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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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Cake

To me, the TOS change is inching towards my "that's it, I'm fucking quitting" line. It gets LL a little closer to where I consider selling work in-game intolerable, but isn't quite there yet.

What would put me over the line? If LL didn't change their TOS, AND became even more lax on copyright infringement than they are now. I know, that's not saying much since they're so lax already.

Ozwell Wayfarer

The fundamental difference that you dont highlight here is that in the case of copybot, we had someone to appeal too.

In this instance, its the very authority we would normally appeal to for justice that have transgressed, and we all know how unresponsive and useless LL is these days. Short of the courts, what can you do?

People dont know what to do, and very few are going to abandon all together. LL have the assets, so its a choice of walk away and get NOTHING, or suck it up and still get your slice.

There is a lot of simmering disquiet over this issue, but the repercussions wont be felt for months.

ZZ Bottom

http://modemworld.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/tos-changes-a-legal-panel-discussion-announced/

2013

so a club, with camping chairs, closed in 2006 because of copybotters? What where they copying? the Sploders?

Maria Korolov

Wagner -- How are you tracking economic impact? Do you have access to any economic statistics? And back in 2006, was Linden Lab releasing economic data yet? (It was before my time.)

The only numbers I've seen so far on this has been the creator survey, and, like you said, that only measures intent -- not whether people actually followed through or not.

fred

There is no place to go. Other worlds are either entirely open, or overseas where copyright and DMCAs do not exist or are not enforced, and the few that have an economy are a tiny fraction in size.

As for copybot, that still happens. It's trivially easy to steal anything - except scripts - with products like slcacheviewer, so other worlds grow at SL's expense no matter what is in a TOS, which the hypergrids don't have anyway.

Besides, most of the economy is still land, land, land. Marketplace is slowly killing that, as there is no need even for a 4x4 to hold a magic box.

But I am biased -Open Source or freebies is all I have ever done - so the economy is irrelevant to me. Except for land prices.

M

It's just another slide away from what SL was originally about. Now they continually alienate the users. I've given up on LL doing anything worthwhile.

Timo Gufler

I have shifted my focus from SL to Cloud Party, even if it's still a young place. The only reason to visit in SL are my friends there anymore. Maybe they will follow in the future, after the other worlds get better. Cloud Party has got some content creators from SL, who contribute to the new world nicely.

Will Burns (@darianknight)

After a few months, there's no discernible impact! Show's over, everyone go home you bunch of whining crybabies!

Not so fast.

This is exactly the sort of short-term thinking that wrote the ToS to begin with. Can't see your nose in spite of your face.

Here's the long-tail impact:

As you mentioned (openly) it has spurred content creators to seek selling elsewhere. More than usual, and if they like the terms elsewhere (which they likely would) then they already have one foot out of the door in Second Life and in the door elsewhere. What you are writing about is that because of the initial knee-jerk reaction and that content creators haven't taken their foot out of the SL door yet, then there is no discernible impact to the SL economy.

This is untrue, and bad business thinking at best. What you have (from a business perspective) is a majority of content creators either seriously considering or already seeking alternatives - in which if the alternatives offer terms that are better for them, they will then sever ties in SL and put the nail in the coffin.

What you will see, then, isn't some gradual decline but a sudden saturation point collapse. The ToS is hostile to new content creators (and thus new users) which prohibit them from really seeing an incentive to add more content, and the existing content creators see no reason to stay and are seeking alternatives as an exit strategy. That's a recipe for disaster. Old content creators planning their migration elsewhere and new ones looking at the ToS and saying "Hell no!"

Just because in the few months since this transpired that existing content creators are still selling their content in SL, doesn't mean it had no impact. It means they haven't finished evaluating their alternatives and made the decisions to migrate out completely.

Kitely did a fantastic job of capitalizing on this screw-up by massively incentivizing a migration to their Kitely Market, with a terms of service that specifically cater to content creators at all levels and offer migration options.

I'm sure other Grids are doing the same, such as AviNation, InWorldz, etc.

One should never base long-term losses on short term analytics. It's disingenuous at best.

Trinity Yazimoto

oh man ... what a great job you do for LL ! and all this for free !!! wow ! such devotion forces my admiration.... yeah....lets make conclusion right now... its a marathon not a race.. but yes, lets make conclusions at the first km... Do you think merchants will take decisions now while we are just starting negociations ? pffff... low insight guy... that's just dispointing from you... and one another thing.... you never contacted the UCCSL group for geting infos about what 300 merchants already members think or are planing... yeah keep taking your infos from only one source... LL... you do a great job ! you should ask them a salary.

Trinity Yazimoto

And please dont argue you made a survey here in your blog ! this one has no value at all .. let's be serious !

Ozwell Wayfarer

Seconded everything by Trinity. :)

Minty

As Will and Trinity wrote it is surely too early to really measure the true impact of the unfamous article 2.3 of the TOS on the SL economy.

Dartagan Shepherd

This isn't exactly the place I'd look to for negative impact studies. SL has been declining for years and yet there seems to be no noticable impact on any one topic.

