make any kind of dent so that LL will notice.

 

 

 

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LL are probably cursing CGTextures for bringing it to our attention. They almost got away with it. They counted on the fact that if they spam us with one TOS after another we would stop reading - and they were right...until CGTextures spoilt it all for them. Now, what will be their next move? I am betting they're waiting it out patiently, for the dust to settle, and then business as usual. I'm betting here, not hoping :matte-motes-wink-tongue:

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I had a close look at Amazon as a place to sell, about a year ago, and unless you're in the USA, trying to sell self-published ebooks isn't worth the hassle (international tax stuff), for what you're likely to sell.

But they are very clear about the seller having to possess the right to publish an ebook edition.

LL have made this blanket grab, and I suppose its possible that they could drop the L$, move the Marketplace onto Amazon, and generally wreck the internal micropayments system Second Life depends on. But professional publishing  generally either buys the copyright outright, up-front, or buys a limited licence. And those licences have a reversion clause, so that if a book is no longer selling the licence ends.

There are publishing takeovers, and that's not a big problem. Staff changes can happen as a result, but that can be awkward for whatever reason it happens. There are personal relationships between authors and editors, and contracts don't follow the editor to a new job. I know of a case where such changes messed up the publication of a six-volume series. A new edition is out, and a sequel is in the works.

The point is that LL doesn't need to set the terms that it has. I'd caution that Bankruptcy Law may be a factor in what can be enforced but, from experience, I can tell you that the chances of any money being left for people like us is minimal. When a large corporation has interests in both recorded music and book publishing, they don't try to apply the same contracts in both fields. But the evidence is consistent with them being ruthless abusive bastards if they can get away with it. More likely, the old independent company just carried on with the contracts they were used to.

In the end, without Second Life continuing to operate, almost all the content is worthless. I can think of a few special cases. Do you have a picture as a texture, the sort of thing somebody might hang on a real wall? That's probably not a good enough image for the real world. Text, poetry or a short story, holds its value. Linden Labs have the claimed the right to sell your work, and their copy is as good as yours.

I write stuff. I had thought of selling one or two things through the Marketplace, and I had decided against it a couple of years ago. The Marketplace was run in a way which worried me (and I see no sign of change since). But however much they improve those faults, this rights grab just isn't compatible with normal publishing.

 

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Kylie Sabra wrote:

That's very interesting,  Do you have those figures in some verifiable format I could reference in my blog on this suject?

I'm afraid not, no. My source for the statistics is an ad hoc SQL query that lets me count the number of rented properties vs. the total number in the database. The clients using my system represent a healthy cross section of land rental companies, ranging from Parcel Rentals with full rights to the rented Parcel all the way through Skybox Rentals where you get a skybox and a few prims.

Unlike the stats produced by Tyche Shepherd and gridsurvey.com which detail first-level land rentals, the data I have access to shows second-level rentals. This is important because it indicates how much of the Land Owner's inventory is earning income and how much is being carried at a loss. The lower the Occupancy Rate, the more loss the Land Owner's are suffering. If more Land Owners are forced out of business due to excessive losses then LL eventually suffers giant chunks of loss when the entire holdings of an exiting owner are dumped or abandoned.

However, I did not obtain permission from the users of my service to publish their data, nor do I intend to do so as I know full well that such information is highly private business particulars. I do feel comfy providing a totally anonymous Overall Occupancy rate though as it is completely disconnected from any specific Land Owner and their business.

Now, with all that said, the current Occupancy Rate is back to within 0.2% of where it has been for the last 12 months. (Whew!) The dip was real though and not due to any individual Land Owner, but it has slowly dragged itself back to "normal" and appears stable here again.

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Chelsea Malibu wrote:

...  Actually, the premise that they don't have any "intention" to sell your content is irrelevant as they still have the right to do so.  Having no intention at this time does not mean they wont or can't in the future.  This is much like the US Federal Government saying, "we wont violate normal peoples rights with the Patriot Act" and now we see that they have and do.

