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Copyright of LL textures, avatar shape? (Wikimedia Commons)


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A couple years ago I had a CT scan of my brain, and I thought it'd be cool to make a 3D rendering of my head / brain in Second Life.

I also figured this would have obvious educational value on Wikipedia, so I uploaded the images to the Wikimedia Commons. All has been fine for a long time, but someone is now disputing that the image content is "not free" for reuse.

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CT_Scan_of_Dale_Mahalko%27s_brain_--_in_Second_Life.jpg

800px-CT_Scan_of_Dale_Mahalko

The CT control panel and the CT slices are all my content.

I don't know what Linden Lab's view is on the copyright of their grass texture and the avatar's shape.

If the avatar clothes textures are a problem, I suppose I can just fill in the avatar shape with a solid black fill to remove them from the image.

I am not expecting a problem regarding the background road / sign as those are part of a friend's community project, who works for the University of Cincinatti doing virtual worlds research and outreach.

 

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A couple years ago I had a CT scan of my brain, and I thought it'd be cool to make a 3D rendering of my head / brain in Second Life.

I also figured this would have obvious educational value on Wikipedia, so I uploaded the images to the Wikimedia Commons. All has been fine for a long time, but someone is now disputing that the image content is "not free" for reuse.

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CT_Scan_of_Dale_Mahalko%27s_brain_--_in_Second_Life.jpg

800px-CT_Scan_of_Dale_Mahalko

The CT control panel and the CT slices are all my content.

I don't know what Linden Lab's view is on the copyright of their grass texture and the avatar's shape.

If the avatar clothes textures are a problem, I suppose I can just fill in the avatar shape with a solid black fill to remove them from the image.

I am not expecting a problem regarding the background road / sign as those are part of a friend's community project, who works for the University of Cincinatti doing virtual worlds research and outreach.

 

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Refer them to LLs Snapshot and machinima policy.

As long as you comply with the terms and conditions below, both Linden Lab and the Residents of Second Life (collectively, “we”) grant you the following copyright licenses:

  1. A License To Capture. You may take snapshots and capture machinima of the 3D content we created that is displayed in-world, and
  2. A License To Use. You may use the resulting snapshot or machinima within or outside of Second Life in any current or future media.

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Snapshot_and_machinima_policy

ETA: Basically, unless the landowner prohibits it, you can take snapshots of whoever and whatever, wherever, you wish.

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The Second Life avatar is indeed copyrighted, it was purchased by LL with a license fee. LL do allow it to be displayed outside of Second Life, but the ownership is clear.

The grass texture, I don't know. I would assume it remains property of LL in the strictest sense, but the Machinima policy is more likely to apply.

Also, this is a very awesome idea. :)

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Not exactly Griffin, if you look at the first link (the page where is posted the pic) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CT_Scan_of_Dale_Mahalko%27s_brain_--_in_Second_Life.jpg

you see below the pic : 

This media file has been nominated for deletion since 14 September 2013. To discuss it, please visit the nomination page.

Do not remove this tag until the deletion nomination is closed.


Reason for the nomination: Not all objects are free (e.g. the silhouette of the man).

 

(color red is mine) so it looks like the SL avatar is also a problem.

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I believe the person objecting doesn't understand copyright law. I don't either, but that won't stop me from commenting.

It would be difficult to argue that the incidental image (it's not a silhouette) of a man in a suit is an infringement of a copyright on the textures of the suit itself. By the objector's reasoning, the cover of Wikipedia's 2011-2012 annual report contains countless presumed copyright violations.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/WMF-AR_2011–12_EN_SHIP2_17dec12_300dpi_hi-res.pdf

I see hundreds of  people wearing clothing, a man holding a Canon camera, a woman holding a Forme cell phone, etc. I doubt that Wikimedia went through the crowd examining peoples clothing tags to secure the rights to photograph them clothed.

There have been lawsuits over photography of 3D artwork and there are some grey areas, here are two examples...

http://www.photoattorney.com/photographer-defends-infringement-lawsuit-for-photo-of-sculpture/

http://www.sculpture.org/documents/scmag05/may_05/webspecs/grant.shtml

So, I don't think there's even a shred of concern here. The image is not derivative of the man's clothing, the use is fair and the objector cannot identify even a single copyright holder who's work might be infringed.

