What Every Builder MUST Know!

At Builder's Bargains, we are striving to offer everyone not only a gathering place for creators of great full-permission and builder-friendly items, but also information that is important for all builders. Everything from how to build, marketing to aspects of intellectual property laws that may make or break a creator.

To that end, I am creating this page to inform you - the shopper of full-permission or partial-permission scripts, textures, scupts, mesh, templates, or anything else that you may use in your creations - of what exactly you need to know about using these items in your build.

I am dedicating this page to Terms of Service (TOS), End User License Agreement (EULA) or User License Agreement (ULA). You may see this in the form of a note card tucked in among the textures, scripts, etc. that you purchased. You may have been handed one by the automatic greeter at a texture shop. If you haven't read that card, that could be the biggest mistake you make as a content creator.

Please read on:

Copyright law grants artists (including full perm creators in SL), a right to derive financial gain from their creations, and to control how their creations are used or distributed.  When you "purchase" a texture pack, sculpt kit, script, animation, pose, or mesh model, you are not purchasing the creation.  You're purchasing a right to use that creation as a component in your creations in accordance with the original artist's TOS, or ULA.

While you may feel very familiar with the idea that it is not okay to swap full-perm items with another avatar, be it an alt, friend, or family member, you may not have known that some creators of full-perm items don't want you to sell the items you create using their mesh, sculpt, or textures with copy/mod permissions. Some also don't allow you to create freebies or hunt items using their textures, sculpts or scripts.

In short, all TOS's are not the same! They are as unique as each of the creators who have made their items available to you for sale. While I may sell my textures with permissions to download to your computer so you can use them in clothing creation, another texture creator may specifically forbid it in his or her TOS.

It is very important that you be familiar with the terms of the individual from whom you have purchased your item(s). This is as much for protection for yourself as it is for honoring those who go to the great trouble of creating something and trusting you to respect their work. Many creators are more active than you realize in pursuing protection of their intellectual property rights, and you don't want to fall prey to an expensive mistake - or to have your reputation tarnished because you failed to spend a few seconds reading a ULA!  (We all know it can take years to build a solid reputation and less than a minute to lose one.)

A SPECIAL NOTE TO CREATORS OF FULL-PERM ITEMS: It should be known that it is YOUR responsibility to provide to consumers your TOS, ULA or EULA at the point of purchase. By this, it should be made clear that your terms must be available SEPARATELY from a purchase -- that is to say, it should be posted as a sign, or available for free via a note card giver, for example. Despite rumors circulating in SL, Linden Labs DOES review DMCA filings, and when it does so, LL needs to check to see if your TOS is provided at the point of purchase.They check this because the courts require it as well, if someone is pursuing legal action. LL is required -- like anyone else -- to follow the laws and procedures to the letter. So if you've missed a step in this process, LL's hands are tied.

I hope you've found this information helpful, and if nothing else, that it prompts you to give thought to researching for yourself what your rights are as a content creator in SL. As artists (because that's what we all are), we have rights and laws that protect us. Please be sure you know what they are!

Before I end this note, I want to send out a special thanks to Kat Alderson for serving as a consultant with the information provided here.

Thank you again to all you shoppers out there, and to the wonderful vendors who make our sales possible!

Chippie Waffle
Founder of Builder's Bargains
Owner/Creator of \\CHIPAHOLIC// Textures

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