Second Life ToS Meeting Summary

Toysoldier has a blog post up on the ToS meeting I mentioned on Sunday. He has made a transcript of the meeting available as a PDF. See: Transcripts from Sep-29 SL Inworld Meeting on L.L. TOS Issue.

Get a Protest Sign

Get a Protest Sign

Ernie Farstrider, a RL retired academic administrator for all of a large university’s intellectual property, sponsored the meeting. Ernie states that he believes “moral rights” are unalienable. He provided links to Harvard’s pages on moral rights. Kylie Angel Skyborne facilitated/moderated the meeting.

It seems Toysoldier Thor has been pushing this issue in the creative community. He was asked to speak at the beginning of the meeting: (I’ve made spelling and grammar corrections [ ] as this was taken from a transcript of live chat. This is not a full transcript, but highlighting of the things I found of interest.) 

Toysoldier: My first thoughts about what actions to take is pretty much what we are doing now… LL has a long history of taking corrective action only when the pressure publicly is too great to ignore….

So [it is necessary] for LL to see a large and growing voice from [all communications is important for – the community if]  LL [is] to rethink this latest TOS. It doesn’t mean they will change their mind. But, it will be noticed….. That is the purpose for the survey.

 In [the] 12 hours [it has been up] we already have 65 recorded responses…. and I can give you a brief summary of the trends on the survey.

Rather than rehash the survey, see the results here: SecondLife® Content Creators Survey on Linden Lab TOS Issue. I’ll do a quick summary of the survey:

  1. The majority of people taking the poll know about the ToS change. Toy points out that the poll is not something the general SL users was aware of and thus probably has a skew. But, more creators know about it than not. 83% being aware and 17% pretty much obvious.
  2. Those felt more comfortable with the changes registered 0% in the poll. About 15% didn’t know enough to know how it affected them. For the remain 85% they see it negatively.
  3. When asked how this affected them: 15% are indifferent, 20% mildly concerned, 39% somewhat concerned and have stopped creating and uploading, 14% very concerned and removing content, 11% so concerned they are shutting down operations.
  4. When asked how this TOC if left unchanged would affect Second Life: 0% think it has improved the future, 10% doesn’t change anything, 11% minor negative impact, 47% significant negative impact, and 32% bad enough to kill SL. (9% other)
  5. When asked what LL next step should be: 6% do nothing, 9% quietly revise the ToS, 10% quietly restore the previous wording, 42% formally announce a revision limiting LL’s use of content, 33% formally announce restoring the previous TOS.
  6. When asked if the TOS were challenged in court: 6% think it would stand up, 19% think it would mostly stand up, 19% think it would fail from a signed under duress claim, 28% think it would fail because LL is claiming content they have no right to, 25% would fail for other reasons, and the rest is other.

Tali Rosca pointed out that many third party content providers have existing TOS that prohibit use of their content with a ToS like LL’s. Thus contacting them and asking for clarification is NOT shooting ourselves in the foot. We already can’t legally use the content. But, will provide opinion of significance to LL from organizations that deal with content. So, contacting them and asking for a statement may be an effective strategy.

Contact Kylie Sabra, if you want to help with gathering documentation on the conflict of TOS and prohibitions on SL. It doesn’t make sense to have hundreds or thousands of us asking the same question of the same content providers.

Toysoldier Thor recommends filing support tickets to complain about the ToS. I am not at all sure that is a good idea. Support has plenty to do and they have little influence with management. I think it would be much better to contact Peter Gray, Linden Lab’s PR person:

I agree with Crap Mariner who responded to Toy saying, “I find your suggestions to harass support staff a bad idea, and it only ties up support staff from servicing legitimate support requests. Make your grievances directly to Linden staff as per the contact information on their website.”

Mathilde Vhargon points out that as a gallery owner she feels she puts her exhibitors at risk. I act as an art broker to an artist for SL sales. I am watching this debacle and waiting to see if I remove the art or not. But, I too feel it puts them at risk.

Sweet Valentine suggests sending tweets to Rodvik. I think that is probably a good idea too. Provided you keep them civil.


The meeting ended way before most people got to speak. They limited it to an hour. There was not as much drama as I expected. There wasn’t much accomplished, as far as I can see. But, the resistance groups are starting to form up.

The polls show there is wide displeasure and concern ini regard to the ToS change in the creative groups. Something like 80 to 85% of the creative’s have serious concerns. It is going to be hard to know if the 11% that say they are leaving will actually leave. But, some portion of them are leaving and we know because they have closed up their shops.

Next month we may see a drop in the number of regions. Or not. As one person was counseling Jo Yardley, it makes sense to do all we can to get the TOS changed before abandoning Second Life. If one abandons SL and closes their region and then the TOS gets revised to something acceptable, it is going to seem foolish.

On the other hand that may be what it takes.

The creative groups are where you may see more people discussing actions to be taken.

As yet there is no well organized  movement that I can find. I would expect that to change this week or at least in the next couple.

There is discussion on SLUniverse here: Shava Nerad addresses Rodvik, cites TOS changes, Oddball studios closes sim. There is a lot of bad information there and arguing over irrelevant points. But, there are some well made points too.

I pointed to the SL Forum thread Updated LL TOS Claims FULL RIGHTS to ALL CONTENT last on the 27th. 3,346 had read the thread, or at least the OP, and now 4 days later 4,300 have read it. That is a lot of reads of an item in the forum.

In the forum Aztral Aeon suggests an action. Aztral suggests people email the author of a recent interview with Rod Humble, Eric Johnson, and ask he do a follow up interview with Rod in regard to the TOS change. That is a good idea. You can contact Eric from the article: Linden Lab CEO Rod Humble on Second Life’s Tween Years (Q&A).

We could contact all the authors that have interviewed Rod. My list of interviews with Rod Humble is here.

By contacting all the authors that we can find, we may actually get several to contact Linden Lab. I think the more authors that contact the Lab the more likely the Lab is to realize this is seriously affecting their PR.

Also, in world protest has a long tradition in Second Life. So, get your free protest sign here. It is Copy, Mod, and Trans OK. The script is Copy, Mod, and Trans OK too. Take a copy and hand them out. This is a single prim, 1 script, 256x256px texture sign. The script is idle until clicked.

2 thoughts on “Second Life ToS Meeting Summary

  1. Let me know what we can do to assist. The Virtual Intellectual Property Organization (VIPO) as both an inworld group and real life org will support and participate in an appropriate creator community response. Also as Im the acting legal officer of the Content Creators Association, I wish I’d been able to attend the meeting. We’re on the same page now though and count us all in…Anyone concerned with how this legally affects their ip rights feel free to contact me directly. Juris Amat kirla Tamiko Rochelle Franklin

  2. Pingback: Drax Radio #9 | Nalates' Things & Stuff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *