Machinima Artists Guild

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The Official Linden Lab Snapshot and Machinima Policy

Here's the link to the official page: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Snapshot_and_ma... 
[
I'd copy the text in full, but its one of those pages that specifically advising such an action is disallowed.] 

Here is my interpretation of the policy.

Linden Labs and its residents collectively grant shooters non-exclusive and royalty-free copyright licenses to capture snapshots and machinima of certain 3D content displayed in-world. We may use the resulting snapshots or machinima within or outside of Second Life in any current or future media. These licenses are worldwide, sub-licenseable and transferable.  

Restrictions apply to what may be captured and the Lab distinguishes between mainland, private estates and private parcels. Snapshots have less restrictions than machinima. Featured avatars must give their consent for machinima.  

Snapshots
On private islands and homestead properties check the covenant and if it says nothing you have tacit permission to take snapshops. On mainland, there isn't physically a covenant in the land menu and you are automatically granted permission to take snapshots.

Machinima
On private islands and homestead properties check the covenant and if it says nothing you must still secure permission from the land owner. On mainland (where this is no covenant) you also need permission from the land owner.. [The land owner can be found in the “General” tab under “About Land.”]

Avatar Consent

Consent is not required for snapshots, but you must have permission from every avatar featured in machinima. Explicit permission is not required for machinima of crowd scenes.

Conclusion
You can take snapshots at will, except on private islands or homesteads with covenants that prohibit it. You can't take machinima at will; explicit permission is required. Featured avatars must consent to machinima, but their consent is not required for snapshots.

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Here's the link to the new (updated) ToS. I've excerpted the paragraph that references the new snapshot and machinima policy below.

7.4 You also grant Linden Lab and other users of Second Life a license to use in snapshots and machinima your Content that is displayed In-World in publicly accessible areas of the Service.

You agree that by uploading, publishing, or submitting any Content to or through the Servers for display In-World in any publicly accessible area of the Service, you hereby grant each user of Second Life and Linden Lab a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to photograph, capture an image of, film, and record a video of the Content, and to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the resulting photograph, image, film, or video in any current or future media as provided in and subject to the restrictions and requirements of our Snapshot and Machinima Policy. The foregoing license is referred to as the "Snapshot and Machinima Content License."

"Publicly accessible" areas of the Service are those areas that are accessible to other users of Second Life. If you do not wish to grant users of Second Life a Snapshot and Machinima Content License, you agree that it is your obligation to avoid displaying or making available your Content to other users. For example, you may use Virtual Land tools to limit or restrict other users' access to your Virtual Land and thus the Content on your Virtual Land.
the rule for machinima is that all permissions are required, and in writing. email would suffice. but without that, you may not get sued for 10 million dollars but your face could be splatter over facebook. that includes the property, houses, avatars, and little avatars (crowd).

the law in reality is slightly different except when you are on private property. sl is private property -- almost all of it.

EQ and WoW have a different philosophy. EQ doesnt care and WoW has it own machinima requirement but essential says nothing. But EQ and WoW are development owned and doesnt follow the private property laws.

Blue Mars is too early to tell. i expect that SL machinima will influence it too.

Then there is opensim. there you you can studio with cardboard towns and green screen. you could do the same thing in sl, but you have to a region and you spend a lot of money to buy the stuff. OpenSimMarket (i made it up) could rent the stuff out and then return it when you are done. of course, i dont know what the mechanism is for that.

as far as linden asking for it the be free -- nope, nothing going to happen unless linden does more to support machinima. people do it now because it gives them exposure. but there are machinima groups that spent really money and expect to be pay back. dont do it. youtube is good enough.

7.4 You also grant Linden Lab and other users of Second Life a license to use in snapshots and machinima your Content that is displayed In-World in publicly accessible areas of the Service.

You agree that by uploading, publishing, or submitting any Content to or through the Servers for display In-World in any publicly accessible area of the Service, you hereby grant each user of Second Life and Linden Lab a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to photograph, capture an image of, film, and record a video of the Content, and to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the resulting photograph, image, film, or video in any current or future media as provided in and subject to the restrictions and requirements of our Snapshot and Machinima Policy. The foregoing license is referred to as the "Snapshot and Machinima Content License."
--> Bristle. I've read both the policy and the ToS several times and I'm not seeing a rule that requires the permission be made in writing and/or via email. Please point to the place where you read this very specfic rule.

bristle chesnokov said:
the rule for machinima is that all permissions are required, and in writing. email would suffice.
Asil said:
--> Bristle. I've read both the policy and the ToS several times and I'm not seeing a rule that requires the permission be made in writing and/or via email. Please point to the place where you read this very specfic rule.

bristle chesnokov said:
the rule for machinima is that all permissions are required, and in writing. email would suffice.

