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ToS Changes - why?


Phil Deakins
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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

Oh,
I did miss the "re-",
although
that could be due to...

Now I await your list
of four democrat celebrities who threatened to leave the US if Bush was re-elected in 2004. I think they should be more newsworthy than Pierre Salinger, as you don't consider him a celebrity.

I've never understood why people like you, upon finding they've dug themselves into a hole, grab a bigger shovel. ;-)

 

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This is also aimed at Scooter.

You are right about the ToS. I had a look at it and, about submitting content, section 1.3 says, "[...] you are the sole author and owner of the intellectual property and other rights to the User Content, or you have a lawful right to submit the User Content and grant Linden Lab the rights to it that you are granting by this Agreement  and any Additional Terms (as defined in Section 2.2 below),"

So the ToS does prohibit the uploading of anything where the user doesn't have all the rights that LL claim, which means that the normal licensed stuff can no longer be uploaded.

Nevertheless, there is still plenty of previously uploaded licensed stuff in the assets servers that LL cannot assume all the new rights over, and LL can be reasonably expected to know that. So my point in the OP still stands. It is impossible for LL to know which assets in the system were uploaded under limited license, and they cannot legally exercise all the new rights over limited license content, even when the uploaders have clicked to accept the new ToS.

What they could do, of course, is flag new content, or start a new store, and only exercise the rights they claim over that. They simply cannot legally do it with some of the previously uploaded content and they have no way of knowing which is which.

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Further, is it not likely that all uploaded assets are linked in the database with the identity of the uploaders account? In that case, that can very easily be cross referenced with whether that user has accepted the ToS. That would be as easy for content uploaded before as for that uploaded after the new ToS, wouldn't it?

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Yes, there are a number of ways by which LL can reliably exercise the new rights over only content that is uploaded after the new ToS. It may well be that they intend using user content as though it is their own but they can only do it reliably and legally with that which is uploaded after the new ToS came into force. If anything is uploaded after that, the uploaders have accepted the ToS and, if they don't have full rights to what they upload, it's their responsibility and not LL's. They would have effectively lied to LL about what rights they have, so LL would not be liable.

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Yeah, as folks have posted more, I'm starting to convince myself that LL might be able to get away with this, although there's a legal leap-of-faith here. The new ToS requires that an uploader of a freshly uploaded asset have license on that IP to permit its upload under those terms. And if that uploader does, then by uploading it s/he's granted the license for LL to hold that IP and do whatever else the ToS says they can do.

The leap is about whether LL can be held blameless for IP that's uploaded without the uploader actually having license to be able to grant LL the ToS-demanded license. Even if the uploader is responsible for the initial violation of uploading the content, LL could be held liable for subsequent misuse of the content. If LL benefits from that misuse and the rightful IP-owner suffers, LL's ToS won't help them in court...

... except in cases where they are acting as a common carrier and fully comply with DMCA. That's likely to work for running some new virtual world service, or maybe for offering a new marketplace of user content, but I think there's not a snowball's chance in hell that it would work if they sell the infringing content themselves and pocket the proceeds.

(I am not a lawyer, etc., etc.)

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I think I have a slightly different view to you, Qie. I feel certain LL could not get away with exercising full rights over content that was uploaded before the new ToS came into force if the content was only under license. After the new ToS came into force is very different, imo. The fact of possessing something that was stolen does not mean that you are at fault and can be blamed. If there is no way that you could have known the thing was stolen then I don't believe you can be held liable.

LL has stated very clearly in the new ToS that we can only upload things that we have all the listed rights to, and that excludes the limited rights that are granted to someone who buys a license for the item. If I go ahead and buy a limited rights license for, say, a texture, and I upload it into SL, I effectively tell LL that I have all the rights to the texture and I can give LL all the rights to it. The fact those rights weren't mine to give, makes me responsible and liable, and the fact that LL specifically said that I must not do that means that LL is not liable, imo. Also, bearing in mind that the SL system is such that LL cannot ascertain whether or not an uploader has full rights, either during the upload or after it, I feel sure that LL could not be held liable for exercising full right over anything that is uploaded after the new ToS came into force. They could not acquire full rights, of course, but they couldn't be held liable if they used the item in ways that required full rights, imo.

