Monday, October 28, 2013

Linden Lab Responds to Content Creators in E-Mail

By Bixyl Shuftan

Last Friday, there was finally some word from Linden Lab regarding the ToS controversy. On Tuesday Oct 22, The United Content Creators of Second Life group sent an open letter to Peter Gray, Linden Lab's Communications Director. They asked for a meeting with people from the Lab in order to "resolve these issues and concerns … regarding the August 2012 Terms of Service, specifically Section 2.3." On Friday August 25, Kylie Sabra, the leader of the UCCSL announced they had received a response.

In Peter Gray's email, the Lab stated "we greatly value Second Life's content creators" and "we remain committed to providing Second Life as a platform on which residents can create and profit from their creations." They insisted, "the revision of the Terms of Service was made in order to further extend the ability of content creators" to sell their wares through other means owned by Linden Lab, notably their Desura distribution platform, "not just within Second Life."

However, there would be no meeting with the content creators, "We believe that it would be more fruitful to avoid further debate of the assertions made to date regarding the intent and effect of our updated Terms of Service, and instead focus on whether there may be an approach to address the concerns that have arisen in the community." A statement that could be seen as aimed at criticism of the ToS as a whole.

The Lab stated they were "currently reviewing what changes could be made that would resolve the concerns of Second Life content creators," with the intent of allowing content creators to sell content with Linden Lab acting as their "agent," but there would be no "reverting to the prior wording" of the ToS, "We are optimistic that we will be able to arrive at a mutually agreeable and beneficial way forward, and ask for your group's continued patience as we work to do so."

In a letter to the members of the UCCSL, Kylie saw the Lab's response as basically good news, "I see this as a positive, an opening for ongoing dialoug … They admit that the current ToS does not serve both them and the client base well. It is a tough issue, the protection of content creators' rights and giving Linden Lab the latitude they need to work across multiple services." Kylie did caution, "Bear in mind, this is a business, and they have no obligation to disclose their business plans. And speculation about the whys and wherefores is not productive." But she and the UCCSL "will continue to assert pressure on Linden Lab until we reach a resolution." Kylie also sent an article to the Sim Street Journal. In the article she was critical of Linden Labs for their stand, departing from her usual cautious optimism in recent days.

Gone is Rosedale’s concept that content creators own their work and should even share in the value that is created. Rather, the originating ideology of Philip Rosedale is laid waste with the scythe that is the August, 2013 Second Life Terms of service. This sweepingly destructive tool fells both pride of ownership and pride of creation with sharpened tines of shredding words.

While Kylie appealed for calm (outside her SSJ article), others remained skeptical. Several people responded to Daniel Voyager's post on his blog about Peter Gray's email. All expressed some level of skepticism about Linden Lab's intentions. Skepticism was also rife at the Sunweaver Estates where the SL Newser office makes it's home, with a few residents in IMs expressing doubt about Second Life's future. A hint the Lab's message may not be changing many minds on the issue.

The UCCSL group (blog at http:// unitedcontentcreatorsofsl. is currently at 458 members, and has been organized in several sections, or guilds, for different kinds of content, artists and filmmakers, fashion designers, musicians, scriptmakers, etc. The group has a headquarters at Angel Manor (131/134/4002).

Sources: UCCSL, Sim Street Journal, Daniel Voyager

Bixyl Shuftan

1 comment:

  1. The point made that LL is a business should also extend to the content creators--we need also remember to take a business approach and consider what the market needs and cares about. As LL works across platforms, so should we and strategically make content decisions.