What are permissions? Well, the clue is in the name, i.e. what you will permit another resident to do with items that you have created in second life (or equally what they will allow you to do). And what is the aim of it? Answer – the permissions system is designed to foster the best possible content and sanctify the best possible experience in Second Life.

By applying different permission sets to different categories of people, residents can control how their items are used and distributed.

The four basic permissions  are modify, copy, transfer and move.

Modify permissions allow residents to change the work of another, such as the ability to edit properties like item name or object scale or even delete an object. For example, if an object has been shared with group in world, then any member of the group can modify, and therefore delete the object.

Unchecking modify denies any modifications. When an object is designated as next owner no-modify, then that  permissions setting is interpreted as ‘no one can create derivative works.’ Also, if an object is not modifiable then its contents cannot be modified either. However, if an inventory item inside of an object is no-modify, the object itself can still be modified. One exception to this falls under “fair use”: an object can always be removed from the contents of another object, even if the container object is no-modify.

If copy is enabled (checked), you can make as many copies as you want of the original item. If the next owner drags the object from inventory to inworld, they will retain a copy in inventory. Unchecking it denies any copies; if they drag the object inworld it will leave their inventory until taken back into inventory. Copies though still maintain creator information, and can never be more permissive than the item being copied.

An important thing to note is that the copy property applies outward. If an inventory item inside of an object is no-copy, the object itself cannot be copied until that item is removed. Conversely, if an object is no-copy, that does not imply that the contents are no-copy so it pays to check those permissions.


Transfer (also known as “Resell/Give Away.”)

During a transfer, the next owner field is copied into the owner field and dependent permissions fields are recalculated given the new owner permissions. If transfer is enabled, the owner can transfer the item to another person. If the object permits copying, they can sell copies. If the object doesn’t permit copies, they can only sell the original. If the object is set to Copy but not Transfer, they can make as many copies as they want for their own uses, but can never give a copy away or sell it.

If an item is not transferable, the owner cannot sell, give away, release or embed in something they sell, give away, or release. The transfer permission only applies to the owner, since no one else can initiate a transfer.

If move is enabled, the object can be moved. You are always allowed to move anything you own.

The permissions track four primary categories for each object:

  • Owner
  • Group
  • Everyone else
  • Next owner

Each category has its own set of permissions. Group and Next Owner permissions can never be more permissive than the Owner permissions field. The Everyone permissions field can never be set modifiable, and can never be more permissive than the Group field. Group owned objects conceptually collapse the Owner and Group categories into the same value.


Additional points to note are:

  • You cannot regain permissions for an object you have given to someone else.
  • Default permissions are’ no modify’ andno copy’always check permissions before giving objects to others.
  • You are always allowed to delete something you own.
  • If permissions allow, it is a good idea to create a backup copy of an object before you give it to someone else.
  • Permissions changes to an object in your inventory are not fully applied to contents until that object is rezzed. As a safety precaution, make sure to rez and retake objects before distributing them.
  • If an object is set to a group, this allows other members of the same group to edit it, dependent on restrictive permissions. This can make collaborative building easier since for example, group members can move shared objects.
    • The Second Life Viewer includes some features for bulk-setting permissions. That means you can apply permissions across multiple items instead of one at a time.
    • An object or contents item that is modifiable, copyable, and transferrable is “fully-permissive”, i.e. ”full perms” .

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