Comments on: Your thoughts: What rights does Linden Lab need in the ToS? Tateru Nino writes about virtual worlds, second life, statistics, culture, law, gaming, and eclectic oddities Fri, 27 Dec 2013 16:15:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Vivienne Thu, 05 Dec 2013 12:13:04 +0000 Fun.

So what´s up with the (meanwhile) gazillions of ilegally ripped from DAZ, Turbosquid and whatever else source 3D model imports which are flooding the marketplace? Does LL claim ownership of these as well? Will they transfer these to their new platform without checking IP rights? Oh uh, fun.

By: Wolf Baginski Mon, 11 Nov 2013 08:48:25 +0000 Copyright law applies to everything, and any service on the internet depends on having a pretty wide-ranging licence to copy and modify content. It’s also difficult, and risky, to delete content from backups.

What seems to ebb and flow, generally, are what might be called the exploitative rights. If the TwitBook operation moves to a subscription only model, they might need to include a right-of-sale, but if they already have a right based on provision of the service, they may be covered.

Apparently one of the elements that the lawyers have pointed to is the claim by LL of the right to act as your agent, which means that they could issue a DMCA notice. And that does sort of fit with Desura. But how do they know that you aren’t selling the same textures through another service? The history of DMCA notices is riddled with tales of such confusions.

And if LL are claiming to act as my agent, that does sort of imply that they tell me what they are doing. Which sits uneasily with their past record.

By: Knight Sun, 10 Nov 2013 07:29:30 +0000 I remember a bunch of people howling that Rodvick would turn SL into a more grandiose version of the Sims. Its beginning to look like that is the Model being followed. Let’s look at the trail of bread crumbs:
1. The Linden Burbs: whole continents that crushed many of the small builders and usurped the housing market.
2. The change in the TOS that changes the Linden$ into a “Token”. This gives the nice corporate types the ability to decide on convertibility at any time. They can take away any potential cash value without warning or explanation. Before you start howling that they cannot….let’s look at
3. A series of changes in the TOS that basically takes ownership of anything created on a Linden Research Server. There are those who have complained about the theft of content they created, only to be told that the content they are discussing belongs to Linden Research, Inc. by representatives of Linden Research, Inc. The Lab has dropped much of the effort to deal with IP thieves lately, to the point where they operate openly and post items on the Marketplace with the original Brands mentioned in the posting. The Lab has ignored DMCA Takedown Notices for items created in world, largely since May 14, 2013. The more they can dilute or muddy the origin of creations in world, the more they benefit over time.

After following this trail this far I have to stand up and think a moment about what has been said before..oh yes…someone thought they might benefit by creating for profit on Desura. UM, I for one do not trust the nice people who just stole what rights I used to have, basically under duress (the duress of not being able to retrieve my currency or my creations by denying me login), to do right by me on a different platform with the same basic TOS.

So while I stand here thinking, I remember:
4. The Lab has begun a series of Legal Actions against the smaller grids for anything they can find. Back in May they declared war on any competitors and there is little reason for them to let up.

So the Lab has crushed large sections of the economy to try to increase its bottom line, it is about to grab another chunk. Pretty soon everything in SL will be for sale by the Lab, no individual creators will be recognized or allowed. And all the while, the Lab will be trying to crush any competition outside its servers.


By: Dean Groom Thu, 07 Nov 2013 16:15:33 +0000 I agree, all digital media is simply a set of ordered binary data which represents objects though it’s ability to media and display. A virtual book is no more ‘real’ in that sense than a printed book, though the latter is generally assigned a common sense monitory value. Gamers are increasingly getting used to the idea that their game is incomplete and they should buy DLC to get ‘more’ enjoyment from it. However, in gamer land – say FT2 there is little expectation that you can ‘craft’ an object in Garry’s Mod, then sell it in the TF2 Store to other players as there is in Second Life. Regardless of the legality of a new ToS, Linden have been historically poor at explaining and building user expectations and the public/private pact has always been a cause of controversy, as there’s import/export trade of those who can craft (for profit) and those who are their market. The business rules and the philosophy never sat well together, and over time it has got more an more complex, as users become more and more aware of alternative models/examples around DLC and in-game purchases.

By: Darrius Gothly Thu, 07 Nov 2013 16:13:47 +0000 To answer directly: Linden Lab needs only those rights required to operate the platform upon which the content was uploaded. That platform may be defined as a central service and directly related ancillary services, such as Second Life and its ancillaries Marketplace, Web Profiles, Feeds and the like. All other rights reserved by the new ToS are overstepping the boundaries of ethical business. Yes, Ethical business.

