The Second Life TOS and Impatience

There has been a turn taken in the battle to get the TOS changed. Mostly drama and little productive result that I can see. I’m mostly involved in RL projects the last couple of weeks. I obviously missed something. So, what’s going on?

UCCSL Guild Hall

UCCSL Guild Hall

Hopefully, you know about the TOS change in mid August. It is hard to tell how many people are troubled by the August TOS change. I believe it is a small number. I also think the ones bothered most by the change are the more left brained creative types that can see and understand the impact of the TOS change. I think that more left-brained group is a small part of the creative community. I believe the result from the nature of artists is; the majority of the creative community is just not interested in the TOS change. 

Those concerned about the TOS change either take individual action or look to organize into groups hoping to be more effective. Of all the groups reacting to the TOS change I’ve found the United Content Creators of Second Life (UCCSL ) to be the most active and effective. But, that’s just my experience.

When I came into SL yesterday to catch up on events I was surprised to find a rant and series of apologies in the UCCSL’s notices. First the rant (2013-11-10 12:57:42):

THIS WAS ORIGINALLY SENT OUT EARLY THIS AFTERNOON: 

The revised email to Linden Lab was put up for vote three days ago. Notices were sent to the group, to all of the Google+ teams, to Twitter, to Facebook. Thinkerer received thousands of hits on his blog post of the email; and yet, there are only 57 votes. 

57 VOTES! 

Some of you spend hours in forums badmouthing Linden Lab and the evil of the ToS–hours. You write blogs, you read blogs. You continue on in your work. Some have attacked the leadership of the UCCSL for doing too much, for not doing enough. Some critique every dotted i and crossed t of every piece we put out. 

57 VOTES! 

The UCCSL is the only group that has opened two-way communication with Linden Lab. Yes. We got a response. The UCCSL is the only group that has build an organization to address the needs of each type of SL creator. The UCCSL is the only group to have a team of attorneys. The UCCSL leadership spends in excess of 8 hours a day working for you.

 57 VOTES!

 The vote has been extended to Midnight Monday, November 11th. If we fail to receive 300 votes by that time, the UCCSL will cease to exist.

 57 VOTES!

 Apathy changes nothing.  If you have an opinion share in a way that counts–VOTE!

 https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1QxjYIR_3jXakeY-9TNjEnSs8gSJTCwpZVmxRsefApmM/viewform

 Kylie shakes her head.

This was labeled a ‘scathing’ commentary… I’ll label it an expression of frustration. Or maybe it’s an attempt to psych people into voting.

If you are wondering about the letter like I was, it is available via the link above or directly at Google Docs: UCCSL Letter Nov. 3, 2013.

Seems the UCCSL got all busy and created a ‘Guild Hall’ and team to work the TOS issue. The team came up with a second letter to submit to Linden Lab. The rant seems to indicate things were not going as Kylie wanted or expected.

The UCCSL leadership wanted SL residents to approve or disapprove the letter by voting. They created the letter, posted it in Google documents, and setup and got the poll running. Bloggers and other interested parties started getting the word out. Apparently eight days later there had been 57 votes. That apparently wasn’t good enough for Kylie. November 11th Kylie released the ‘scathing’ commentary.

By the day after the commentary was released the needed votes were reported as having been obtained and as exceeding 300. Looking at the votes today, November 13th, I only see 249. So, I have no idea what’s going on there.

UCCSL Voting 11m/13d/2013

UCCSL Voting 11m/13d/2013

Shortly after the commentary’s release out came an apology (2013-11-12 01:08:21):

Passionate people are prone to mistakes. I think those of you that share that passionate nature are fully aware of what I speak. 

I understand that some in the group were deeply affected by the thought of it closing. Well, I’ve had to come to terms with something. Let me backtrack a bit. 

I feel in my bones that the new ToS is at best disrespectful of Second Life’s content creators—a bit of a slap in the face really, to those of us that make this world what it is. That kicked me into organizer mode. This is what I have done for most of my professional life—organize in order to resolve problems. I established the UCCSL and put  into place a highly professional organizational structure that would allow everyone to participate in the process. Then the search began to fill vital leadership positions. Trinity led her team to have the key UCCSL documents translated into seven-plus languages. She put together the communications methods to allow people to talk freely outside of SL. Today, she still takes the role of heading up communications in general—putting into place the Google Communities for Guilds to function. I built a physical Guild Hall to provide a place to anchor us—to make us more accessible and real. All of this was accomplished in just a few days over a month and we held our first full Council meeting on November 3rd. As you can see, our stamp is all over this organization. Recently, others have come alongside and contributed immensely—in fact all of the Council members are amazing individuals working hard on your behalf. I have to realize now, that this is no longer my group. It is our group. 

I am heartbroken that this recent issue of potentially closing the group caused such pain. I understand this feeling, as it was how we felt when I saw the lack of response from the group. I apologize for causing others anguish. I assure you, I will never make such a mistake again. I may make others—well I am human after all.  (I am smiling here.)  

The United Content Creators of SL is the product of its members. As such, should it be deemed necessary to close the group, it will be at the behest of its members. I think we have all learned from this experience, which is the purpose of experience. For myself, I have faced and accepted the fact that I may lead this group, but I in no way own it. 

My sincerest apologies.

 Kylie Sabra

If you’re into drama suppose you can make a lot out of this. I just see this as someone attached to an issue getting frustrated because they do not understand how grassroots movements work. Their expectations are totally out of line with human nature. That leads to frustration.

In management training people learn about human inertia. It takes energy and effort to change people’s minds and move them to action. It takes a lot of work just to get people’s attention. As managers try to shift an organization’s direction they often become very aware of the inertia a company has.

In any event I assume the letter being voted on is being or has been sent. I doubt there’s anything in the letter of which the Lab is not already aware. I don’t expect to hear much of anything from the Lab as a response to this letter.

Prior to the UCCSL letter being sent Linden lab had already stated their current position in response to the UCCSL’s first letter. I covered that in my article: Second Life TOS News 2013-43. The Lab is reviewing the TOS to see if they can change wording to reduce SL users’ concerns. I don’t expect this second letter to change the Lab’s stance.

In regard to TOS, SL users are very much in a wait-and-see state. There doesn’t seem to be enough outrage for SL users to be able to push the Lab to move any faster. I expect we will see a change when we see the change.

It’s also possible, that the lab will just wait until everyone forgets about the issue. I doubt they’ll take that path, but it is a possibility. Whichever path the lab takes, we are not going to know which was chosen for some time.

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