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August 18, 2007

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» Second Life News for August 19,2007 from The Grid Live
The First Thing, Lets Mute All the Lawyers I attended the SLBA meeting last week, and frankly, I remain alarmed about this effort, seemingly benign, of a group of people with legal training from various countries to form an organiz... [Read More]

Comments

Laetizia Coronet

I understand that Duranske is banned from your blog and can't respond to anything you might say about him.

That's pretty damn low if true.

As for the SLBA, last time I looked you were a member. And so the questions beg themselves: who are you to be a member of the SLBA? Where are your credentials? What inside stories are you holding back and why? What is your objective in putting down the club you are a member of?

Prokofy Neva

He's banned not because I "don't like what he says". He's banned because he accused me of libel -- falsely. That's violation of Rule No. 2 -- do not incite harm to me in RL or SL. It's that simple. You can't debate people who accuse you of criminal offenses falsely. You mute/ban them. They can rant on their own blogs.

Where's the outrage about false accusations of libel as a chill on the free media?!

I'm banned from his blog -- but not for any rule, or law, just on a whim. Where's your outrage and protest about *that*?

The SLBA doesn't vet members. It said it is for lawyers, paralgals, and legal scholars. It doesn't define that last category. Someone who is an avid student of law as I have been for years could easily qualify. So I joined, mainly to keep an eye on what they do and protest if they go in a direction of attempting to take over the economy, business, governance -- the society of SL.

They are not merely a fraternity of RL lawyers who happen to be in SL, doing RL stuff that they confine mainly to RL. Some of them have avid asperations to impose global governance, SL governance, international legal standards that they define, etc.

Of course I'm going to "put down" an organization that has Duranske as president and Holyoke as VP -- that alone tells me that it is hijacked for a personal agenda and the ambitions of those two. I had a long talk with the president-elect about my concerns, and he seemed intelligent and thoughtful enough, but also heavily inclined to insinuate mediation instead of holding to standards, and of course, had none of the concerns I have about Duranske and Holyoke.

Keeping the government out of the private sphere is full-time work in real-life. And it won't happen by itself in SL, either. The way it can begin to erode is when lawyers take it upon themelves to urge regulation, precisely to give themselves work.

Ordinal Malaprop

The thing is that, whilst I have no particular respect for lawyers and do not wish for further legislation within SL, Ginko was indeed a massive con-job of the sort that is illegal in almost all jurisdictions regardless of the medium. So you managed to get people to invest in your opaque "high-yield investment scheme" in a virtual world rather than through a web page, or through billboards or putting letters through doors? The medium doesn't matter.

LL have put themselves deliberately in a position now where they are claiming responsibility for policing this - they have rejected common carrier status. I wish they hadn't, but they have. They have willingly taken on responsibility for enforcement, and yes, on that basis, if they are going to ban one sort of illegal financial activity e.g. gambling, they should also ban other forms.

Ashcroft Burnham

"I'm not willing to turn Second Life over to the lawyers."

If you hadn't noticed, SecondLife is not *yours* to "turn over" to anybody. If people want to offer a service, and others want to accept that service, it is not for you to "resist, resist, resist". You write repeatedly (indeed, incessantly) about others being unaccountable, but to whom are you accountable in your endless drives to oppose things to which you take an irrational personal disliking?

"their expertise given their own status and motivations as anonymous avatars (even if a RL name is nominally given) is suspect"

If a name is given, how are these people "anonymous"? Do you *want* them to be anonymous, just to have another reason to claim to distrust them? And what motive would you consider non-suspect, and how would such a motive demonstrate itself amongst lawyers?

Prokofy Neva

Of course SL is mine to turn over, and of course I won't turn it over to lawyers. And I'm sure others who own land feel the same way. Indeed it is ours, and we feel a stake to it.

It's often the populists bent on taking power that scream the most in fake outrage at the idea that someone else is claiming power -- and who is most unaccountable suddenly demanding accountability from others.

I'm not putting forth governance schemes featuring myself in charge now, am I? I'm not making anything called the Metaverse Republic; I'm not running something called the SLBA saying it will "shape law". Those things are called on to be accountable, and claimed illegitimate, precisely because they are bidding for power.

I run a rentals company, and I'm accountable to my customers under my notecarded lease. They can refund if they're really unhappy with whatever solution is offered to their problems.

Other than that, any specific accountability that Ashcroft is falsely bleating about (in a vain bid to turn away the demand from himself) isn't grounded.

