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Chic Aeon

Please Tell Me I Am Wrong - TOS Woes

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Gaia Clary wrote:

I guess that "legal" and "reasonable" do not necessarily go hand in hand. Anyways section 2.6 doesn't sound like a practical option especially when thinking about creators who also sell (or have sold) their content within SL.

BTW i wonder if the following part of section 2.3 in the TOS is also applicable to LSL scripts:

...and otherwise exploit in any manner whatsoever, all or any portion of your User Content (and derivative works thereof), for any purpose whatsoever in all formats...

Some very interesting scenarios could emerge. But i guess that was not meant in the TOS... no ?


Don`t look at me :D

Like most people, I just want to see this rights grabbing ToS be reverted and can ask 1000 question and remarks :)

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I am adding just for reference here that Businesses have contracts with LL that are independent of the TOS.

An example would be Universities.  The person buying a SIM has to certify that they are legally able to enter into a contract on behalf of the University.  The contract therefore is between the University and SL.

However, as part of the Registration API the business has to certify that any one entering SL through their portal will be required to comply with the TOS. 

This stuff is really buried and scattered through the Wiki.  I know there is more than just the info on this page but was all I could dig out on a moments notice:   http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Registration_API

 

(Which by the way was why LL could issue cease operating letters to and shut down the third party exchanges without the 30 days notice.  LL's relationship was different and separate from their relationship with the people running those exchanges).

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While I personally agree with your idea about the TOS not being retroactive (legally anyway), or  at least READ it that way, there have been many reports of creators contacting their RL lawyers who CONFIRMED that the intent (not necessarily the legality as we won't know that until tested) is to take ALL content from the beginning.

Honestly everything I have read lately from all sorts of people including lawyers, seems to conclude EVERYTHING is covered (well maybe not homemade shapes - LOL).  Not ALL lawyers agree on that, but the majority it seems.

So Chosen, I believe, is right with not logging in.

I also believe that if you dig around you will see that the TOS for the WEBSITE has some iffy language that could be problematic. Bleary and tired and not going there again.

I WAS wondering what would happen if one felt they could not log in because of yet more TOS changes in the future (could it get any worse ? Well probably.) I am not sure that my alt has the ability to edit my objects as I sometimes used her for testing and the editing ability sort of negates that. But I will make sure she can now.

That might be helpful -- but only in some cases. Very messy.

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Apparently scripts are covered as they are "published" in SL when you click save and the list of  what is CREATIVE CONTENT includes anything published.

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Chic Aeon wrote:

While I personally agree with your idea about the TOS not being retroactive (legally anyway), or  at least READ it that way,
there have been many reports of creators contacting their RL lawyers who CONFIRMED that the intent (not necessarily the legality as we won't know that until tested) is to take ALL content from the beginning.

Honestly everything I have read lately from all sorts of people including lawyers, seems to conclude EVERYTHING is covered (well maybe not homemade shapes - LOL).  Not ALL lawyers agree on that, but the majority it seems.

So Chosen, I believe, is right with not logging in.

I also believe that if you dig around you will see that the TOS for the WEBSITE has some iffy language that could be problematic. Bleary and tired and not going there again.

I WAS wondering what would happen if one felt they could not log in because of yet more TOS changes in the future (could it get any worse ? Well probably.) I am not sure that my alt has the ability to edit my objects as I sometimes used her for testing and the editing ability sort of negates that. But I will make sure she can now.

That might be helpful -- but only in some cases. Very messy.

But that is the thing that I`m actually curious about, ofcourse they can implement a new ToS from a specific date, but is it legal to suddently claim it for all the past years where items were created under a different ToS?

To add to that question, is it even legal to do this without warning for people to close deals, remove their assets, notify clients and basically close up shop.

Lets add to it international laws, like for instance the EU ones as we like to make things complicated lol

If something like this is actually legal to do, no matter what LL put in all previous ToS`s but pure law, then I feel quite stupefied!

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Often when it comes down to the wire, what's 'legal' is what holds up in court. There have been a number of cases in the US and elsewhere where EULAs (Those agreements you click 'agree' to when installing anything) have been ruled to be invalid. But then the software company appeals the decision, and it becomes lawyer-war...

It is more complicated with international law, although in theory everyone who uploads content to US servers is bound by US law.

Its also worth pointing out again that LL claims 'non-exclusive' rights. Not much of a consolation to scripters are other creators whose work is very SL-specific, but it does at least mean they're not able to take away your rights to continue selling your work on your own terms.

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IvanBenjammin wrote:

Often when it comes down to the wire, what's 'legal' is what holds up in court. There have been a number of cases in the US and elsewhere where EULAs (Those agreements you click 'agree' to when installing anything) have been ruled to be invalid. But then the software company appeals the decision, and it becomes lawyer-war...

It is more complicated with international law, although in theory everyone who uploads content to US servers is bound by US law.

Its also worth pointing out again that LL claims 'non-exclusive' rights. Not much of a consolation to scripters are other creators whose work is very SL-specific, but it does at least mean they're not able to take away your rights to continue selling your work on your own terms.

I`m starting to dislike this cross posting lol

The new ToS might be legal and all with new items, but like Chosen`s case (and all merchants), can LL implement such a ToS that it also affects all past created content and to make it worse, with no warning about such a drastic change if they claim everything since SL`s first day now falls under it.

No lawyer here either, but some grains of commen sense says that it can`t be legal and only applied to newly created content (if that holds is another story)

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Chic Aeon wrote:

Apparently scripts are covered as they are "published" in SL when you click save and the list of  what is CREATIVE CONTENT includes anything published.

As I am primarily a Scripter with admittedly crap building skills, I have from the beginning of this issue held the opinion that Scripts are now free and clear for LL to "appropriate". Whereas they are not visible to copybotters and thus were immune to being stolen by unscrupulous users of Second Life, now that the owner of the platform has stated they have full rights to my work .. and also have full unrestricted access to the original source code .. the programming secrets embodied in my works are now subject to IP Theft.

As a result, I have stopped all modification and update activities on all of my scripted devices. I have made one change to one device, but that is a device with no potential use outside SL, is not available to anyone other than me inside SL, and embodies nothing proprietary in the form of method, procedure or technique that LL could find of value.

In the event a bug or other issue comes up that causes one of my released devices to stop working or in some fashion causes it to malfunction then I will do the right thing and update/repair it. Customer Service is a higher priority for me in that case; I believe my customers deserve to have their paid for stuff working. But I am not enhancing things, not improving things and not developing new things as I do not wish to give LL rights to anything free and clear.

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Here's another scenario.

Would LL have full rights to do whatever they want with my boats? The scripts in these belong to my partner, and I can't remember the last time he logged into SL. I can use these scripts exclusively in our boats and sell these as copy only. It's in our contract.

The animations I use in these boats were bought over a 6 year period. Some of the creators haven't logged into SL for years. I don't have the right to give SL unlimited use of them.

So, how can LL sell my boats outside SL? This is just an example of the mess they will have deciding what they have full rights to and what they don't.

well?

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Alicia Sautereau wrote:


No lawyer here either, but some grains of commen sense says that it can`t be legal and only applied to newly created content (if that holds is another story)

Even if it only applies to new content, all those full perm items such as animations, scripts, textures, mesh, sculpties etc can no longer be used in a new creation unless the original creator agrees to the new ToS.

right?

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Rya Nitely wrote:

Even if it only applies to new content, all those full perm items such as animations, scripts, textures, mesh, sculpties etc can no longer be used in a new creation unless the original creator agrees to the new ToS.

right?

Rights to older or outside-created stuff isn't theirs to claim, period. Including such stuff in your builds would be a pretty efective way to poison them against these doomsday scenarios.

