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Apr 22, 2010

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1.

This whole case has the potential to open one of the biggest can of worms to ever hit a virtual world. If they win, all sorts of other implications are opened up, such as the European distance selling laws, tax obligations and it would re-ignite the VAT arguments.

However, as you rightly point out, nothing has really changed, so I'd hope that this will be recognised and the case will crash and burn.

2.

More interesting to me is the change in their Third Party Viewer policy that now restricts your ability to EXPORT the content that you "own" from Second Life.

Though the clause you mentioned has always been in the ToS, the fact that your data could disappear at any time was somewhat mitigated by the fact that you could export it and re-import into OpenSim or some other SL-like simulation.

As of April 30th, however, the new Third Party Viewer policy places restrictions on what can be exported from Second Life, namely you must be listed as the "creator" of an object, which may on its face seem reasonable, but for many reasons is not actually practical.

For one, it ignores the licensing provided by some content creators that explicitly permits export of their "full permissions" items (usually indicated in a notecard, in SL terms), so content a user creates using any component pieces created by others cannot be backed up now.

And for enterprise or institutional users (like my university), this means we cannot backup content that should theoretically be owned by the university rather than the staff being paid to create it since most builds are created by multiple staff members.

I think that would have been a meatier argument, perhaps. But maybe not, I'm certainly not a lawyer!

3.

I hope everyone involved in this goes bankrupt, since they should have gotten a first life before their second one.

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