Intention is the one facet of this whole issue that keeps nagging at me. The few words posted on outside sites that are purportedly from "Official LL Sources" speak only to their intention and are very carefully crafted so they do not in any way counter the full rights embodied in the ToS language.

As we have seen in other legal cases, both old and contemporary, even unofficial sources can be used to mount a legal attack against contested contractual rights. LL can ill afford to have this specific clause attacked, so clearly they have exercised due care in controlling official statements so as to prevent any such use. It is not only good legal management control, but it's also very much the "LL Way".

But, back to their Intention ...

The new wording comes at a time when LL is expanding their product inventory. It is the same language used across their entire product line. This leads me to ask ... why? Why now when the language that was in place for SL for so many years proved reliable, defensible and acceptable to both parties involved? Could it be that they are not really covering their backsides in regards to SL, but instead making sure they have access to content they expect will be uploaded to one of their other new titles? Is their intention to get their hands tightly wrapped around some other source, and the fallout response that's blown up here in SL is just collateral damage of no real import to them?

Based on their absolute substantive silence in response to the ballyhoo this has raised with SL customers, and the (assumed) decrease this has surely caused in SL revenues and new content creation, I am led to believe their real intention was for some purpose outside of SL entirely and the dust this has blown up here is more like the annoying buzz of a mosquito in the dark that temporarily distracts you from listening for the growls of the panther stalking you through the woods.

Time will tell of course, but like Rya, I'm betting LL is quietly biding their time, expecting the furor will die out ... and then it will be back to "bidness as usual!"

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I agree with you and Rya and other folks; they The Lab expects  this uproar to die down -- and that may happen. But what I see in the last couple of days (most likely due to Aztral's notecard which I along with others have been sending out)  is an exponential rise in the number of AWARE folks -- and they are NOT happy campers. Someone mentioned when this thread was new that  it had only 300 views. Now we are reaching 3,000. I am guessing we can make it to 5,000 and that is a good thing to see.

This outcry may blow over, but when the dust has settled some of our best content creators and artists will be gone. Others may fill the spots they leave, but it won't be easy. In the meantime other grids will get the bounty of their expertise and new grids may appear -- leveling the playing field and actually dropping the value of SL as a "product filled with products".

The casual user isn't affected by this issue -- well, they think they aren't. There are already products disappearing from world and the Marketplace. Eventually they may find less quality merchandise to purchase, moving us back years in that 'prettiness' category.

In regards to the dip in rentals and its return to normalcy. There seems to be a huge influx of new people in Second Life. Many appear to be from outside the USA. I have no figures, just the observances of myself and others -- but it seems like the inworld numbers are being stabilized by those folks. If so, the first wave of them (maybe three or four weeks ago) might be getting a home for the first time.

Just some early morning thoughts and an attempt to get real posts ahead of the 30 or 40 spam posts once again in this forum (moderator notified).

 

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RiftRaven wrote:

My Second life TOS search just caught this. It's having a hard time loading. 
Sometimes it loads, most of the time it dosen't.

Renderosity Products NOT Allowed in Second Life

 

Thanks Rift for finding this updated news... as the fallout from LL's draconian TOS change continues to grow.

 

I wonder how long LL Corp can sit quietly by and pretend that their ill-thought out TOS change was just a mis-understanding by all their User base and the related online community where the SL grid oftent gets sources of their own content.

To add to LL Corp's naivity and stupidity in not admitting they made a bonehead move and they need to back out this TOS change, as many of these external sources of content continue to add BAN RULES against any use in SECONDLIFE, when they finally do smarten up and back out this bonehead TOS change, very few of these sources like CG Textures and new Renderosity will back out their ban.  My prediction is that they will keep their ban on SecondLife permanent.

So, the damage the LL is allowing their TOS Change to do to content sources into the grid will likely be permanent.

