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Updated LL TOS Claims FULL RIGHTS to ALL CONTENT


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Wow! Looks like some traction now on this issue as I've been busy getting a new web server up and running right.

Which brings me to point out something to those saying LL should be using be using this new TOS wording to "cover their butts."

As a web developer, when I go have a new dedicated web server fired up (or a VPS or shared hosting) the service provider doesn't have such a draconian TOS saying "anything I upload to server they have the right to sell / or license!" That's just ridiculous! THAT would shut down the internet almost immediately.


No! LL could have totally have gone with a TOS wording such as "Hey Stupid! Don't upload stuff if you don't have permission!"...IF their intention was to decrease their IP liabilty,

No! This will play out and it will ultimately be about LL's bottomline one way or another. ;)


 

 

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You should have also quoted the reply to Cypherfox that explains a bit more why their statement is not correct.

The language in the new ToS specifically assigns rights of ownership to Linden Lab for all content uploaded. That is a massive legal difference from copying and distributing the uploaded content via the platform for others to see and use.

The previous iteration of the ToS only gave LL the right to use the uploaded content in order to make it available for display and use within Second Life and no where else. The new language grants them universal, incontrovertible rights of ownership over that content.

Many platforms (games if you will) have ToS that specifically state they will use your uploaded content to share with others within the space of the platform.

Allow me an analogy:

You sign up for a web site that requires your email address so they can contact you and provide you with information relevant to the game. Their ToS and Privacy Statement say that they will only use your email address for that purpose. All's good, right?

Linden Lab's new ToS takes that a step further. They proclaim they can sell your email address to spammers, marketers, anyone else that might want it. Furthermore they reserve the right to use your email for their own purposes, sending and receiving messages when they feel like it and without notifying you.

That's a FAR cry from "reasonable use" which is what the previous ToS provided. The new version? It flat out grabs ownership from you, and because you agreed to it, you haven't the slightest hope of recouping any damages, sharing in any profits, or recovering from any harm that may come from it.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

You should have also quoted the reply to Cypherfox that explains a bit more why their statement is not correct.

The language in the new ToS specifically assigns rights of ownership to Linden Lab for all content uploaded. That is a massive legal difference from copying and distributing the uploaded content via the platform for others to see and use.

The previous iteration of the ToS only gave LL the right to use the uploaded content in order to make it available for display and use within Second Life and no where else. The new language grants them universal, incontrovertible rights of ownership over that content.

Many platforms (games if you will) have ToS that specifically state they will use your uploaded content to share with others within the space of the platform.

Allow me an analogy:

You sign up for a web site that requires your email address so they can contact you and provide you with information relevant to the game. Their ToS and Privacy Statement say that they will only use your email address for that purpose. All's good, right?

Linden Lab's new ToS takes that a step further. They proclaim they can sell your email address to spammers, marketers, anyone else that might want it. Furthermore they reserve the right to use your email for their own purposes, sending and receiving messages when they feel like it and without notifying you.

That's a FAR cry from "reasonable use" which is what the previous ToS provided. The new version? It flat out grabs ownership from you, and because you agreed to it, you haven't the slightest hope of recouping any damages, sharing in any profits, or recovering from any harm that may come from it.

I still think it's more likely that LL doesn't know what they're doing than that they intend to steal from the creators. So the ToS may have been changed because they thought they were legally vulnerable in some way. I've worked with plenty of clients who could be easily bamboozled into doing things by potential investors (who often don't know anything themselves) or lawyers.

Recall that LL cannot prevent copybotting. Imagine that their legal counsel advised them that this technical vulnerability in their system is perhaps not up to the level of best practices in the industry and therefore leaves them vulnerable to IP lawsuits. I'm just making that up, but something like that seems more likely to me than LL deciding they're going to take our creations and sell them for their own profit. The moment they try that, the Grim Reaper will come for Rodvik, if he's not already dead.

 

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

I still think it's more likely that LL doesn't know what they're doing than that they intend to steal from the creators. So the ToS may have been changed because they thought they were legally vulnerable in some way. I've worked with plenty of clients who could be easily bamboozled into doing things by potential investors (who often don't know anything themselves) or lawyers.

