Linden Lab Amends Draconian Clause in SL's Terms of Service (Months After Anyone Was Really Angry About It)
Way back in olden times (by which I mean last September), some Second Life users said they were very concerned and angry about a newly added clause in Second Life's Terms of Service, because it made draconian claims over content created in Second Life:
[Y]ou 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...
Some SLers saw the dubious clause as a sneaky bid by Linden Lab to re-use user content from Second Life on other platforms without their permission. But months and months after any SL user has expressed any concern over this clause -- seriously, hardly a peep about it all this year-- Linden Lab has amended the clause:
As part of an update to our Terms of Service today, we have made a modification to further clarify Section 2.3. The updated section still provides Linden Lab with the rights that we need in order to operate and promote Second Life, so you will see that we have retained much of the language as the previous version. However, the updated section now also includes limits that better match our intended meaning, and we hope will assuage some of the concerns we heard about the previous version. First, the modified version limits our rights with respect to user-created content in Second Life by restricting our use “inworld or otherwise on the Service.” Additionally, it limits our right to “sell, re-sell or sublicense (through multiple levels)” your Second Life creations by requiring some affirmative action on your part in order for us to do so. This language mirrors the corresponding User Content License currently in Section 2.4, which has been part of the Terms of Service for years.
Hopefully this amendment assuages any residual anger. If anyone was really that angry at all in the first place. Seriously, while the ToS clause in question was poorly worded, there is no evidence it was ever intended maliciously, nor that the clause caused any noticeable drop in the amount of Second Life content created, bought, and sold, let alone any dip in actual usage of Second Life. As a general rule, most user anger at Linden Lab is 20% legitimate, and 80% misdirected anger over deeper-seated issues. (Which would take two thousand words to even start to explain.) That said, speaking to the 20%: It's a good amendment to make.
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