This is where it really falls apart for me. Businesses of all types operate in all manners and all niches around the world. They can operate online only, brick and mortar only, or some mix of the two. But in order to be functional, they also need to be ETHICAL. That means dealing honestly with customers and vendors, operating truthfully, and avoiding the temptation to unfairly exploit oversights and understandable mistakes by outsiders. What Linden Lab has done is put forth a written document that shouts quite loudly that they are unethical, willing to cheat, steal and lie in order to make a buck, and furthermore they are absolutely unwilling to retreat from that stance no matter the destructive effects their actions have caused.

They have asked to be shut down .. no, wait .. they have DEMANDED to be shut down .. either by a steady withering of willing victims (that used to be called “Customers”) or by more rapid legal action. No matter which it turns out to be, their stated course is one that leads only toward demise .. and that’s the saddest part of all.

By: Tateru Nino Wed, 06 Nov 2013 07:49:31 +0000 That’s definitely the sort of thing. That’s one of the reasons that the Lab no longer says you “own” anything in Second Life – it’s misrepresentation.

By: Snickers Snook Wed, 06 Nov 2013 07:31:45 +0000 And now we see this. Linden Lab just lost a Class Action lawsuit over virtual land.

By: Snickers Snook Tue, 05 Nov 2013 23:17:54 +0000 Wayfinder,

Are you on InWorldz? Or some other Open Sim grid? I remember some of your sims on SL.


By: Ciaran Laval Tue, 05 Nov 2013 18:25:26 +0000 Well it would be a lot easier to answer this question if the Lab would tell people what they were up to.

As it stands they should just need permissions to run and promote the service. Running the service should be enough to extend usage to third parties if needed for the purpose of running the service.

Promotion is enough to allow them to promote the service on social media sites.

By: Wayfinder Tue, 05 Nov 2013 13:56:50 +0000 Tat, your comments get better as each year goes by. The older I get the more I respect that old book, “Don’t Sweat theSmall Stuff– and it’s ALL small stuff”.

I used to fret myself silly with LL. That’s understandable. Over a period of 7 years my group collectively (and foolishly) invested about $50,000 in that system. I tried my best to help and when that failed, tried my best to expose rotten business practices, and when that failed, moved out. That’s when I discovered that when something fun becomes constantly stressful, it’s no longer fun. And that lead to the enlightenment that when something fun becomes stressful, don’t wait until $50k later to look for alternatives.

When my group left SL and went on to greener pastures, we had a lot of adjustments to make. We went from 8 fully-formed islands, down to 2, then down to 1, then left. I had over 100k items in my own personal inventory alone; no telling how much we had collectively. We had to start on a brand new grid with nothing, pretty much as we started on SL, pioneer stage, knowing there would be bugs and policy issues and no inventory to start with. But we made that move because we saw a definite advantage in owners who were themselves users and very well aware of the SL experience from the user “kicked in the teeth several times” side of things. They allowed 45k prims, unlimited link distances, megaprims, and charged 1/4 the price of SL. Furthermore their TOS was fair, written by users for users. So we made the difficult decision. We brought with us as many as we could, but even then left behind friends, properties and inventory. They call that “cutting your losses” bigtime… and “biting the bullet”– clear through. We were dying on SL, stagnating by a price structure we could no longer afford, a policy structure that was strangling us, and a company that put making another buck over customer welfare. We gone.

So now it’s four years later. Did we make the right decision? Our group now has 50+ luxurious islands, are known as a “Cluster Kingdom” and is one of the best-known groups on the new grid. We contribute, people visit our lands regularly knowing they’ll be welcomed. We host multiple weekly events at some of the best dance venues I’ve ever visited (I love our retro HiHat lounge). We have a high-sky sim-size multi-genre sci-fi museum that’s considered one of the “must-see” spots on the grid, one of the most beautiful fantasy regions I’ve ever seen, and not to name-drop, and the lands of well-known master-level creators gracing our lands. Our regions are now owned by individual members rather than one, giving us a diversity and simplicity of management that we could never have before. With the megaprims and no-link-limits we are able to build and create as we never have before (I own a starship almost 1,000 prims in size, over 100m long, all linked in one object and flyable– smoothly so).

