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So apparently, being critical of Linden Lab employees, by for instance pointing out their conveniently adaptive approach to mainland customer service depending on who you are (or aren't) or whether or not you're a member of a prominent community like, say, Bay City, is now against the Terms of Service.

Sounds like somebody got his wittle feelings hurted.

 All you have to do now is say something, something factual and demonstrably true, and they can now claim libel, falsehood or whatever else is listed in that clause, and bang. You've violated the Terms of Service.

 

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Zaphod Kotobide wrote:

So apparently, being critical of Linden Lab employees,

...

Sounds like somebody got his wittle feelings hurted.

Probably.

But what the new clause actually says is:

You agree that you will not:

...

(iv) Post, display, or transmit Content (including any communication(s) with employees of Linden Lab) that is harmful, threatening or harassing, defamatory, libelous, false, inaccurate, misleading, or invades another person's privacy;

Phrased like that, it goes without saying really, it shouldn't even need to be explicitly mentioned in the TOS.

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Re-reading the TOS, I stumbled across this gem i hadn't noticed before:

Linden Lab employs a staff of designers to develop new ideas and Linden Lab solicits and receives product idea submissions from professional inventors with whom it has business relationships.

Because of this, in your communications with Linden Lab, please keep in mind that Linden Lab does not accept or consider any unsolicited ideas or materials for products or services, or even improvements to products or services, (collectively, “Unsolicited Ideas and Materials”). Therefore, you must not send to Linden Lab (even within any of your User Content that we may request), in any form and by any means, any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials. Any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials you post on or send to us via the Service are deemed User Content and licensed to us as set forth above.

So the TOS actually explictly and clearly says that Linden Lab does not listen to user feedback! But not only that, offering user feedback may actually be a TOS violation!!!

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ChinRey wrote:

Re-reading the TOS, I stumbled across this gem i hadn't noticed before:

Linden Lab employs a staff of designers to develop new ideas and Linden Lab solicits and receives product idea submissions from professional inventors with whom it has business relationships.

Because of this, in your communications with Linden Lab, please keep in mind that Linden Lab does not accept or consider any unsolicited ideas or materials for products or services, or even improvements to products or services, (collectively, “Unsolicited Ideas and Materials”). Therefore, you must not send to Linden Lab (even within any of your User Content that we may request), in any form and by any means, any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials. Any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials you post on or send to us via the Service are deemed User Content and licensed to us as set forth above.

So the TOS actually explictly and clearly says that Linden Lab does not listen to user feedback! But not only that,
offering
user feedback may actually be a TOS violation!!!

According to the TOS it is.  BUT if that is so, why would they have this page on their web site?

https://support.secondlife.com/suggestions/

The lab is encouraging people to break the TOS!  Go figure....

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ChinRey wrote:

Re-reading the TOS, I stumbled across this gem i hadn't noticed before:

Linden Lab employs a staff of designers to develop new ideas and Linden Lab solicits and receives product idea submissions from professional inventors with whom it has business relationships.

Because of this, in your communications with Linden Lab, please keep in mind that Linden Lab does not accept or consider any unsolicited ideas or materials for products or services, or even improvements to products or services, (collectively, “Unsolicited Ideas and Materials”). Therefore, you must not send to Linden Lab (even within any of your User Content that we may request), in any form and by any means, any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials. Any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials you post on or send to us via the Service are deemed User Content and licensed to us as set forth above.

So the TOS actually explictly and clearly says that Linden Lab does not listen to user feedback! But not only that,
offering
user feedback may actually be a TOS violation!!!

I can just imagine telling my customers not to send me any unsolicited ideas! Pretty much everything I make is because of some idea/suggestion a customer shared with me. 

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Harassment laws are governed by the states.  The TOS is governed by California Law.  From the California Courts web site:

 

Civil Harassment

In general, civil harassment is abuse, threats of abuse, stalking, sexual assault, or serious harassment by someone you have not dated and do NOT have a close family relationship with, like a neighbor, a roommate, or a friend (that you have never dated). It is also civil harassment if the abuse is from a family member that is not included in the list under domestic violence. So, for example, if the abuse is from an uncle or aunt, a niece or nephew, or a cousin, it is considered civil harassment and NOT domestic violence.
The civil harassment laws say “harassment” is:

  • Unlawful violence, like assault or battery or stalking, OR
  • A credible threat of violence, AND
  • The violence or threats seriously scare, annoy, or harass someone and there is no valid reason for it.

 

“Credible threat of violence” means intentionally saying something or acting in a way that would make a reasonable person afraid for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family. A “credible threat of violence” includes following or stalking someone or making harassing calls or sending harassing messages (by phone, mail, or e-mail) over a period of time (even if it is a short time).

I bolded the phrase "over a period of time".  So a one time incident is not harassment.  There also has to be actual violence or a threat made has to be credible and for NO VALID REASON. 

