Helmet House Rules

VR Sep 25, 2020

The crypto art space is filling with amazing talent in a mind boggling array of disciplines and media, from linocuts to virtual reality. As to the latter, the period of 2019-2020 saw a tremendous increase in the number of artists using VR tools in their process.

Those devices and their related applications and services do ship with legally binding terms and conditions of use that could impact you as an artist so it is probably worth studying them carefully to cover the basics before adding them to your collection of artmaking tools.

IANAL* † ‡ Standard disclaimer applies... Alpacawhal is not a lawyer and nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice.

Here, Alpacwhal performs the public service of briefly examining the Terms and Conditions of use for popular virtual reality art tools to raise awareness of potential implications and to share these resources for your further scrutiny.

The Bad Lament. "Remembrance and Hope," [detail] 2020 (SuperRare)

Oculus Terms of Service

Oculus users– here are the latest terms of use, but you should note, that they will be soon updated and your continued use of an Oculus account will bind you to the updated terms as clearly spelled out right in the beginning of the document:

On October 11, 2020, we are updating the Oculus Terms of Service to reflect that Facebook, Inc. (or Facebook Ireland Limited for European Region users) will become responsible for the Oculus platform and your Oculus information. You can find a preview of the updated Terms of Service here, and we recommend that you review them. By continuing to use an Oculus account after October 11, 2020, you agree to the updated Oculus Terms of Service. If you use a Facebook account on the platform after October 11, 2020, you will be asked to agree to new terms that will become available on that date.
Last Updated: June 8, 2020
Now you need a FB account to use Oculus...

Another choice excerpt to ponder on as a crypto artist... 🤔

By submitting User Content through the Services, you grant Oculus a worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free, and fully sublicensable (i.e. we can grant this right to others) right to use, copy, display, store, adapt, publicly perform, and distribute such User Content

This is certainly a quite standardized clause in most terms and conditions legalese, and will typically not affect the average user at all.

However as an artist, you should consider whether this is going to surprise you later if you are to learn that your art was used in ways that you didn't approve of or to promote something that you do not personally support.

Giant Swan. "Anomaly.97," [detail] 2019 (SuperRare)

Google Tiltbrush Terms of Service

Tiltbrush users agree to the Googles terms of service, which includes a license clause pertaining to user content. In that license clause, are yet again typical user content style rights that in this case, you are granting to Google for your art created with Tiltbrush.

This is the relevant excerpt.

This license allows Google to:

• host, reproduce, distribute, communicate, and use your content — for example, to save your content on our systems and make it accessible from anywhere you go

• publish, publicly perform, or publicly display your content, if you’ve made it visible to others

• modify and create derivative works based on your content, such as reformatting or translating it

• sublicense these rights to:

 • other users to allow the services to work as designed, such as enabling you to share photos with people you choose

 • our contractors who’ve signed agreements with us that are consistent with these terms, only for the limited purposes described in the Purpose section below

Again, it is up to you to consider whether this is actually agreeable to you.

If you do not first study and consider these terms and create with Tiltbrush in ignorance of them, you could be surprised later to learn your work is being used by Google exactly as they said they would, and exactly as you agreed when you said OK to the dialog in the sofware.

As a pioneering artist in an emerging space, it is important to stay grounded and informed.

Gravity Sketch

At the time of this writing, we visited the Gravity Sketch End User License Agreement and found that it was devoid of any content related clauses.

This seems peculiarly omissive for a content creation tool, and is probably worth inquiring with Gravity Sketch about.

MasterpieceVR

Here is the relevant section of MasterpieceVR terms of use that covers "content".

Except for the material that We license to you pursuant to this Agreement, Brinx does not claim ownership of any of the materials or user content created, transmitted, uploaded, stored or otherwise made available by you through your use of the Services (“Content”). You hereby grant to Brinx a limited license to collect and store Content for the purpose of providing the Services. You further grant Brinx a perpetual, irrevocable, and unlimited licence to use, store, and manipulate Content to create aggregated and anonymized statistical analytics in respect to Platform use and other Services and parameters and characteristics (“Anonymous Service Data”) in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Brinx shall own all right, title and interest in and to the Anonymous Service Data, including all intellectual property rights in the Anonymous Service Data, and you hereby assign, transfer and convey to Brinx any ownership interest you may have in any Anonymous Service Data.

It seems worded almost as if they are more concerned about gathering metadata and marketing analytics around your use of the tool than actually getting a usable license to your content here, but again this is not legal advice and you need to do your own research.

Substance by Adobe

Substance terms are still mentioning Allegorithmic, but contain a content license grant similar to all others.

License grant to Allegorithmic

If you are making any User Content available on this Website, you hereby grant to Allegorithmic a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, represent and distribute such User Content on any format including by means of this Website and in any known digital media or unknown to this day, unless agreed otherwise between you and Allegorithmic. Allegorithmic does not claim any ownership rights in any User Content.

The license endures for as long as the User elects to continue to include some User Content on the Website and will terminate at the time such User Content is removed from the Website.

TL;DR

You click "agree" on things and you agree to them without even reading them sometimes (or all the time). That might come back to haunt you.

While none of the tools will claim ownership of your artistic content, most if not all ensure that you grant them a license that at least lets them use the media around the art in ways they see fit, and those ways can vary broadly.

So again, if you care about how your art is used, you should be attuned to these Terms and Conditions agreements, and keep up with changes to them for the entire time that you use the tool.


We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative; if so, make sure to share this with a friend and donate to Alpacawhal.

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