New Hope Grid terms and conditions of service
PLEASE READ ALL OF THE FOLLOWING TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE FOR THIS WEB SITE ("TOS") BEFORE USING THIS SITE. By continuing to access, link to, or use this site, or any service on this site, you signify YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE TOS. New Hope Grid reserves the right to amend, remove, or add to the TOS at any time. Such modifications shall be effective immediately. Accordingly, please continue to review the TOS whenever accessing, linking to, or using this site. Your access, link to, or use of the site, or any service on this site, after the posting of modifications to the TOS will constitute YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE TOS, as modified. If, at any time, you do not wish to accept the TOS, you may not access, link to, or use the site. Any terms and conditions proposed by you which are in addition to or which conflict with the TOS are expressly rejected by New Hope Grid and shall be of no force or effect.
Age & Verification
New Hope Grid is for users that are over 18 years of age. Restrictions in the current technology prevent New Hope Grid from actively blocking users from these areas. By creating an account on New Hope Grid, you agree to the Terms of Service and verify that you are over 18 years of age.
Rules of Conduct
We do not allow real photos of children, child pornography or any image depicting an act of a sexual nature involving children is not permitted. Child avatars will not be allowed to conduct themselves in a manner that is inconsistent with the rules of conduct or federal laws. Offenders will be asked to remove the offending items. Further action may be taken.
1. Content Theft: the unlawful or unethical appropriation of a copy of another's protected digital content. Unlike theft in the physical world, digital content theft may not deprive the lawful owner of use of the original work, but of potential theoretical future control or earnings.
2. Copyright: a legal protection in most countries of works such as writing, painting, photography, video, and music recording. In the US, copyright is automatically assigned to the creator of any copyrightable work, whether it is actually registered with the government or not.
3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA): A US federal law that attempts to control ownership rights of copyrighted digital assets, including, among other things, music and other sounds, images and textures. Many other countries have or are considering similar laws.
4. Intellectual Property (IP): a catch-all term often used to discuss items such as copyright and trademark. IP is not a legal term, and ignores the large differences between such things as patents and copyrights.
5. Patent: a legal protection in most countries of specific implementations of ideas. In some countries, this is restricted to specific physical machines or techniques, while in others, such as the US, it also includes computer algorithms and business processes (though this later area is still being analyzed by the courts).
6. Piracy: a inflammatory term used by some for the purpose of lobbying and litigation, but that is actually not helpful to rational discussion.
7. Plagiarism: the unattributed copying of substantial amounts of text or other works. Using a substantial portion of a book or song, for instance, is plagiarism. What amounts to substantial is a matter of judgement, and depends on the size of the work involved.
Having a similar style, even copying a style, is not the same thing as content theft. In fact, human society as we know it would not exist without it. However, a creator should have a right to control the use of her/his specific creations for some period of time, as an encouragement to create useful items for the betterment of the community. The creation of goods for the benefit of the entire community, and so we want to provide an environment that provides both the incentive to create and the encouragement to share, either freely or in trade. Misappropriation and content theft work counter to this goal, as well as causing ill-will in the community.
Direct copying of prims, textures, and scripts without permission of the creator is a copyright violation. This is true whether or not the creator has registered a copyright. New Hope Grid asset server operates in the United States, and as such, is subject to USA law, including the DMCA. It is not enough to assume that the creator intended free copying just because a given copy has no specific property restrictions. If a creator discovers that her or his creation is being used contrary to legal wishes, she or he may use a DMCA "takedown" notice to New Hope Grid to request its immediate removal. The notice must include both the copyright that is allegedly being violated, and the in-world item(s) which are violating the copyright, including the object's name and location, and an explanation of the violation. The notice must also include real-world contact information, be submitted using our 'Help' system under the DMCA category and if requested must provide this notice in signed written form. Please note that an intentionally false DMCA takedown notice is considered to be perjury, and is also a violation of New Hope Grid World's terms of service.
In the case of receiving a valid takedown notice, New Hope Grid will notify the resident in question, who then has to opportunity to dispute the notice by filing a response, detailing the reasons that the original takedown request was invalid.
The text of the DMCA is at http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf.
For more background information on the DMCA, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act.
OpenSim software and viewers, as they currently exist, do make an effort to control copying items to the intention of the creators. However, it is not difficult for a determined user to subvert those intentions. While it is likely that future development of OpenSim will improve these tools, there is not now, and likely will never be, a completely reliable technical solution to prevent theft of property. For this reason, the creator's intent should be respected, regardless of the permission settings, and regardless of what the user may wish the creator's intentions were. If in doubt, ask the creator.
New Hope Grid Resident Expectations and Responsibilities
We expect that all residents will take into account both social and legal requirements in the use and copying of digital properties. If a New Hope Grid resident discovers a potential problem in this area, she or he should first of all discuss the problem with those directly involved both factually and calmly. The use of drama to deal with this is both inappropriate and likely to escalate rather than solve the problem. Nor is it helpful to escalate matters to a legal dispute prematurely, as this is likely to cost all parties concerned a great deal of time, money, and aggravation, without any guarantee of an amicable solution. It is also always of highest importance that creators not confuse copying of ideas and styles, which is legal, with copying of actual content without permission, which is not ethical or legal.
New Hope Grid Community Expectations and Responsibilities
If the parties involved cannot come to resolution directly, they should bring the dispute before the community council for rational discussion.
New Hope Grid Management Expectations and Responsibilities
If all other means of resolution fail, or if a DMCA complaint is filed, the New Hope Grid management will take action, as required by appropriate USA federal and state law. Please note that both repetitive digital property violations, and the repetitive abuse of DMCA complaints to remove property inappropriately in an effort to suppress speech, commerce, or otherwise "grief" another resident will be considered by New Hope Grid management as grounds for suspension or removal of a resident's account.
New Hope Grid will follow all USA federal and applicable state laws, and provide full disclosure to all legal authorities and parties involved, as required by subpoena or other legal write.
No damages beyond Rental Price. You agree that if, in connection with your use of the Provided virtual space, you incur direct or indirect injury of any kind, including injury to persons or property or lost profits, New Hope Grid shall be liable to you only for the Rental Price. In no event will New Hope Grid, it's stockholders, directors, officers or employees Will Not be liable to you for any damages, including lost profits or other incidental or consequential damages arising out of your use or inability to use the Virtual Space.