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Kylie Sabra, curator of the Rose Art Galleries, winner of the 2012 Avi Choice Award for Second Life’s Favorite Art Gallery, is no longer uploading her original art to Second Life — and warning other artists about the issue.
“I will remain as curator, but feel it is my duty to inform fellow creators of the risk they take in uploading their precious work,” she said in a blog post.
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“The previous Second Life TOS was appropriate and reasonable: when you uploaded your work, you gave Linden Lab rights to use it in Second Life and not much more.
With their latest TOS update they go way beyond what is reasonable.” As of September 6, users were no longer allowed to upload textures or meshes or other content created with CG Textures images to Second Life, but could continue using images previously uploaded.
“We regret that our intention in revising our Terms of Service to streamline our business may have been misconstrued by some as an attempt to appropriate Second Life residents’ original content.” However, the actual Terms of Service have not yet been changed to reflect that clarification.
As a result, some content distributors have already changed their license terms to prohibit the use of their content in Second Life.
Regions on Second Life are going black, creators pulling out, Renderosity and CG Textures forbidding the upload of their content to Second Life, and a new survey of content creators indicates they expect things to get worse, while Open Sim grids stand ready to welcome another crop of fleeing content creators.
It all started in mid-August, Linden Lab changed its terms of service, and forced users to agree to it in order to continue accessing Second Life.
“If more quality artists choose not to risk loss or misuse of their work and, consequently, refuse to upload new pieces, I’m sure I can’t say what the future holds for art in Second Life.” Open Sim grids all set their own terms of service, and most if not all are much friendlier towards creators and their content rights.
“In light of the recent backlash against Second Life’s terms of service changes it’s important to point out that Kitely respects content creators’ copyrights and we claim no ownership or control over any content submitted, posted or displayed by merchants on or through Kitely,” said one such grid owner, Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner.
Under the new terms, Linden Lab gets the rights to do anything it wants with uploaded content. for any purpose whatsoever in all formats, on or through any media, software, formula or medium now known or hereafter developed.” And that includes the right to “sell, re-sell, sublicense, modify, display…” and “…make derivative works of.” Second Life spokesman Peter Gray sent a statement to New World Notes and Living in a Modern World saying that people who read the new terms as a content grab were mistaken.
Not just within the Second Life platform, to allow residents to use the content. “Linden Lab respects the proprietary rights of Second Life’s content creators,” he said.
“I encourage other creators to turn their sims dark too, nothing but black and a notecard giver explaining the new TOS and why we have left nothing behind but a protest.” Open Sim might benefit, as it has from other Linden Lab missteps in the past.