Monday, July 30, 2007

It's the end of the world as we know it....

Do you feel fine?

Has it finally happened? Has the end come to Second Life? Has the GRID collapsed upon itself as many have been predicting?

The world of Second Life has been SEVERELY hampered since this past weekend, and as of yet, no fix has been found. The only comments coming out of the Official Blog of Second Life is, "We are still working to fix the problems, thank you for your patience".

I suppose one thing is true of the Second Life Community, we have plenty of patience, but I would be willing to bet, even our patience has a limit. I, and others like me, have been warning Linden Lab for months that the GRID is so unstable that one day it will most likely just collapse upon itself and it will take days if not weeks to fix. Well, so far DAYS has come true, God help Second Life if it continues into weeks.

I told Philip Rosedale, early on in our discussions, that the WORST possible thing that could happen would be to have Second Life disabled for a number of days. While the individual Residents might overlook something that serious, the Commercial Companies most likely would not. I wonder just how many of those Commercial Entities are now strongly considering pulling out of the ailing world of Second Life? If they go, I fear, so goes Second Life.

Linden Lab already has taken a HUGE financial loss by banning ALL gambling within the Second Life world, on top of that, if the major Commercial Entities begin to pull out, can Second Life survive? I suppose Linden Lab should be considering how they are going to raise more capital at this point; perhaps they'll bring back the LIFETIME accts for all of you that want to help Linden Lab out of the hole they've dug for themselves. Instead of "Charter Member" they could call those people, "One Born every Minute".

I for one have been making contingency plans in case Second Life does die an ugly death soon. Below is a list of upcoming Virtual World titles that are accepting Beta registrations at the moment, while I have only logged into moove, I guess I have the time now, while we all anxiously await to hear what, if anything, can be done to revive the world of Second Life:

HiPiHi - A Chinese version of Second Life - Looks pretty interesting actually. Usually takes 24 hours to get accepted into the Beta.

Moove - This is actually LIVE (I think) and it's a cross between a VR3D World and Second Life. I wouldn't say this is a good substitute for Second Life, but it's fun figuring out just how a Texture Maker like myself would survive in a world like this.

AWOMO - A World of My Own - This actually looks good from what they allow you to see, and BETA was supposed to start in early July, it's not clear whether that has happened or not, but they are accepting Beta Applications, so why not give it a try?

It's the end of the world as we know it...and I hate to say "I told you so", but I did.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

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The following post was inspired by Linden Lab; the Broken Record Gaming Company.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Linden Lab casts POWER DRAIN 5...

Once more unto the breech dear friends....

Today, over at Linden Lab, they once again suffered from POWER OUTAGE. Of course, I don't blame Linden Lab that the power went out, as most don't, but if you read the BLOG Comments, you will see the Community is getting a bit wiser.

8 out of 10 comments posted about the Power Outage were of the opinion that Linden Lab needs to invest in Backup Generators. Of course, I said this two weeks ago, when Linden Lab posted this very same thing, and then maybe 1 out of 10 Blog Comments thought having some type of contingency plan was a good idea. Now here we are two weeks later and the power is out again. What's different this time? Perhaps the Community is starting to realize that Linden Lab is being reactive instead of proactive. Power Problems have plagued San Francisco for a while, and most Service companies already know this and know it's prudent to their business to keep their services up and running, therefore they have backup generators; guess we shouldn't be surprised that Linden Lab isn't one of those "professional" companies.

At Linden Lab the idea is to watch which way the Community is swaying and then deal with it. Today, TWO Linden Employee's posted comments that basically stated, "It's not our fault, look at all the other websites that have been brought down by the Power Outage". Again, no one is blaming you Linden Lab for the power outage, but you apparently don't understand your own business model. Second Life IS NOT a website. Second Life is massively multi-player virtual world, where thousands of people can login and interact with one another. You (Linden Lab) don't just provide a web service, but as you claimed to the French Courts, you are a SERVICE PROVIDER, and as such, you should act in that manner. That means make certain you have contingency plans for such times; I mean more then just posting about it in the Blog. As a SERVICE PROVIDER you should have Backup Generators that will kick in as soon as Power Loss is detected and can be run for hours if need be. This way there is no interruption in your service and your customers stay happy.

