Shooting Down a ToS Theory

There is a theory floating around that provides one reason behind Linden Lab’s recent rights grab as embodied in the new Terms of Service released on August 15th, 2013. That theory states that:

Linden Lab is aware of all the stolen content floating around in Second Life, and as a result has been embroiled in some messy and expensive legal actions as an innocent third-party and as an active litigant. Because of this past experience, they have chosen to take the reins by means of the ToS Rights section so that they can properly manage and control lawsuits and help protect their platforms from the harm caused by stolen content.

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Dancing or Boxing?

October 16, 2013 by · Comments Off on Dancing or Boxing?
Filed under: Internet Life and Humanity, Linden Lab and Second Life, The Project to Save Second Life 

In the very beginning days of Second Life, the founder Philip Rosedale worked to promote a sense of kinship among the people populating it. He seemed to have realized that people had to feel as if they were a mutual participant, a willing worker bee striving together with the management to make this new world work. Granted, the initial efforts had a lot of issues that needed to be recognized and overcome. Even so, Philip exhibited behavior that made people feel like he saw them, saw their work, and saw their necessity in the success of the enterprise.

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Testing the New Terms of Service

Before we delve into what might happen in the future, let’s review briefly the new Linden Lab Terms of Service and how it affects the operations of the Lab’s various software titles. Other recent posts on this blog that relate to the new Terms of Service are listed at the bottom of this post HERE. The full Terms of Service is now located on the Linden Lab corporate web site and is located HERE. The section that has given everyone the most heartburn is “Section 2.3¬†You grant Linden Lab certain licenses to your User Content.

In specific, Linden Lab claims rights to your Intellectual Property (IP) almost exactly as though they had created it themselves. About the only thing they did not claim is the right to register a trademark or copyright for it. Section 2.3 also neatly absolves Linden Lab of any liability should a future lawsuit arise that questions the true ownership and usage rights for something you uploaded to any of the Linden Lab services. In short, anything you upload to a Linden Lab-owned service becomes theirs to use as they wish, and if any problems arise then it’s on you. (Do not be alarmed! That funky smell is axel-grease, road grime and various forms of mud while the dark black brown gunk two inches from your nose is merely the caked debris¬†under the bus!)
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