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Cerise Sorbet wrote:


Rya Nitely wrote:

Even if it only applies to new content, all those full perm items such as animations, scripts, textures, mesh, sculpties etc can no longer be used in a new creation unless the original creator agrees to the new ToS.

right?

Rights to older or outside-created stuff isn't theirs to claim, period. Including such stuff in your builds would be a pretty efective way to poison them against these doomsday scenarios.

If it`s true that it`s only with new content :)

The headache lol

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Good point -- if a FP kit maker declines to agree to the TOS then everything made of his kits will not have the TOS applied to it.  Good luck sorting that out, LL.  

 

 

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What are the current facts regarding this whole issue?  I've read some articles about it, but some of the info in the quoted ToS paragraphs that I'm seeing doesn't look anything like what is on the main site if you click on the "terms of service".


Has LL backtracked on this action?  Is the IP of content creators still in jeopardy?

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Big news related to LL TOS and many Mesh Creators....

Another big shot over LL's bow that the Creators of SL are angry and scared... and wont stand around naively when LL makes such serious moves.....

Today one of SondLife's biggest names in 3D content development, Sculpties, Mesh... Gaia Clary has announced how Avastar is taking actions in response to LL's recent TOS changes to better protect their customers and send a message....

This is a big move ...

http://blog.machinimatrix.org/2013/10/03/linden-labs-changes-in-tos/

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Hey Neural -


I have no idea what or where you are reading but believe me if they would have rolled back (or changed ) the current TOS you would definitely KNOW - LOL.  That hasn't happened. And yes, while there ARE other issues, section 2.3 is the change that affects content creators the most.

You did however give me a great opportunity to post something I wrote for another blog and never got around to publishing.

Here is a look at what happened while you may have been away *wink*:

And yes I was in a sarcastic mood when I originally typed this so read it as such :D.

 

History:

Linden Lab's lawyers thought they would be terrifically smart and make one holy grail TOS umbrella style.

Linden Lab's executives, trusting their no doubt high paid lawyers and busy in so many new ventures decide without a lot of forethought to go with that legal advice. I mean "that's what we pay lawyers for" -- isn't it?

LL publishes the new TOS and folks calmly click though as they often do. Really, "how bad can it be? I'll look it up later."

The Lab is doing its OWN happy dance at all the blind faith their citizens have.

C G Textures sounds the alarm, letting content creators know what they actually signed and how their work has been "legally" hijacked.

Some websites pass along the news, other say, "oh it's no big deal really", and the threads start forming on the forums.

Linden Lab releases a public relations statement to a few select, high-profile blogs.

Critical mass occurs when a Six Degrees of Separation notecard campaign begins.

The internet buzzes with bad press; Renderosity joins with C G Textures in banning uploads to the Second Life ® grid.

A sim-packed meeting is held at the Pirat's amphitheater and the UCCSL is formed.

Some content creators continue to leave, others remain steadfast in not uploading; Bryn Oh, a powerful supporter of the arts, resigns her role with the LEA (Linden Endowment for the Arts) in response to the August 2013 Terms of Service concerns.



That's where we are to this point.

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Dr. kervorkian is a fine example, even with someone's permission you cannot break the law. Theft is theft, what's all the worries for? That little accept to the terms and service doesn't even constitute a contractual agreement. Relax people.

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A new group has formed in SL called the United Content Creators of SL  It is an open group and is a viable forum for collectively working together to let LL know our feelings on the TOS and to effect change. If you can't find the group in search, contact Kylie Sabra, or Toysoldier Thor for an invite.

 

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It would appear to me then that what is going on is Linden Lab executives have used the ToS to claim full rights to everything on the grid, and are expecting to get away with it.

In essence, this is true.  No matter how unethical it is, if the content creators and companies involved do not take real world legal action, the ToS will stick.

 

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Agreed, fully.

