Illusions and Pixel Dust

Cao~Mother EarthThis Mother Earth picture created by Skip Staheli for me? Property of Linden Labs

Well the day started fine enough, I have my blog pics, I half arsed work out what I wanted to hear myself yak about. Because I’m sure other than a small handful of you, I speak mostly to an empty room. But es okay, I live alone, so empty room talking is pretty much a daily thing for me. I specifically needed to use pics I paid for in this blog, because its all about a contract for buying and selling a product between two people and a third party can intervene and take the item for free. As usual, I digress, I WAS ready, then Will Burns happened and as conspiracy theories are written, his blog post yesterday is at the top of the playlist this week in my Second Life ( ). But, as you know, I’m not a conspiracy theorist; however, I am a watcher and a thinker. And I’ve been watching and thinking quite a bit lately, ever since speaking to my friend Rob Goldstein last week when he asked me, a silly little model, if I had an opinion on Linden Labs recent change to the TOS (terms of service). More importantly, where it states:

Madama Butterfly (Puccini)This Madama Butterfly, created by Pam Astonia for me? Property of Linden Labs

2.3 You grant Linden Lab certain licenses to your User Content.

[..]you 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, on or through any media, software, formula, or medium now known or hereafter developed, and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed, and to advertise, market, and promote the same. You agree that the license includes the right to copy, analyze and use any of your Content as Linden Lab may deem necessary or desirable for purposes of debugging, testing, or providing support or development services in connection with the Service and future improvements to the Service.[..].

A blond in a red dress can do without introductions – but not without a bodyguard. ~ Rona JaffeA Blond in a red dress can do without introductions-but not a bodyguard, created by Julie Hastings? yep, property of Guvner Linden

Seriously though, why would a silly little model, why would you or I even care about this change in terminology? If you want the in depth speculation, click the link above, it’s quite a read. But if you’re a Carnation Evaporated Milk reader (like it sweet and condensed), it’s important because “$1.5 billion is estimated to be spent on virtual goods each year.” Your imagination, your content, your hard work, well turns out, if it’s on the metaverse, it’s not yours a’tall. It belongs to Linden Labs. These pictures that I have uploaded into SL at one time or another, my story, my portfolio, the pictures I was thinking I would use to create a children’s book? Lo and behold, they aren’t exclusively even mine. I paid quite a bit of money to style and to have them created, AND paid 10L’s to upload it to boot, all so LL could have them. And you thought a fool wasn’t born every minute, *raises hand* turns out, it’s me. And you, and you too. This isn’t a copy/share/transfer restricted takeaway, its every single object/texture you create. I won’t get into what their end game is, Will Burns speculates on this, if you want to know his opinion you can read it there. I have a business degree, but I certainly don’t need one to know having all the creative content available in SL in their coffers is certainly bound to increase their net worth exponentially.

caoimhe Lionheart by Asia Rae 3Photo by ❤ Asia Rae? yeah, same old story

The take from? Not sure I have a real one, but I will start with this. Everyone in the world is all up in arms about the NSA phone tapping scandal lately. I do not condone the actions of the NSA, but to me, and this is just my opinion, what Linden Labs is doing is kind of like tapping my phones, then walking in my door, grabbing a beer from the fridge, riffling through my knickers drawer, inspecting the other contents of my condo, picking out the furnishings and items they want for themselves, and walking out the door with them. While I sit and watch. You know, pretty much like the day your teenage child moves out of the house and half of what you own mysteriously disappears? (I know because I was one 😉 ) As for grown up me? I’ve never really believed in the saying “what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine” but hey, that’s just my feelings on it. Take it for what it’s worth to ya.

Indigo1b1I don’t know about you, but this new TOS? LL’s can kiss.. ah nevermind, even I won’t go there.

25 thoughts on “Illusions and Pixel Dust

  1. Oh…so they (LL) botch EVERY opportunity they get to allow SL to become the truly amazing virtual platform it could be, they shot themselves in the foot trying to pander to corporate America (in order to position themselves for that big payday sellout…that never happened) and they squandered what profits they have made…so now they want to steal ALL the content other people have worked hard to create…under the flimsy excuse that it’s theirs because they own the platform on which this content was created and exists? Just when I thought LL couldn’t possibly get anymore pathetic. How very sad, desperate and grasping they are.