It's hardly an irrational personal dislike to dislike people and concepts bent on taking my land away from me in various schemes for governance, or who wish to call for restraints and globalized standards on us all in SL that are unnecessary and even destructive.

If I want to offer a service, than why does a lawyer need to be involved -- indeed!

Names aren't given; and if they are, they are meaningless as there is no demonstrable markers of RL credibility -- say, a law firm that has a reputation and recognition.

I don't see that lawyers are likely to have a non-suspect motive in entering SL, frankly. They are going to pursue and defend their interests, and it's important to point out that there's an inherent conflict with others with stake in the world itself.

In the name of being "right," Duranske wouldn't mind having Second Life shuttered -- to have LL "discliplined" and forced to close their business because it was a platform for a Ponzi scheme. How can any of us be for that?!

Ginko in fact isn't a con job, Ordinal, simply because the instructions and the terminals always said forthrightly that you might not get your money back or there could be delays in withdrawals. And they were right. It went along without hardly any hitches for the longest time.

If there are rules on the Internet, like the UIGA, or the bans on child porn, the Lindens have to comply. The rules against Ponzis aren't so much rules for the Internet as they are for banking and investment in general, and that may be the distinction, I don't know.

In other words, I'm not sure that even if you claim common carrier status, that you have "safe harbour" from the reaches of the UIGA. I just don't know. No doubt there are differing legal opinions on this.

Economic Mip

When this current problem first arose I was one of the strongest critics of Ginko. Now I am seriously considering writing up what they did as a solution to a severe banking crisis. However, there are of course things different. For one, no sane real person would accept 11 cents on the dollar in a force conversion bond, even if the investor claimed "someday" (perhaps years away) the bonds could be redeemed for face value. Then there is outrage from the IMF, World Bank, and a nation's federal government which would undoubtedly occur. Finally you have the "illegal period" where investors were being paid with the money from new investors, who were not informed of the problem until after cash was deposited. (The new notecard was programed to dispense only after a balance request, and would not respond if no account existed.) Obviously I am probably missing some points, and of course all of the investors were hardly saints either, (basically many of the big guys were depositing right before midnight and then taking all cash out after interest was paid out). Then there is the ongoing question of what on earth this Ginko was even invested in.

Eh, in short I disagree with Prok, and friend all the lawyers I come across.

Prokofy Neva

Economic Mip, I think you raise some good points, and I'm interested that you saw this as an opportunity to study something new, namely, how one could prevent a banking crisis of the type that routinely occurs in the developing world, of which SL is no exception.

The question of the "illegality period' to me is very much wrapped up on the forced run fueled by Duranske, however. I'm not at all persuaded that for 3 years, or for 3 years, 7 days, 2 minutes or whatever the length is, that it is illegal for the entire period, or only illegal for 2 minutes or for 7 days.

Yes, people washed out of Ginko very quickly the minute they got the interest, I noticed that. People exploited it basically. I don't know what you do about something like that except during those 3 years, he might have instituted a cap on withdrawal amounts or times.

I disagree that depositors were not informed. Anybody depositing as soon as there was the gambling ban and a run on the bank could know that their deposits likely went to pay out withdrawals.

The question is -- what percentage? And what remained of the investment principle, if anything?

Solar Legion

Just wanted to say: Second Life is owned by Linden Lab and is therefore theirs to 'turn over' to anyone they so choose.

Users may complain but in the end Linden Lab has the final say on the matter - not the Users of Second Life.

Solomon Cortes

For those who are interested in what was said at the SLBA meeting, you can find the transcript here: http://www.slba.info/2007-08-12_Transcript.htm

Laetizia Coronet

Be it all as it may, you don't ban people and then write about them. Not where I'm from, not in any civilized country.

Prokofy Neva

Thanks for the link, Solomon, I hadn't gotten around to finding it. Seeing the transcript reminds me of many other points that would really require another lengthy exegesis for which comments are too cramped. For example, one can see that nominally and formally, Duranske and Holyoke go on the record claiming they aren't for standardizing contracts. But soon, LastDitch Writer and Julyn Lilliehook step right in to say that, oh, they'll just be "practical" and open up libraries and clinics. There, they'll advise people on "what's wrong" with their landlord contracts. And that lets us know that what they really envision is trying to enforce a standard, anyway.

There's a simple way to solve many "contracts with something wrong": refund and go to another landlord. There are gadzillion to pick from SL. A typical dispute was one raised by Plot Tracer and another socialist HiggledyPiggledy Snoates (who joined the protest in socialist solidarity). He logged on after not being around for awhile, even after having rented for months, and suddenly took exception to having $4 Lindens automatically debited from his account for group fees. He was outraged not at the debit, which he admitted was small, but at "not being notified".

