Terms of Service (TOS) & Acceptable Use Policy
Welcome to Discovery Grid. By applying for an account with Discovery Grid it is assumed you have read and agree to the Terms of Service (TOS) the follows.
Please note: In order to apply for an account with Discovery Grid you are stating that you are over 18 years of age. Should it be discovered that the account holder is less than 18 years of age, the account will be disabled and blocked.
Discovery Grid (the “Service”) provides server use for a 3D online world; Discovery Grid has no responsibility for the content that you access through the Service and does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity or quality of such content; Discovery Grid assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, deletion, or failure to store any user communications, personalization settings, or content. If a user chooses to stream his/her video, music, audio or other content into Discovery Grid directly or using a streaming relay host, the content and any copyright/royalty fees and any other possible issues are the user’s responsibility.
2. PRIVACY AND SECURITY
Information regarding your service usage that is available to Discovery Grid will be maintained in confidence except for disclosures required by law (e.g., a lawful subpoena), disclosures you agree to, disclosures of general information on usage that does not refer to the user’s identity, and disclosures for billing, collection or enforcement purposes. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any password and account credentials, and are fully responsible for all activities that occur under your password or account. You agree to immediately notify Discovery Grid of any unauthorized use of your password or account or any other breach of security, if this effects your services from Discovery Grid.
3. MEMBER CONDUCT
All information, data, text, software, music, sound, photographs, graphics, video, messages or other materials (“Content”), whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, are the sole responsibility of the person from which such Content originated. Customer is solely responsible for all Content that Customer uploads, posts, instant messages or otherwise transmits via the Service or that may be stored by the service. Customer acknowledges that in using the Service, Customer may be exposed to Content that is offensive, indecent or objectionable in the customer’s opinion. Discovery Grid shall have no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any Content, including, but not limited to, any errors or omissions in any Content, or for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any Content posted, emailed or otherwise transmitted via the Service.
Customer agrees to not use the Service to:
- Upload, post, email, instant message or otherwise transmit any Content that is unlawful, harmful, harassing, defamatory, obscene, libellous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;
- Transmit material that Is intended to or is likely to cause harm to minors;
- Impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, a Discovery Grid employee or
representative, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity;
- Forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any Content transmitted through the Service;
- Upload, post, email, instant message or otherwise transmit any Content that the Customer does not have a right to transmit under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (including, for example and without limiting the scope of this clause, proprietary and confidential information or information protected under nondisclosure agreements);
- Upload, post, email, instant message or otherwise transmit any Content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights (“Rights”) of any party.
- Upload, post, email, instant message or otherwise transmit any unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” or “pyramid schemes”;
- Upload, post, email or otherwise transmit messages of any type to any other recipient list obtained from a third party or where permission was not granted directly by the recipient to the sender in a clear and concise manor;
- Use the Service to collect replies or responses from any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “pyramid schemes,” or anything which violates this acceptable use policy (including, for example and without limiting the scope of this clause, hosting websites, images, email accounts, email servers, or other electronic means used to collect responses, orders or to track receipt of messages which violate this AUP, even if message did not originate from this Service).
- Sending Spam can lead to industry blacklisting of business and mail servers, IP addresses and blocks, resulting in interruption and/or termination of Customer’s Services;
- Upload, post, email or otherwise transmit any material that contains malicious scripts and/or programs such as computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, keyloggers, password or personal information collectors, analysis tools, network probing or scanning tools or similar computer code or materials designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment either owned by or leased by Discovery Grid or the Services affiliates (other account holder);
- Engage in hacking, port scanning or any attempt to access any information, computer or network without proper authorization, including but not limited to accessing data not intended for you, logging into or making use of a server or account you are not expressly authorized to access, or probing the security of other entities not limited to hosts, networks or accounts;
- Interfere with or disrupt the Service or servers or networks connected to the Service, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the Service. Disrupt, degrade, harm or attempts to harm the Discovery Grid network or any of its services;
- Intentionally or unintentionally violate any applicable local, state, federal or international law;
- “Stalk” or otherwise harass another User or Account holder.