Recall that LL cannot prevent copybotting. Imagine that their legal counsel advised them that this technical vulnerability in their system is perhaps not up to the level of best practices in the industry and therefore leaves them vulnerable to IP lawsuits. I'm just making that up, but something like that seems more likely to me than LL deciding they're going to take our creations and sell them for their own profit. The moment they try that, the Grim Reaper will come for Rodvik, if he's not already dead.
 

I just cannot buy into the "incompetence" reasoning for this change. There are FAR too many examples out there of boilerplate language .. including the language they were using .. that provides them all the protection they need. I also still maintain that they have made this change not for SL's sake but to lay their hands on the content they expect will be uploaded to one of their other products. For all we know, they have a product in the wings that will blow the freaking doors off the Internet with people rushing to upload untold riches .. and LL wants to make sure those riches belong to them!

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Ok, this is one of my SL pet peeves:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

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

<snip>

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...

 

Hey Cypherfox:

it

The name of the company is:

Linden Lab Logo.jpg

 

Carry on. :)

 

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Darrius Gothly wrote:

You should have also quoted the reply to Cypherfox that explains a bit more why their statement is not correct.

The language in the new ToS specifically assigns rights of ownership to Linden Lab for all content uploaded. That is a massive legal difference from copying and distributing the uploaded content via the platform for others to see and use.

The previous iteration of the ToS only gave LL the right to use the uploaded content in order to make it available for display and use within Second Life and no where else. The new language grants them universal, incontrovertible rights of ownership over that content.

Many platforms (games if you will) have ToS that specifically state they will use your uploaded content to share with others within the space of the platform.

Allow me an analogy:

You sign up for a web site that requires your email address so they can contact you and provide you with information relevant to the game. Their ToS and Privacy Statement say that they will only use your email address for that purpose. All's good, right?

Linden Lab's new ToS takes that a step further. They proclaim they can sell your email address to spammers, marketers, anyone else that might want it. Furthermore they reserve the right to use your email for their own purposes, sending and receiving messages when they feel like it and without notifying you.

That's a FAR cry from "reasonable use" which is what the previous ToS provided. The new version? It flat out grabs ownership from you, and because you agreed to it, you haven't the slightest hope of recouping any damages, sharing in any profits, or recovering from any harm that may come from it.

I still think it's more likely that LL doesn't know what they're doing than that they intend to steal from the creators. So the ToS may have been changed because they thought they were legally vulnerable in some way. I've worked with plenty of clients who could be easily bamboozled into doing things by potential investors (who often don't know anything themselves) or lawyers.

Recall that LL cannot prevent copybotting. Imagine that their legal counsel advised them that this technical vulnerability in their system is perhaps not up to the level of best practices in the industry and therefore leaves them vulnerable to IP lawsuits. I'm just making that up, but something like that seems more likely to me than LL deciding they're going to take our creations and sell them for their own profit. The moment they try that, the Grim Reaper will come for Rodvik, if he's not already dead.

 

What matters are the terms of the agreement to anyone who cares about their IP on a commercial level.

If there is any intent to be found, the intent is by LL to profit further with or without the consent of their users, past, present and future, because that's what they spelled out.

Intent in business is the exact purpose of an agreement. To spell out the intent and expectations of each party. LL's intention in the agreement is not to have to ask permission to do anything they're thinking of now, or that they might think of in the future.

That's not ignorance on the part of a company that has reduced every liability to fictional currency, fictional business, implemented multiple monetization schemes, stopped communications with their customers and most importantly provides absolutely nothing in return in the agreement, no matter what level you spend at.

At least other places are starting to put them on the list of bad actors. They've become the slumlords of content creation.

 

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Perrie Juran wrote:

Read Chelsea Malibu's comments again.

She is the one person here who is an Attorney and this is her field.

The original TOS already forbade uploading content you didn't have rights to.

The new TOS now grants them more rights:  The right to sell.

I read it, Perrie. I've highlighted the statement that leads me to believe Malibu doesn't think LL's intent is malicious, but to be sure, I'll ask her.