Note I am not a lawyer but this seems pretty clear to me.

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Trying to be serious again for a moment, That's not easy, believe me!

The chance in TOS specifies behaviour towards Linden Lab employees, it says nothing about Linden Lab as an organization.

And that is actually how it should be. It is Linden Lab that is responsible towards you. The LL representative you talk to is responsible toward LL but not directly to you. So, if you have any complaints how LL employees do their job, that complaint should be sent to Linden Lab, and not be publicized. The fact that there won't be anybody at LL to read or act on your complaint is still not the representative's responsibility.

As for posting transcripts of one-on-one conversations in public, well, you don't do that. Ever. Not without the other party's consent or at least with him/her being properly anonymized. Whether the other part of the conversation has a Linden account name or not makes no difference.

 

Some examples. If I were to say:

"Linden Lab is a make-believe company, running a make-believe world. They won the Big Internet Lottery a few years ago and have been living on that prize ever since. Now that the prize money is running out they are desperately trying to build a strategy for the future but although they have made a little bit of progress, it is clearly too little and too late, and Linden Lab should not be considered a serious operator or business partner for anybody."

That would be perfectly OK according to this new clause in the TOS, although it may count as "unsolicited ideas or materials".

However, if you said:

"Xxx Linden handles mainland land transactions depending on his mood and who he likes and dislikes. His replies to support cases are also rude and offensive."

Then add a transcript where no doubt Xxx Linden would appear rude, overbearing and patronizing.

Now that would clearly violate the new clause and rightfully so. Not only that, it would also violate common courtesy and if would be completely futile.

 

(Btw., to clear any dangerous misunderstandings: the two examples I used here are just that, examples of what thoughtless people might say. Me, I wouldn't dream of saying anything like that for real.)

Edit: Oh, and in case there actually is somebody named Xxx working for Linden Lab: sorry, I didn't know that. I just accidentally used your name as a "safe" generic example.

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Pamela Galli wrote:


ChinRey wrote:

Re-reading the TOS, I stumbled across this gem i hadn't noticed before:

Linden Lab employs a staff of designers to develop new ideas and Linden Lab solicits and receives product idea submissions from professional inventors with whom it has business relationships.

Because of this, in your communications with Linden Lab, please keep in mind that Linden Lab does not accept or consider any unsolicited ideas or materials for products or services, or even improvements to products or services, (collectively, “Unsolicited Ideas and Materials”). Therefore, you must not send to Linden Lab (even within any of your User Content that we may request), in any form and by any means, any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials. Any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials you post on or send to us via the Service are deemed User Content and licensed to us as set forth above.

So the TOS actually explictly and clearly says that Linden Lab does not listen to user feedback! But not only that,
offering
user feedback may actually be a TOS violation!!!

I can just imagine telling my customers not to send me any unsolicited ideas! Pretty much everything I make is because of some idea/suggestion a customer shared with me. 

The NDA (non disclosure agreement) that I crafted for my consulting business specifically instructs clients not to tell me business related things that are not germane to the project they've hired me for, and that I have the right to refuse and am not bound to protect information that's not germane. The reason I include this is to avoid the situation where they reveal knowledge which has nothing to do with the project, but overlaps my areas of interest, or those of my other clients. I may find myself in a position where I can't implement my own ideas for a client because another client disclosed something similar to me along the way.

My NDA places no similar restriction on me. Knowing that most companies do not anticipate this, I'm generally happy to reveal out-of-scope ideas to them... in writing. There is at least one patent out there (which I think is worthless) that I could dent, if not down, by sending a copy of an old e-mail to the USPTO. The patent would be invalidated because it doesn't list all of the authors ;-). I won't ever do that, as I have no intention of grabbing credit for the ideas I revealed. I'm pretty sure those ideas were based on the work of others. My NDA is designed to minimize the potential for people to stop me from doing what I want to do. I have no interest in stopping them, they're my clients.

I think that LL warning us not to reveal ideas to them that are outside the issue at hand is the right thing to do.

Pamela, I also happily take unsolicited ideas from anyone and everyone. But if I think there's an expectation that those ideas are not intended to be "taken", I'll ask the person not to tell me, and I'll explain why. If I were to give you unsolicited ideas (or even solicited ones), it would be with the expectation that you'd do whatever the hell you want with them. I think that's the expectation your customers have as well. They like your work and they're happy to help you.

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ChinRey wrote:

Re-reading the TOS, I stumbled across this gem i hadn't noticed before:

Linden Lab employs a staff of designers to develop new ideas and Linden Lab solicits and receives product idea submissions from professional inventors with whom it has business relationships.