 

ETA: The publication of the new ToS drew a very clear and very black line. LL would run risks if they exercised full rights over anything that was uploaded before they were published. And LL would run no risks at all by exercising full rights over anything that is uploaded after they were published. That's my current view.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

The fact of possessing something that was stolen does not mean that you are at fault and can be blamed. If there is no way that you could have known the thing was stolen then I don't believe you can be held liable.

I simply don't think that's correct. It wouldn't be criminal, but I think they'd still be civilly liable for damages, at least on this side of the pond. By the same token, we can be held liable for losses if we use content from third parties, where that content turns out to be infringing despite the third party promising us that it was their license to grant. (But IANAL, etc.)

Also, in case I've left any doubt, I am still very much convinced of the Lazy Lawyer Hypothesis as an explanation for the new ToS. I've just been exploring whether any of the conspiracy theories could even work, as if they didn't violate Hanlon's Razor -- in spades.

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You may be right about that side of the pond, Qie. OR there may be a misunderstanding between us. I think a misunderstanding is the more likely. When I say "liable", I don't mean that the possessor of the stolen item would be able to keep the item. It would have to be returned to its rightful owner, of course. I meant that the one in possession of it, who had no way of knowing that it was stolen, couldn't be charged with a criminal offense.

In this case, it wouldn't be criminal but it still applies. If LL uses an item in ways that need full rights but they didn't have full rights, then the rightful owner could have it returned (all instances completely removed), of course, plus some financial deal according to how much LL made from it. BUT, and this is the main bit, the rightful owner would not be able to claim damages on top because there was no way for LL to know that they didn't have full rights. In fact, LL had effectively been told that they *did* have full rights They had been effectively lied to. The uploader (s/he who gave away something that was not his/hers to give away) is the one who could be held liable for damages.

Like you, I'm not a lawyer, etc., etc. So all of that is just my current opinion.

 

Note: I wonder if the uploading process now includes a confirmation by the uploader that s/he has full rights. E.g. "By uploading this file you confirm that you have full rights to it" - stuff like that.

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They would probably get in trouble if they sold all their assets in bulk to another company, as there's no way they'd be able to clean things up enough. However, if they did that because they were going out of business, they wouldn't really care, they'd be gone before anyone noticed someone else was selling their content. If it was more of an on-going service (subscribe for content access, or pay per item) then it wouldn't be much different than how any of the other pay-for-content sites work now.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

I think I have a slightly different view to you, Qie. I feel certain LL could not get away with exercising full rights over content that was uploaded before the new ToS came into force if the content was only under license. After the new ToS came into force is very different, imo. The fact of possessing something that was stolen does not mean that you are at fault and can be blamed. If there is no way that you could have known the thing was stolen then I don't believe you can be held liable.

LL has stated very clearly in the new ToS that we can only upload things that we have all the listed rights to, and that excludes the limited rights that are granted to someone who buys a license for the item. If I go ahead and buy a limited rights license for, say, a texture, and I upload it into SL, I effectively tell LL that I have all the rights to the texture and I can give LL all the rights to it. The fact those rights weren't mine to give, makes me responsible and liable, and the fact that LL specifically said that I must not do that means that LL is not liable, imo. Also, bearing in mind that the SL system is such that LL cannot ascertain whether or not an uploader has full rights, either during the upload or after it, I feel sure that LL could not be held liable for exercising full right over anything that is uploaded after the new ToS came into force. They could not acquire full rights, of course, but they couldn't be held liable if they used the item in ways that required full rights, imo.

 

ETA: The publication of the new ToS drew a very clear and very black line. LL would run risks if they exercised full rights over anything that was uploaded before they were published. And LL would run no risks at all by exercising full rights over anything that is uploaded after they were published. That's my current view.

The publication of the new ToS hasn't drawn a clear line at all. Your point about no longer being able to upload any thing we don't have full rights over makes everything sold full perm in world with texture maps for editting externally and usage in a restricted way now a breach of the ToS.

If they were drawing a clear line they would have made it explicit that they would be destroying content creation and the many businesses involved and those creators that rely on those sources. But they haven't they seem oblivious to what their ToS actually says and in denial about how far reaching it is.

That is the very opposite of a clear line.

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It seems that you didn't understand what I meant by the clear line. The line is between the stuff that LL can use freely and stuff that they run risks by using freely. That's all. Nothing more.

What was uploaded before the ToS change hasn't suddenly become non-usable, because it was uploaded under earlier versions of the ToS which didn't state that a person who uploads to SL must have the all the new-ToS-listed rights to pass on to LL. So all is well with the world :).

