ToS in-world meeting, September 29th: a personal perspective

An in-world meeting was held on Sunday September 29th to discuss the controversial wording of Section 2.3 of the revised Terms of Service issued by Linden Lab in August 2013.

The overall goal of the meeting was, to quote the introductory note card: “to understand the situation, to agree on our interpretation, and to contemplate a next step, if necessary.”

As things were limited to a single region, attendance was capped at 40 attendees, most of whom arrived well ahead of of time. The planned format for the event was to have it moderator-led, with people directed to contact the moderator via IM and wait to be called to the floor to speak. Given the number of attendees, this was a sound approach which would hopefully avoid the meeting becoming a free-for-all.

The East, West, North Ampi-Theatre, venue for the ToS discussion meeting, Sunday September 29th
The East, West, North Ampi-Theatre, venue for the ToS discussion meeting, Sunday September 29th

This is a summary of what I feel to be the key points from the meeting. It is not intended to be a verbatim transcript (I leave it to others to post these), nor should it be taken as representing the views of the meeting organisers. It is a personal perspective, followed by a personal opinion.

After a brief opening statement from the meeting host, Ernie Farstrider, ToySoldier Thor gave some information about an on-line survey to which content creators are being pointed. At the time of the meeting, the survey had gained some 65 responses at the time of the meeting, with 26 claiming the changes are sufficient for them to cease uploading new content to the platform.

The survey is still open, and those wishing to take it can find it at Survey Monkey.

Tali Rosca pointed out that the re-worded ToS can be incompatible with the licences supplied by third-party content creators (e.g. CG Textures and Renderosity), thus causing them to ban further use of their products in Second life.  As such, she suggested that contacting other suppliers of materials used within SL, obtaining their feedback and using it to help the Lab understand that the ToS changes do present an issue.

Crap Mariner pointed to the issue facing artists and performers in Second Life: that the ToS potentially impacts the ability of artists and performers to strike exclusive deals outside of Second Life (e.g. a publishing deal) for material they may have first presented / performed within Second Life.

Mathilde Vhargon raised the impact of the changes for those who operate galleries and exhibition spaces within Second Life, and who invite artists from outside of the platform to display or perform their work. The re-worded ToS requires such artists and performers to assign rights to Linden Lab they may well have no desire to assign, thus leaving them unwilling to display or perform their work.

Mathilde also indicated she feels it important for Linden Lab to understand that for those who  are handicapped or otherwise unable to work, the platform represents their livelihood. As such, apparently arbitrary decisions by the Lab can have extreme personal and social consequences.

As a result of the meeting, a new in-world group, the United Content Creators of SL, has been set-up for those who wish to be a part of a “grassroots movement” to try to influence the Lab’s thinking.

Continue reading “ToS in-world meeting, September 29th: a personal perspective”

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Cocoa updates impact OS X 10.6 users

Update October 5th: The downgrade to viewer 3.6.4.280048 for those on OS X 10.6 has been made optional rather than mandatory, as the latest de facto release viewer (3.6.7.281793) contains fixes which address some of the issues users on OS X 10.6 were encountering. Those still encountering issues may wish to revert back to 3,6,4,280048.

Recent Cocoa updates to the Mac version of the viewer have led to problems for those running Mac OS X 10.6. Because of this, the Lab has opted to roll users on that version of the operating system back to an earlier release of the viewer – specifically version 3.6.4.280048 (August 20).

Commenting on the problems at the Open-source Dev meeting on Monday September 30th, Oz Linden said:

We found some obnoxious problems with the newer releases for users still on OSX 10.6. We’re working on getting them fixed … but in the mean time we decided that 10.6 users would be better off on the older version. We’ll be watching how many users it would affect, I’m sure.  Newer versions of OSX have significantly better crash rates, so if a user can upgrade, they definitely should.

Affected users should be automatically “rolled back” (so to speak) to this viewer release via the viewer update system. However, if you’re running OS X 10.6, experiencing issues and are running a later version of the viewer, you can manually download it here.

Viewer release summary 2013: week 39

This summary is published every Monday and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Viewer Round-up Page, a list of  all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware) and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy
  • By its nature, this summary will always be in arrears
  • The Viewer Round-up Page is updated as soon as I’m aware of any releases / changes to viewers & clients, and should be referred to for more up-to-date information
  • The Viewer Round-up Page also includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.

Updates for the week ending: September 29th, 2013

Official LL Viewers

  • Mac OS X 10.6 current release reverted to 3.6.4.280048 (August 20) (download & release notes) – Users running Mac OS X 10.6 have been restricted to this version because the Cocoa upgrade has caused a number of regressions on those systems
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
  • Project viewers:
    • None at present

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-Style

  • Ctrl-Alt-Studio release version (stereoscopic 3D) updated on September 27th to version 1.0.0.34288 – core updates: added Ctrl-Alt-3 keyboard shortcut that toggles stereoscopic 3D on/off; work-around to get stereoscopic 3D working with AMD Radeon on Windows; bug fixes (release notes)

V1-Style

Additional TPV Resources

Discontinued Viewers

  • Niran’s Viewer – discontinued as of version 2.2.0.2701 & superceded by Black Dragon
  • SLiteChat removed from listing; no updates since 2011, removed from TPV Directory & no response from developer
  • SL Second Life Beta viewer – deprecated as of version 3.6.2.278491, July 15, 2103
  • SL Development viewer – deprecated as of version 3.5.2.274629 April 24, 2013
  • Zen Viewer – discontinued by developer and no longer available, January 27th, 2013
  • Phoenix viewer – development and support ended on December 31st, 2012

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