- Unlawfully collect or store personal data about other users.
- The soliciting, requesting, facilitating, or performing of child sexual activity, child pornography, or explicit depiction of child sexual matter in photos, drawings, or depictions by avatars, or any child oriented sexual content of any kind is not allowed anywhere in Discovery Grid (even if not banned by law in any jurisdiction) and will result in immediate termination of the individuals involved.
4. Discovery Currency
Discovery Grid allows for the purchase, trade, exchange of virtual coins known as “Discovery Coins”. Coins can be purchased from Discovery Grid, however carry no intrinsic value themselves. Coins can be exchanged, bartered, traded or transferred between Discovery Grid account holders in exchange for permission to access and use Content, applications, services and various user-created features while respecting license terms of said content, application, service or feature. Discovery Grid coins are NOT a form of real currency or any type of financial instrument and are not redeemable for any sum of real world money from Discovery Grid. Discovery Grid maintains the right to manage, regulate, control and/or modify the use of its coins as it sees fit without prior notice and liability. All Coins issued are and remain the property of Discovery Grid. All coins held by any account which has not logged into our system in the past 18 months will be forfeited and reclaimed by Discovery Grid – No Exceptions.
Customer shall indemnify and hold Discovery Grid and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents and employees, harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of Content submitted or transmitted by Customer through the Service, Customer’s use of the Service, Customer’s connection to the Service, Customer’s violation of Discovery Grid’s Acceptable Use Policy, Customer’s violation of local, state, federal or international law, or Customer’s violation of any rights of another person or entity through use of the Service.
Discovery Grid may, without notice to Customer, terminate Customer’s access to the Service, or any other resource provided by Discovery Grid as part of the Service, if the Service believes that Customer has violated Discovery Grid’s Acceptable Use Policy or acted inconsistently with the letter or spirit of Discovery Grid’s Acceptable Use Policy. Customer also agrees that Discovery Grid shall not be liable to you or any third-party for any termination of Customer’s access to the Service.
7. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
Discovery Grid, the service, and the owners of said service shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, including but not limited to, damages for loss of profits or revenues, goodwill, use, data or other intangible losses (even Discovery Grid has been advised of the possibility of such damages), resulting from: (i) the use or the inability to use the service; (ii) any goods, data, information or services purchased or obtained or messages received or transactions entered into through or from the service; (iii) any other matter relating to the service.
If any provision of Discovery Grid’s Acceptable Use Policy is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties’ intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of Discovery Grid’s Acceptable Use Policy shall remain in full force and effect. The section titles in this Acceptable Use Policy are for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect. Discovery Grid reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend, supplement or revise this Acceptable Use Policy from time-to-time.
In addition to the above Terms of Service by using Discovery Grid’s Services you must also agree to and accept all Discovery Grid Polices.
Section: Property and Liabilities
- Content Theft: the unlawful or unethical appropriation of a copy of any protected digital content. Unlike theft in the physical world, digital content theft may not deprive the lawful owner or creator of use of the original work, but of potential theoretical future control or earnings.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Piracy: a inflammatory term used by some for the purpose of lobbying and litigation, but that is actually not helpful to rational discussion.
- 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 in Discovery Grid is 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. The DMCA operates under international laws. 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 “take down” notice to Discovery 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. Contact DCMA@discoverygridservices.net for further information if it is needed to file a report.
Please note that an intentionally false DMCA take down notice is considered to be perjury, and is also a violation of Discovery Grid Policy.
In the case of receiving a valid take down notice via post, Discovery Grid will notify the citizen in question, who then has to opportunity to dispute the notice by filing a response, detailing the reasons that the original take down 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.
Discovery Grid Resident Expectations and Responsibilities
We expect that all citizens will take into account both social and legal requirements in the use and copying of digital properties. If a Discovery Grid citizen 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.
Discovery 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.
Discovery Grid Management Expectations and Responsibilities
If all other means of resolution fail, or if a DMCA complaint is filed, the Discovery Grid management will take action, as required by appropriate international 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 Discovery Grid management as grounds for suspension or removal of a resident’s account.