Here's what she said...

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.

While I've got no shortage of complaints about LL, I'm not ready to call them evil.

It may not make a difference.

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I posted my support ticket with LL yesterday under "ACCOUNT HAS BEEN COMPROMISED".  I have received a case response :

 

Case: 01770523Avatar: Toysoldier Thor  Type: Marketplace Listing IssuesStatus: Waiting for Customer Acceptance  Hello Toysoldier Thor,Thank you for contacting Linden Lab Support. I am sorry to hear you have some issues with your items Unfortunately, I cannot have the Terms of Service changed at this time. Your concerns will be forwarded to superiors for review though. Please feel free to file a new support case in the future should you need additional assistance from Linden Lab Support.Best Wishesxxx xxxLinden Lab Support
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Freya Mokusei wrote:

That's great. Here's the TL;DR version:
Hi,Sorry.Bye.

 Another closed case! Wooo~

Yes I know that submitting a support ticket to LL was a futile effort in the sense that no one from LL Support was going to say "ohh yes sorry sir, let my go and change the TOS back to the way you liked it", BUT.....

There are a few important reasons behind me formally submitting a ticket with LL expressing my disagreement with this recent TOS:

 

  1. I now have a formally documented case with the owners of the TOS (LL) that expressed my disagreement with the specific Section of their TOS of which they have now acknowledged the ticket, responded, and closed it.  If in the future any civil or legal actions are required, I can at least bring forward evidence that I did not agree to this section of the TOS but I was forced to agree to the section & TOS under duress in order to continue to have access to my content and investments within the SecondLife grid.

     

  2. Since Rodvik decided last year to remove our own public community place to formally express our technical concerns about an aspect of SecondLife - i.e. LL's Gagging of the Resident JIRA, they have forced us to use their Support Ticket System as our only avenue.

     

  3. Unlike these SL Forums where we can all post our anger, disagreement, fears, frustrations about LL's recent draconian TOS Change that can easily be (and mostly is) completely ignored by all LL staff, they cannot as easily ignore the submission of Support Tickets.  Even if they respond back with useless "sorry but cant help you on this one" responses and close it, the ticket is now official and within the visibility of LL's statistics.

     

    If all us creators and artists were to submit our own similar ticket, then this issue will start bubbling up on their internal support systems statistics as a large and growing issue that LL's more senior staff would have to deal with.

So again, I would recommend for the reasons stated above that each creator / artist that is concerned about LL's recent TOS changes should create a ticket with LL to formally express your concerns with them and what you would like them to do in order to address this concern,

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:

Read Chelsea Malibu's comments again.

She is the one person here who is an Attorney and this is her field.

The original TOS already forbade uploading content you didn't have rights to.

The new TOS now grants them more rights:  The right to sell.

I read it, Perrie. I've highlighted the statement that leads me to believe Malibu doesn't think LL's intent is malicious, but to be sure, I'll ask her.

Here's what she said...

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.

While I've got no shortage of complaints about LL, I'm not ready to call them evil.

It may not make a difference.

Right after the sentence that you bolded from Chelsea's comment she says, "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."

So, while Chelsea is providing her professional opinion overall, as a content creator she herself is not creating new content due to the TOS change and advises other concerned merchants/designers to do the same.  If an attorney is concerned...good enough for me.

Also I don't think I'm assuming too much to say that the merchants who post here regularly and thus are among the most informed on LL policies as they relate to selling within SL are not taking this case in isolation.  Just over the past year and a half or so there has been one thing after another - some "small", some not so small - that has impacted merchants, particularly those who sell on the MP, so we've become a bit more "alert" to continued changes that appear to chip away or deviate from what was in place years ago.

Edit: Typo

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I'm also now wondering if any content licensed under a Creative Commons or similar license could not be used in SL anymore.

"All Creative Commons licenses have many important features in common. Every license helps creators — we call them licensors if they use our tools — retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work — at least non-commercially."  (my bolding)

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"Wodwick" doesn't care about the content creators. We are not relevant.

In his July interview @ AllThingsD.com he gloats about how "over half of our user base has been here 18 months or less" and having "400,000 new registrations a month." Of those 'core' residents, content creators would be just a fraction.