I am very happy about one thing that happened in all this, the Community is finally starting to see that Linden Lab is about providing LIP SERVICE and no real action to the problems it faces. Now I just hope the Community will start to wake-up and see this is the same type of situation that we face with the GRID PERFORMANCE and BUG ISSUES. Once the Community realizes that Linden Lab is just about covering up issues, instead of really fixing them, the quicker we'll see changes at Linden Lab, and the better Second Life will be for it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The two faces of Linden Lab

As I reported in an earlier Posting, Benjamin Linden said in the UI Bug Triage that I attended that, "Bug Reports without REPRO steps will not be looked at because we don't have the time".

Yesterday, over at my friend Nicholaz Beresford's Blog, Scott Linden posted a response to my comment and said, "It's true that reproducible bugs are preferentially imported. It's not true that the rest are ignored."

OK, so here we have a clear problem. One Linden is saying they are ignoring Bug Reports and another Linden is saying they aren't, just that the REPRO bugs are give preferrential treatment. These are clearly two ends of the spectrum, and I guess I now understand just how things DON'T get done at Linden Lab, since apparently two people in the same dept., are thinking in completely opposite manners.

Scott Linden went on to say this about Bug Fixing, "If you ever think an issue's not getting enough attention, and you know it's a priority because others are telling you they have the same problem, just point the others at the JIRA where they need only click "vote on this." Of course, I've already stated for the record that Community Voting on which BUG should be fixed first is about as wise as allowing a 7 year to vote in a presidential election. I'm not saying that ALL of the Community is blind to what is broken and what needs fixing, but I'm willing to bet MOST are. If you asked 100 random people in Second Life to identify what a MEMORY LEAK is, do you really think the majority of them would be able to do it?

Bug Fixing is not about doing what's popular, it's about doing the hard job. Nicholaz Beresford said in his Blog that once Linden Lab includes all the patches sent in by the Open Source Community, all but ONE memory leak would be fixed. Now, if it were up to Linden Lab, that memory leak would sit right there for the rest of eternity since you can't REPRO it and people won't vote on something they don't understand. Prioritizing Bug Fixes shouldn't be because someone voted on them, it should be based upon a Senior Programmer's knowledge of how invasive a certain bug would be on the Community. Fixing a mis-spelled word will NOT provide the Second Life Residents with a Stable Grid, but fixing a Memory Leak will. Now I wonder which one the people would vote on to get fixed first? BTW - Just how many votes does it take to get a BUG REPORT worked on? This is something no LINDEN has ever chose to answer, guess this way they can always look at the hard bugs getting voted on and just say, "Not enough votes yet" and pass them by.

So, just what am I asking of Linden Lab? Drop this pretense of having the Community VOTE on Bug Fixes and start prioritizing these based on their severity, not popularity. Look at EVERY SINGLE Bug Report, if it's a bug that has crashed a client or caused clients to re-log, then take it into JIRA or whatever else, and work on it, REPRO or NO REPRO. No one said being a Bug Hunter/Destroyer was going to be easy, and that people would provide you with step by step instructions as to WHY YOUR programming was a problem. Sometimes you just have to roll up your sleeves and do the hard job.

The professionalism at the Linden Lab Bug Fixing office needs to step up a few notches, and quit giving excuses as to WHY they won't do the hard job. They are getting paid to do a job, and to set qualifiers up as to just what job they are going to do is nothing short of silly. I would love a job that allowed me to say, "I'll do this job as long as you provide me with everything I need to do it, along with lunch every day, including a salad, and 25 fifteen minute breaks". When you get to setup your own qualifiers for doing a job someone's hired you to do, it starts to sound pretty ridiculous, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Second Life OPEN-SOURCE awards!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Blog to bring you news of the "Second Life OPEN-SOURCE Awards".

As everyone is aware, Linden Lab OPEN-SOURCED their client-side code for the viewer a while back and since then, the open-source community has been sending in bug fixes ever since. Amazingly, if you look thru the bug fixes sent in by the Open-Source Community, you will see there are fixes for things like Memory Leaks and other obscure, hard to find bugs. Which really puts a big dent in Linden Lab's contention that if a bug report doesn't have REPRO steps it would take too long for them to find it and run it down. Must be dis-heartening to the bug squashers at Linden Lab to know that an Open-Source Community member, who most of the time is coding for the sake of coding, not for pay, is able to do the bug squashing job better then those getting paid to do the same job at Linden Lab.