There are many lawyers (I don't know the numbers, just read their passing comments) waiting to be called should they be so lucky. ( I guess you need to be an attorney to understand that "lucky" part of the equation.). Class Action Suit is mentioned often and if that happens I will be happy to click that "yes, add me" button or whatever. 

And now that I just SAID that, a thought occurred to me. Would I REALLY?  I have gone through great pains to keep my RL identity separate from SL. Nothing to be ashamed of, but I value privacy - big time. And maybe that is partly what LL is counting on. I suspect we can't sign as our avatars. If that is the case, I will have to think long and hard.

Someone in another thread somewhere (too much reading) mentioned that there was a possibility that the movers and shakers in the design world might make some under the table deals with The Lab so that their work might be exempt, and  that the possibility was intimated in the TOS. I read the section sighted (down by the 11 number but don't remember exactly)  and came away completely puzzled so I don't know if it is possible or not.

Well, realistically anything is possible. The Lab apparently kept some educational discounts while throwing out others long ago. So we can see from history that they DO those sort of deals.

We need a big time mover and shaker who in not necessarily in SL for the dinero, that believes "creative people" make the world and not the platform, that is willing or perhaps looking forward to some notoriety as they take Goliath to court.

I will be clapping from the sidelines.

 

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The problem is that if the assessment of the ToS is corrrect, we do not even own our virtual selves anymore in the eyes of LL.

It may come to a point of choosing to associate your RL info, or losing your virtual self completely to a corporate machine. :(

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Rahkis Andel wrote:

Somehow, I feel like this is too dumb to be a dumb mistake, to incorrectly paraphrase you.

You may be right, Rahkis.  I'd hoped to give LL the benefit of the doubt, but that gets harder and harder each day that this TOS remains as it is.

 


Rahkis Andel wrote:

Surely, I opened my mouth too soon -- I think I can be forgiven as impassioned as everyone is over this. Granted, my opinion is unchanged, but my opinion is speculation echoing fear. Clearly, the issues of what can and cannot be uploaded (even if it already has been) is far worse than any future "competition" on LL's part.

It sounds like your hands are more tied than most, and after all I've seen of your helpfulness here on the forums and what business you must have brought to LL in this time, I can only find your situation ironic.

 

The ones actually helping SL be a lucrative and content rich platform with great user-based support are punished while those who couldn't care less keep on keeping on.

"Impassioned" is putting it midly, my friend.  While there have been times when I've disagreed with LL in the past, this is the first time I've ever felt betrayed by them.

 

I appreciate your sentiment.   Yes, it is ironic, indeed.

As much as LL gave us SL, it is we content creators who gave it the ability to endure.  Had we not brought all the content we did when we did, SL would have been nothing more than a flash in the pan, like so many other curisoties that have come and gone in the tech world.  The ONLY reason we were able to do that for SL was because we recognized that our rights were respected by LL.  That, as much as anything, was what set SL apart from its competition when it was new.  That was why so many of us came here in the first place, and that's why SL is still here.  So many others that were emerging at the time failed and disappeared, but SL remained BECAUSE OF US!

LL used to know that, and we knew they knew it.  But now the powers that be at LL just don't seem to get it at all. The new TOS is so short-sighted, so small minded, not to mention fundamentally unfair. 

 

 

Perhaps this would be a good time to mention that a couole of weeks ago, the head of marketing for another  virtual world company contacted me, after someone mentioned my name at a conference.  That company wants to know what they can do to attract SL content creators to their new platform, when it launches early next year.  I replied, "This is certainly interesting timing.  The community is very unhappy with LL's new TOS, and many are itching for other platforms to explore.  When you're ready for launch, simply make a loud point of guaranteeing creators you won't usurp their rights, and I'm sure they'll come in droves."

Out of what little remaining respect I have for LL at this point, I'll refrain from sharing the name of the other virtual world (for now, at least).  But I doubt they're the only ones to take notice of the situation.  LL simply couldn't have given a nicer gift to its competitors.

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