Hey Wodwick? Just wait until those "400,000 new registrations" start logging into a world devoid of the works of us content creators! A world sterile, and barren of any creativity! What do think your resident retention rate will look like then?

Just wait until the revenue from those content creators and merchants starts drying up! I know over the past month I've cut my tier by $100/mo. and other expenses (classifieds, MP 'enhancements') by ~ L$10000/wk. And I advocate everyone to cut what they can from their expenditures LL too! 

Anyway, if you guys get a chance check out that interview (if you haven't already). It is...entertaining. Especially considering some of the other things Rod Humble said (just weeks away from this TOS change).

 P.S.

I have already sent an email to the person who wrote that interview (Eric Johnson) suggesting a follow-up article. But if anyone else cares to contact him-please do ( his email is at the top). The more attention that gets drawn to this issue the better :)

 

 

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Czari Zenovka wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:

Read Chelsea Malibu's comments again.

She is the one person here who is an Attorney and this is her field.

The original TOS already forbade uploading content you didn't have rights to.

The new TOS now grants them more rights:  The right to sell.

I read it, Perrie. I've highlighted the statement that leads me to believe Malibu doesn't think LL's intent is malicious, but to be sure, I'll ask her.

Here's what she said...

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.

While I've got no shortage of complaints about LL, I'm not ready to call them evil.

It may not make a difference.

Right after the sentence that you bolded from Chelsea's comment she says, "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."

So, while Chelsea is providing her professional opinion overall, as a content creator she herself is not creating new content due to the TOS change and advises other concerned merchants/designers to do the same.  If an attorney is concerned...good enough for me.

Also I don't think I'm assuming too much to say that the merchants who post here regularly and thus are among the most informed on LL policies as they relate to selling within SL are not taking this case in isolation.  Just over the past year and a half or so there has been one thing after another - some "small", some not so small - that has impacted merchants, particularly those who sell on the MP, so we've become a bit more "alert" to continued changes that appear to chip away or deviate from what was in place years ago.

Edit: Typo

Sure, but this can still be chalked up to incompetence. I'm not arguing whether the ToS makes SL a less attractive place to do business, it certainly appears so. I wouldn't bring anything I thought had commercial value within a country mile of LL, but not because I think they're hoodlums. I just don't think they've got a tenable long term business.

I asked Chelsea if she thought LL had malicious intent. She doesn't think so, but if they're preening for a sale, she's not ready to trust the next owner. I agree with that. I also don't think LL would survive the backlash that would come from effectively trying to hijack creator content. Someone like Stiletto Moody probably has deep enough pockets to make a royal stink in the press and the courts if LL tries something evil, or stupid.

That said, I wonder what Moody's reaction to all this is.

And pressing further on the competence front, does anyone know if LL's other endeavors are bearing fruit? After a year in the App Store, Creatorverse has 50 reviews, mostly 5 stars. Bubble Ball, written by eighth grader Nathan Fray two years ago, has over 32,000 reviews (average 3 stars). It's a teen eat company world out there!

;-)

Oh, and as for knowing the difference between being incompetent and being nefarious... I'm both, so I should know!

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Czari Zenovka wrote:

Oh that's a great article, especially since it names some top creators in SL who are taking issue with this.

I thought so too. Second Life residents ARE NOT numbers on (profit) spreadsheets, and won't let themselves be treated like dirt. I'm very proud of Second Life residents right now. 

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You know Perrie, when the  CG Texture announcement happened I immediately went out looking for Creative Commons textures as I used CG Textures for the starting points of many MESH textures. I had a nice assortment of them and then later that evening when rereading the TOS it dawned on me that there was no way I could use those legally.

The reasoning is that we do not hold the copyright to those works and we did not create them from scratch. This was talked about in length on the CG Textures thread in the Building and Texturing forum a couple of weeks ago.

We USED to be able to use creative commons textures with attribution (I usually put mine in the description field of the item) but no longer. That's if you want to be legal of course. I don't have to worry as I am in the No More Uploads program (very unofficial, you will not see TV commercials) -- although to be honest the thought of making a protest video did cross my mind in the tub this morning. Doubt that will go anywhere as I am busy doing other things.