And here, I was quite harsh, perhaps needlessly so, but it's always the case that each week, at least one person bitches about these fees, and usually on the grounds "they weren't noticed". In fact, notices go in the group every 30 days (because the notice system disappears them) explaining the fee, which had to be added on last year when the group tools changed and dwell -- which used to put a *credit* in everybody's pocket they never complained about lol.

Each rental box getting its lease updated with the new fee info; notices are put in the group; and each new tenant gets a card with basic rental info that tells them this is now a feature of their rent. I should note that these socialists long enjoyed $300 for 250 prims -- an unheard of bargain in SL. But...it's never enough. They could easily just solve the problem by leaving the group to duck the charges on Tuesdays, and rejoin; once you set prims, you don't *have* to stay. However, I pointed out that if you request the extra features like banning, you need to be in the group and can't expect to have that invitation reissued each Wednesday lol. In fact, it's a grand sort of socialism that the cost of the ads is distributed equally, precisely to offer free search ads to stores, and to avoid having to raise rents higher than they need to be -- as the fee fluctuates from $2-5 (the group is reimbursed if it goes over $4).

The ranting and raging that goes on over stuff like this is absurd. One could legally insist after their visit to "helpful clinics" that not only should there be an updated contract, all old tenants should get some special individualized notice. Why? Because they don't pay attention to the notices popping up in their face, and with group tools broken, they may miss the pop-up and forget to periodically check the archives. In any event, I personally can't spend the administrative time -- if I wish to keep prices low! -- to go notify each person individually. Slowly, each box is being updated and it's nearly complete. Occasionally one is missed.

I go into such detail here because it's a very good example of how RL standards of notification and contracts aren't feasible or even desirable in SL. If someone is outraged at some little thing, they can press REFUND and move on -- and good luck finding THAT cheap of a rental again! The market really has to take care of this; there really is such a thing as too much regulation and too much lawyering killing not only business, but the ability to offer people low-cost rentals. I simply won't stand for it.

One can also see Solomon somewhat valiantly trying to return people from their anticipation of all the profits they can wrest from SL residents going around in "entitlement" and "feeling bilked by landlords" mode, and focus on charities. But...many of these charities will already have pro bono help in RL. There isn't some special thing they need in SL.

A great deal of time was spent on "verifying". And of course here, too, we need to be watchful as what's likely to happen is that as these lawyers find its just very hard to individually call up and verify everyone, they'll want whatever age verification the Lindens put in to do more. We should resist this globalizing of individual lobbyists' needs, again, in the name of preserving the world's freedom. People already have enough criticisms of verification (more than I do, in fact) without having this system also have to create an icon that says not only is a person age verified; they are "verified that the given avatar is who they say they are in RL and that RL person has an address and phone number on file".

I simply find the whole SLBA project one that is troublesome and worrisome on so many levels. I'd much rather see a consumer rights body form that takes up very specific internal SL issues like island fraud, shoddy prefabs/building contracts, television sets that don't work. There's plenty to do if one only focuses on practical things like that. It's boring an unglamorous work, however, and high-priced fancy lawyers don't find it intellectually compelling.

Solar Legion, SL is not Linden Lab's entirely. They sell their server space. To be sure, it's more like a rental, but if they begin wildly and arbitrarily confiscating it, they have no business. Their business rests on the claim that they sell land and also let people keep intellectual property. The job here is not to relativize and be reductive about Linden Lab's technical ownership of software and servers, but to keep pushing for more equity and participatory democracy in the grid.

Ashcroft Burnham

Prokofy, you don't seem to understand the distinction between "mine" and "ours" :-) And you also don't seem to understand the difference between being a customer of a business and owning it.

And I'm intrigued at the idea that people who suggest, for example, local governance tools to other people have to be "accountable" (presumably to you) for just forming a group and promoting things, but that people who demand that other people be stopped from whatever it is they are pursuing (often by endless spiteful rantings in 'blogs) don't need to be accountable to anybody.

Solar Legion

Prokofy, the Lab is a Private company and Second Life IS software, not a country. The Lab has final say on all matters pertaining to its product, not us. All one has to do to understand this is to look at their policies and the way they handle and enforce them (when they enforce them).

I'll bet they laugh each and every time any of the users attempts to equate Second Life to a country.

