Video to be used in RL often has the same exclusivity requirements.
If the Lab sells SL or it falls into bankruptcy and is sold off, we have no idea who will end up having unlimited rights to our works or what they might do with them.
What to do?
We need to convince LL to limit the purpose for which they can use our content, limit the term of their license, and the scope of their license. Getting these limits would be the best case scenario for SL users.
When Instagram changed their Terms of Service they went from 16+/- million users to 7+/- million in one month. They changed their ToS. But, over time Instagram has reverted back to taking all the rights that once cost them more than half their users.
So, a loss of users could influence SL. But, I’m not seeing a decrease in the concurrent users count. Both the minimum and maximum daily concurrent users haven’t decreased.
A class action lawsuit is out in the case of SL because of the arbitration clause in the ToS. So, we can’t join together and hire an attorney.
If we try to show that the ToS is unconscionable, judges look to see how other businesses in a field have established their practice and customer relations. Since, the large number of other social media and game maker/operators with similar terms makes it hard to show that LL is over reaching beyond the norm. Remember LinkedIn?
DMCA is a possibility. One could file a DMCA take down for items they feel LL is using in ways that you did not license. The DMCA is sort of outside the normal American standards of law. We have seen people miss use it and we have an advantage. But, if it is dishonest or doesn’t stick, the originator can have a problem.
So, we are at a significant disadvantage. Legally we are disadvantaged. Financially we are disadvantaged. There is little we can do to coerce the Lab into to changing the ToS.
Our only choice is to abandon SL or at the least stop uploading new content to SL. If they see enough people leaving, they may change the ToS. But, if they are just seeing stats decline, they may decide it is a web site signup problem… We don’t know what they may decide. There are so many complaints flowing into SL and blizzard of stats they can likely see numerous reasons for a decline in users. So, that is probably not all that effective either.
The meeting did not get into trademark or patent law. There are possibilities to protect various works via trademark and possibly patents. But, this is already a long article, so I’m going into that.
The only real and positive action is to join together and come up with a plan. The UCCSL sent a letter. I don’t have much hope that will lead to anything. But, please send a copy of the letter’s link to any Linden you know.
The UCCSL is making an effort to get more people involved.
After checking the guilds and groups, it appears we still need ppl to help in the teams. No need to have pro skills.
Guilds : You absolutely need to join at least one for being able to make hear your voice and being perfectly informed.
Teams, we need ppl in Membership team, Press team, Social media team and Special event team. We wont do the whole work at 5. Helping the group is helping yourselves. We are all in the same boat.
Please come and register where you think you can help. thank you
Visit Angel Manor for more information.
Virtual Intellectual Property Organization (VIPO) is another group working with users to protect IP. There activities extend beyond SL. Get more information here: http://vipo-online.org/ They have and in-world group.