Monday, October 07, 2013

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Linden Lab ToS Survey Results: Majority of Respondents Have Stopped Created/Selling Second Life Content

Second Life ToS Survey

Here's the results to last week's survey of Second Life users on New World Notes regarding Linden Lab's new Terms of Service, which claims rights over "all or any portion of your User Content (and derivative works thereof), for any purpose whatsoever in all formats". With 266 responses, a relative majority (45%) said the ToS has caused them to stop created or selling SL content. Personally I'm pretty surprised by these results, because they suggest concern over the ToS which is actually affecting user behavior. Often, a Linden Lab policy change causes drama and protest, but has little impact on activity. Apparently not so in this case.

Also worth noting: Some of the 12% of respondents who chose "Other" also basically belong in the"stopped created/selling" category:

"I have not stopped selling," one of the "Other" respondents, Darrius Gothly, explained. "The selection of products that was available before the revised ToS is the same selection available now. However I have stopped uploading new content, stopped a project that was underway, and diverted my creative efforts toward another platform. Until such time as Linden Lab revises the ToS to limit their rights to use solely for the operation of the SL Platform, my new behavior will not change." 

A couple weeks ago, I asked Linden Lab if they planned to change the wording of their ToS to reassure SL content creators, and have not received a reply.

Please share this post with people concerned about Linden Lab's ToS:

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Ajax Manatiso

I'm just being fussy I know, but 45% is not a majority. It would have to be slightly over 50%

Remington Aries

it is correct. 45% is the largest section of views posted. I think you are mixing viewpoints with fractions of 100%

I am one of the 45% myself.

It should be noted that there is a vast difference between what Linden Labs may or may not intend to do, and what the TOS *Allows* them to do.

I don't use legal advice for hobbies, but in my work I do, and these terms leave no room for compromise. Get your stuff out or lose control of it.

zzpearlbottom

Damage done to Users trust, can LL afford that again and again? It looks like it can!

zzpearlbottom

Cause we know, we the community, that SL is much more then a business!
http://metaversesailing.net/2013/10/07/return-to-fastnet/
And that there where Linden and hopeful they still are, that know that as well!

Timo Gufler

What makes the situation even more disgusting, is that LL doesn't react or comment on the situation, but evidently just watches the consequences quietly. They keep on abusing users' rights, as long as they think, that there is no threat to their own business!

zzpearlbottom

http://monaeberhardt.wordpress.com/
Someome is doing a much better job then them , explaining , point by point and its worth reading, sometimes panic is not the best answer!

frankD

this result says a lot about the readers of this blog and how this campaign has affected them. taking a look at the marketplace all important names are still there, creating and selling. but admit LL should somehow "whatsoever" comment on their view regarding tos to finally let the users know what the lab wants

Ajax Manatiso

Remington, you are thinking of a plurality. A plurality would be the largest subset of the whole. A majority is always more than 50% of the whole.

2103

a couple of points:

1. I think this survey was seriously flawed, I HIGHLY doubt 260+ creators/designers did the survey to begin with, I'm going to estimate maybe 10% of people who did the poll are designers/creators (the other 90% are your readers).

2. I've seen one designer, who I'd consider a major player, say "as of now, I'm not concerned"

3. Those designers who have made comments, in this thread, and other threads pertaining to the new TOS, I've flat out never heard of, never seen their product in SL, or its VERY dated stuff when I google their name and look at their marketplace items. DATED!

4. I said this on another one of your new TOS posts, when I see one of the 8 or so major players in SL get panicky, then I'll worry.

Iggy

frankD may be correct about now the results reflect NWN readership. Yet Hamlet's blog is widely followed, so it may be more representative of a larger population.

Meanwhile, the not-so-good ship Metaverse lists further (40 sims went dark in the past week). Before it heels over and sinks, LL needs to do something to get it back level. That could begin by pulling this TOS change, as they did on the prim tax years back, and that would help in shoring up LL's community of stalwarts. LL won't reduce tier, so they might at least show those paying their bills that they value their creativity and hard work.

Ezra

With Second Life losing tens of regions a week, even 0.1% of creators being turned off of Second Life by this is terrible.

The biggest issue here is Linden Lab sorely needs to be doing positive, growth-oriented things for Second Life that actually succeed. Second Life doesn't need nicks and scrapes of any amount of damage because Second Life is slowly bleeding away already. There's already been 1,300+ private regions lost since the beginning of the year.

Unfortunately though, the buck stops no where at Linden Lab. The CEO doesn't engage the community in any matters important to them like this. How anyone appreciates this guy more than M, who at least blogged regularly, I have no idea.

2103

@ Ezra.. we are beating the land dead horse again, what does it have to do with the new TOS, oldie arguement, not pertaining to the post.

Ezra

@2013

If you don't know that there's a direct relationship between land and content creators then you don't know a lot about Second Life. What's land without content?

