Wednesday, September 11, 2013
It is a beautifully peaceful morning in the valley. The trees are beginning to change color; there is a nip of coolness in the air. Other changes? Yep. A building hiatus for one which will impact MOSP.
If you are one of the folks that also read my fashion and design blog (thanks for crossing over by the way) you know that the new Terms of Service have been on my mind. I normally process things quickly, make life changing decisions in a few seconds (yes really) -- but I am having a time with this. If you want to know more, follow the break; if you choose to live in pleasant denial -- well I get that too.
Mid August there were some major changes to the Terms of Service. Note that I am not a lawyer -- I have however signed many contracts in my day and understand legalese pretty well. You should read the new TOS for yourself and make your own decisions.
The major changes that impact MOSP:
If content creators want to be legal to the TOS that they "signed" last month, they can only upload original content (no derivatives) made by themselves. This impacts many creators who use perfectly legal creative commons, royalty free and free to use photos as starting places (mesh work in particular).
Linden Lab NOW has the ability to use creator content in any way they choose including reselling on ANY platform with no compensation to the creator (previously it was for distribution within the Second Life platform): See section 2.3.
After much reading and writing, time on the forums and discussion with RL-SL folks I have decided to hold to my original decision to stop building. I can certainly make things with prims and old textures, but I will not be uploading mesh or textures other than signs and photos. My long list of MOSP additions is on hold for the moment as I watch to see how this unfolds.
It is interesting to me in a philosophical way how difficult it is for me to let this go. Honestly, saying goodbye to old lovers was an easier task. Well, maybe not -- it has been many years and my memory may be cloudy :D. Party, I think it is because it hampers creativity to such a great extent and partly because it impinges on what I feel should be our "inalienable rights" as digital citizens.
MOSP will continue and there will be upgrades. I am counting on other content creator to fill in the spot I am leaving. They each have to make their own decision how to deal with what they have agreed to. History shows us that dissidence abounds in the face of unfairness and I am guessing that will be a road for many. I kinda like to keep my word and I did OK that TOS, so for me hiatus is the best answer.
For the machinima makers out there (again not a lawyer), I carefully went through the TOS one last time and it "seems" like filmed works uploaded to Vimeo or YouTube or Aview etc are safe from redistribution and sale. It is a bit difficult to say as the contract seems to contradict itself a couple of times.
I haven't found anyone who truly believes The Lab will actually take our content and resell it on a third party website as that would pretty much lead to an exodus of creators and-or a class action suit. Still, both virtual and real life histories are filled with bad choices.