Alright, all of you armchair Second Life lawyers. Let’s turn the whole debate about Second Life’s new Terms of Service on its head, because looking at this from another perspective might be very helpful.
The question will be, what rights do you think Linden Lab needs in its Terms of Service to carry on the Second Life business as it stands today, without getting mired in lawsuits?
Not too long ago, I had a big grumble about how modern consoles essentially weren’t owned by the purchasers – since the manufacturer could limit or change the capabilities of the devices more or less at will, alter the effective market value of the device in their sole discretion and so on. It was clear that ownership of the console continued to vest in the manufacturer, by the various legal tests for property.
The Playstation 3 was originally a much more open platform, allowing you the possibility of actually running your own software on it, but then Sony took that away, and asserted the rights of ownership when anyone attempted to open it back up.
Well, the Playstation 3 is now owned by users. Pretty much permanently.