Also, hilarious that you think dwindling land is a "dead horse" issue. I guess it is if you don't mind a Second Life future of only abandoned mainland, Linden Realms, Wilderness and other Linden Lab owned regions. That's the direction we're headed unless private region counts start going up, and that's a fact, not some oldbie's opinion.

Sebastian Fitzhugh

Why shell out money for virtual land when there's the marketplace? You can just build in public sandboxes, upload your content directly to the marketplace (no magic box prims necessary) and that is that. Why pay hundreds of $ a month on top of the $1k LL asks for up front? It's just an added cost less and less folks can afford.

That is what's killing SL. Finishing it off will be the new terms of service that claim rights over all uploaded content. But the thing of that is that lots of that stuff is already under copyright, so the new TOS could be viewed as an (illegal?) attempt to take away folks's copyrights by forcing them to hand over all rights to their created content as a condition of using SL. Can you see the lawsuits waiting to hatch out of THAT bad egg?

Just when you think LL is pulling its head out of its @$$ by bringing back the nonprofit/educator discount, they go and pull a fool stunt like this. And then they wonder why they keep losing regions left and right.

Here's what LL needs to do to reverse region loss, if they really want to (and I'm not too sure they do):

1 - Halve prices across the board. Let the nonprofits, educators and land barons keep their discounts so that passes on to their tenants. Lower the initial startup fee for getting a region by half, too. For people who buy multiple regions, give 'em an extra discount the more regions they purchase.

2 - Encourage sellers to maintain inworld stores by offering marketplace sellers rewards for maintaining an inworld presence. Right now there's no incentive to have inworld stores because it's so damn expensive for virtual land space, and the changes in the marketplace only encourage sellers to drop their inworld stores to save themselves cash. Maybe sellers who have stores on both the marketplace website and inworld can get an extra discount that can be applied for, contingent on having a certain size inventory so everybody doesn't end up abusing the system.

3 - Rewrite the TOS so that previously copyrighted material is protected, and make it clear that LL is not assuming rights over other people's copyrighted work.

These are some basic steps LL can take to make SL a virtual world folks want to come (back) to, and keep coming back. If LL ain't serious about salvaging SL or itself, then it ought to say so and shut the grid down now and save everybody the headaches when LL finally goes bankrupt.

Metacam Oh

"Personally I'm pretty surprised by these results, because they suggest concern over the ToS which is actually affecting user behavior."

Hamlet, why do you continue to be shocked over this. Imagine if typepad updated its TOS and said if you continue to publish blog posts using Typepad they will have full license to do whatever they want with your articles. They say they wont do anything with it, but the TOS says they have license to it. You'd be installing Wordpress tomorrow. This is not shocking.

Joeey Aura

I believe this is a more of a "cover their butt" clause just in case, more than something that will be used very often. I would think that if this was ever challenged in a court, the creator would win because DMCA would trump any TOS, especially for any content uploaded before the TOS change. I'm a creator in SL, and while not a huge player like some but i have a very well established business that does quite well. I fall under the "not really concerned right now" category. This will not really affect the consumers in SL, so as long as i continue to get sales I have no plans pull out of SL.

Up4 Dawes

If you believe this then you believe Bliss Couture
is going out of business...LOL

garvie garzo

.3% has decided to stop reading SL blogs until insight, research & understanding supplant chain jerking, knee jerking, headline grabbing & shit disturbing.

Pussycat Catnap

Mostly with '2013' on this.

I do think this is a very bad change on LLs part...

BUT the people who sway the market now are not the brands they were a few years back... and the current crop just don't seem to care.

Until a couple of the people who make mesh templates for clothing and furniture pull out - nobody else really matters.

And even if they all pulled out, their fullperms kits are still already widely out there among "designers" who are selling things on MP like crazy... and don't care as much about LLs taking it because they pump out new repaintings of the same model so quickly.
- And they're all selling the same sets of models anyway, so if LLs started selling version of those models, it would not impact them so much.

Who it could hurt are the people who make their own mesh models, texture them, and sell that - not templates. If for example, LLs took the inventory of coldlogic and/or Trompe Loel and put them into the library as a fullperms freebie.

Stores like that DO set trends, and are the big names.

Skin shops... meh... There are so many of them, LLs could rip off 1/3 of the big players and the rest would carry on, while those 1/3rd would have 3 new skins each out by next week that their buyers would buy...

Pre-mesh...? No longer matters. Those are all OLD brands and old inventory of brands that have moved on but still sell older stuff.

The big current players are still putting out stuff. I get notecard spam from a number of them. Annoyingly many of whom I've never shopped at... (/grrrr).

They pump out content at a pace where I'm not sure they'd care if they got ripped anymore. The solution to copybotters seems to have become - make stuff faster, so the copy-thieves always look like they're wearing last seasons loot, and furnishing houses from the city-dump.

So I don't think they're motivated to give it up.

And they are the ones that would have to give it up for this to "matter".

