Tuesday, April 6, 2010

19 of 52 - TOS and the final Rainbow Viewer

A sore-eyed avatar looking at the SL TOS documents in the background

Running on Hagrid right now is Boy Lane's Rainbow Viewer final edition. There will be no more versions, due to the Labs rather messy Third Party Viewer Policy. Boy no longer feels comfortable with the expressed responsibility LL requires developers to take on by accepting the new TOS. Really sad, because the Rainbow viewer was the only one optimized for my Wind Netbook.

Btw, did you know that the SL TOS is now almost 20 pages? And that it references 17 - seventeen - additional documents containing legalese covering subjects ranging from maturity ratings to gambling policy?

To be fair to the Lindens, they do operate a large business in a world run by lawyers, and have to make sure they have their back free. But if they want to continue to run a world with content largely being supplied by end users, they need to take some actions. To take some responsibilities away from the creative minds in this community. If it becomes necessary to hire a lawyer to interpret the TOS before you start to produce and sell content in SL, then a lot of the small suppliers will just leave in disgust. Fun has left the building.

In contrast to the ReactionGrid TOS that is a simple half-page statement.

The sad fact though is that the day that RG gets to the same size as SL, it's TOS will probably also have grown. Today, the people behind this grid has nice titles like "CEO/Developer" (a clear contradiction in terms in established businesses LOL, how great it would be if they decided to keep it so! But there are foul forces in play in the business world sigh) So I raise Cris' Theorem regarding legalese in virtual worlds: "The page count of the TOS of any virtual world is proportional to its population and size of management."

In Norway, we have a beloved author of children books called Torbjørn Egner. In one of his books, The Peoples and Robbers of Cardemon Town, he formulates an even simpler law: The Law of Cardemon:
You should not bother others,
you should be nice and kind,
otherwise you can do as you please.
I think that will be the terms of service for entering my SIM:-)

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