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wingdDragon

TOS & Chat Logs

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Can someone give me the basic ruling on sharing chat logs.  I was told by one sim owner that the TOS and disclosures by avatars are basically just there to scare people and that it is ok to show my own private chat logs to a sim owner in the event of an issue with another person on the sim.  I want to know exactly what the rules are for this so I dont get in trouble.  Can anyone shed some light on this please in case I am faced with this particular dilemma again in the future.

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When in doubt, refer to the basic documents themselves.  The Terms of Service include not only the sections in the TOS itself but also, by reference, all related policy documents.  The one you want to become familiar with in this case is the Community Standards document, which says:

Disclosure

Sharing personal information about other users, either directly or indirectly, without their consent—including, but not limited to, gender, religion, age, marital status, race, sexual orientation, alternate account names (including account statuses, such as whether it is on hold, suspended, or active), and real-world location beyond what is provided by them in their user profile—is not allowed. Except for the purpose of reporting abuse or any violation of policies to Linden Lab, the remote monitoring, posting or sharing of conversations without a participant’s consent are prohibited.

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2 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

In short: you can repeat (copy/paste) anything said in chat.

No, that's not what it says at all.  It's quite clear: "the remote monitoring, posting or sharing of conversations without a participant’s consent are prohibited." It doesn't say, "except in chat." Things said in the public channel are conversations, just as things said in IM are. They are easier for other people to overhear, if they are within chat range, but reporting them verbatim to someone who didn't hear them is still a TOS violation unless you have permission.  This part would be very hard to enforce, so it's widely ignored (thank goodness, because there are plenty of groups that keep archived chat records of meetings).  Chat transcripts are removed regularly by moderators who find them in the forums, though, so Lindens do watch.

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The ToS is exceptionally clear and straightforward on this.  (Unusual for Linden Lab, but even a stopped clock is right twice per day!)  Sharing IM or chat logs without the permission of everyone involved is a violation, whether it's an IM or nearby chat or group chat.  If someone were to report you for it, you could get suspended or banned.  And that's the facts.

BUT!  Alyona and Fionalein are quite correct that the circumstances are important.  We hold a weekly "Deans Q&A" at Caledon Oxbridge, and we publish the chat logs from those sessions, for the benefit of people who were unable to attend.  Nobody has ever reported us for it, and I don't expect them to.  When we ban a person from COU, we share the chat and IM logs that led up to the ban with COU staff.  My close friends and I have occasionally shared chat logs...for amusement, for clarity, or sometimes to settle a dispute ("But you SAID...").

The ToS restriction is mainly there to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of information that another person related in confidence, or at least in the expectation that it would not get shared with people who were not present at the time.  If I check my radar and see that Nosyparker Avatar is nowhere in range, and I say something about her to another person (in IM or in Local), I DO have an "expectation of privacy".  And if Miss Nosyparker later comes up to me and says, "You said, and I quote..." and parrots my words back to me verbatim, I know darn well there's been a ToS violation!  Not that I'd report it.  I'd be more likely to de-friend the person to whom I'd spoken in confidence.

This particular ToS clause is probably violated more often than just about any other, and seldom prosecuted.  Even so, you are responsible for your own actions and arguing that LL shouldn't have banned you because "everyone is doing it" will be no help to you if LL decides to lower the banhammer.  My bottom line advice is:  think before you gossip!

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2 hours ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

What @Rolig Loon and @Chic Aeon say.

In short: you can repeat (copy/paste) anything said in chat. But never anything said in IM unless the other person gives permission.

No, that us NOT what I said. Please scroll back and read my post carefully. The TOS does NOT say that it is OK to copy*/paste stuff from chat. It says that you may not copy/paste conversations from anywhere without permission. It does not say "except public chat." If you copy from public chat and someone submits an AR, you can be in trouble. The fact that lots of people do it anyway does not make it OK.

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I agree with Rolig on this and never share. You can "paraphrase" the information and people have reported that you can EMAIL the info since this is outside of Second Life.  It would be good to have some OFFICIAL view on that part of the equation. 

Remember that the sim owner is simply an avatar like you. They have no real legal authority within the confines of SL.  :D. 

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What @Rolig Loon and @Chic Aeon say.

In short: you can repeat (copy/paste) anything said in chat. But never anything said in IM unless the other person gives permission.