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Phil Deakins wrote:

It seems that you didn't understand what I meant by the clear line. The line is between the stuff that LL can use freely and stuff that they run risks by using freely. That's all. Nothing more.

What was uploaded before the ToS change hasn't suddenly become non-usable, because it was uploaded under earlier versions of the ToS which didn't state that a person who uploads to SL must have the all the new-ToS-listed rights to pass on to LL. So all is well with the world
:)
.

Now that I need full rights to upload an image the images uploaded before the ToS change that were and are sold for the purpose of modification externally and being uploaded again for use with restricted rights.... eg all the skin, clothes  furniture, vehicle part texture maps and shadow maps etc are now unusable because the ToS explicitly requires me to have full rights when uploading. Meli Imako's business model, CFD's business model appears to have been destroyed and many many more. Retexturing bikes or vehicles sold full perm will only be possible when working with the simplest of the sculpts. No more overlying shadow maps, no more working with texture maps.

Full perm rights is no longer enough under the ToS, your rights have to totally unrestricted.

I don't have the skills to make textures from scratch to have full perm permissions on them. That is why I buy textures and adapt them externally layering them together, doing colour replacements, layering shadow maps on to a pattern... simple stuff like that. A large part of my inventory that cost a lot of money is now technically unusable for the purpose I purchased it without breaching the ToS.

Lots if not all creation and building in SL is done this way.

 

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Aethelwine wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

It seems that you didn't understand what I meant by the clear line. The line is between the stuff that LL can use freely and stuff that they run risks by using freely. That's all. Nothing more.

What was uploaded before the ToS change hasn't suddenly become non-usable, because it was uploaded under earlier versions of the ToS which didn't state that a person who uploads to SL must have the all the new-ToS-listed rights to pass on to LL. So all is well with the world
:)
.

Now that I need full rights to upload an image the images uploaded before the ToS change that were and are sold for the purpose of modification externally and being uploaded again for use with restricted rights.... eg all the skin, clothes  furniture, vehicle part texture maps and shadow maps etc are now unusable because the ToS explicitly requires me to have full rights when uploading. Meli Imako's business model, CFD's business model appears to have been destroyed and many many more. Retexturing bikes or vehicles sold full perm will only be possible when working with the simplest of the sculpts. No more overlying shadow maps, no more working with texture maps.

Full perm rights is no longer enough under the ToS, your rights have to totally unrestricted.

I don't have the skills to make textures from scratch to have full perm permissions on them. That is why I buy textures and adapt them externally layering them together, doing colour replacements, layering shadow maps on to a pattern... simple stuff like that. A large part of my inventory that cost a lot of money is now technically unusable for the purpose I purchased it without breaching the ToS.

Lots if not all creation and building in SL is done this way.

 

well, im sorry here, but there are things i dont understand.

Why is so a pb for mesh creators or sculpt creators to buy textures to sl creators with skills for that, while the texturer have to buy mesh templates or maps since long time and they never cried about that ?

I mean, anyone cant have ALL the skills (or they are rare); some are great texturer or photoshopers, some are excellent in blender, some other know animations, or scritps etc...

every kind of creator need often to use other creations done by different ppl

when i create my clothes, i of course do all the part about photoshoping by my own, i also do the torturing prims by myself, BUT if i need a sculpt map or a mesh templates, i buy it to another creator WITHIN SL. I could of course use some from external source, but my ethic is to make work other creators in SL. 

have i seen already texturers crying bec they had to buy and use sculpt maps or mesh templates from other creators ? NO. What i have seen is indeed texturers not happy bec of the abusive terms of use of some mesh templates creators (and im sorry, if their business model will be destroyed i wont cry for them) acting like dictators and wanting to force us to drive our business with THEIR rules (they were some threads about that not too long ago in the forum). But nothing more .

So if the photohopers must accept the fact (and they do pretty well) they have to use other skills from other SL creators to help them in their creations, i dont see why it can be a problem for every other kind of creators.

We dont see photographs crying bec they will have to buy their animations ONLY in SL from now on.

We dont see texturers crying because we cant upload sculpt maps from outside source from now on.

We only see mesh creators crying bec they wont be able to use texture from CG texture anymore.