And for anyone joining this thread late in the game and not reading the older posts (I mean well over a hundred is a LOT of posts) I have made a list of all the pertanent blog and forum posts that I could find and am updating regularly. It is here:  http://chicatphilsplace.blogspot.com/p/linden-labs-change-in-tos-august-2013.html 

Nice catching up with you guys. Heading back to creating. There are other places to upload mesh *wink*.

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Here is my prediction... just from years of observing hot LL handles their affairs and how they deal with their often major screw-ups in light of the level of protest and anger they generate from their bonehead Management moves.

This LL TOS screwup from their Legal Team is ranked up there as one of their bigger ones with a large scope of responding anger and retaliation and counter-measures against LL. 

LL is the king of making bonehead moves and even when they realize they screwed up - they tend to put their head in the sand and hope that the customer / community anger will die down.  If after some period they notice the level of customer anger is growing out of control like a wild fire and spreading into the larger online community... they then start the slow plan to fix the problem or back out of what they screwed up.

Their first painly embarrasing move is to try and explain or apologize without blaming themselves.  Well, we all know they have done that - off their official communication channels.  Likely this was as per recommendation from their bonehead legal team (dont apologize and blame ourselves and dont post on out official channels).  Then they hope this will quell the anger.

Well, as Rodvik and Sr Management have realized... it did nothing.  In fact it further angered their users as a back handed slap in the face AND it did not resolve the core to the issue.

Now that they see major 3rd party players are banning them... and that the anger has started going viral among all the SL userbase community... and that creators have pulled out content and stopped pushing up new content.... LL has to do something they DREAD DOING.... they will soon be formally announcing a new CORRECTED TOS.

LL will not call this new revised TOS a fix to the problem we all have been so angry about.  They will just quietly refer to it as a new TOS revision.  LL Management not only are slow and dont like listening to their users... but they HATE to admit they screwed up.  so they will downplay this new TOS.

This downplay of their mistake to sneak in their correction is yet another mistake they will make.  Why?  Because they have stirred up such anger out in the community that they need to send the message out LOUD AND CLEAR that...

"We made a mistake.  We apologize to all our Creator User community.  We have heard you all and we have taken clear and strong measures to address what we admit was wrong in the wording of our Aug 15th TOS."

They need to do this in hopes that they get the message out and ease the fears and anger they generated among their critical SL content creators.  They need to hope that those that banned SL will bring down their bans.

Anyway... i suspect in the next 7 days we will see a new TOS from LL as Rodvik has likely kicked his legal team and told them to CLEAN THIS UP NOW !  So they are working on a new TOS that is good for release.

Lets see if I am right.

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Chic Aeon wrote:

You know Perrie, when the 
CG Texture announcement
happened I immediately went out looking for Creative Commons textures as I used CG Textures for the starting points of many MESH textures. I had a nice assortment of them and then later that evening when rereading the TOS it dawned on me that there was no way I could use those legally.

The reasoning is that
we do not hold the copyright to those works
and we did not create them from scratch. This was talked about in length on the CG Textures thread in the
Building and Texturing forum
a couple of weeks ago.

We USED to be able to use creative commons textures with attribution (I usually put mine in the description field of the item) but no longer. That's if you want to be legal of course. I don't have to worry as I am in the
No More Uploads
program (very unofficial, you will not see TV commercials) -- although to be honest the thought of making a protest video did cross my mind in the tub this morning. Doubt that will go anywhere as I am busy doing other things.

And for anyone joining this thread late in the game and not reading the older posts (I mean well over a hundred is a LOT of posts) I have made a list of all the pertanent blog and forum posts that I could find and am updating regularly. It is here: 

Nice catching up with you guys. Heading back to creating. There are other places to upload mesh *wink*.


Hi Chic

You might want to add this thread to your list  It was the original thread…so, you can see the first reactions, including yours *wink*

 

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Building-and-Texturing-Forum/CG-Textures-Announcement-FYI/td-p/21...

 

 

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