There is ONE CAVEAT to this: TOS only applies to Linden-Lab controlled properties: Inside SL, SL website, wiki, forums, etc. So it is only against the TOS if you copy/paste private conversations to another person (directly or via a notecard, etc.) while using anything Linden Lab controlled. However, this it is still against the TOS, if you post an IM log to a third party, such a private blog, Tumblr, email, etc. -then it is out of Linden Lab's control. In which case the worst you can expect is stern "no, no, naughty" message as they cannot enforce their TOS outside their own properties.

However: sharing IMs are the germs that generate drama. I find it best to just never do that, to begin with, and it's easy if you give it even half an effort.

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Public conversations are public. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy. The TOS will say only enough to protect LL's legal butt. Now, you can "split hairs" all you want, though you can go ask any Linden. If you and I converse in open chat and others also are within chat range and we agree to share our chat with a third person, we are not expected to remove everyone else's chat from our "conversation".

TOS is not "Law", and even in "Law" there are reasonable exceptions when something is not specifically described.

Only a foolish person would this that statement in TOS applies to open chat. If you want to believe and practice this aspect, that's fine. However, I share open chat all the time. Please AR me for doing so. Let us create more frivolous work for the Governance teams. LOL

As for outside SL: I reiterate: LL can control only what LL controls. If you posted a full IM conversation on Tumblr: they can't touch you and neither will they try. Even though LL can ban you and cancel your account for any and no reason whatsoever, they aren't stupid. ~shrugs~

EDIT to clarify: I am not debating the intention and strictest meaning of the TOS; I am stating that enforcement, especially on an ambiguous subject as open-chat "conversations" is contextual and selective. And do you really think LL would suffer the resident PR (read: backlash) of suspending someone for sharing open chat without other's (in that same open chat) permission?

This is the point I am trying to make. Everyone interprets TOS a little different (specifically written that way, allowing LL wiggle-room,) my comments aren't about that, they are about what is and has always been tolerated by LL. And for what I have described: I practice it all the time (though I don't personally share IMs with others, I do know people who do - both in-world and off-site/third-party).

So I genuinely do invite you: Ask a Linden: "Does sharing open chat made in public carry the same restrictions as sharing IM with regard to all participant permissions?"

Edited by Alyona Su
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I think open chat depends a lot on circumstances... I would not consider anything shared in private group spaces "public" chat as public...

Edited by Fionalein

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8 hours ago, Alyona Su said:

EDIT to clarify: I am not debating the intention and strictest meaning of the TOS; I am stating that enforcement, especially on an ambiguous subject as open-chat "conversations" is contextual and selective. And do you really think LL would suffer the resident PR (read: backlash) of suspending someone for sharing open chat without other's (in that same open chat) permission?

It wasn't that long ago that RP sims were getting their moderators banned for sharing local chat conversations. It's also painfully easy to socially engineer setting someone up for a ban as people believe, incorrectly, that they are in the clear because everything was said in local. I've seen it happen.

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On 4/20/2018 at 5:58 PM, Alyona Su said:

What @Rolig Loon and @Chic Aeon say.

In short: you can repeat (copy/paste) anything said in chat. But never anything said in IM unless the other person gives permission.

There is ONE CAVEAT to this: TOS only applies to Linden-Lab controlled properties: Inside SL, SL website, wiki, forums, etc. So it is only against the TOS if you copy/paste private conversations to another person (directly or via a notecard, etc.) while using anything Linden Lab controlled. However, this it is still against the TOS, if you post an IM log to a third party, such a private blog, Tumblr, email, etc. -then it is out of Linden Lab's control. In which case the worst you can expect is stern "no, no, naughty" message as they cannot enforce their TOS outside their own properties.

However: sharing IMs are the germs that generate drama. I find it best to just never do that, to begin with, and it's easy if you give it even half an effort.

Incorrect, they absolutely could punish you for what you do outside their network, if they can identify you, but they wisely chose not to take that road.

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On 5/22/2018 at 1:14 PM, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Incorrect, they absolutely could punish you for what you do outside their network, if they can identify you, but they wisely chose not to take that road.

"this set of Community Standards applies to all products, services, and environments offered or hosted by Linden Lab, including but not limited to, its websites, servers, software, forums, and blogs (as further defined in the Terms of Service, the “Service”)."

If I posted a conversation on my own personal blog, on SLU or as a screenshot on Flickr there is nothing LL could or would do about it.

It absolutely does not apply to any 3rd party sites, blogs or services that have no connection to Linden Lab. It would still be wrong to post private information willy nilly IMO however.

Edited by Monderas Bristol
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