"Every human being is interested in two kinds of worlds: the Primary, everyday world which he knows through his senses, and a Secondary world or worlds which he not only can create in his imagination, but which he cannot stop himself creating." W.H. Auden
There's been an uproar about possible erosion of intellectual property rights in Second Life -- Shava Nerad is hopping mad! (hey that rhymes) and she and Tuna Oddfellow actuall took their light and magic show to Open Sim.
I haven't had a chance to study it further since blogging here -- but now I see -- not surprisingly -- that Oz Linden is asking contributors to the open source software project (the browser) to sign a contributor's agreement which gives Linden Lab copyright to all the work.
But it also talks about how the contributor retains the right to his own copyright, and it seems to me this is more explicit than the TOS for designers inworld.
Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can comment.
Of course, like all things open source, the LL open source project is a rip-off of fanboyz' free labour. They have no compunctions about re-selling the open source work -- as they did in selling that special browser to Electric Sheep/CBS for that big television detective show jamboree some years ago. That got a few people mad.
They can do so because of dual licensing or something... But all OS is like this. No surprise there.
EmeraldEver Kline's mermaids. Unfortunately, they are no longer for sale, but they had a good run for a number of years.
Oh, I don't know.
Shava Nerad is screaming hysterically, so that means it's probably only half or less of what she says, but still...
It mainly seems to affect those who don't make their own textures, but buy or get free the textures on various sites like Renderosity - because those sites are saying their stuff isn't safe to license into SL because it might get grabbed by the company.
The FIC on Sluniverse.com -- especially the smug creator-fascists like Chip Midnight that always wanted to turn the whole thing into a RenFaire with themselves as "makers" in charge and the rest of us reduced to second-class customer-citizens aren't worried a bit. Because they have their hook-up with the Lab, and they know that the Lab won't harm the golden goose of content creation, especially the most famous ones.
I notice Darien Caldwell is also discounting that this change in the TOS has any real meaning.
But of course it does have real meaning because before, the language was in there that made it clear that the taking of copies was only for the purposes of operating the service -- streaming the world for you to view, selling your content for you off the Marketplace, storing your inventory etc. That was considered more progressive language than most of these social media companies like Facebook have -- a war was in fact fought some years ago to get Facebook to change that language -- and Instagram notoriously didn't change that language which angered users.
I don't know if Linden Lab really would ever start grabbing stuff randomly and selling it, but it does make one uneasy because they've back-tracked from their high-water mark, and they've created a climate of insecurity -- if it isn't them, those Lindens we know, the ones that the FIC in particular has the hook-up with, but some cold new company that buys out LL and ruthlessly shakes the place down, well, then what?
My theory was that the Lindens had aspirations of creating a brave new Metaversal Marketplace where they'd start selling stuff for all worlds that imitate their software virtuality, the open sims -- everything. Or that they'd get Amazon to create some virtual worlds marketplace -- they've already experimented with distributing free and paid content on Amazon, where Jeff Bezos was an investor in SL.
Some people said it was for the sake of interoperating with Desura.
It's interesting what one former Linden said:
completely uninformed guess: this is new TOS boilerplate that allows LL
to assert a "compilation copyright" which is something they probably
should have been doing long ago. As the common carrier for the
community's content, LL has always had the implicit
right to assert this kind of copyright. Some helpful newly minted
lawyer is just making it more explicit in these TOS. (See good old
Circular 14 for details: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ14.pdf) I really don't think it's any more nefarious than that.
I'm not sure there's a newly-minted lawyer at the Lab.
And while *re-selling* is a function that LL does have to assume on the Marketplace -- and it gets a percentage for doing so -- *selling* is not something it does per se of other people's content, correct?
I remember when I went to the first Virtual Worlds Expo in New York City, when virtual worlds were still a big thing, and there were big brands spending in There.com and Philip's hair was still awesome and everything else (was this 2007?) I was startled to see a very familiar mermaid avatar on a giant backdrop on the stage where all the speakers were appearing.
That mermaid was my rental customer, EmeraldEver Kline, who made a beautiful line of mermaid skins and products. The big screen didn't even credit her, didn't even give her name. And the reason that was possible, of course, was because of the TOS. LL reserved the right to take content you made and use it in promotions of their product. So I get all that, but still...I was upset, on behalf of my customer. Not even a credit, like a Creative Commons license would insist on? (and I hate Creative Communism as everybody knows).
I'm not suggesting that LL has to pay people for these things, but at least a credit...
And I cite this incident as an example of how those who aren't in the FIC could find themselves inadvertently screwed. Something gets used to advertise the product and goes all over and everyone thinks they can grab it because it seems sort of all purpose Linden-y, like the free stuff in the library.
I imagine what will happen is that those who rely on those texture producers will work something out. There will be some special exception or some separate licensing deal or something. Most people won't care as most people in SL don't create now and don't think think about what it takes to keep their favourite creators in business.
I don't see creators leaving en masse at all. They will go on selling stuff because pretty much anything in SL sells if you just put a checkmark next to the "buy" box on the object menu -- and a price.