no, not in writing, but if you ask for permission and he gives it to you and later changes his mind, what are you going to do? in the flim industry they have contracts but you dont have to do that. but anything you do, you have to get something in writing. watch judge judy.

in rl, we have to do that. now sl is making you do that. so get it in writing.
for WoW the rule is 'non commerical". other wise, its standard about WoW and doesnt deal with anything else.

http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/community/machinima/letter.html
what alot of hoo ha.. american stysems of anything love laws and what u CAN do and what you CANT do.
I roll my eyes..let then sue me if they catch me is my policy. Of course one is sensitive and would credit well built areas, but that's common sense and sl politeness, one neednt have rules and laws to maintain integrity in SL.
Rule of Law is what permits fair commerce. This new policy is a big change and, as I read it, very good for machinima artists. By codifying how images may be captured, we now have the ability to monitize the work we produce. Before this policy was published, trying to use machinima created in SL for commerical purposes was a very dubious proposition.

Pyewacket said:
what alot of hoo ha.. american stysems of anything love laws and what u CAN do and what you CANT do.
I roll my eyes..let then sue me if they catch me is my policy. Of course one is sensitive and would credit well built areas, but that's common sense and sl politeness, one neednt have rules and laws to maintain integrity in SL.
Thanks, Yani! I've always checked with the SIM owner to confirm they are OK with my shooting in their SIM. Sometimes I've done this via IM and other times, via email. I prefer email, because of the Internet headers in the email are a better "proof" the conversation happened. With group scenes, I'll ask all the avatars in the scene to sound-off that they are OK with being shot (can do this in local or group chat, depending on how the scene is organized). Two good things come from that ...you have a group record of consent and you have everyone's name spelled correctly.

I also have my own NING site I use for machinima; I create sub-groups for each of my projects on this site and everyone working on that machinima is invited to join. This way, we have a location outside of SL to share information and I have further documentation that the people and locations featured in the machinima were willing.

Yani said:
If you are concerned about permissions and the fickle nature of SL, here are a few things that may help or confuse the issue further!

If you feel a written permission is necessary you can make your request via IM and keep a record of the log.

Many sim owners want and promote machinima. It does make a forceful tool for advertisement. I know of a few sim owners that are putting this in thier covenents that by entering and using the sim, you are granting rights to have your avatar photographed or recorded.
I suspect the new licensing scheme is vague by design. But, its much clearer than it was. Regarding IP, if the new ToS and policy don't contradict the IP law where you are accessing SL, I'd image it would cover your work. It certainly makes me hopeful that I'll be able to create some kind of revenue stream via the stuff I plan to shoot in SL this year.

In the EU, US and UK people can basically sue at will, but ...that doesn't mean the courts will hear the case. And lawsuits cost money so ...there has to be real harm to make it worth the cost to begin. If you're not charging people to access your content, I think its very doubtful you'll get noticed by any entity (except Disney ...they are lions when it comes to use of their IP).

The most important thing is you don't capture trademarks (like CocaCola) or recognizable IP (like Mickey Mouse avatars) when you're shooting. In SL if you see those logos, they are probably there because the rezzer has uploaded them without permission. This is why I'm so particular about the textures I use for my builds ...if I didn't make them, I'll only use full perms that have a clear licence. I don't want grief from makers who think you can't take pictures of their textures as part of a build if you're making money with the resulting machinima.

Its a slipperly slope and we probably won't see law until someone makes enough money via machinima to capture the attention of larger interests who will then want the action.

Tikaf Viper said:
First of all, I must say I'm not American.
The main issue ,thereby, is for me to first know what would happen to "non-American citizens" in case of a problem.

Shall I consider myself as an "American citizen" and abide to Linden policy as to SL machinima? Or can I sue or be sued by a non US judge?

I also guess, after taking some advice, that this policy falls into the realm of intellectual property, right?
Now what if , for instance, my own "avenger productions" becomes a trademark or logo?
Is it still in the same area or falling into "industrial property" copyright?
What about the "right of fair use" one finds in Anglo-Saxon Law?

As you all might know, international law does not exist per se ... which is problematic.

Begging your pardon if I'm keeping with general considerations here, but I need more in-depth work, French and US Law cross-checking ... plus time to translate my thoughts back into "legal" English vocabulary. Will keep you informed.
On a side note of this policy, some of you might have noticed the SL ToS have been updated recently to reflect some of these changes. http://secondlife.com/corporate/tos.php#tos1

As you'll see the new ToS will be in effect as of April 30th.

If you go through section 7.8 (on respect the Intellectual Property Rights of other users, Linden Lab, and third parties.) you might have noticed some changes to the previous ToS - that might effect our way of working. Changes that weren't published like the snapshot & machinima policy (published quitely in the ToS alone - keeping it quite is seems).