Most importantly, we have hundreds of happy group members that now feel an intrinsic part of our group, region owners that are happy happy happy and are truly a part of our governing / moderating body, and visitors that love to drop by regularly and take a breath of “fresh air” on gorgeous, visitor-friendly fantasy and sci-fi based lands.

Yes, the move was difficult. Yes, we’ve had to be very patient with the developing and updating and constant beta state. But at least on this grid things are getting done, bugs regularly fixed, and the founders actually listen to their customers and personally reply to missives. They make us feel like part of one big family– like it was on SL in the very early days before it became monetized (a path Inworldz refuses to trod).

So despite the difficulties and things we left behind, we have gained so much more. Personally, what I’ve gained is an incredible release of stress, no more fighting with Linden Lab on a weekly / daily basis, and wisdom in my old age about when to pick a fight and when to just move on (namely, fights are seldom worth it. There are greener pastures.) VR has become FUN again, Elf Clan members are enjoying ourselves again, and rather than stagnating we’re growing so fast we actually had to limit that growth because we simply couldn’t manage it all.

That’s what SL should have been, could have been, and isn’t. No matter how large they are in numbers, they haven’t come even close to the quality of where we are now. Their customer satisfaction and loyalty is almost non-existent. Their “enemy” levels are through the roof, more than any company has a right to claim– and for valid reasons. In short despite their profitability, in my opinion SL is an ethical and business failure. They may be taking money to the bank but their reputation as a virtual brothel and the number of angry customers they’ve generated is sad, sad, sad.

Long post summarized: The move was difficult, the move was worth it, now we’re happy and productive. Those facts make LL’s history of management a poor one indeed. When I think if what they could have achieved if they’d just shown some common sense, ethics and concern for the customer… their failure to achieve that level of greatness is a great shame.

Soapbox done now. Going back to FUN stuff. : )

By: Tateru Nino Tue, 05 Nov 2013 07:05:49 +0000 I’d punt for the 12yo MacAllan Single Malt. The 18yo would be nice, but not necessary.

By: Snickers Snook Tue, 05 Nov 2013 06:26:39 +0000 So tell us how you really feel Govnuh?

By: Desmond Shang Tue, 05 Nov 2013 06:15:16 +0000 Linden needs _precisely_ enough rights as to not to tick me off as a customer.

Which they have done.

As such, I’ve deleted all the stuff I made, permanently.

I’ll never develop content on their grid ever again. Weeeell… maybe if they walk back their service terms retroactively, and then fire with prejudice every executive who had a hand in this, after their board of directors sends me a handwritten apology and a (decent) bottle of scotch, I *might* think about it. Maybe.

Lawyers can make soothing noises all day until blue in the face, but ‘exploit in any manner whatsoever’ is not only insulting, but character defining. Who can deal in good faith with… that?

Whose personal counsel would be _dumb_ enough to recommend entering into an agreement like that with your creative content, ever, with anyone, under _any_ circumstances?

It makes a mockery of every sincere effort every Linden staffer ever made.



By: elizabeth Tue, 05 Nov 2013 06:05:46 +0000 one day when SL is under same total banner as Desura then will be better for asset creators who sell to consumers

some people have said that they should be able to restrict what they make to SL users only. i dont think thats going to happen. as it doesnt make any economic sense for either the creator or linden

like if can make a asset for both a lite viewer game and for a rich viewer game simultaneously then what purpose does it serve if could say to the lite viewer game maker they cant buy your stuff to include in their lite game hosted on Linden Desura servers

as i think also that for any Desura game (lite or rich) for which there is an interchangeable model format then those assets will only be downloadable inline ingame. same way the SL viewer works now


for people who make total experiences in SL now that are transferable to other media

i hope that eventually there will be a Desura API and framework (beyond or complimentary to LSL) to build a total online experience. so can build/compile the whole experience as a complete package and sell/rent it on the marketplace

would be cool if the buyer/user could avatar teleport into and out of that experience also


the missing component in all this TOS debate is what exactly are lindens intentions. they are definitely business intentions, so can understand why linden reluctant to comment on them

so we just keep on guessing in the meantime. same like always

By: Tateru Nino Mon, 04 Nov 2013 23:54:21 +0000 Oh, before I forget – remember that Linden Lab isn’t the only company involved in the operation of Second Life. There are third-party companies in there as well. Not all people with the Linden name are a part of Linden Lab. Some are employees of third-parties.

