Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The "Odd Ball" Closes in Second Life Due to New ToS

Shava Nerad, known as Shava Suntzu in Second Life, made a post on Google Plus on Monday Sept 23, which Tuna Oddfellow shared on Facebook. It seems due to Linden Lab's new Terms of Service concerning ownership of content rights, Oddfellow Studios, and therefore the Odd Ball, has closed the curtain on it's performances, possibly for good in Second Life.

"Dear Linden Lab -- it's been a nice eight years," her post begins, "but you just broke the social contract with me as a creator in Second Life BIG TIME." Then listed the new part of the Terms of Service in question.

This means that not only +Tuna Oddfellow's art, but the way we present it and the methods of the Odd Ball and the Cathedral Effect that we present as entertainment and therapeutics in Second Life are conceivably Linden Labs' property if we present them in Second Life.  We didn't see this until today, and it wasn't presented to users in any prominent way.  Please consider any presentations we've done since the change in TOS as lacking due notice.

This is heinous and contrary to every aspect of creator centered culture that #lindenlab  and #secondlife  has promoted, and if you don't pull back on this policy I'm going to actively encourage creators in SL to pull out.  

Even if we trusted you (which, frankly, LL has given us reason to not hold perfect trust over the years -- I'll remember the purge that lost us Pathfinder and many other of the Lindens, for example, and gutted support), the company could be sold with our assets as part of the deal and you would have no control over it.

Shava described Oddfellow Studio as having been made "gone pitch dark, with nothing but a notecard giver with this essay on it." She also encouraged other Second Life residents to do the same, telling the Lab, "You really blew it."

She would later make a second post, saying the decision by her and Tuna was a sad one, and one they hoped they could reverse, "We are very much hoping some inexperienced and/or clueless lawyer at LL made a mistake in revising the TOS and it will be revised and we will be able to unpack our stuff back into SL." She, and Tuna on Facebook, stated they would be moving their performance to Inworldz.

There were a number of comments to Shava's second post, including one from Aeonix Aeon, suggesting the ToS change was part of Linden Lab's "long-tail exit strategy for Second Life as a product/service. That doesn't mean I think Second Life is going to shut down tomorrow, but what it looks like is that they are circling the wagons and preparing the lifeboats." There was also a long thread posted in the official forums (Click Here).

The "Odd Ball" has been a one of a kind performance in Second Life, run by Tuna Oddfellow and Shava Suntzu. It's been described in many ways from dancing in a kaleidoscope to a psychedelic trip without the drugs. After several years of wowing both regulars and people just finding out about it, the show is coming to an end in Second Life. Perhaps that will change if Linden Lab changes the controversial part of it's Terms of Service back.

Bixyl Shuftan


  1. I have known Tuna and Shava for a long, long time and been to many an Odd Ball. I was priviliged to even go to one in RL at the SLCC in Tampa. This is a huge loss to the cultural landscape of SL!

  2. And even worse, this is Tuna's RL birthday, and we had shows with JaN and others lined up for the day to celebrate with the community and instead are spending it trying to figure out what we can scavenge from this situation.


    My major point, with my background in entertainment licensing -- I used to be a VP of Marketing and BizDev for an Inc1000 company, and my clients included HBO, VIACOM, Sony Pictures, and a slew of other entertainment giants, so this used to be my field -- is that any licensing language that includes "in perpetuity" and "sale" "re-sale" and so on? It doesn't matter if the trusted party (if LL is trusted to you...) says they won't abuse it.

    LL could go tits up in bankruptcy. Some of us have been holding our breath for years on that one. At which point, your art, your mesh, your video, all your objects are in their asset server -- and the receivership isn't going to go and ask whose login, whose copyright, or whatever is attached -- because the TOS says, it's theirs. It could get divvied up, it could go to auction, it could get sold off by the courts, and you could never trace it as a small individual copyright holder. It doesn't matter what the legalities are. It matters what the practicalities are -- you can't DEFEND your copyright if you can't find your stuff to defend it.

    So no, this is not an acceptable term of service for the small creator who doesn't watermark and embed a tracer signal in his or her work. And I don't know how to embed a tracer. Do you?

  3. Further comment, and a rather nostalgic video for those who go back a ways in SL, at:


  4. http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2013/09/linden-lab-tos-textures.html -- Relevant

  5. I don't understand the need to panic now. We've been thru these scares before multiple times.