ETA: Well, I suppose there is always a shred of concern. I've no reason to believe that the people who review copyright infringement claims know anything more about copyright law than I do, or than the objector does. ;-)

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I have a rudimentary knowledge of copyright law. I have a few copyrights to my name and had a pretty intense dispute with someone who tried to steal some material I had written and ended up doing a little research into the laws. In this case, I think claiming a copyright would not work.

The first issue, which is the most damning, is you posted the image on SL. If Tom Hanks walks into a McDonalds and orders a Big Mac, its likely someone will snap his picture. If they sell that picture, Tom Hanks can't do anything about it. The reason for this is that Tom Hanks was out in public and had no reasonable expectation of privacy. If you posted a picture on SL, it is "out in public" (in a virtual community kind of way, but still available for all to see. So its possible someone took a picture of it, its visible in the background or whatever, but by posting it on SL you wouldn't have any claim to expect privacy. You clearly expected people would see it, its a public forum.

Now a different case is an article of clothing, or drawing or something created by someone. In that case, the "intellectual property" component--which copyrights are really designed to protect--come into play. Most of the things found in Secondlife,  are not copywritten. Copyrights are for artists who actually go through the process of registering with the library of congress, paying a fee and submitting hard copy (or digital copy) and getting a certificate from the library of congress. Copyright, which can cover pictures (if somehow "artistic--and I doubt a CAT scan would qualify), usually related to works of fiction. Star Trek is copy written. If you make a Captain Kirk avatar and sell it there is a very real chance you will get into trouble. You can copyright stories, poems, songs, characters--things you created.

You also have to keep in mind, with SL being a global company and LL not on US soil--you couldn't enforce anything even if it was justified.

There is a lot of intellectual property theft in SL. I've heard stories of skins being copied from merchants for DAZ and Poser--which is a very strong copy right case. In most cases, unless your a well financed company, you won't get any results. In my case, someone stole a character I'd written and wrote fan fiction with it, I had an actual copyright on the character, but in reality pursuing it wasn't worth the time or effect. The person using my material wasn't wealthy, so even if I were to sue and win I wouldn't get any satisfaction out of it. I ignored them, they moved on to something else, and outside of a few heated emails nothing came out of it.

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friscolives wrote:

You also have to keep in mind, with SL being a global company and LL not on US soil--...

What ever gave you that idea?

10.2 The applicable law and venue is in San Francisco, California.

You agree that this Agreement and the relationship between you and Linden Lab shall be governed by the laws of the State of California without regard to conflict of law principles or the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods. Further, you and Linden Lab agree to submit to the exclusive personal jurisdiction and venue of the courts located in the City and County of San Francisco, California, except as provided in Section 10 regarding arbitration.

...

11.1 The Service is a United States-based service.

Linden Lab controls and operates the Service from its offices in the United States.

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friscolives wrote:

 

The first issue, which is the most damning, is you posted the image on SL. If Tom Hanks walks into a McDonalds and orders a Big Mac, its likely someone will snap his picture. If they sell that picture, Tom Hanks can't do anything about it. The reason for this is that Tom Hanks was out in public and had no reasonable expectation of privacy. If you posted a picture on SL, it is "out in public" (in a virtual community kind of way, but still available for all to see. So its possible someone took a picture of it, its visible in the background or whatever, but by posting it on SL you wouldn't have any claim to expect privacy. You clearly expected people would see it, its a public forum.


There is no way to identify the avatar in the image. It could be the OP. The brain IS the OPs. How does this infring on anyone? It's and image from SL posted in SL.. How is that damning?  He isn't asking for the image to be taken down, someone else is.

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Griffin Ceawlin wrote:


friscolives wrote:

You also have to keep in mind, with SL being a global company and LL not on US soil--...

What ever gave you that idea?

