Monday, April 14, 2014

Ebbe Linden Speaks At The VWBPE Conference, Addresses ToS Issue

On Friday April 11 at 1PM SL time, Ebbe Linden (Ebbe Altberg) spoke at the VWPBE (Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education) conference. He spoke to a packed audience, whom had a number of questions.

One can get a summary of Ebbe's speech from Daniel Voyager, a review by Jo Yardley, and a full transcript from Inara Pey. Or see a video by Mal Burns:

(Click here if the video fails to load)

Ebbe brought up a number of concerns, including the controversial Terms of Service issue.

I am working with my Legal Counsel to try to try to figure out how we can make it more obvious – or very obvious – that the creators of the content own the content, and we obviously have no intent of ever stealing your content or profiting off of your content independently of the creators in some fashion.

The current terms might indicate that we might somehow have some plan to steal people’s content and somehow profit from it for ourselves, without benefitting the creator, and that’s obviously not our intent at all. It would be very damaging to our business if we started to behave in that way because this whole platform is all about the content you all create. And if you can’t do that, and trust that it is yours, that’s obviously a problem. So I’m working on that, and I can ask you right now to trust us that we’re not going to do what the current clause might suggest we’re going to do, but we’re working on some simple tweaks to the language to make that more explicit.

We also have no interest in locking you in; any content that you create, we feel you should be able to export, and take and save and possibly if you want to move to another environment or OpenSim, that should be possible. So we’re not trying to lock you in either. Obviously, it’s very important to us to get content both in and out, so I just want to put that right out there. 

These words were much more of an answer than the vauge answers given to the United Content Creators of Second Life group when they pressed the Lab for answers. So it seems finally the Lab, or rather it's CEO, has answered.

Different residents had differing views. In a UCCSL group chat I observed, those who had heard the speech were overall pleased, but, "He didn't say a clear position." Talking to some residents of the Sunweaver area, the opinion seemed to be cautious optimism to neutral. One commented the Lab had made promises before and failed to follow through, so would wait for more actions before deciding whether or not Ebbe was any different.

Time will tell whether or not this was the start of Linden Lab regaining the trust lost in the Terms of Service controversy.

Image from Gemma Cleanslate

Bixyl Shuftan

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