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amandastan1ey

Avatar Likeness for a book cover.

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A clarification request:  The TOS appears to allow using pictures taken inworld with the permission of the account holder to be used in "derivative works"  But the argument was made that the elements, such as hair skin eyes clothing are copyright to their creators and therefore the image can't be used.  I feel that the complete avatar is a composed piece of finished art using those elements to produce a unique likeness.  The avi in question is being considered as a model for a book cover.  Is this allowed?

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2 hours ago, amandastan1ey said:

A clarification request:  The TOS appears to allow using pictures taken inworld with the permission of the account holder to be used in "derivative works"  But the argument was made that the elements, such as hair skin eyes clothing are copyright to their creators and therefore the image can't be used.  I feel that the complete avatar is a composed piece of finished art using those elements to produce a unique likeness.  The avi in question is being considered as a model for a book cover.  Is this allowed?

No one here can give your authoritative advice. 

The policy is here: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Snapshot_and_machinima_policy#.28c.29_Other_Intellectual_Property_Licenses 

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I am not a lawyer, and I am not a representative of Linden Research, Inc., nor do I speak, collectively or individually, for the creative community of Second Life.  But none of that prevents me from giving you authoritative advice! (Nyahh, nyahh, Chic!)

First:  No, you do not have to get permission from everybody who made skin, clothing, hair, etc. that the avatar is wearing.  That's just nuts, and besides, LL's Terms of Service and IP policies state that creators basically have no rights to their creations.  Don't believe me?  Go back and carefully re-read those policies.  When you create something and upload it to SL, you give LL all the rights to it.  They, in turn, give photographers the right to shoot pictures in SL via the Snapshot and Machinima Policy.  So I can do a photoshoot of a fashion show and post the pictures of all those avatars wearing clothes from famous SL designers on my blog without getting said designers' permission.

Second:  Since the image is a snapshot and not a video, you don't have to get the permission of the land owner where the image was taken, UNLESS said land owner has a statement in the parcel description that prohibits taking snapshots.  (Snapshots are permitted unless explicitly forbidden, and the other way 'round for video.)

Third:  You do not need the permission of the avatar in question to use their likeness.  This is explicitly stated in the LL policy that Chic mentioned, since it uses the words "WE allow..." and states that the "we" includes the residents, not just LL.  I was surprised at this!  So now, I take off my Authoritative Hat and put on my Lindal's Opinion Hat.  If it were me, I would get the avatar's permission to use her image.  It would help prove your legal claim if you paid them something for the use and also had a note or an IM from them which documents the sale of the image and what rights you are being given.  In the real world, you'd have your subject sign a Model Release, and you could do the same in SL.  NOTE: such a document would most likely not be legally binding, because both you and your model are hiding behind anonymous avatars.  As such, you cannot enter into a binding agreement.  If you are truly concerned about that, you should both exchange Real Life contact information and execute your agreement in RL.

Edited by Lindal Kidd
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Think about it this way... If you take a picture of someone on the street (RL), do you EVER contact the manufactures of their clothes for permission to have them in your image? Clothes and material patterns are copyrighted and often patented.

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