Earlier today I checked my inbox and found an email waiting for me from Sony. It started with Dear Jeremy, which was a nice touch, but that was before I clicked on the link and scanned through Sony’s new terms of service and user agreement. Most of it was standard legal mumbo jumbo such as a code of conduct agreement and account management rules which we usually gloss over and go about our lives. Buried under all the boring facts is #12 of Sony’s new terms of agreement named User Material and Information which basically tells us that we’re not entitled to any compensation from our in-game creations.
A excerpt from the terms are as follows: “To the extent permitted by law, You authorize and license SCEA a royalty free and perpetual right to use, distribute, copy, modify, display, and publish your User Material for any reason without any restrictions or payments to you or any third parties. You further agree that SCEA may sublicense its rights to any third party, including its affiliates and subsidiaries.”
This basically means if you create something and submit over the servers that is good enough for Sony to put in an advertisement you wave all rights to be compensated for your work. The agreement does state “To the extent permitted by law” so if we help Sony make enough money, it may have to pay us something for the effort. This whole thing came into effect on October 14, 2008 — one week before the release of LittleBigPlanet. Whoops! It really makes you think doesn’t it?