Anyway, the reason for today's Blog Entry is this, Nicholaz Beresford is probably THE BEST bug finder and squasher who's been working thru the Open-Source Community. He not only has submitted over 40 patches by himself, some of those patches quite frankly have been what's made the Linden Lab viewer as stable as it is today. Nicholaz has run down most, if not all, the Memory Leaks in the viewer, and has discovered countless other "obscure" bugs that those "other guys" thought would be impossible to find.

So, why do I tell you this? Because if you are reading this, you should follow the LINK above and vote for Nicholaz Beresford as the BUG HUNTER of the YEAR and the OPEN-SOURCE Contributor of the Year as well. If there were a CODER of the Year that included both Linden Lab and Open-Source Community Members, Nicholaz would still be a shoe-in, and Linden Lab should seriously make an effort to hire this man as HEAD of the Coding Department. At least then I would know there was someone overseeing Second Life that could provide Leadership and lead by example.

Keep up the good work Nicholaz, perhaps with your help, and the help of other Open-Source Community Members, we can save Second Life, despite the efforts of Linden Lab!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A new low at Linden Lab

Today, after posting my blog entry on Matthew Linden's "excuses" for not making his own scheduled in-world office hour, Linden Lab did something even more amazing then making excuses, they just removed the posts, both mine and Matthews, then closed the BLOG for comment.

I guess at Linden Lab the feeling is simple, if you don't like what your customer's are saying, or apparently what your employee's are saying, then remove it and hope everyone forgets.

I'm starting to think it's time for Uncle Philip to change the name of Second Life to Nazi Life, this way when his employee's pull this sort of CENSORSHIP based solely on the idea that they don't like what's being said, even if it is on topic, then people won't be surprised.

All Hiel Philip!

Employee's should not provide EXCUSES...

Yesterday, once again, I decided to attend a Linden's in-world Office Hours. This time, my Green Friend Khamon let me tag along, even though he knows of my vicious attitude towards most Lindens; I think that's why he let's me go with him.

We were to meet with the likable and friendly Matthew Linden, and I was looking forward to hearing what this likable and friendly Linden would have to say (seriously!). Time for meeting to start came and went, but Matthew didn't appear. After 5 minutes, I figured since Matthew wasn't going to show, I'd just start the meeting without him.

I introduced myself to the others there and announced I would be step-in HOST since Matthew didn't care enough to attend, and we started. Of course, with myself at the helm, I led the meeting down the usual path of enlightenment, that of Linden Lab not paying enough attention, doing enough to make a difference, and the Grid Stabilization problems we all suffer. We had a good long hour discussion, and many comments and opinions were presented, actually many opinions I hadn't considered that I now must work into my own thought process. At the end of the hour, I crashed. Of course, proving my point that 5 people can't meet for me then an hour before there's problems.

We all seemed to enjoy the heated discussion and I don't think anyone left feeling upset at the other, but alas we all had to leave to take on other responsiblities in life. Yesterday evening, on the Official Second Life Blog, it was posted that new Lindens were HIRED and what their responsibilities would be. I took the opportunity to say welcome and then to remind them they should make a more concerted effort to be at their in-world meeting hours, and of course, I singled Matthew out for an example. Now apparently Matthew took offense of this, because he responded in the comments as well which we have here:

Always good to have more Liaison colleagues on board and it’s great to have the ones mentioned above.

Reading some of the comments I’d like to make the following comments: we’re developing a new presence for some of our linden colleagues on TG (Meiji West). Already the VTeam are there and have office hours as will the ITeam (we have lots of flags at the moment where we’re going to be, hehe).

As a huge supporter of office hours for Lindens I was disappointed by blog comment of me not attending my office hour yesterday. Please be assured that if I’m not able to attend my office hour there is a reason and that it’s not a case of “not feeling the need to attend”. Sometimes other things happen that mean I might not be here (other work issues, family, leave, absence). Please be assured it’s not a reflection on the value I place on office hours. Any resident who knows me will confirm that I endeavour to be in-world as much as possible and try to be friendly and supportive.

If you don’t find me in-world then do send me a message. IM me… All the best to you!

I love it when an EMPLOYEE who's getting PAID to do their job, that includes making their OWN scheduled in-world Office Hours, makes excuses after the fact as to why they couldn't be there, instead of a simple, "Sorry, something came up at the last minute and I couldn't get a note in-world to explain".