Because of this, in your communications with Linden Lab, please keep in mind that Linden Lab does not accept or consider any unsolicited ideas or materials for products or services, or even improvements to products or services, (collectively, “Unsolicited Ideas and Materials”). Therefore, you must not send to Linden Lab (even within any of your User Content that we may request), in any form and by any means, any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials. Any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials you post on or send to us via the Service are deemed User Content and licensed to us as set forth above.

So the TOS actually explictly and clearly says that Linden Lab does not listen to user feedback! But not only that,
offering
user feedback may actually be a TOS violation!!!

It says nothing of the sort.

What that means is "you agree that nothing you send to us is to be considered 'Unsolicited Ideas and Materials' [which I think must be a term of art in US Intellectual Property law] and that, instead, you agree you are sending it to us as "User Content" which you licence us to use."

In other words, "If you send us a suggestion, and we decide to use it, you can't then come after us demanding royalties or licence fees or whatever."

 

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I too am not a lawyer, but I think California's harassment law is what LL gets if it doesn't specify anything in their ToS. Instead they supplied their own list of the forbidden -- including the sin of transmitting "inaccurate" or "misleading" information.

Never be mistaken nor misunderstood -- especially not at any Linden meetings!

In my experience dealing with lawyers, such wildly overstepping language is never the product of any one attorney's work. Rather, it is the cumulative incompetence of successive generations of boilerplate expansions, agreed-to by end users without opportunity to demand sane revisions.

So now, dear Linden lawyer, are you sure any of it would still stand up in court arbitration, now that it contains such nonsense?

Also note, however, that this particular mess only affects the conditions under which LL claims it can terminate our accounts without compensation. That is, it's not as if they could use the ToS to redefine legal harassment  as enforced by California.

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Innula Zenovka wrote
In other words, "If you send us a suggestion, and we decide to use it, you can't then come after us demanding royalties or licence fees or whatever."


Yes, it says that too and as Madelaine already pointed out, that makes sense. It's the old "no responsibility for unsolicited content" that's been around mugh longer than the internet.

But the TOS says quite a lot more than that too, and that's where it gets a bit... ummm... well...

"Linden Lab does not accept or consider any unsolicited ideas or materials for products or services, or even improvements to products or services"

Those are the exact words they use and there's no need for me to comment further on it. They speak for themselves.

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While it's always been the case that we're responsible for the (mis)conduct of anyone with whom we might share our account details, this bit at the end of 4.1 is new, I think:


You may not sell, transfer or assign your Account or its contractual rights, licenses and obligations, to any third party (including, for the avoidance of doubt, permitting another individual to access your Account) without the prior written consent of Linden Lab.

That is, you can't now allow anyone else to log in on your account without LL's prior written agreement.

Business partners with shared business alt accounts might want to consider their positions and how best to regularise them with LL.

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ChinRey wrote:


Innula Zenovka wrote
In other words, "If you send us a suggestion, and we decide to use it, you can't then come after us demanding royalties or licence fees or whatever."


Yes, it says that too and as Madelaine already pointed out, that makes sense. It's the old "no responsibility for unsolicited content" that's been around mugh longer than the internet.

But the TOS says quite a lot more than that too, and that's where it gets a bit... ummm... well...

"Linden Lab does not accept or consider any unsolicited ideas or materials for products or services, or even improvements to products or services"

Those are the exact words they use and there's no need for me to comment further on it. They speak for themselves.

As, indeed, do the words in the very next sentence:

Any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials you post on or send to us via the Service are deemed User Content and licensed to us as set forth above.

 

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:


ChinRey wrote:

Re-reading the TOS, I stumbled across this gem i hadn't noticed before:

Linden Lab employs a staff of designers to develop new ideas and Linden Lab solicits and receives product idea submissions from professional inventors with whom it has business relationships.

Because of this, in your communications with Linden Lab, please keep in mind that Linden Lab does not accept or consider any unsolicited ideas or materials for products or services, or even improvements to products or services, (collectively, “Unsolicited Ideas and Materials”). Therefore, you must not send to Linden Lab (even within any of your User Content that we may request), in any form and by any means, any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials. Any Unsolicited Ideas and Materials you post on or send to us via the Service are deemed User Content and licensed to us as set forth above.

So the TOS actually explictly and clearly says that Linden Lab does not listen to user feedback! But not only that,
offering
user feedback may actually be a TOS violation!!!

According to the TOS it is.  BUT if that is so, why would they have this page on their web site?

The lab is encouraging people to break the TOS!  Go figure....

In that case, it would be solicited, it would have tracking data and, since it would be sent after logging in to the TOS, it would fall under the All Your Ideas Are Belong To Us clauses. Apple has the same clause, although theirs is explained better: http://www.apple.com/legal/intellectual-property/policies/ideas.html

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

While it's always been the case that we're responsible for the (mis)conduct of anyone with whom we might share our account details, this bit at the end of 4.1 is new, I think:

You may not sell, transfer or assign your Account or its contractual rights, licenses and obligations, to any third party (including, for the avoidance of doubt, permitting another individual to access your Account) without the prior written consent of Linden Lab.