Even if this one were just another log on the fire that fuels that burn into obscurity with no measurable impact, it's still another log. Or straw, or whatever additive analogy you'd prefer.

This one has had an impact and isn't quite finished. Eroding trust with customers always has an impact. It's understandable that it's very difficult to measure without any real stats to work with from outside sources.

But the high ground that if you don't see a mass exodus or signals from the largest creators then it's not happening? You've got less data to show it has no effect than the other way around.

Constant bad decisions on the part of LL, always have an effect, we've been seeing them and measuring them for years.

Cvercko

I would be interested to see as Shug Maitland and Ozwell Wayfarer commented in your open forum if the quantity of new material has decreased rather than asking broadly if sale of all content has stopped.

Granted most creators would not take kindly to LL owning their content, but the larger merchants who are dependent on LL for a living are beholden to the service anyway and thus there is sufficient inertia to keep creating or at the least keep existing content on sale regardless of the reading of the TOS that grants LL ownership of content uploaded prior to the TOS change.

What we do see with the TOS change though is a significant loss of free or affordable resources that creators had access to - the likes of CG Textures and Renderosity which might not impact professional (or ethically dubious/ignorant) creators much but will significantly curtail further the number and diversity of works by hobbyist creators who now not just deal with picking up mesh to be competitive but having to find other resources for textures and the such as well.

Some might see this as a good thing but not all hobbyist content is unsightly. Hobbyist content serves the long tail very well. Just because someone uses third party textures in their mesh builds before baking in the shadows because they can't spend what little of their weekend out looking for the perfect masonry building to snap a brick texture they could use doesn't mean that the final product would be any less amazing.

Most would be surprised how much licensed texture content there is out there in what people think of as original and professional.

The TOS would evidently force these creators, if they are ethically inclined, to reconsider creating more content due to the increase financial, skill or time constraints they find themselves facing with the change.

Ajax Manatiso

You have to look at it from LL's side to first understand why they did it. I was argued with when I claimed LL would not allow deformers in TPVs because they did not want a different experience than their official viewer - and it turned out I was dead on. I believe I am dead on with this one also. It is ALL about DCMA. If LL owns everything, they have no need to investigate copybot claims and, more importantly, no need to have paid staff to work on the claims. That's it. That's why. Take it to the bank.

Ozwell Wayfarer

@ Ajax - Do you have even a little proof or this or just a hunch? I know two creators who were botted recently (since the TOS) and both times LL responded very quickly to remove the items.

I cant see this being true, as ignoring DMCA means they will loose their safe harbour status and the door is open for lawsuits. I know most creators wont (and/or cant) go down that road, but what about the AO creators or the MOCAP sex anim creators or the breedable makers? I am sure there is SERIOUS money floating around in both those businesses.

Pussycat Catnap

Could have sworn I had comment number 2 in here yesterday, but its gone...

I think people are just resigned to the situation.

There are no real choices to make on this one. And there's no one to contact at SL anymore...

As for LLs, I really feel they have been trying to change the paradigm now for a while.

Old LLs viewed this as a shared platform of creators and property owners. And engaged with their 'residents' in that way: treating them as owners of the virtual land and virtual goods.

New LLs does not comprehend that old model at all. They see us as customers, renting virtual space and enjoying the privilege of using THEIR digital content.

Old LLs viewed the SL economy as owners of good trading those goods between each other, transferring ownership of the goods exchanged.

- The shift away from this was started by us residents, with people creating licensing terms on the use of some of the things they sold...

New LLs now views the SL economy as customers holding a copy of an access pointer to some of LLs data, having the privilege to trade that access pointer to other customers, and set some terms between each other regarding that access. But all of it under a license to continue to using the access pointers at the grace of LLs.

Its a VERY DIFFERENT perception of what SL is.

It has gone from being a virtual world, to being an MMO-VS : Massive Multiuser Online Virtual Space.

And unless we can force a change in their business model, we're stuck with it like that.

Hitomi Tiponi

This is a statistics post from Hamlet - I love the stuff he writes, but anything with regards to statistics I just tend to ignore (or rant about how wrong it is).

Iggy

Y'all are having an interesting pie-fight here. I'd like to know if fewer content creators are entering SL? In time, we'll find out.

Whatever the fate of those who currently make content, the loss of nearly 5,000 private estates in the past two years is the bigger story about the Lindens' "management" of their virtual world.

Perrie

I was going to write a lengthy response to this but decided to boil it down to one sentence James.

You've got to be kidding us if you think this post of yours contains even one shred of intelligence.

Lani Global

QARL.
Yes that Qarl, the brilliant mesh deformer developer, just said:

"GoodBye Second Life" due to the TOS.

As Qarl put it in his blog:
"i just deleted my sim. i’ve had it for what, eight years now? i am forced to. i have no choice. because the second life terms of service, as it is currently written, lets LL steal all of my intellectual property."

TOS changes always cause loss of users. Fact of Life.