I guess I should be used to the Linden Excuse train by now, but I'm not. I'm funny in that I feel a company that claims it's hiring "professionals" should ACT in a professional manner, not make excuses and explain how they are a nice person and should be excused. I'm sorry, that sounds more like a 7 year old that got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, instead of a PROFESSIONAL hired to do a job.

Of course, the meeting was probably a WHOLE LOT more productive without a Linden there claiming things were running smooth and everyone at Linden Lab was doing their level best to make a quality product. It's much easier to have a frank an open discussion when there isn't a propaganda agent standing there lying every time they open their mouth. So, I invite the rest of the Lindens with in-world hours to just skip them, and let those of us that really care, carry on. I'm sure we can arrange to have a LOG sent to you, so you can see what the community really thinks concerning your "efforts".

Oh heck, why do I even offer that, when I know they will just take it into a meeting and have a good laugh about our frustrations?

Monday, July 16, 2007


Yesterday I ran into, for the hundredth time at least, a very obnoxious TELEPORT bug. I'm sure many of you have had this happen as well. You begin your teleport to a location, you arrive, things begin to rez, you move, talk, do something, and suddenly your screen goes black and the words, "Requesting Teleport" appear. Now if you let this continue, in between 5 and 10 minutes you will once again appear at your location and things will work. I'm sure what most of us do though is exit the program and log back in, and amazingly, there are you at the location you wanted to be at.

This "bug" has been in Second Life for more then three years and according to the BUG SQUASHERS will never be fixed. Why? Because there are NO re-produceable steps that can be written down. This is one of those bugs that occur occasionally and without noticeable reason.

How many other bugs in Second Life are there like this? The count can't be made, since Linden Lab refuses to track these "occasional" bugs because you, and I, can't offer re-produceable steps, therefore the bug reports for these just get flushed and ignored. I ask you this friends, is this how we want Second Life to be? Do we want Second Life freed of only the EASY bugs to find and fix or ALL the bugs?

It's again time to sound the alarm and call everyone to action I fear. WE are the ones paying the salaries of the Lindens, WE should have a say on what gets fixed and what doesn't. Not a choice of what EASY bug to fix, but a full choice of ALL bugs, whether they can be re-produced or not shouldn't be the measure of it being fixed. ANY Bug that disrupts the world in this manner should be investigated, found, and KILLED. We know this, we want this, but look, Linden Lab doesn't want to work real hard, just real easy.

So, what do we do? Well, it's time to ask Uncle Philip and Aunt Robin to step up to the plate, change this fool-hearted policy of fixing only bugs with re-produceable steps and get Second Life stable again. Follow the links and email both of these people and demand that this "policy" of easy work change now. Demand that the HARD bugs be fixed, not the easy ones. A UI bug that mis-spells a word or doesn't color something correctly isn't what I would call a show stopper; would you?

Second Life is OUR world, just look what the Second Life webpage says. Since it's OUR world, it's time WE take a stand then. It's up to you and me to save Second Life! I for one will not sit idly by as our world dies an ugly death because someone at Linden Lab doesn't want to do the hard work!

Sorry Uncle Philip and Aunt Robin, but we're fed up with this, and now we want action!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Linden Lab out of energy....a novel way to not work

Yesterday a POWER OUTAGE hit Linden Lab and took down Phone Support. I know, many will say, "So what?", considering the level of Customer Satisfaction with Phone Support, I suppose this sentiment should be accepted.

The problem I want to talk about today is, how can a company the size of Linden Lab NOT have backup generators for this very instance? You know, this isn't the FIRST TIME the Linden Lab offices have lost power, so you would think that perhaps they would be more prepared when it happened again. But then again, that would require thinking beyond today, and that's just not how Linden Lab operates.

The sad part of knowing there are no contingency plans in place, shines a bright light on the whole Linden Lab operation. I said in an earlier BLOG that Leadership starts at the top, and the TOP DOG at Linden Lab once was the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) at REAL, so it begs to be asked, "Why haven't you, the former CTO of a HUGE company like REAL, made sure your contingency plans are in order?"