Robert Bloomfield

Prokofy said "Keeping the government out of the private sphere is full-time work in real-life. And it won't happen by itself in SL, either. The way it can begin to erode is when lawyers take it upon themelves to urge regulation, precisely to give themselves work."

I agree with the first two sentences, but not the last. There is plenty of evidence in RL that industries can avoid government regulation by demonstrating that they are able to police themselves. Consider, as one example, movie ratings provided privately by the MPAA. People have plenty of complaints about how it functions, but it is a non-governmental organization that tries to keep the government out of movie rating and censorship by doing the same thing more intelligently (because the people making the call are in the movie industry, and therefore presumably more informed)and more in the interests of the people being regulated (because they are regulating themselves).

So while we may not be happy to see the lawyers, and these ones we are seeing may not be the right ones (I withhold judgment until I have better information), I don't think it is right to see them as the advance guard of government interference. They are more likely to be a line of defense.

If they do it right, anyway.

Reg Baxter

The title "The First Thing, Let's Mute All the Lawyers" says it all. It applies to SL and RL.

Lawyers = evil

no lawyers = good (well there may one or two in the bunch but over all they cause more harm than good)

Case closed, oops that's lawyer talk, let just say I'm right and if you disagree with me I'll sue your pants off.

Ashcroft Burnham

Robert/Beyers: I agree. The better that we regulate ourselves, the less incentive that there is for external agencies to intervene. Anarchy, or amateurish regulation, is far more likely to cause intervention from governmental ignorami than effective self-regulation to a professional standard.

Prokofy Neva

Ashcroft is not a valid interlocutor. His method of argumentation always hinges on the concept of "turning the tables on". If there is someone *else* with clean hands on this argument who isn't trying to take power and devise schemes to endlessly elevate themselves as magistrates, by all means, tell me the argumentation for how a blogger, who is an open book, is to become "more accountable". It's pretty ridiculous on the face of it.

What busy-bodies who make various groups have to understand is that OTHER groups will push back and there will indeed be strife and conflict. The first time we made Metaverse Justice Watch, the forums screamed, and our group was griefed and harassed and bullied for months and months -- and paralyzed from action. The first time anybody makes any group of significance to "keep a watch," it will always split into 2 or even 3 under the pressure of different leaders disagreeing.

These are all natural processes, and factions are the lifeblood of democracy. Then people who make these bodies simply have to expect that they can't walk all over everybody else. I sure don't when I make little discussion groups like "Mainlanders" and have a meeting with at most 30 avatars. Unlike these other bodies, I don't devise vast plans to influence and take over SL and "tell them what to do". I just keep a blog and write in it.

Robert, *police themselves* -- but not have YOU or LAWYERS police us. Try to understand the difference. You keep harping, in every argument, about "self-regulation being the key to avoiding outside regulation", then you put forth as your recipe ILLEGITIMATE bodies like SLBB, SLEC, SLBA as the "regulators" that we're to endure to avoid outside interference. Well, hell, no. None of them have any buy-in in any significant way from the people in business in SL. *I* don't have to be in them; but there'd have to be a significant number of people with a significant stake to be legitimate and recognized -- and *there is not*. Mostly, these bodies are ignored.

For me, the model for self-policing can be seen in things like journalists' associations. Rather than have the state devise some huge book of a press law, reporters themselves can make professional societies in which they set out the good practices. They can train newer reporters in how to avoid violating libel laws or how to report on government sources or whatever -- so that it becomes a matter or professional ethics, and not imposed by the state.

These lawyers are NOT AT ALL any advance guard of defense, Robert. You couldn't be more wrong! Benjamin Duranske, far from trying to conceive of ways for the Ginko's situation to arrive at some workable plan that might have involved a group of investors bailing out the deposits and buying the debt -- which is what essentially some people are trying to do anyway, but in the face of "being tried by the media" -- he simply cried "foul" and said the feds must come bursting in the door and shut everything down and find LL at fault. That's outrageous.

I don't see a single lawyer working to DEFEND AVATARS or even real-life business. I look at them looking to EXPAND THEIR BRIEF and find more ways to expand their own operations from RL or pick up things they think "need doing" in SL, freelancing around, for example, and trying to shut down what they view as a Ponzi scheme, though they have no money in it, and no class of depositors asked them to do this. That's what I find really offensive.

LL is right to do nothing and should go on doing nothing. Second Life really has to be protected from being obliterated by real life, and the way that can be done ironically is to take such cases into real life where there are competent lawyers and courts that either find there's a case -- or don't.

Baba

GRRRR Lawyers! I hear they are universally evil. Let's hate on them.