Section: Maturity Ratings and Restriction
- Adult: this rating specifies a region or parcel in which violence, full nudity, and sexual expression are acceptable in public areas. Note that depictions and activities that are considered illegal are still strictly forbidden, and that the Discovery Grid management may enact further restrictions as they deem necessary. Additionally, landowners may specify further restrictions. Child avatars may not enter areas rated Adult.
- Child Avatar: a child avatar is an avatar that in size and general form represents a minor humanoid child. Note that an avatar account may use an adult shape to enter areas rated as Mature or Adult, but any account using a child shape must remain only in General (G or PG) areas while using that shape.
- General: this rating specifies a region or parcel in which depictions and activities are considered appropriate for all sensibilities at all times, and is roughly equivalent to a “G” motion picture rating, though it is often referred to wrongly as “PG” due to decisions made by other grids. Areas rated general should have no overt depictions, activities, or advertisements for significant violence, nudity, sexual expression, or rough language. All humanoid avatars, both female and male, should remain fully clothed in all areas where the rating is General. Child avatars are restricted to regions rated General (or G, or PG).
- Humanoid avatar: for the purpose of this document, a humanoid avatar is one that is sufficiently humanlike, or that has genitalia and/or nipples that are sufficiently humanlike, to cause social outrage or embarrassment if exposed in a general public situation. For instance, a satyr or mermaid would be humanoid, while a horse would not, and a furry might or might not be.
- Mature: a rating that is displayed by some viewers and other software, and that should be considered equivalent to “Moderate” for the purposes of Discovery Grid.
- Moderate: this rating specifies a region or parcel in which a moderate amount of violence, nudity, sexual expression, or rough language is acceptable. Note that a landowner may specify additional restrictions. In areas rated Moderate, avatars of both sexes may be top-free unless the landowner specifies otherwise. Full nudity, graphic sexual activity, or graphic violence are not appropriate in public areas. Child avatars may not enter areas rated Moderate.
- PG: see General. PG is actually a motion picture rating that means Parental Guidance, and is therefore inappropriate in Discovery Grid, where the minimum age for residents is 18 years. However, some viewers and other software use PG for this category; it should be considered for the purposes of Discovery Grid as equivalent to “General”.
“Rating” is a term that is used in the context of Discovery Grid to define a complex set of preferences about such things as depictions of violence, nudity, sexuality, language, and other things. In the grid environment, ratings have been reduced to three catch-all levels: General (or PG), Moderate (or Mature), and Adult. These are sometimes abbreviated G, M, and A respectively. These provide a means for allowing region and parcel owners to specify the potential range of content in their specific areas, as well as request a general level of behaviour in the absence of any other restrictions.
Because Discovery Grid is restricted to residents 18 years old and above, there are not age specific restrictions on ratings; selection of ratings is informational and preferential. However, depictions and activities that are considered illegal under US federal or applicable state law are strictly forbidden, and will be considered grounds for action by Discovery Grid management up to and including immediate banning. This includes using avatars that specifically appear to be under 18 in a sexual way.
Additionally, some depictions or activities that are otherwise acceptable in Discovery Grid may be considered illegal in jurisdictions in which a resident lives, in which case that resident is responsible for avoiding such.
Grid viewers and server software make some effort to provide information about region and parcel ratings, as well as enforcement of viewer preferences. Current OpenSim software does not provide region and parcel covenants, which are informational in any case. Adherence to ratings ultimately depends on individual action.
Discovery Grid Resident Expectations and Responsibilities
It is expected that owners/renters will set ratings appropriate to their areas; additionally, owners are encouraged to provide additional guidelines as appropriate. It is also expected that residents and visitors of an area will adhere to both its rating and any covenants or other restrictions that owner provides.
It is expected that all human or humanoid residents will remain fully clothed in General (G or PG) rated areas. This means all humanoid avatars—both male and female—must wear clothing that fully covers the nipples and the pubic area while in General areas.
It is expected that residents using a child avatar will avoid going into any but General rated areas.