It's becoming increasingly clear just why Linden Lab is in such chaos, and that would be because they lack true and efficient leadership. From what is being reported by active employee's, working at Linden Lab is a lot like having recess all day. Which isn't to say they aren't working, but probably not working as efficiently as they could be. Of course we already know that the BUG SQUASHERS have already cut their work load by at least 75% since they aren't accepting BUG REPORTS that don't have REPRO steps with them, and the only BUGS they will work on are those voted by the Community.; nevermind that there isn't any type of VOTING MECHANISM for the Community to vote on which BUGS they want fixed. Does that mean the BUG SQUASHERS will just sit and wait for the VOTING MECHANISM to be implemented before doing anything? That's what I call TRUE and EFFICIENT leadership!

I must say that I've become quite dis-heartened with our friends at Linden Lab. It seemed like they were gearing up to make a real push to stabilize the world of Second Life, and now we find out it's just another PR Campaign to quiet the Community. Just how long does Linden Lab hope to keep the Community quiet? Do they think we can't see thru this deception? Friends, I hate to say it, but we are still very much in the fight to save our world, and it doesn't look like Linden Lab is willing to be a part of it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Comments Welcome....sort of...

Well, it's finally happened, and I shouldn't be too surprised really. I have been added to the MODERATE list on the Official Second Life Blog. Of course, this is because I refuse to listen to the DRIVEL put out by the new "touchy-feely" Linden machine and instead ask hard questions like:

"What do you mean you won't read a BUG REPORT unless it has REPRO steps attached?"

"Just how many votes will it take to FIX a BUG?"

I guess instead of explaining or qualifying what was said in the UI Bug Triage, Linden Lab thinks the best way to quiet your critics is to MODERATE them. Well folks, I guess I could play the immature game that Linden Lab does and MODERATE all their comments here, but what would that do? Show how immature I've become in my fight to save Second Life?

I think I've finally begun to understand just WHAT'S wrong at Linden Lab. They have no leadership telling them, "Do this first, do that second". How else can you explain a BUG SQUASHER that wants YOU to vote on what they should do first? By the way, once again, let me say, VOTING on which BUGS to FIX is nonsense. As a BUG SQUASHER you should have enough common sense to prioritize the bugs as they come in. To ask a CUSTOMER which BUG they want squashed first is just laziness on Linden Lab part. If they need someone to oversee the BUG SQUASHING Dept., they should HIRE someone and not OUTSOURCE the decision to the Residents.

The real question I have now, is just how VOID of Leadership is the Linden Lab team? I mean, does it go ALL THE WAY UP? Has Uncle Philip just abandoned his Social Experiment and let the Monkey's run loose? I've heard it said, that true leadership starts at the top and works its way down. What does that tell you about our wonderful Uncle Philip? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it when Uncle Philip actually replies to an email of mine, but lately I've begun to see Linden Lab in a new light. While I thought Linden Lab was serious about BUG FIXING and providing a Stable GRID, I now see it was all a hoax, a scam, just another way to quiet the Community. Setup some meetings, hope that the loud crowd doesn't show up, and if they do, just ignore them, and tell everyone else, the world is fine, don't listen to the complainers. This method is quite easy to pull off then say really FIXING BUGS and providing a STABLE GRID.

So, what can we extrapolate about the Linden Lab Bug Squashers? They are lazy and tend to polarize to the easy stuff. I hate to say it, but the BUG SQUASHERS need a boss, someone that can crack the whip and actually get work done, instead of a policy of let's fix the most popular bugs, whether or not they are actual problems with the client, this way people will be happy. This is true only to a point, and once people take notice that you are doing this, the backlash will be even worse then it was before.

You know the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me Twice, shame on me" Shame Shame Linden Lab, I see you fooled me this time, but I won't be so gullible in the future, now I'm watching you even closer then before, I won't be fooled again :)

I do want to thank a couple of Linden Lab employee's for providing me with the First Hand acct., of what's going on interoffice. No, I won't mention your names, but I do appreciate your willingness to open up the curtain so some of us can peak in and watch the craziness. Keep up the fight friends, we'll do the same outside, and hopefully soon SL will once again be safe!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The GRID is stable....really

From the Linden Lab Official Second Life Blog:

Good evening. Earlier this afternoon, several Residents reported general SL performance issues to our Support teams. After verifying the reports, Support escalated to Operations, and they have been digging into this issue ever since. It appears that during the grid restart, we maxed out the network connection to the asset server cluster. This caused a slowdown in downloading and rendering of various textures and objects. We are still looking for the primary cause of this spurt of network traffic so that we can prevent this from occurring in the future.

