If you are a builder in Second Life you depend on finding nice textures on the internet.

We search for hours to get that right shade of plaster, the perfect bit of fabric or the brick wall that is not too dirty but also not too clean.

Especially if you want to build something unique and detailed, this costs a lot of time and involves much work.

Of course, many images on the internet can not be used because of copyrights or other user restrictions.

But luckily there are also websites where you can find tons of nice textures you can use in SL.

This is now about to become even harder.

On the 15th of last month, Linden Lab changed their Terms of Use in a way that will worry

many creators and those who previously gladly allowed anyone to use their textures in SL.

By uploading anything to SL, it becomes LL’s property.

It is of course unlikely that they will start to sell it or make money from our little houses

and crazy wallpaper designs, but it is scary that they own everything we make.

I quote;

2.3 You grant Linden Lab certain licenses to your User Content.

[..]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, sell, re-sell, sublicense (through multiple levels), modify, display, publicly perform, transmit, publish, broadcast, translate, make derivative works of, 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. You agree that the license includes the right to copy, analyze and use any of your Content as Linden Lab may deem necessary or desirable for purposes of debugging, testing, or providing support or development services in connection with the Service and future improvements to the Service.[..]

In short; whatever you upload, they can do with whatever they want.

Previously Linden Lab only had permission to use our stuff in Second Life, which is reasonable.

We know it is unlikely and won’t happen, but in theory we now give them permission to sell our textures and creations.

Most SL creators will not feel comfortable with the new TOS, but well, so be it.

It isn’t big enough a problem to stop our Second Lives.

But you may see that for websites and companies who make a living selling or offering textures on the internet, are very worried about this.

Some of the bigger sites are already changing their licenses, telling us that it is no longer allowed to use any of their textures in Second Life, even the ones that you heavily edit.

The site I use for almost all my textures has also done this.

Because Linden Lab now claims unlimited redistribution rights for any uploaded content, these websites now put these new restrictions into place.

Some sites have contacted Linden Lab about the problem, trying to find a solution, but didn’t get anywhere.

I hope that Linden Lab realises that this is a big problem that damages one of the most important parts of Second Life; creativity.

Of course some people will continue to use textures they shouldn’t and it is unlikely that someone will actually come and check in your sim and then take legal action, but for those of us who take this stuff serious, it is rather annoying and scary.

I am sure that Linden Lab does not want to sell our stuff or other people’s textures, so I hope that they can get their legal team to take a new look at the Tos, talk to the owners of these texture websites and together find a solution.