It feels like a "crime" what LLs has done... it is so wrong on every level... but, it hasn't motivated the people who count...

youknow

Pussycat you really believe that a handful of creators only matter. Good to know.

Pussycat Catnap

To the SL economy, and to LLs, yes.

If you cannot separate personal emotions from cold facts of the economic scale and who moves trends... don't guilt trip me over it.

Look at who and what sells, who sets trends, and who doesn't. Its not nice, its not pretty, its money. It may suck, but that's why capitalism is a social evil.

Metacam Oh

so basically your philosophy Pussycat and everyone else who doesn't think this is a big deal, that companies who rely solely on their user base (for income mainly and also for content in Linden Labs case) to do whatever the hell they want in draconian terms of service? I mean really? Even if they never ever intended or do anything with people's content, there is absolutely no reason people should be apologists for a corporation that just continues to piss and take liberties on its user base. You know what Second Life is without all the people who create shit? Open Sim. They would be wise to remind themselves of that every so often.

Masami

@Metacam

You know what Second Life is without all the people who create shit? Open Sim.

You know what those creators are without Second Life? Unemployed.

Remember Bryn Oh's blog post where she pointed at artists working on mainstream games and movies such as GTA and Iron Man? What she forgot to mention is that those artists create works for hire, i.e. they transfer all their IP rights to the production company that owns the franchise.

Somehow that seems OK for them, but LL asking SL artists for a license is already too much.

Linden Lab needs that license to protect the inventories of residents who buy virtual stuff in Second Life. You may not realize it but every time one merchant files a DMCA notice against another, innocent consumers lose inventory items they paid for. The majority of DMCA notices are filed not by outside parties but by residents, and some of them are just plain fraudulent, see Curio vs. Hush. LL had to draw a line somewhere, and they finally did. Now, as an artist, you can no longer fake-sell your stuff and then take it off the grid. You can no longer screw your competitors and their customers by making bogus infringement claims.

You Know

Masami;

LL is claiming ownership of everything on the grid. Get with the program.

Masami

I approve the program.

Metacam Oh

Masami, Linden Lab is not paying you for your creations, other residents are. When you get hired by a movie you know what you are creating for with a license in advance. They didnt say hey create something for my movie for free and as a benefit you can sell it to others we won't own the rights, then come back later and just change that on a whim. I love how the solution to an almost non existent problem is to change the TOS and own everyone's shit.

"You know what those creators are without Second Life? Unemployed."

I assume those creative people can't do anything else right? Without SL they would be homeless rejects. That is the most absurd argument for this TOS change I ever heard, congrats.

Metacam Oh

Also I might add, not everything has to do with money. Not everything uploaded to SL is for sale or for profit. Want to upload your business logo to SL? Well you just gave them rights to do with it what they please. But hey, without Linden Lab, we'd all be living in card board boxes.

Lani Global

You can have your own opinions, but not your own facts.

Here are the Facts:

Whenever Linden Lab changes the SL TOS,

People leave SL.

Content creators leave SL.

SL loses virtual land.

This has been proven since the first major TOS change in April 2010.

(Yeah, I know, facts don't matter to true believers.)

Phantom Republic

Interestingly, I haven't come across a single one of my favorite retailers (and I'm an avid shopper in SL) that's dimmed their lights over this. I know people get seriously peeved over LL on occasion (and I certainly have), but until they have serious competition that not only matches but surpasses what they do, this will not cause a major exodus. Every time they've p*ssed me off, they've either changed their mind - or I came back anyway.

Pussycat Catnap

@Metacam: I think you're confusing me with LLs.

How I feel about this is not what I've put above. What I've put above is how I think they look at it.

Frankly, they've shown time and time again that they could care less about most of us.

We don't hit them in the pocketbook.

Unless the big names that do cause large amounts of cash to move on the marketplace blink, LLs stays asleep.

It sucks...

But that's what it seems to be.

And most people around here putting out content, even if its highly creative content... don't move money on the scale of hundreds of thousands of US dollars per budget cycle.

Go look at marketplace, look at what's selling and what isn't. Find out who is making the underlying templates of what sells: that is the person or persons that we need to get the attention of and force to 'blink'.

The people who are supplying the top sellers with content... those are the people who, like every other creator, are having their rights abused...

But at present, they either don't care, don't care to speak up, or believe they can make content faster than it can be stolen.

And they might be right... for themselves...

Which means our case ends up being appealing to their altruistic nature.

As for the people actually selling content... they DO make it faster than it can be stolen. Look at top brands - look at how fast they can pump out 50 new colors of the latest mesh template for hair, clothing, or furniture...

Its crazy... I sit down and think to myself: even if I had the artistic talent, I couldn't click through my photoshop filters fast enough to keep pace with these people...

How do we get them to blink?
- Because they're the ones now filling LLs pocket books.

Drake Nightfire

Right, because 260 people represents the ten of thousands of creators is SL.

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