Once again I have shake my head at the senior management at LL.... they are like a kid that puts their hand on the hot element... and not only do they remove their hand and re-touch it... they put their hand on the element and let it burn until they simply cannot take it any longer..... by that time, the damage they have done to their hand has become serious.

this is the LL we all know and love. :)

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RiftRaven wrote:

My Second life TOS search just caught this. It's having a hard time loading. 
Sometimes it loads, most of the time it dosen't.

Renderosity Products NOT Allowed in Second Life

 

Thank you RiftRaven. *long sigh*

As many have said during the life of this thread, products under prior license are in immediate conflict with LL's new ToS the instant they are uploaded. Should it come before a court to determine which license survives and which is struck down, I'm fairly confident that the prior license would win. But that's only IF brought before a court of law.

 

 

  • What if the party uploading the content is unaware?
  • What if the party uploading the content is incapable of retaining counsel?
  • What if there is so little income from LL's use of the content that viable action cannot be raised?
  • What if LL alters it just enough to look different?
  • What if .... ?

Contracts are designed to answer all the reasonable "What If" questions that arise from a relationship. Their purpose is to CLARIFY any confusion that might exist .. AND their purpose is to protect the rights and properties of BOTH parties. The new ToS does neither of these.


Mr. Humble:

It is well and truly time to bring this matter back to your legal team and release a revision of the ToS that restores fairness to your customers and your use of their property. It is more than evident that the strong-arm language of the new ToS is overly aggressive and causes more harm than good. The fact that we were forced to accept it without reasonable access to counsel and without fair opportunity to understand how the changes can affect us is further reason to retreat from this stance and adopt a position that is more supportive of "Shared Content Creation".

You have stated quite clearly that you want the predominant category winning feature of your entire product line to be the ability of your customers to turn their flights of fancy and vibrant imaginations into content that enriches their experience and your income. This form of the ToS works in direct conflict of that goal. You need to recognize this conflict and set it to rights as quickly as possible.

With Regards,

       Darrius Gothly

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Here's an explanation from a user (Cypherfox) on the Daz 3D forums...

 

It’s (the SL TOS) not thievery, it’s an absolute technical requirement, and this is them making clear what _must_ happen in order for a system like Second Life to operate.  The truth is that it’s always been that way, Second Life is actually just covering their asses legally, and that makes it more obvious.

ExplanationIf I have an Avatar, Foozilla, and I enter into a public space on Second Life, in order for other users to see me in my full Foozilla glory, Second Life has to take the texture and model I’ve given them, and send it to everyone in that public space.  That’s copying and distribution.  There’s no way to build a game (or ‘VR world’) like Second Life without doing that. Well, okay, you could pre-render billboards of the character from 360 degrees, in all possible poses, and just send the billboards, but that’s pretty much impossible as the number of poses, etc., goes up.

The real truth is that users who upload content from any site with a license that forbids redistribution are violating the license.  Rendo’s license includes that, and I’m fairly confident that DAZ’s does also.  Rendo has historically turned a blind eye because they didn’t really understand what was happening, technically.  The new contract has made it clear, and suddenly they’re realizing that’s a bad thing.

tl;dr - Without being explicitly granted the permission (as that ToS requires) to distribute the stuff you’ve uploaded for your character, in fact Linden Labs couldn’t show your avatar to anyone else without breaking your implicit copyright.  So they HAVE to put that section in their terms/contract, to make it clear that you ARE allowing them to show your skins + models to other users.

Which means that no users should be uploading skins or models that they purchase from a site like DAZ or Renderosity, because those users (us) don’t have a license to transfer it to Linden Labs, a distributor as I’ve described, in the first place.  It’s not new, just explicit.

 

I can believe that the new SL TOS is intended to explicitly state the legal reality that's always been here. The music industry is still trying to figure things out, and music is less complicated (I think) than the meanderings of intellectual property (IP) through the SL ecosystem. As I've said before, LL may have done this to address legal requirements that neither we, nor they, fully understand. And it's possible that the purveyors of external IP don't understand it either.

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