The conclusion I draw from this change is the following:
If we wish to film any product created in Second Life we need to have the consent of the person that created the content.
In practice this means that we are responsible and liable if we film any SL content and did not ask permission.
These new ToS could create some challenges in practice.
Giving you an example, let's say you are about to film a party in SL. Before you would do any filming (according to these ToS) you would need to check all content - see who created it - and ask for filming consent. Can you imagine check out clothing pieces, hair, furniture, etc... of the entire grounds and all people at the party (simply not realistic).

To be honest I don't expect a wave of lawsuits heading to machinima artists, but if people would file a complaint via SL (because the creator of a hair-piece doesn't like the fact that you filmed it without their consent) YOU (not Linden Labs) would be liable.

Seems like the creative freedom Linden Lab guaranteed via their new policy is in reality more of a restriction then anything else.

Your views on this all ?

Cheers,

Aaron
I believe the language of the exception covers machinima makers. In other words, if you've received permission from the land/parcel owner to shoot on their land, those images are yours. If those images include objects created by others, you don't need to get individual permissions. I'm posting the section you mentioned in full. Perhaps there's a lawyer or two in the Guild that can speak to this with greater authority.

7.8 You agree to respect the Intellectual Property Rights of other users, Linden Lab, and third parties.

You agree that you will not upload, publish, or submit to any part of the Service any Content that is protected by Intellectual Property Rights or otherwise subject to proprietary rights, including trade secret or privacy rights, unless you are the owner of such rights or have permission from the rightful owner to upload, publish, or submit the Content and to grant Linden Lab and users of the Service all of the license rights granted in these Terms of Service.

You acknowledge that the Content of the Service is provided or made available to you under license from Linden Lab and independent Content providers, including other users of the Service ("Content Providers"). You acknowledge and agree that except as expressly provided in this Agreement, the Intellectual Property Rights of Linden Lab and other Content Providers in their respective Content are not licensed to you by your mere use of the Service. You must obtain from the applicable Content Providers any necessary license rights in Content that you desire to use or access.

Linden Lab and other Content Providers may use the normal functionality of the Service, including the permissions system and the copy, modify, and transfer settings, to indicate how you may use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, or perform their respective Content solely In-World. You acknowledge and agree that the permissions system and other functionality of the Service do not grant you any license, consent, or permission to copy, modify, transfer, or use in any manner any Content outside the Service.

You agree that you will not copy, transfer, or distribute outside the Service any Content that contains any Linden In-World Content, in whole or in part or in modified or unmodified form, except as allowed by the Snapshot and Machinima Policy, or that infringes or violates any Intellectual Property Rights of Linden Lab, other Content Providers, or any third parties.

Linden Lab reserves the right, but is not obligated to use technological measures designed to prohibit the copying, transfer, or distribution of Content outside the Service when we in good faith believe that such copying, transfer, or distribution would or might violate the Intellectual Property Rights of our users, Linden Lab, or third parties.

You copy and use Content at your own risk. You are solely responsible and liable for your use, reproduction, distribution, modification, display, or performance of any Content in violation of any Intellectual Property Rights. You agree that Linden Lab will have no liability for, and you agree to defend, indemnify, and hold Linden Lab harmless for, any claims, losses or damages arising out of or in connection with your use, reproduction, distribution, modification, display, or performance of any Content.

Aaron Ishelwood said:
On a side note of this policy, some of you might have noticed the SL ToS have been updated recently to reflect some of these changes. http://secondlife.com/corporate/tos.php#tos1

As you'll see the new ToS will be in effect as of April 30th.

If you go through section 7.8 (on respect the Intellectual Property Rights of other users, Linden Lab, and third parties.) you might have noticed some changes to the previous ToS - that might effect our way of working. Changes that weren't published like the snapshot & machinima policy (published quitely in the ToS alone - keeping it quite is seems).

The conclusion I draw from this change is the following:
If we wish to film any product created in Second Life we need to have the consent of the person that created the content.
In practice this means that we are responsible and liable if we film any SL content and did not ask permission.
These new ToS could create some challenges in practice.
Giving you an example, let's say you are about to film a party in SL. Before you would do any filming (according to these ToS) you would need to check all content - see who created it - and ask for filming consent. Can you imagine check out clothing pieces, hair, furniture, etc... of the entire grounds and all people at the party (simply not realistic).

To be honest I don't expect a wave of lawsuits heading to machinima artists, but if people would file a complaint via SL (because the creator of a hair-piece doesn't like the fact that you filmed it without their consent) YOU (not Linden Labs) would be liable.

Seems like the creative freedom Linden Lab guaranteed via their new policy is in reality more of a restriction then anything else.

Your views on this all ?

Cheers,

Aaron

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