10.2 The applicable law and venue is in San Francisco, California.

You agree that this Agreement and the relationship between you and Linden Lab shall be governed by the laws of the State of California without regard to conflict of law principles or the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods. Further, you and Linden Lab agree to submit to the exclusive personal jurisdiction and venue of the courts located in the City and County of San Francisco, California, except as provided in Section 10 regarding arbitration.

...

11.1 The Service is a United States-based service.

Linden Lab controls and operates the Service from its offices in the United States.

The main issue here is compliance with the policies of wikimedia rather than compliance with specific laws.  I will paste one below that seems very relevant.  Wikimedia states clearly that they do not allow the use of 'fair use.'

-------------------------------------

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Derivative_works

--------------------------------------

But Wikimedia Commons isn't commercial! And what about fair use?

Wikimedia Commons is not a commercial project, but the project scope requires that every single picture may be used commercially via free licenses. Every image or media file must be free of third-party copyrights.

Fair use is not allowed on Commons. "Fair use" is a difficult legal exception for pictures that are used in a certain limited context; it is not applicable on entire databases of copyrighted material.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

you can't identify the av in the image.

The objection is foolish, it is like someone objecting to a snapshot taken from a roof top of a park and someone saying " hey, I'm in that park. take down this image."

 

I understand that from your perspective the objection seems foolish.   However, the issue is whether the submitter holds copyright to all of the copyrightable content they submitted.  Restating using your analogy - It's like someone objecting to a snapshot taken from a roof top of a park and someone saying - "hey, that statue in the center is a work of art for which the sumitter probably doesn't hold the copyright."

The Wikimedia provides detailed explanations of their policies.  I've only skimmed through a portion related to contributing your own work.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Contributing_your_own_work

It was interesting to me that the wikimedia apparently would not consider Second Life "photographs" to be photographs.  I think they would call them "screen captures."   Of course I'm only guessing.  It only matters if you're interested in complying with their requirements.

 

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Pertinant LL legalese...

Copyright Licenses

This is the legal permission that you can show the festival organizers or anyone else who’s interested:

As long as you comply with the terms and conditions below, both Linden Lab and the Residents of Second Life (collectively, “we”) grant you the following copyright licenses:

  1. A License To Capture. You may take snapshots and capture machinima of the 3D content we created that is displayed in-world, and
  2. A License To Use. You may use the resulting snapshot or machinima within or outside of Second Life in any current or future media. 

And from the terms and conditions mentioned above...

(b) Avatar Consent for Machinima

For machinima, you must have the consent of all Residents whose avatars or Second Life names are featured or recognizable in the machinima. This includes avatars who are featured in a shot, avatars whose names are legible, and avatars whose appearance is sufficiently distinctive that they are recognizable by members of the Second Life community. Consent is not required if an avatar is not recognizable and is merely part of a crowd scene or shown in a fleeting background. Consent is not required for any snapshots.

 

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

You can identify a statue, it's always in the park.. You can not identify the person in that image. There is no way to prove that the complainant is actually the person in the image.

The issue, which I believe you've misunderstood consistently, is whether the contributor holds the copyright to everything contributed.  Specifically who hold the copyright to the silhouette of the man and other content. Not who the "person" in the park is.  I doubt the complainant is a Second Life resident.  It's not about Second Life.  It's about Wikimedia.

 

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

Pertinant LL legalese...

Copyright Licenses

This is the legal permission that you can show the festival organizers or anyone else who’s interested:

As long as you comply with the
below, both Linden Lab and the Residents of Second Life (collectively, “we”) grant you the following copyright licenses:
  1. A License To Capture.
    You may take snapshots and capture machinima of the 3D content we created that is displayed in-world, and
  2. A License To Use.
    You may use the resulting snapshot or machinima within or outside of Second Life in any current or future media. 

And from the terms and conditions mentioned above...

(b) Avatar Consent for Machinima

For machinima, you must have the consent of all Residents whose avatars or Second Life names are featured or recognizable in the machinima. This includes avatars who are featured in a shot, avatars whose names are legible, and avatars whose appearance is sufficiently distinctive that they are recognizable by members of the Second Life community. Consent is not required if an avatar is not recognizable and is merely part of a crowd scene or shown in a fleeting background.
Consent is not required for any snapshots.