That is, you can't now allow anyone else to log in on your account without LL's prior written agreement.

Business partners with shared business alt accounts might want to consider their positions and how best to regularise them with LL.

yes agree. The bit in brackets about permitting access is new

 

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Innula has the interpretation correct -- it's not that they are saying you can't make suggestions, it's a term of art indeed and is about them swiping anything submitted and deeming it "user content licensed to us because we have to render it" and not just some possibly patentable idea that they might buy -- they want people to be clear on that.

As for the new "seditious libel law" -- it's like the sort of criminal code article in communist and former communist countries outlawing the criticism of officials as anti-state activity - it seems purely and simply a means of protection and prosecution against the inevitable outrage to occur when Sansar is opened, Old World is flushed out, and people suffer great losses.  That's why the bit about California arbitration is also stipulated.

It might be that this is related to some actual incident (some low-follow nuisance going off on Twitter -- which LL should not claim jurisdiction over! -- to Dr. Phil about porn in SL accessible to children -- a hugely misleading and agenda-driven claim) or even about the forums but I think it's more likely a reinforcement for future turbulence than a reaction to something now.

I could point out that the language is overbroad and lacks any sense of jurisprudence as to how it will be adjudicated, but the rule of law doesn't apply here, this is a club with a TOS, and once you sign this "contract of adhesion," which is how at least one judge has described the Linden TOS, then you're basically SOL. You can't complain about the rules of a club you agreed to follow when you join, because this club isn't like public housing or public transport where the real government is required to enable you to traverse or use.

It's hard to know how to react to this TOS, with just a shrug at the circling of the wagons, or a decision to stop posting on the forums -- like the kind Desmond Shang took at one point when the Lindens linked "speech offenses" on the forums with ban and loss of your land/sims inworld -- really terrible. He decided no speech was worth that.

I can't be sure if I criticize the Lindens' latest "system avatars" that I think look like meth addicts that this will be called "harassment of Lindens" because some friend of theirs has made them. I can't be sure if I express dismay over the arbitrary decisions of the abandoned land and auction program that this will be deemed "harassment." Usually governments that have to lard up their criminal codes with these kind of detailed speech crimes are weak, undemocratic, and in trouble financially and can't let the masses riot even online -- you know, like Russia.

Any fanboyz and fangirlz rushing to say this is normal, and you shouldn't threaten people or harass people as a matter of decency and civility (and possibly even law) should straighten up and realize that it's not about that -- as the language is overbroad and could be interpreted in any way they please.

Those of you unfamiliar with SL history may not know or have forgotten what a group  of land barons, led by Anshe Chung, and which included myself, put as a demand to the Lindens back in 2005. We said they should have a code of conduct. This was a basic feature of any corporation and they sorely needed it, not only to prevent things like spying on customers or harvesting private information from customers but also enabling some residents to promote their businesses at the expense of others by having Linden endorsement -- something that was common at the time. To their credit, the Lindens made a detailed code of conduct and a shorter list of principles they published, and in fact they needed it. The snider fanboyz on the forums thought that what "land barons" wanted out of the Lindens was only compensation for their removal of the telehubs or some other "perks" -- they could never understand that what we wanted was the rule of law, without which you cannot have normal business in a free society.

 

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Prokofy Neva wrote:

... I think it's more likely a reinforcement for future turbulence than a reaction to something now. 

Y'know what Prok? I like that idea .. a lot. I think you've more directly nailed the reason that anything I've read or written so far.

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

While it's always been the case that we're responsible for the (mis)conduct of anyone with whom we might share our account details, this bit at the end of 4.1 is new, I think:

You may not sell, transfer or assign your Account or its contractual rights, licenses and obligations, to any third party (including, for the avoidance of doubt, permitting another individual to access your Account) without the prior written consent of Linden Lab.

That is, you can't now allow anyone else to log in on your account without LL's prior written agreement.

Business partners with shared business alt accounts might want to consider their positions and how best to regularise them with LL.

Yes, but who do we need to contact for having this written agreement ? How can we have an email for such request ? 

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Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

Yes, but who do we need to contact for having this written agreement ? How can we have an email for such request ? 

If you're a premium member, it might be a good idea to contact Live Help, now that it's staffed by Real Lindens™ again, and ask them for their advice.

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

... now that it's staffed by Real Lindens
™ again ...

Yes, life support has improved a lot recently.

But I think it's important to say that it's not because of the quality of the people there, that has always been very high, but because they now have the tools and communication channels they need to do their job properly. There was a time the only thing the people at live support could do was give advice. If it was a problem that required action from LL's side, all they could do was open a support case and wait for it to be processed.

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