Monday, September 30, 2013

Second Life's Terms of Service Are Creating a Major Backlash

New World Notes has been reporting for a few weeks now that Linden Lab's new terms of service have led a number of content creators to distance themselves -- and their products -- from Second Life.  First CGTextures, and then Renderosity, have revised their own terms of service to forbid the uploading of their content onto SL.  The LL ToS, which may have been rewritten so as to allow selling SL-generated content on the Lab's new acquisition, Desura, are clearly meant to cover things from a legal standpoint in the event content creators decide to sue over the misappropriation of their work, if NWN's speculations are correct.

For the life of me, I can't figure out how LL's CEO still has his job.  Is there no sense of direction at Linden Lab?  Something tells me there isn't.  Plainly, there's no accountability there.  How will the terms of use affect the SL Whovian community?  I have a few hypotheses about this.

1.) Sellers such as Novatech, New London Systems, and Hands of Omega will have to seriously consider leaving for other grids, like Avination and InWorldz, to prepare for when this newest screw-up on the part of LL blows up in everyone's faces.  (I may do this myself.)  Many of the items made prior to the rules revision are already under the copyright of their creators, so LL's new ToS may be seen as an illegal attempt to usurp those existing copyrights.  The cost of such legal battles may well bankrupt Linden Lab and perhaps even lead to the shutdown of Second Life itself.  Whether this actually happens, what the ultimate outcome will be, and how long it'll all take to play out, is anyone's guess, but it wouldn't surprise me to start seeing lawsuits pop up soon.

2.) People who've set up Whovian-themed regions, like Olyesti sim's Three Minute City, could face the very real prospect of having Linden Lab appropriate their work for purposes other than what the creators intended.  Exactly how this could happen, I don't know and can only speculate, but it may be worth thinking about.

3.) With LL being all too happy to shut people and regions down to placate copyright-holders, the new terms of service could be abused by vindictive jerks to press grudges in ways that even a certain egotistical ass clown couldn't imagine in his craziest delusions of grandeur.

All this is just speculation on my part, and none of it may actually come to pass.  Maybe I'm just being paranoid and cynical after so many years of watching LL find ways to screw up even the simplest policies and tasks.  But still, with people bailing on SL now because of the latest foul-up, I do have to wonder.


Since I'm largely off-line while I get my living and working situations sorted out, I won't be posting as much, at least until I get fully established in my new accommodations.  I'm also re-evaluating the direction of this blog.  I'd like to focus more on critiquing Doctor Who -- the TV show, its spinoffs, and its related media, as well as fandom, conventions, and stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment