212 - Hive

Where's Dim Sum? #212 - Hive

Dim Sum watches the Lamplighters dance with their flames.

This is looking kinda sci-fi-ish. The hexagons remind me of a hive, and a hive reminds me of the Borg. My imagination is running away to a different quadrant. :D

Strawberry has a non-meme this week about the Linden Lab Terms of Service (TOS). Scroll down for more.

location: Burn2 2013

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] MIDDAY - An incongruent truth (modified)

Strawberry's memes - Linden Lab TOS non-meme

I became aware of the TOS issue in a meeting of the International Spaceflight Museum Planning Group. Someone typed out the link of the New World Notes blog post about Renderosity banning their products from being imported into Second Life. I followed that link and others and read up a little before I had to get back to work to make my deadlines.

Then last week, I received a group notice from MaMachinima about a panel of lawyers who would be speaking about the implications of the new TOS. I was about 15 minutes late, so I was standing at the border of the next sim, listening to the talk being broadcasted on AViewTV. I was too far away to pick up the information posted in public chat, unfortunately, but I got the gist of the talk. Inara Pey has a good summary of the talk with links to parts of the video.

1. Do you usually read the TOS thoroughly before you hit accept? When you're in a hurry to meet up with your lover, would you? ;) I was actually surprised about this new one, because we just had a TOS change not long before this. I assumed that this was just a minor change; otherwise, they would have given us warning. Bad assumption, apparently. And very tricky of LL to think they could easily let something this controversial slip under our noses.

2. How do you feel about the new LL TOS changes, specially from August 15th and section 2.3. I was livid. At first, I thought that the new TOS covered ALL content, including the ones that we uploaded under a friendlier TOS. Then someone said/wrote that it covered only the content that was uploaded/created after the new TOS became effective. Then the panel of lawyers said that, effectively, it covered ALL content, including those that were uploaded prior to this TOS.

To me, that sounds a lot like a bait-and-switch scheme. We uploaded our content under a different contract, then they changed the contract after they got the goods. It also sounded like we have no recourse, because another part of the TOS prevents us from taking any legal action either. We can not withdraw our work and make it exempt from this. Even if we deleted them from our inventories, the stuff is still on their servers, especially if we sold or gave away a copy of it. It's like renting an apartment, moving your stuff in, and then your landlord says, "Sorry, everything inside the apartment belongs to us now."

3. Do the changes affect you directly? I am a content creator. Even if I don't sell everything I create, I use them or I give them away. In fact,
This issue affects EVERYBODY, even people who don't think of themselves as content creators.

The avatar that you put together using different components from different designers -- hair, skin, shape, clothes, outfits, etc. -- that composition can be considered your intellectual property or trademark, especially if your look is very recognizable as you. There's a lot of gray area in this field, of course. The photos you've taken of your avatar or anything else inworld are also your IP. Words that you have written are your IP. You might  decide that you don't want to formally register your copyright for everyday things you say or create, but you still own that copyright if they are fully your original work or if they are explicitly permittted derivatives of someone else's work.

Even if you've never rezzed a single cube or uploaded a single photo or modified your shape, do you really want your favorite designers to leave SL?

4. What do you think people should do about this new change? I found out about a new group that plans to petition Linden Lab to change Section 2.3. The group is called the Unified Content Creators of SL (UCCSL). They were actually the ones who organized the lawyer panel talk. They're still getting organized and they need a lot of help.
Invite your friends and your favorite content creators to join.
The bigger the group, the more influence we'd have.

If you have not logged into SL since August 14, DON'T.

5. Are you or have you ever thought about leaving Second Life? What would you do with your time/blogs/career if you ever did? No, I haven't thought of leaving Second Life... yet. Up till now, through all LL's blunders in the past, the benefits of staying still outweighed the benefits of leaving. I *did* think of expanding to OpenSim grids since several years ago, when customers have been asking me to bring my mermaid tails to Inworldz and other grids. But there were, and still are, IP issues there too. With Section 2.3, LL lost their advantage in that sense. I've started moving my Mer Betta non-mermaid products to Kitely to sell at the Kitely Market, but it's slow-going because of lack of time.

I still believe in virtual worlds and their impact on society, but the virtual universe will definitely change, probably sooner than most of us think. With Section 2.3, Linden Lab did their competitors a BIG favor.

I was going to do a prediction of what would happen if LL refuses to change the TOS, but I'd better save that for another post, because I need to mindmap it. ;)