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Inworld Screenshot Copyright


UnicornG Luminos
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Hi, I am a language educator who has been using SL for teaching and research and published multiple journal articles reporting my findings in SL. I recently got a book project contract and the publisher would like to know if I own the copyright of the screenshot images taken inworld when I conducted teaching/research. The reason is that I have included those screenshots in my book as illustrations to demonstrate how to teach and research in SL. For example, I took students on a virtual trip to an Island or gallery museum for oral presentation. But the publisher would like to know if I retain the copyright of my inworld screenshots used in the book?

As far as we are concerned, players in SL retain copyright to their own avatars and creations, and fair use principles are promoted by Linden Labs as congruent with their principles of creativity and innovation. Is that still the current position?

Your advice is much appreciated.

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Familiarize yourself with the Snapshot and Machinima Policy.  It spells out the things that you have to keep in mind and addresses each of the questions you have posed.  The broad framework is very open:

As long as you comply with the terms and conditions below, both Linden Lab and the Residents of Second Life (collectively, “we”) grant you the following copyright licenses:

  • A License To Capture. You may take snapshots and capture machinima of the 3D content we created that is displayed in-world, and
  • A License To Use. You may use the resulting snapshot or machinima within or outside of Second Life in any current or future media.

“Use” means “use, reproduce, distribute, modify, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform.” For other definitions, see Definitions.

Both the License To Capture and the License To Use (collectively, the “Licenses”) are non-exclusive and royalty-free. In addition, the License To Use is worldwide, sublicenseable, and transferable.

And the details follow ....

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a follow on to what Rolig said, is in the next ToS clause

License Conditions

The Licenses are subject to the following conditions:

(a) Land Owner Consent for Snapshots and Machinima

If you wish to take a snapshot or capture machinima of content on another Resident’s land, then:

For Snapshots, check whether the covenant for the land prohibits snapshots. If it does, then you need special permission from the land owner to take the snapshot. If it allows snapshots or doesn’t address them, then you do not need special permission from the land owner as long as you comply with any terms that may be in the covenant

 

am pretty sure that to fully satisfy your publisher you will need to check the parcel covenant of every location where you took each of the snapshots, and to take a snapshot of the parcel covenant as a proof

if you have no record (can't remember) on which parcel you took each snapshot then am also pretty sure the publisher won't accept them

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2 hours ago, UnicornG Luminos said:

Hi, I am a language educator who has been using SL for teaching and research and published multiple journal articles reporting my findings in SL. I recently got a book project contract and the publisher would like to know if I own the copyright of the screenshot images taken inworld when I conducted teaching/research. The reason is that I have included those screenshots in my book as illustrations to demonstrate how to teach and research in SL. For example, I took students on a virtual trip to an Island or gallery museum for oral presentation. But the publisher would like to know if I retain the copyright of my inworld screenshots used in the book?

As far as we are concerned, players in SL retain copyright to their own avatars and creations, and fair use principles are promoted by Linden Labs as congruent with their principles of creativity and innovation. Is that still the current position?

Your advice is much appreciated.

No legal advice here and I doubt LL will respond although you might want to contact them directly inworld -- the ACTUAL US world that is. 

There are pertinent parts of the TOS that would apply here and there is also the photo and machinima policy. But beyond reading those an attorney would be the only one who could say.  To "me" it seems like it would be fine unless of course the region the photos were taken on prohibits photographs (few do). 

 

https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Snapshot_and_machinima_policy#:~:text=You may take snapshots and,any current or future media.

 

Edited by Chic Aeon
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