Strawberry Singh’s Monday Meme: ToS Changes

I always enjoy Strawberry‘s Monday Memes. I complete many of them – and Aeon takes part sometimes too. It’s all so interesting as a way to explore our experience here, and we appreciate that. As you note in a previous post, I have addressed this ToS issue – in my own way. Like everyone, my understanding is my own and I have much to learn; legalities often demand attention and I am definitely on a “learning curve” with this. To add to sharing, I’m completing Strawberry‘s Monday Meme; perhaps I’ll learn more about what I really think and what my response is really going to be – today, at least. If interested, read on – and do get over to Berry’s fantastic blog to explore further and perhaps even post your own response.

  1. Do you usually read the TOS thoroughly before you hit accept? I generally check some sections; privacy concerns are primary with me as is the protection of intellectual property. Whilst my understanding of these items is limited (and certainly NOT professional), to say that I am interested is an understatement. Therefore, I do explore ToS perhaps a bit more closely than some. However, I don’t go into the detail that many others undoubtedly do.
  2. How do you feel about the new LL TOS changes, specially from August 15th and section 2.3. I am concerned about the legalities of content creation and the protection of creators’ rights as well as (previously mentioned) privacy issues. My main concern is the seeming lack of engagement by Linden Lab administration and staff in the day-to-day life of SL. I realize that they are working on new server upgrades, viewer enhancements, and a load of technical things, but I would like to see them in-world more often. While I doubt this lack of direct engagement spells the end of SL (they’ve been standoffish since 2010, by my reckoning), I would like more and the assurance of their respect of creators and users by their choice of language and actions. This is what I say (in a cheekier moment): Pony up. It’s worth your while to be respectful of those who fund your enterprise. Besides, so many of us are just fine people! (Note: I do thank CEO Rodvik Linden for his Drax Files episode. Thanks to Draxtor Despres for that – and the many other fine looks into life in SL he provides.)
  3. Do the changes affect you directly? I create little original content, but I do employ the  beautiful creations of others in making environments and experiences to share in SL. If some of these outstanding creators and artists leave SL or stop creating (or even seriously withhold creating), I will be impacted. I am not happy about this, but I certainly understand that each person must respond in the way that they deem fit. I support that, although I do not personally hold a more negative attitude about this situation. I truly believe it can be managed, but whether it will or not is yet in question.
  4. What do you think people should do about this new change? I’m like Berry, in that I really don’t know just yet. The only thing I do know is that everyone must divine this for himself or herself and respond accordingly. Having heard from two attorneys (both in entertainment law which can involve intellectual property), who both say this is a language issue, first and foremost, I’m not as worried as many. Still, I want new language and clarity of communication – a restoration or development of community contact from LL. Yes, they created this and then set us all free to do our “thing,” and a bit of hands-off is good in that case. But communication about something so important is in order. I support anyone who takes the time to sort this for himself or herself and who uses their best judgment and acts in good faith (even if it means they leave SL). I hope that won’t happen to too many who make this world such a wonder, but I accept their choices. I hope they’ll accept mine and others as well. Whatever we do, we cannot make this a point of contention between us. That is a game I will not play.
  5. Are you or have you ever thought about leaving Second Life? What would you do with your time/blogs/career if you ever did? I’ve thought about leaving SL perhaps two or three times, now. Once was back in 2009 when I had so little time to invest in learning everything. Fortunately, I met a wonderful creator who helped me and Aeon learn the ropes and get a good start. (Always, we will be grateful for that!) Again in 2011, I had a burst of business in RL that meant many deadlines and lots of time away from SL. I wondered about coming back. We did, and we’ve not regretted it in any way. We love our SL! We love Ce Soir Arts, we love Ce Soir and our other two sims. We love our friends – and several family members who have joined us here. Our careers in RL are busy and satisfying; we work in the liberal arts and social sciences – both rich with topics that lead us to explore virtual reality with interest. If we did leave SL for any reason, Ce Soir Arts would close and take this blog with it. I’d focus on my RL blog (already going) and other projects in RL (primarily work, home, and service) and in other virtual worlds. We have presence in three, so we’ll see how that goes in future.

Thank you, Berry! Thank you all…

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