Recently Linden Lab changed the Terms of Service (ToS), this was long overdue.
About a year ago they changed them as well and this caused quite a storm, the legal language made it seem like LL would own everything we made in Second Life and everything we uploaded to SL, even if we didn’t own that texture or item to begin with.
I am the first to admit that I really don’t understand all that legal talk and perhaps I am naive, but I think that Linden Lab does not intent to go and steal our stuff and I do think that many people responded in a way that was a bit over the top.
Nevertheless, the previous ToS was worrying and eventually also affected me because one of my favourite texture sites where I found many images I used to make things with in Second Life, now would no longer allow us to do so in Second Life.
I know that there are countless other texture sources on the internet but, without wanting to advertise them too much, CGtextures is just one of the best and biggest, in my humble opinion.
When I was working on something, I could easily find the texture I wanted on their site and now I have to spend a lot longer searching all over the internet before I find something I like and can use.
So although I am a creator who should probably be worried about my stuff beloning to LL I am more worried about how my creativity is stifled by all the extra work I have to do.
When LL announced that they had changed the ToS, I was at first excited.
The new CEO Ebbe Altberg has shown to care about what we users think, he is atypically communicative and willing to listen to and answer questions.
And I think that he learned about the ToS issues and told the Legal department to look into it.
Unfortunately it seems that the actual issues have not been solved, there still is a lot of unclarity and debates are going on all over the forums.
And to be honest, I don’t understand legal language well enough to say anything useful on the matter.
Nevertheless I decided to write an email to the folks at CGtextures and ask their opinion on the recent ToS change.
With their permission, I share their response here and I hope that Ebbe Altberg and the other Lindens at Linden Lab read it and respond, here on the blog or directly to CGtextures.
Because I fear that the ToS could still use some improvements and I think that CGtextures may have a few good suggestions.
.. 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. ..
“The revision to this section was worded in such a way that these creators expressed concern that we intended to appropriate their original creations and sell or license such creations without their permission. As our historical practice demonstrates and as we have since tried to clarify, this was absolutely not our intent.”