Let’s say that, using Little Big Planet’s marvelous in-game tools, you’ve created an awesome level, one so good that other users will want to own it.
I Have the Princess frets that Sony has awarded itself the right sell your design:
But what really got my attention were some of the rights Sony have concerning your generated content…
You also authorise us [Sony] and our affiliated companies, without payment to you, to license, sell and otherwise commercially exploit your User Material
IHTP notes that SCEE previously said that users could sell their LBP content.
GP sister-site GameCulture comments as well:
…in three weeks, we could all be working for Sony, crafting and sharing levels that Sony owns outright. Perhaps some of those levels will end up being packaged as downloadable content, much the same way that fruit of some of LittleBigPlanet’s best beta players is being packaged with the official release.
Of course, there’s nothing untoward about any of that. After all, the LittleBigPlanet model encourages users to share their levels for free. The revenue we generate for Sony by building their content for them is just part of the genius of their business model. Crowdsourcing for teh win.
But how does the equation change as user-generated content becomes less a matter of remixing existing intellectual property by ‘modding’ a game and starts to look more like the creation of original work? What happens when the systems game developers build for us are less games than platforms for the creation of new games?