-Lani Global

Lani Global

Read Qarl's blog about "GoodBye Second Life" here:
http://www.qarl.com/qLab/?p=89

zzpearlbottom


To be clear and honest, there are to many places where those so afraid about their intellectual rights can move, DO IT NOW and leave SL to the ones that do believe that more important then protect your content is enjoying it and seeing others doing the same!
I wish LL Tos make it clear even more:
ALL belongs to US!
LL should make it even more clear, not even allowing any L do be exchanged or converted to real money whatsoever!
Unfortunately i fear is to late for SL to revert its fate and i fear even more other virtual grids starting to take its steps!

Magnet Homewood

Considering the new TOS was placed before us without warning, we only had 2 choices: log in and accept, or not log in.

Logging in would mean acceptance, even if we just wanted to delete our assets, clear our shops and say good bye to friends who we may not have any contact with outside SL. The 'big names' also may depend on this source of income, so it wasn't much of a choice for them, and you will also get the ones who just clicked through and didn't bother to read, who are now f****d anyway.

A statistic that would be much more telling, would be the amount of uploads of textures, sculpts, mesh, sound, animations, before and after the new TOS, which I think would give a good indication of how the creative community is reacting to this change. Also, as someone above mentioned, eroding customer trust is always bad, and can cause long-term negative effects.

It's basically too early to say, and if and when anything does happen, there probably will be too many other factors involved to isolate this one out of the many that led to it. If you see what I mean!

Simeon Beresford

i think there are many designers out there praying for an alternative market so they can abandon this one

Pussycat Catnap

The smart move would be any of the Open Sims with concurrency above 10,000 getting together with the others of like size and figuring out a way to merge.

Otherwise, fragmentation leaves the ball in LLs court.

And if you're concurrency isn't that high... you're not really a realistic option...

Ozwell Wayfarer

@pussycat - none of the opensim grids even come close to that. But I disagree with the 10,000 figure. It all depends on the size of the grid. SL will 10,000 concurrent users would feel pretty empty, but a grid with less landmass would feel more more crowded simply because there is less space to fill.

Pussycat Catnap

SL gets by with about 45,000 concurrency most of the time - that for a modern MMO is probably below commercially viable numbers. It does so most likely because it has an old established market and userbase propping it up.

To compete with SL, to take users from it, you're going to need to have large community. I'd wager the 10,000 number is too small to be relevant...

To compete, you've got be able to grab not just SL's users, but new people also, and people today looking at something with only 10,000 concurrency and laugh. MMOs launch with registered users around a million or so, and consider a 'we did ok enough to not lay everyone off' point perhaps 100,000 to 200,000.

And this gets at another critical issue.

Why jump ship to an Open Sim? Even InWorldz and Kitely - they're using a decade old platform.

It would be like trying to get people to leave their Blackberrys for... a back-alley made Blackberry knockoff instead of an Android or iPhone...

Sure, there is no Android or iPhone yet in the 'virtual world' arena... the MUSH realm... But when you can look at how vastly MMOs have changed since 2003... and then tell people to jump to a new 3D-MUSH just as good as what we had in... 2003... people will wonder... where is the MUSH that looks like one should in 2013?

Its easier to ride the one that's been there since 2003, waiting for a modern one to come along (/Cloud Party)...

And yeah I've not liked Cloud Party any of the times I've tried it... but at least its modern.
- If people leave SL, they'd be smarter going there than any SL knock off.

You Know

How would you know how many content creators have left. Have you gone to the trouble of IMing any of them and asking. "Have you logged in since the last tos change?" There is your real answer. If I know for a fact that my new content is no longer my property, I won't bother to produce any. I will leave what is not affected by the new TOS and hope that it generates some income. How LL knows what is old and what is new will in the end be another misstep, screw up, "sorry". Too little too late. I have a presence in other grids: now. If I upload anything and I suspect other creators will do the same, it will be my seconds, castoffs, crap I don't really care about. My premium content will never touch the doors of LL again.

JayR Cela

Hi there Jame's

My personal opinion. is SL R.I.P. Slow Burn

JayR Cela :(

Oink

Google Trends offers statistically valid intelligence
https://sites.google.com/site/immersiveworldnewbiehelpdesk/statistics/statistical-trends

dunno

No longer feels compelled to be creative in SL. I logged on and for the first time, felt it was pointless to try to sit and create. "All your bases belong to us". LL take it and shove it up your ass I a moved to Inworldz. Even if they changed their tos tomorrow, I would not return. They took the part out of me that wanted to be there. Good job assholes, good job.

edwalter

annoying! on every nwn post that is negative, dozens of people are commenting, while those who make a positive statement only receive one or two comments. i am not out of SL. i am out of nwn. tired of always the same few people complaining here!

2103

@ edwalter... their doom & gloom = blog hits. Same rhetoric, different year.. yet SL keeps chugging along.

bits

For every one complaint. 50 ppl silently leave SL. 59 sims closed week before last. How many close in the weeks to come. Ppl can stop telling other ppl not to be angry.

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