    *I wonder if they own the words I just wrote because I was speaking of them on a blog that shows “their” content. Keeping in mind, there is more than one way to read “own” in this context.

    On a positive note…try as they may…LL can never “own” or diminish the talent, creativity and love that goes into creating and sharing content in SL…greed is such a colorless, hollow path.

  2. I have been loosely following this change to the TOS on a variety of blogs since the change was implemented. I am not a creator, but I am a photographer. I am wondering how long it will be before LL changes the ability to export photos directly to our pc. Any photograph I take in world that I save to my computer but do not upload is mine. But what if that photo had to be saved in world, then exported? Suddenly that picture is saved onto LL’s servers and belongs to them.

    Or am I completely wrong in my assessment and the photos already belong to LL because I took them using their platform? Too much to try to figure out this early in the morning…or probably for me, ever.

    *scratches my head and just looks at the pretty pictures*

    1. I could be wrong, but I think if you take the pic and download to your computer, it is yours. when you upload something into SL it is theres. I can’t see them requiring you to save it inworld either (at this point) Just imagine the space that would require O.o I mean, me personally, sometimes it takes 10 to 15 shots to get the picture I want of an outfit. Thanks Peep! ❤

  3. I’ve been following this for a little while now and there are some interesting and enlightening discussions about it floating around:
    and here:

    However the freaky part is that LL is not alone with these changes to their TOS. Facebook did the same already last year and nobody blinked an eye. Put your photo up on Facebook and they automatically have the same rights to it as LL:

    1. Well the difference between FB and LL, the reason I included only commissioned work is that I paid approximately 5000L’s for each of these pics. As the model and the buyer, I expect the pictures to be exclusively mine to do with as I see fit. I can put them on FB, flickr or even no where if I want to. LL’s is saying they don’t have to pay a dime, but they are their pics too. If it was a picture I took of myself, I wouldn’t mind so much. And more importantly, think about people who hand paint in RL a texture to create an item, i.e. dress, hat, furniture, house. They put mass quantities of hard working time and effort in to a product that they will sell to an end-user. FB doesn’t claim ownership to the products you are showing on FB, just the pics. Now thats a big ugly theft of artistic content. I think anyway. I mean why create, if you don’t have control over its use in the end?

      1. I completely agree with you and I’m absolutely appalled by what’s going on. I make poses in SL, I have exhibitions of my images and now in one swift and for LL very cheap move, all that suddenly doesn’t belong to only me anymore……..!!! Like you, people have bought exclusive items. As a creator, how can I ever say to anyone anymore that I will make something just for them? Because regardless they will now always share ownership with LL. The reason why I brought up Facebook is because I find this a much larger issue of creators/people in general loosing their rights, to what should be legally theirs, to large and in my view ruthless corporations. To me this seems like a slow disenfranchising of the general public which disgusts me but more so makes me feel quite helpless.

        And, yes Facebook does claims ownership of those exact images you paid for if you choose to display them on Facebook. And that is true for any photographer, image manipulater, graphic designer etc. etc. that shows their own creative work there (copyrighted or not) or uses it as a platform to promote their business. ‘Just the pics’ actually is their product and their livelihood. In my opinion they should have the exclusive right to their creative content just like you still do when you post on flickr.

      2. very, very true. And in the RL work you do, the FB issue is way more of a hack than it would be to me a mere avatar. I agree, and can’t help but think at some point there will be a backlash of some sort.

  4. I not a great content creator or photographer but still this hits me as being weirdly unfair I would imagine that the last people LL wants to alienate are the people who create inworld. this really is a head scratcher.

    1. I agree Zion, I think the issue is LL’s doesn’t have the skill and creativity of its end-users and now it’s “potentially” increasing it’s profitability off the backs of the users with the best skillsets. I’m not a great anything either, it just amazes me more people would rather keep their head in the sand then know whats going on.

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