 

It is not about the OP complying with the Second Life TOS.

It is about the OP complying with the requirements of Wikimedia.

The 'copyright license' LL and it's residents are granting may or may not meet the 'free license' requirements of Wikimedia.  A simple example would be an copyrighted image imported to Second Life.  I doubt that LL and it's residents have the authority to license the use of that copyrighted image.  So if it's captured in a 'snapshot' and ported to Wikimedia there can be an objection.

(edited to add example)

 

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Seems overly restrictive to me. By that standard, probably the majority of snapshots (screenshots) ported in any way (many are uploaded to Commons using Flickr upload bot), from SL to Wikimedia are in clear violation.

They do not seem to have considered LLs Snapshot and Machinima Policy at all and instead rely on a 10-year-old press release.

In the OPs case, I think the following might apply:

"... the artwork is not the primary content of the image or is not clearly recognizable: in that case, usually only the creator of the resulting picture (recording, etc.) holds a copyright. For instance, when taking a photograph of a group of people in a museum, the photo may also show some paintings on the walls. In that case the copyright of those paintings does not have to be taken into account." (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Licensing#Scope_of_licensing)

@Scalar: Slap a {{Second Life}} Template tag on it. Perhaps that will satisfy.

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Griffin Ceawlin wrote:

Seems overly restrictive to me. By that standard, probably the majority of snapshots (screenshots) ported in any way (many are
uploaded to Commons using
), from
are in clear violation.

They do not seem to have considered LLs Snapshot and Machinima Policy
at all
and instead rely on a
.

In the OPs case, I think the following might apply:

"... the artwork is not the primary content of the image or is not clearly recognizable: in that case, usually only the creator of the resulting picture (recording, etc.) holds a copyright. For instance, when taking a photograph of a group of people in a museum, the photo may also show some paintings on the walls. In that case the copyright of those paintings does not have to be taken into account."
(
)

@Scalar: Slap a
on it. Perhaps that will satisfy.

The Wikimedia has it's policies.  I'm trying to explain why the OPs contribution could be questioned based on those policies.  The OP may be somewhat unfamiliar with the Wikimedia policies given the reference to 'fair use.'  Wikimedia does not accept content based on 'fair use.'  If you think the Wikimedia policy is excessive I wonder what you'd think of the LL contributors agreement?

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Contribution_Agreement

 

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I was under the impression SL was based overseas, since when I had an issue with billing one time I was told SL is based in the Netherlands (or that general area), didnt realize it was in California. At the same time, I'm not sure that would matter a great deal in this case.

I was just tryng to offer some thoughts regardng what little I know about copyrights. It's a complex area, and a lot of it also related to patents, trademarks and ever invasion of privacy issues (a persons real name or image displayed.) I don't in anyway claim to be an authority, i'm simply trying to relate information as it was explained to me and if useful hopefully it will be of use.

 

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The TOS clearly states: (Underlining mine)


2.5 You also grant Linden Lab and other users of the Service a license to use in snapshots and machinima your Content that is displayed In-World in publicly accessible areas of the Service.

You agree that by uploading, publishing, or submitting any Content to or through the Servers for display In-World in any publicly accessible area of the Service, you hereby grant other users a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to photograph, capture an image of, film, and record a video of the Content, and to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the resulting photograph, image, film, or video in any current or future media as provided in and subject to the restrictions and requirements of our Snapshot and Machinima Policy. The foregoing license is referred to as the "Snapshot and Machinima Content License."

The photo in question clearly falls under this and the Snapshot and Machinima Policy.  The TOS clearly states in the prior section 2.4 that if you do not wish to give people rights you cannot display your content in biblically  publicly accessible areas.  You must keep it on a private island with restricted access.

If the OP took this photo on his own land he is within his rights to use it on wikipedia, even if everything shown was created by someone else.  If he took it anywhere else, he must have been on land that he was allowed access to, and therefore is also within his rights to use it on wikipedia.  If anything in that photo was uploaded into SL without the proper permission that is on the person that did it not the OP, unless he himself uploaded any illegal content in that picture.

 

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