By: Tateru Nino Mon, 04 Nov 2013 23:48:18 +0000 It’s not that you’re relinquishing personal property rights to something that exists, insofar as it is that property is newly created by Linden Lab at your (implied) instruction. Then we go to the standard legal litmus tests for ownership.

By: Tateru Nino Mon, 04 Nov 2013 23:35:59 +0000 It certainly wouldn’t surprise me to see Desura used as a replacement for the Second Life Marketplace. The integration work wouldn’t be that much of a stretch.

By: Wayfinder Mon, 04 Nov 2013 23:32:52 +0000 Dartagan makes several good points expanding on my brief statement regarding protecting themselves from lawsuits– and is correct. There are simple ways to protect themselves from lawsuits… ways which they have already implemented (such as requiring arbitration). Mind you, nothing is 100% protection simply because the law does not allow someone to set up a contract which says “You agree to not sue me”. If a contract contains such a clause it’s pretty much ignored by the court, because criminal negligence can always be sued, as can unlawful intent, fraud and base stupidity.

Trying to use a TOS to protect themselves- if indeed that’s what they’re doing- is goofy. I will echo the statement by Snickers that if they try to use this TOS to authorize using our content on Desura without our agreement or due compensation… likely they are going to get themselves sued to the gills. And if I remember correctly– that can come to $250,000 fine per incident of copyright infringement.

If they want to play Russian Roulette with copyright law– they can be my guest. Our group is doing exceedingly well on another grid these days (far better than we ever did on SL). 50+ regions, super-charged scripting engine, far less lag, 45,000 prims per region, 1/4 the cost. Oh yeah. : )

By: Toysoldier Thor Mon, 04 Nov 2013 21:48:58 +0000 Just to clarify… when I said Peter came clean on their true intents for the draconian new TOS…

What Peter came clean with was that he admitted (in his letter to UCCSL) that LL developed the new TOS in order to “…further extend the ability for content creators to commercially exploit their intellectual property through user-to-user transactions across Linden Lab’s other products and services (including our distribution platform Desura), not just within Second Life.”

So, what ever their secret business plans were (not secret now with Peter’s email) to open Second Life content to be made available for sale from one creator to a user on other LL products, LL’s plans require they have complete access to our IP.

Since LL believes they know better on how to properly handle our IP content then we supposedly do, they seem to have made big brother decisions on our behalf. They have not consulted with this huge creator base to ask them how WE might want to participate with these plans and if so… HOW.

So since we are not privy to LL’s secret ops plans on this objective, one can only speculate based on the breadcrumb evidence LL has revealed. The released an about-face IP hi-jacking TOS that gives them pretty much full authority of our content to use anywhere they wish. They will act as our agent. They will take ZERO liability on any issues that happened with this content or how they use it. They have not consulted with any of the SL Content Creators about their plans to extend out content availability beyond the borders of SL. And they have this shiny now Indie Game Developer platform called Desura that needs many things – including a lot of content.

As many of us predicted before Peter even came clean… the TOS’s intent was to allow our content to be brought to Desura. But since all these plans were secret and the TOS was written to allow LL to move this content to Desura would our needed permission, one can only speculate that LL’s plans were to move our content there in bulk, on their own, with no say or input from the IP owners.

My assumption is that since the TOS, the LL Execs that came up with this ill conceived execution strategy have been watching the explosive uproar of fear, anger, retaliatory actions from the creator community and are quietly saying among themselves in the boardroom….

“OHH OHH… I think we might have not thought this whole plan out properly. Maybe, just maybe, we should have been more open with our plans on what we want to do with all this SL IP content that we don’t own but planned to move to Desura on our own. Maybe we should have asked the creator community what their thoughts were and how they would like to see this happen. Or at least, our strategy should have been one that did not step on the SL creator’s IP rights. We should have come up with a plan that would have been voluntary and so cool that most SL creators would jump at the chance to expand their market to Desura IF THEY WANTED TO.”

I suspect Rodvik an Co are rethinking their entire execution plan on how to get the SL content to Desura that involves the creators and addresses our concerns. If not, their plans could be a huge PR / Deployment flop.

By: Snickers Snook Mon, 04 Nov 2013 19:59:37 +0000 I have to agree with Samantha, Toy & others. This is just another example of Linden Lab treating it’s paying customers like crap.

Given Toy’s statement that LL is wanting to make content available for DESURA (without having to do any work to get it there), this has the outward appearance of wholesale content theft by the Lab.