Ashcroft Burnham

Prokofy, I notice that you entirely ignored the point about confusing "mine" and "ours" - I take it, then, that you tacitly accept that you have conflated the two, and that all of your arguments are based on the false premise that SecondLife is singularly yours? That you start from such a false premise is certainly consistent with the tone of much of what you write.

And now you're claiming that I'm not a "valid interlocutor" because I have some interest in the matter being discussed? Are you suggesting that only people whom you consider neutral ought respond to posts on your 'blogs, not those about whom you write your posts? That is just as absurd as the practice that once prevailed, hundreds of years ago, in criminal courts in which the defendant was not allowed to give evidence in his own defence because it was thought he or she would be biased.

As to groups splitting up, the Metaverse Republic (anybody interested in joining, see http://www.metaverserepublic.org - officially denounced by Prokofy Neva, so it must be worthwhile) has been going since April, and nobody has formed any splinter groups yet :-)

Another thing that you don't acknowledge is that lawyers are not out there, trying to come in: we are already in. We are as much part of SecondLife as you are: we own land, we purchase Lindens and spend them in world - some of us even make hatstands ;-). If you think that there is a "we" that includes you but doesn't include lawyers, then you are thinking that there is some special inner circle of SecondLifers in whose exclusive interests that SecondLife ought be run and designed, and that everybody who dares even to suggest that things should be done differently should be subject to your endless spiteful tirades and unspecified "resistance" and "pushing back". Now, an inner circle of people with a special degree of influence in SecondLife is a concept that I vaguely remember having read about before somewhere...

Is what you really dislike about lawyers the fact that they are primarily experts in reasoned argument, and can spot bad or missing reasoning of the sort that is indispensable to your writings at fifty paces?

Prokofy Neva

Ashcroft, you aren't a valid interlocutor. And there's nothing to say to a merely provocative point like "mine and yours". I'm not the one with a mine/yours problem trying to take power in SL and get people's land as collateral: YOU are.

You're not valid because you don't really seek a good-faith discourse. Your only goal in every exchange is to try to play "gotcha" and "turn tables". It's not interesting. It covers up your own crimes.

Neualtenberg is a good example of a split-up. And the Metaverse Republic splitting of from Neufreistadt after its failures to get majority seats and forcibly install its justice regime is also a good example of a split-off. And there will be more, wherever Ashcroft goes.

Lawyers aren't a part of Second Life. If there are a handful who bought land, what of it? The majority of people in SLBA are newcomers with RL practices (unlike yourself, who is untethered to such a real life reality check). They are looking to exploit the platform, not contribute to the world.

Indeed I'm entitled to and in fact have a duty to resist and push back against small elites that try to take power and also put others out of business, declaring them sub-standard, not complying with norms, or even criminal.

I don't have any bad argumentation; I pose a very reasonable and right challenge to any elite group trying to wave around RL credentials to horn in. Your career in SL, and the considerable resistance you've met not only by me, but people once your colleagues, is good evidence of that.

Wynter Loon

Mr. Neva has visions of grander in his own very small mind.

Second Life belongs to Linden Labs. Therefore it truly is theirs only to turn over or... just to end.

Think about that. Then where would Mr. Neva try to be a big fish in a little pond? There maybe?

Ashcroft Burhham

This juxtaposition is very amusing:

"And there's nothing to say to a merely provocative point like 'mine and yours'. I'm not the one with a mine/yours problem trying to take power in SL and get people's land as collateral: YOU are."

and

"Your only goal in every exchange is to try to play 'gotcha' and 'turn tables'. It's not interesting. It covers up your own crimes."

As ever, you are the most guilty of that of which you falsely accuse others. Indeed, your only response whenever you are criticised is to ignore the criticism, and instead make irrelevant malicious allegations against your critics.

"Lawyers aren't a part of Second Life. If there are a handful who bought land, what of it?"

What does it take to be "a part of SecondLife" if not being somebody who uses the software, owns land, attends events and buys and/or sells things? Does being "part of SecondLife" mean, for you, somebody who not only does that sort of thing but is also the sort of person of whom you personally approve?

The point about "mine" and "yours" was not, as the poster above recognises accurately, a fatuous exploitation of a genuine error, but a substantive point that goes to the heart of your flawed thinking: you appear to believe that you ought to have a greater say in what happens in SecondLife than people, such as lawyers, of whom you disapprove. Stating, "I'm not willing to turn Second Life over to the lawyers", especially when you later add, "Of course SL is mine to turn over", makes it clear that you think that SecondLife is in your hands in a way that it is not in the hands of those who use it just as much as you do who also happen to be lawyers, and that you (or, even if you had pluralised, you and people of whom you approve) have more right to say what happens to it or in it than lawyers do. The reality is that SecondLife is no more yours to turn over to lawyers than it is lawyers' to turn over to you.

