Linden Lab tweaks terms of service


(Image courtesy CollegeDegrees360 via Flickr.)

Last summer, Linden Lab got into some deep water with content creators when it updated its Terms of Service to grab too many intellectual property rights.

Today, Linden Lab announced that it updated the TOS, but the update might not have gone far enough. Read the full Terms of Service here.

The highlighted part in the following is the new piece:

“… you agree to grant to Linden Lab, the non-exclusive, unrestricted, unconditional, unlimited, worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, and cost-free right and license to use, copy, record, distribute, reproduce, disclose, modify, display, publicly perform, transmit, publish, broadcast, translate, make derivative works of, and sell, re-sell or sublicense (through multiple levels)(with respect to Second Life, Inworld or otherwise on the Service as permitted by you through your interactions with the Service), and otherwise exploit in any manner whatsoever, all or any portion of your User Content (and derivative works thereof), for any purpose whatsoever in all formats, on or through any media, software, formula, or medium now known or hereafter developed, and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed, and to advertise, market, and promote the same…”

Ciaran Laval notes that “when it’s read as a whole it still looks very unfriendly to content creators.”

Insert Funny Name Here parses out what the new terms mean, exactly. It’s hard, because the new wording makes no sense.

Read more about it at Living in a Modem World.


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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

8 Responses

  1.' KeithSelmes says:

    Somewhere about OpenSim 5.9 I decided not to invest any more time or money in SL, mainly because of concerns about TOS and management issues.
    OpenSim was hard work, but a better long term option, and it’s nice of LL to remind me now and again that I made the right choice.

  2.' Haw Haw says:

    Second life is not just merely ‘Purgatory Life’, exhibiting the kind of life constantly embroiled in legal-speak and corporate greed and stupidity.

  3. I clicked through to The LINAMW article and from there to the “explanation” on LL’s blog. Admittedly, I am no lawyer, but it seems clear that Linden is claiming even MORE rights to creations (of all types) than it claimed a year ago. I fail to see how this change makes matters better for creators. I still run writing events in Second life but am considering shutting those down. I worry that the writings of those in my workshops could be claimed and used by linden without consent. The dilemma for someone like me is that SL is still where the audience is. I (and others) are working to bring audiences out of SL to places where it is legally safe to create and share, but process is slow. I am really torn on how best to proceed.

    • What about holding writing events without bringing content in-world? For example, using media-on-a-prim to display text, instead of notecards or uploaded images?

      Linden Lab can’t lay claim to everything that comes in through media-on-a-prim — that would be the entire Internet!

      So, for example, you could put the documents into Google Docs, publish them to the public for the duration of the event, bring in the public URL to an in-world display screen, and then (if you don’t want to keep them public) turn off those public permissions after the event.

      Similarly, you can use Google Drawing to publish drawings as image files, and bring them in, as well.

      If you’re doing more than holding readings — say, you’re building interactive story experiences — you can do the original building in OpenSim and then upload to Second Life. SL would still have the rights to do stuff with your content, but at least they won’t be able to lock you out of your content or lose your content.

      • I am not worried about doing readings in sl. I do those in voice and never notecard what I have written. The problem is workshops in which participants write in the group and then share what they have written. Very few participants are comfortable sharing in voice, so they put what they have written on a NC or drop it into local. Just yesterday, I led a workshop in which several people wrote and shared original poetry and fiction. I have been concerned about this since the TOS were changed in 2013. This most recent adjustment just confirms what has concerned me all along. This is a fine way for Linden to drive actual working artists and writers away completely.

        • At Nara’s Nook in OpenSim, there are little typewriters or laptops set up that link directly to Google Documents. Maybe something like that, where people write in Google Docs, then share in-world?

          • I am a resident of Nara’s actually and use such a computer. It’s not the most reliable way to connect to google docs. Mostly, it’s a cool looking prop for my office on Nara’s.

            I think it would be okay for us all to just use google docs, though that somewhat detracts from the inworld experience. I mean, at a certain point, if we are relying on OUTworld sites in order to share what we are working on, why bother being INworld at all?

            Like I said, this is an issue with which I struggle. TBH, at this point, I am just waiting for HG to become populous enough to support these events. At that point, I will have no further use for SL. If Inworldz were to link to HG, that would make it happen a lot faster. In the meantime, I have my feet and Freda’s Place planted on many grids, some open, some closed.

  4.' Elfwilde says:

    LL has lost my roughly 4k a year I spent with them. I pulled out this month and moved to inworldz. Not just there tos, but also lack of good customer service among other issues.