Discovery Grid Community Expectations and Responsibilities
The nine core community regions are all rated General, by decision of the community in 2009. The navigable water and sandbox regions are rated Moderate. Other core regions are also Moderate, but renters of individual parcels may specify a General rating for their parcels, if desired.
Private regions may be set to any rating, as desired by the owners. Possible examples of ratings might be, for General: educational areas, and physical world company regions; for Moderate: night clubs, beaches, and role play involving limited violence; for Adult: nude beaches, role play involving graphic violence.
The community may in the future choose to refine or change the ratings for community regions, and to encourage appropriate adherence to those ratings.
Discovery Grid Management Expectations and Responsibilities
Discovery Grid management cannot allow the company or the community to be put at risk by the actions of a few, and will put an immediate stop to any depictions or activities that are illegal under US federal or applicable state laws, and appropriate action will be taken against the residents responsible, possibly including immediate banning and reporting to appropriate authorities. Depiction of child pornography or sexual activity by child avatars is grounds for immediate and permanent banning, with reporting to appropriate authorities. Child avatars should remain fully clothed and in areas rated General (G or PG) at all times.
For lesser infractions, such as behaviour outside the ratings for an area, management may request change of behavior, or enforce a limited ban as deemed appropriate. Discovery Grid management may also request landowners to adjust either the rating or the content of their areas.
Section: Imports and Exports
- IAR: (Inventory ARchive) is a file that represents all or part of an avatar’s inventory, and can be written and read by OpenSim server software.
- OAR: (Opensimulator ARchive) is a file that typically represents the entirety of a sim, including its terrain, and all objects and textures, and can be written and read by OpenSim server software. There are variations, and some OARs may include only the terrain, or may include only some objects based on the estate owner’s permissions.
- Stored Inventory: A utility—formerly known as Second Inventory—that supports exporting inventory objects from grids, for backup purposes, and for import into other grids.
- XML: (eXtensible Markup Language) is a file format that can be used for many things. In this case, it is used by most viewers to offer export/import capability, allowing the user to write an XML file representing an object from one grid, and read it into another grid. Because formats vary between viewers, typically, a file of this type must be read with the same viewer and version that they it was written with. Depending on the grid and the viewer, some objects may not be exportable.
A creator should be able to move her/his creations to any grid she/he chooses, subject to that grid’s rules. At Discovery Grid, we welcome creators bringing their own creations into the grid. A purchaser or legal recipient of those creations should be able to use those creations in all grids, subject to the constraints of the creator.
The legal arena is very unclear and unsettled here. Please see the section on Property and Liabilities for more information.
As with copying of objects within the grid, OpenSim software and viewers make an effort to control exporting and importing items to the intention of the creators. However, it is not difficult for a determined user to subvert those intentions, and it is sometimes difficult to maintain creator and ownership information when objects are transferred in this way.
Discovery Grid Resident Expectations and Responsibilities
As with in world copying, we expect that all citizens will take into account both social and legal requirements in the use of exports and imports of digital items. The same standards will be applied. As a general rule, citizens should only import objects which they created entirely, or objects for which all parts (prims, mesh, textures, sounds, etc.) are explicitly licensed for such use, or are in public domain. Remember, just because someone wishes strongly that something is free to use does not make it so.
10. NON PAYMENT
If you have entered into a paid agreement with Discovery Grid for use of land and your land use fees are past due greater than 30 days, Discovery Grid reserves the right to consider the agreement null and void and all objects you own on the land may be returned to you and the land reclaimed and/or resold to someone else.
Discovery Grid prohibits gambling of any type in our virtual world. Any games requiring someone to pay a fee to play them in hopes of obtaining a randomly generated payout is not permitted.
A skill game, however is not considered gambling. Prohibited example: “Slot Machines”, permitted example: “Dart Throwing”.
If in doubt, please ask.
Discovery Grid reserves the right to ban any game for any reason at any time if we deem it is not suitable for our platform.
12. FREE LAND RECLAMATION
Discovery Grid reserves the right to reclaim any land which was previously provided to any user free of charge for any reason. If said land is reclaimed, all objects on the land will be returned to the owner.