Update: I’ve been furnished witha link to a document comparing the current ToS with the “old” SL ToS, which has been posted to Google Docs by Sean Brady. See Related Links at the end of this piece.
A new Terms of Service was issues by Linden Lab on Thursday August 15th. Second Life users logging-in for the first time after around midday SLT, while those who had been previously logged-in found themselves being asked to accept the new ToS upon re-logging after midday.
The new ToS appears to be an attempt to provide a single, all-encompassing document which can be applied to all of the Lab’s properties and products. As such, it should not be taken as referring purely to Second Life.
To help with this distinction, the new ToS is presented on Linden Lab corporate web page, as distinct from the Second Life-branded web page, and is linked-to from other LL properties with the (current) exception of Desura, which continues to have its own ToS for the present.
Where Second Life is concerned the differences in between the new ToS and the last release version, dated May 6th, 2013, are very clear from the opening paragraph on through the document, which has been completely reshuffled and should actually be read through as a result. There are some significant changes in both wording and content, including, but not limited to (from an SL perspective):
- A major set of updates to the dispute resolution / arbitration section (Section 10)
- A new section (Section 7) on Infringement Notifications, including notes on the DMCA process
- The removal of any need for LL to provide a 30-day grace period following any Material Change to the ToS. All changes, Material or otherwise, will now come into immediate effect on publication of the updated ToS to the relevant services. The onus on keeping up with changes to the ToS is now with users.
One thing to keep in mind when reading the updated ToS is that it is no longer applicable to just Second Life – as noted above, the same ToS is linked-to from all of the Lab’s properties, therefore certain sections of the new Terms of Service may have greater applicability to other services than to Second Life. Those sections which are specific to SL do appear to be clearly indicated as such.
- Linden Lab Terms of Service (August 15th, 2013)
- Second Life Terms of Service (May 6th 2013 through August 14th 2013)
- Google Docs comparison between the two (with thanks to ZZ Bottom for the link & to Sean Brady for posting the document)
- Second Life Terms of Service Archive