October 1, 2013

Second Life content not valuable outside Second Life

Wagner James Au and others make an interesting argument about the revised SL Terms of Service. Basically it's that since Second Life content is not very valuable outside of Second Life, what's the big deal about giving up your rights to stuff to Linden Lab?

See http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2013/09/second-life-content-tos.html

While I appreciate this POV in practical terms, it's bad precedent and has potential to undermine the core of the Second Life economy which is based on trust. Trust that Linden Lab has no interest in taking original content and selling it themselves. Trust that you can change your $L for $US or whatever. Trust that LL values its creator community and the marketplace that comes out of it. All that seems to have been TOSsed aside (bad pun yes).

It further raises suspicions about the future of the SL economy when most reasonable people see no good reason for Linden Lab doing this OTHER than trying to prepare the company for sale or making wholesale changes to the way Second Life itself operates.

The question is less about WHAT they did and more about WHY they did it and WHY NOW.


  1. Its not appropriate an appropriate viewpoint... for example we created material for our University regions and use licenced content on our private regions. This same material is used in our OpenSim and other virtual worlds. The arrival of Collada mesh and other portable formats for contents meansw we see Second life as just one platform for our users.

    We are clear where we intend others to be allowed use of the content and encourage that where we can with suitable open source, creative commons and by attribution licences, some if which are restricted to non-commercial uses by their originators.

    These cannot simply be appropriated in retrospect by Linden Labs or other companies who may acquire their assets.

    We cannot allow Linden Labs unfettered rights over such material, yet we are forced to accept the modified TOS just to access our own private regions and continue to support our users in those regions. This clearly needs fixing or complications over inappropriate future use of assets will arise.

  2. I couldn't agree more Ai! It's just a massive screw-up by the ever tone-deaf Linden Lab.

  3. I have a number of friends who are artists in RL (painters, etc.), and they have created SL galleries to get exposure to their work. That doesn't mean they are giving up their copyrights! Also, SL is not the only virtual world; there is also InWorldz, for example. If I create something for sale in SL, maybe I want to sell it in IW or other virtual worlds, too!


All thoughts are welcome.