Friday, 1 June 2007

Legal Issues

This morning someone pointed out an article in a blog post that got me thinking. It's about a guy who apparently found a way to get his hands on land in SL well below the market price. Not sure how he did it but anyway, Linden Labs found out and his account was terminated for violating the TOS. Nothing special if the guy hadn't been a lawyer and didn't take LL to court over this and won his case. This could have far stretching implications and proves once again Linden Labs have but a loose grip on what they started. You would think that by now they would have had an army of lawyers going over their business and the potential pitfalls they face.

In view of the recent hoopla about age play and child porn in SL, what is the consequence of the TOS being declared not legally binding and LL faced with potential claims of those who find their accounts suspended or terminated because of violations against the TOS. I can't see someone caught with child porn taking LL to court, but age players, consenting adults?

Seems to me like it's time for Linden Labs to get their ducks in a row and take a clear stand on a few grey areas if they don't want to end up swamped with court cases. Apart from that LL is already taking flack in the RL press, at least here in Europe. Stories about virtual rape, child porn and more give SL and by extension people in world a bad reputation. I for one am not happy about the fact all questions I get from people who were never in SL are about the aberrations and excesses. Don't get me wrong, SL is a great playground and as far as I'm concerned anything goes as long as we're talking consenting adults but SL is so much more and it's a shame that never gets highlighted.

Related links:

www.second life.reuters
Bragg's website
The verdict (.pdf)

UPDATE: Posted 6/29/2007

--- Posted by Robin Linden on Linden Lab Blog ---

On June 28, 2007, Linden Lab and its Chief Executive Officer, Philip Rosedale, filed their response to the complaint of Marc Bragg in the federal district court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, denying Mr. Bragg’s allegations, and asserting counterclaims on behalf of Linden Lab against Mr. Bragg for computer fraud, breach of contract, and other claims, arising from certain activity that led to his being suspended from participating in Second Life.


Tiana Meriman said...

i think liden labs should of really "get their ducks in a row" like you said a long time ago. they dont seem conscious of what they are doing and the grid seems to be growing faster then they can handle they truly created a monster and lost most control over it.

you know that picture they put up on downtime of a bunck of gorillas with bones. i think thats the best picture possible on how linden labs are. a bunch of monkeys trying to understand nuclear technology.

Phoenix Ellsberg said...

I've just discovered your blog via your Flickr photos and just wanted to drop by, say hi, and tell you you've gained a new reader :-) I like the way you think and the topics you have covered so far. The psychology of SL is a fascinating subject and I am looking forward to reading more of your musings.

Loki Popinjay said...

glad at least someone is reading my ramblings ;-)