This Month In History

History Buff Marianne
Linden Lab made a change involving their terms of service, and users were outraged. Many threatened to leave Second Life over the change, while others feared that this is the very end of Second Life itself.

If you thought this referred Linden Lab requiring to adoption of the Tilia Terms of Service and providing new documentation to cash out -- well, you're several years off the mark.

In August 2013, a provision added to Second Life's Terms of Service modified the rights Linden Lab had with its users content, stating that content uploaded to Second Life could be used by Linden Lab, "for any purpose whatsoever in all formats, on or through any media, software, formula or medium now known or hereafter developed." They even had the right to, "sell, re-sell, sublicense, modify, display..." and even "...make derivative works of" user content.

The provision was part of a streamlining of Linden Lab's Terms of Service, trying to make a "one size fits all" document that covered Second Life and other properties, Patterns, Creatorverse, Blocksworld, and so on. That one second, however, opened up a lot of unintended consequences.

The Lab's then spokesperson, Peter Gray, attempted to clarify in some of the popular Second Life blogs, saying, "Linden Lab respects the proprietary rights of Second Life’s content creators. We regret that our intention in revising our Terms of Service to streamline our business may have been misconstrued by some as an attempt to appropriate Second Life residents’ original content." (

This statement led to a lot of unhappy Residents. Some long-time residents, feeling this was the straw that broke the hippo’s back, left for other platforms, including OpenSim. Others packed it in entirely.

Likewise, various content marketplace websites reacted by limiting the use of their content in Second Life such as CG Textures and Renderosity. CG disallowed any future use of their textures on Second Life as a result.

Now, six years later, little has changed, and the world hums along as it always has. The Tilia issue, which seems a much smaller kettle of fish, may end up similarly forgotten.
Reporter Marianne McCann

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