For me the problem with the TOS isnt here . The problem is that there is no way we, as creators, accept to be  forced  to give such licence to LL on our creations.. Here is the problem ! what they ask is just innacceptable. And on top, they forced us to take or leave since we had to agree with the TOS for login.

They didnt even took the time to point to us the changes in the tos.

and they didnt gave us tthe usual 30 days period for accepting or not.

These are the point that are the real problem...and that can unite every creators .

and these are those we have to focus on now.

and i really think we must keep focusing on this and stop with the texture pb, bec maybe some texturers will start to not like to see that a lot of ppl are shouting that they cant work without CG textures while there are a lot of skilled texturers in SL.

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I didn't fully understand what your wrote but the textures you uploaded before the ToS change are still ok to use because you uploaded them under earlier versions of the ToS which didn't contain anything to prevent it.

With the current ToS, we are prevented from uploading anything that we don't have all the rights to, so, yes, it has stopped people from buying limited rights to textures and uploading the textures. If people stay within the ToS, it will definitely change things for many creators, but that's what LL has done, and I assume that's what they intended to do.

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Thank you Phil, i was not sure i was clear. 

its a topic really passionated for me.. and i have this on my chest since meshes have been launched in SL and so some mesh creators thought they could spit on the texturers bec mesh creators were supposed to be superiors.. 

there is no hierarchy between skills... every skill is needed. and, as a photoshoper (althought i dont sell textures as themselves)  i feel insulting the way some ppl refuse to use the works of the talented texturers we have within SL.

And this is why i think it would be a mistake to follow this path and will divide the ppl united for now.  We need to focus and unite our effort on the main problem for now : make hear our united voices against the full licence LL want to force us to give to them. 

And maybe, learn a new way to work together, using all our skills... There are tons of talented ppl in SL, all different. and this is why after 4 years in SL i still love SL... not because of LL but because of all the beautiful things the creators bring to my eyes days after days.

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From my point of view, texture making is a far more demanding skill than the rest of mesh or sculpty making. However, I don't understand your argument here. In particular, I can't see exactly what behaviors of mesh creators you are complaining about.

You seem to be suggesting that mesh/sculpty makers who don't make their own textures should be happy to use textures obtained inside SL. However, most of the texturing is done by baking textures in a 3D program outside SL. Buying a texture in SL is no help unless the texture is exported. Even if that is allowed, the problems with uploading the baked texture, which has used a licensed texture, are the same. It makes no difference whether the texture was licensed inside or outside SL.  So purchasing textures inworld does nothing to alleviate the problems mesh creators have with uploading licensed textures.

It is possible, though a lot of extra work for mesh and horribly difficult for sculpties, to make the UV mapping (or the geometry for sculpties) such that general purpose textures can be used. Then it becomes possible to use textures purchased inside SL. However, there is an inevitable sacrifice in the visual quality of the mesh. So far a great deal more work, the mesh creator ends up with a less appealing product. I do try to make my mesh this way, mostly because the re-use of general purpose textures can have a large performance benefit, but if I was creating mesh as a business, this would be seen as counterproductive and a waste of time.

As for people using untextured meshes with a UV template to draw the texture on, that template is of no value in isolation from the mesh. It can therefore be made public domain without any loss to the mesh creator. Now when you use it and upload the texture made on it, that is entirely your own, as long as you didn't use a licensed texture in the process of making it. In that case you are free to upload the texture and apply it to the mesh. You didn't upload the mesh, so there are no difficulties for you in applying your texture. Do mesh makers apply restrictions to UV template use that I am not aware of?

On the other hand, if you want to use 3D software to do your texturing, with a dae file provided with the mesh in SL, you can still do that because you don't need to upload the mesh again. You already have it (unless you want to change the creator name!). This contrasts with the converse situation with the mesh creator who does need to upload his baked texture and is prevented from doing so.

So in this respect, the mesh creator seems to be at a slight disadvantage compared to the texture creator, and buying textures inworld generally offers no solution at all. When it comes to the other aspect of the matter, the protection of rights, then of course both are in exactly the same situation. The reason mesh creators are perhaps more ouspoken here is that a substantial part of their activities is actually prevented, even if the accept the unwelcome transfer of rights.

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Drongle, i think you didnt got my point.

im sorry and want to apologize for my english, its not my native language, and its not easy for me to talk about such topic in a foreign language. 