And what makes you think that I don't have a real practice? I'm typing this in a spare moment in chambers right now, before I go off to do some real work. Do you have a real job?

Prokofy Neva

The heart of the Second Life experience is land and content. People who don't own land or make content shouldn't be making decisions about what happens to that land or that content; only the owners and stakeholders should. They can make decisions about whatever they do in SL; obviously LL makes overarching decisions. But residents cannot be allowed to intervene and start making policies -- or much less taking away -- that which is owned and operated and created by residents. Hands off!

That means wannabe regulators; busybodies who want to edit and curb and confine content; people who wish to mute and delete events or items on land; people who wish to criminalize those who aren't criminalized by the TOS and Linden policy. Hands off!

Users of land and content; consumers; visitors; eternally newbie hobos -- they can all rant and rave as much as they like, but the fact is, they shouldn't be determining what happens to my land or somebody else's creation. It's ours. Not yours. Lack of grasp of these basics is what always proves Ashcroft's ideas so flawed and untenable.

It's not about someone having "more power" or "less". It's about "nothing about us without us". it's not about "agreeing" or not. It's about those who own land or designs *having a say* in what happens and not letting *others who do not own or design* take that away from them, or manipulate it without their consent -- say, with demanding that they adopt some "standardized contract". It's just that simple. No need to complexify it.

I am not willing to turn over Second Life to others. Not on your life. That Second Life which I own, together with other owners; and that means people with land and designs.

Does that mean some kind of privileged uber class, the kind I always rail against?

Of course not. It just means *owners*. People who own stuff. People who cannot allow other people who don't own that stuff to start ruling over it -- to begin to interfere and rule.

It's that sort of basic lack of grasping of common sense meaning of ownership, and the ability to dispose of it and not have others dispose of it, that makes Ashcroft so untethered.

So did Ashcroft move out of mom's basement and finally get some summer clerking position?

I not only have a job; I have several lol.

Indeed Second Life is in my hands. It sure as hell is. Just as it is in the hands of other owners. Oh, to be sure, we are renters, and we can be removed "for any reason or no reason" and all the rest. But the Lindens generally don't behave badly like that -- never as badly as anything a rogue resident can cook up, like Ashcroft.

It's only in the fevered and skewed mind of Ashcroft that a simple, proper, and legitimate wish to manage one's own property, in concert with others of the same status, without interference with others who do not own it, can be transmogrified into some kind of bid to block others' opinion or their activities in SL. SL is free. They can do what they want. But they have to get off my lawn.

Lem Skall

"Users of land and content; consumers; visitors [...] -- they can all rant and rave as much as they like, but the fact is, they shouldn't be determining what happens to my land or somebody else's creation."

Not exactly. There has to be a balance between the rights of the creators and owners and the rights of users and consumers. And that is not YOUR right to take away from us users and consumers.

So THAT is what you call socialism? Consumers having rights? In that case, maybe I am a socialist after all.

Prokofy Neva

Lem, sometimes I think people leave their common sense at the door in SL.

Non-land owners and non-content creators do not have the right to interfere in the property rights of land-owners and content-creators.

There's no such thing as a "balance" that involves curbing these people's rights.

In RL, there isn't a standard contract forced on businesses; they use a variety of them. In real life, people can't come in and interfere with your business in the way you imagine.

Ownership doesn't take away from the non-owning. The non-owner can control land or content by...buying land or making something and putting permissions on it.

In real life, there might be something called "the common weal" that is served by limiting the rights of factory owners to pollute the environment as they make a product, so that health is not harmed. Or to curb unscrupulous landlords through housing courts.

But that's because there is legitimate government and checks and balances.

SL, being a synthetic world, can't start claiming a commonweal when there is nothing that can administer it -- and when LL will not administer it.

So whether you like it or not, the reality is that owners cannot be interfered with. After all, they can't harm health, or take away life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Those things are all achieved on...property. Or sandboxes if somebody wants to maintain them for somebody else out of the goodness of their heart (as I do).

What are consumer rights? There's nothing to enforce them in a simplistic world like SL except the marketplace, and the power of the purse. Consumers can boycott, agitate, name, and shame...and take their dollars elsewhere.

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