The full text of the acceptable use of Linden’s trademarks is published here. Three versions of the Fansite Toolkit were distributed by Linden, which included banners, logos, and a set of images, as well as a PDF encouraging their dissemination (the link is not available any more).
Under these gentle terms, users of the Second Life® platform have set up dozens of thousands of websites, blogs, forums, 3rd party services (both inside the Second Life® environment or on the World-Wide Web). The intended purpose of the “Fansite Toolkit” was not only accomplished, but overwhelmingly effective. From about 10,000 registered users in May 2004, the number of registrations climbed to over 13 million users in March 2008, and the growth continues — as well as the growth in the number of fansites related to the Second Life® environment. A quick search on Google comparing the number of times “Second Life” is referred on Linden’s own sites (9000+ results) compared to what the non-Linden sites (24 million results) shows quite clearly that the promotion and marketing of “Second Life” as a Linden product is, by far, being done outside Linden’s own feeble efforts — as it was intended.
The terms of the “Fansite Toolkit” enabled furthermore a small startup company in San Francisco, without any advertising, promotion, or little public relations in 2004, to create one of the most effectively known technologies on the Internet, enjoying raving press reviews in late 2006, and, since then, a product and an environment that cannot be further ignored by the mainstream. Like it or hate it, the Second Life® virtual world is now part of the Internet’s history. All this was achieved thanks to the huge community of very enthusiastic users of Linden’s platform, who have promoted its use way beyond Linden’s own ability to market their own product.