Firstly, unlike you, i dont think texture making is far more demanding skills than mesh or sculpty making. It depend the person, and it depend the knowledge. Texturing is something i may say im at ease with. I still havent tried to open my blender but from far it looks far more complex for me. Im really more at ease with photoshop. I may be wrong. I ll know the day ill start to learn blender but i wouldnt like make hierarchy between knowledges. Some ppl are naturally talented for things and other ppl for other things.

 

Secondly, about the behavior of mesh creators i cant find time for now to make search in the forum and point to you all the posts ive had to read about" texturing is easy, the real talent is doing mesh", "some creators only purchase mesh template and texture them" (yes because, texturing a mesh is sooooooo easy eh ?") etc..

or also, all those mesh template creators who sell their meshes full perms to other creators and who force you to accept Terms of service a lil in the same spirit than the new SL TOS (dont search where SL got the example ! i may point you tons of those creators and their Terms of use... and you ' ll see) who state in them that you have to sell your item (the one you used the mesh templates for, but in wich you worked about 15 days for texturing it) at a said price, or you cant use this has free promotion for your store like hunt, or group gift etc....Like if , after all, what you spent hours to create was nothing. Like if your work for texturing was **bleep**.  And if you dare to say a single word about that in a review they stalk you for days till you remove your review. Maybe you didnt saw these threads. But i did and even i experienced such things. Ive never, but never experienced such abusive terms of use with creators of sculpty. But well mesh seems to be so special.

Im sorry, but for me a mesh template is a master like for a painter. what will make the difference is the talent of the painter (the texturer). and after ive worked on it, its not the same anymore. Its MY work on a master.

Not to mention the high prices we have to buy these templates, while great quality textures can be bought for less than the 1/4 of this price and even really really more less.

A texture uploaded within LL fit already with the TOS... so you dont have to worrie about licence... you get the one the creator gave to you and what concerns SL TOS has already be done by the creator of the texture.

I create clothings. For such reason, ive stopped using mesh templates after the first tries bec ive been disgusted by the mesh templates market behavior and by all what ive read here saying that all those who were using these templates for texturing them where poor skilled ppl... sure... they cant create their own meshes ! what a sin !!! they only are talented for texturing... pfff... that's nothing eh ?

So now... what have been my surprise to see that finally all those superior ppls (im not generalizing, i know this is not the case of all the mesh creators, but the ones im talking about are enough numerous) are so talented that now they are lost bec they cant use anymore CG textures.... But i dont think you could find in CG texture website a texture already all done fiting perfectly for the mesh you just created no ? So.... what were they buying in CG textures ? Textures they can find easily within sl, that will require indeed work... but i dont know a lot of things that doesnt require work anyway. 

when a texturer buy a mesh templates, s/he has a looooooot of hour of work for texturing the mesh.

So what ? does an hour of work from a texturing worth less than one hour of work of a mesh creator ?

 

And what about cooperation ? collaboration ?

 

That said, Drongle... i can hear its a problem for the mesh creator community.. i can hear it pretty well because its already a problem for the texturer community and till now, i havent seen we recieved a lot of sympathy. 

Furthermore.... i was talking in the perspective of the fight aggainst the new TOS. We should not focus on the CG texture problem.. the problem of the TOS is far more general... is not so much about if we can upload textures from external source but far more about the fact LL force us to give a full licence to them on what we create... This is the deep of the problem imho and this is on this that we have to focus and join our effort. And this is far more federative. 

Texturers are not concerned about the CG texture problem.. but We are ALL concerned about the fact LL is stealing our creations. That was my point.

i hope ive been more clear, but not sure... Maybe Perrie or Phil who knows what im meaning bec we already have talked about that can rephrase in english more clearly. Thats really frustrating for me to not being able to express myself correctly on such topic. Sorry.

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Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

i hope ive been more clear, but not sure... Maybe Perrie or Phil who knows what im meaning bec we already have talked about that can rephrase in english more clearly. Thats really frustrating for me to not being able to express myself correctly on such topic. Sorry.

Yes! You were very clear. :smileyhappy: Mesh making is complex, that is true. But I have seen some good textures that would make even me scratch my head, on how to even begin to start making a texture that complex. For the people who claim that making mesh is where the real talent is, that seems like a sort of superiority complex. Both Mesh making and Texturing require equal amounts of talent, and passionate, dedicated people. You cant have one without the other. 

Mesh is from Mars and Texturing is from Venus. :smileyvery-happy: lol

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