For now, traffic seems to be stabilizing and returning to normal, but we will be adding another network switch to increase available bandwidth tomorrow. Thanks to those who reported this issue to us, and thanks to all of you for your patience.

I guess what we need to ask now is, JUST HOW MUCH MORE BANDWIDTH do you need for Voice? I mean, if your GRID is going to slow-down on a simple patch day, where you aren't adding any new features, just bug fixes, then how can you (with a straight face) say that the GRID can handle more Enhancements that will put MORE strain on the GRID?

So, I wonder if someone from say the VOICE Team would care to comment on this interesting question? Joe, are you reading this?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Linden Lab is NOT about fixing bugs. Now they are about asking the Residents which bugs they really want fixed!

In today's "Meeting" for the UI Bug Triage, Torley Linden admitted openly, that BUG FIXES are done based on what the community says they want, not based on whether it's a BUG and has actually been reported with repro steps.

Of course, Benjamin Linden also stated that BUGS that are reported without repro steps are virtually ignored because Linden Employee's just don't have the time to check everything out.

Now, couple of problems as I see it. First and foremost, IF you truly want the community to be involved, you damn well should make it easier for them to be involved. You want the community to vote on every bug to be fixed or not fixed, then give the community the ABILITY to do so. Build in a polling mechanism on the Front Page of the client, PAY people to actually go and vote, but honestly, my idea, which seems to be the MOST UNPOPULAR to those doing the work is, FIX THE DAMN BUGS and don't BREAK ANYTHING in the process!

Secondly, IF LL is asking it's users to REPORT BUGS, and at the same time, saying if it's not done right they won't look at it, then I urge everyone to just STOP reporting bugs. You cannot expect the populace of Second Life to know how to write up a bug report, and yet, when they do, if it isn't right you just blow past it without a thought, is that GRATITUDE or just LAZINESS on your part?

Now I can see WHY most bugs over the years haven't gotten fixed. Linden Lab is too afraid to do their damn jobs, and so, they make up these silly policies to hide behind. Get off your lazy butts friends and do the job Uncle Philip is paying you to do! Fix Bugs without breaking something else, for crying out loud, it's not as difficult as you like to make it sound, just test test test and make sure what you are doing!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The REAL easy way to report bugs...

Now, a few days back, Torley Linden, posted a New Blog entry titled, "How to report bugs easily" and after reading it and thinking it over, I came up with a BETTER way to report bugs, that of course, isn't the Linden way, but quite honestly, why waste YOUR paying time in SL on trying to figure out HOW to Report a Bug?

Ok, here's what I do in SL when I run into a bug. I go to Search, click on the People Tab, type in LINDEN and hit enter. Then I go down the list to find a Linden that is online (you can see their "Currently Online" status above the Born Date field) and when I find one, I IM them, and tell them the bug. Of course, they always write back asking if I would file a bug report, and I answer them nicely, "No, it's not my job to do so".

Why does LL expect their Residents to spend time researching a bug, and then filing a bug report if they dont' find one that matches? This can take easily up to an hour out of a Residents day. I'm all for Residents helping out, but let's make it a bit easier shall we?

In a perfect world, Linden Lab would think a bit further past the nose on their face and setup a BUG REPORTING OFFICE, and staff it with a couple geeks that would take reports from Residents that pop in and report a bug. Then the Linden employee's could handle it from there. The Lindens get paid to do their jobs, Residents PAY Linden Lab to be in Second Life, just why does Linden Lab think I, or you, should spend precious time on the computer to research and then report a bug?

It's time Uncle Philip and Aunt Robin took another step forward and make Bug Reporting easy on the Residents and not expect them to spend their hours online filing Bug Reports. If they don't want to do that, then do what I do, just tell whatever Linden is online and leave it in their capable hands. If they won't file the bug, then I guess it's really NOT that important to them, so why should it be to you?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Linden Lab's Dirty Little Secret

As usual, if you haven't yet read the Official Blog of Second Life you need to to understand what I'm talking about today.

Linden Lab has posted a BLOG entry today stating they won a case in France, in which an organization was trying to get SL banned because of the Adult Content. Linden Lab not only won, but went on to postulate that they are truly a service provider, not so much a game company. Linden Lab wants you, and I, to believe this, so they can get better protection under the law. Basically here in the US, a Service Provider IS NOT liable for those illegal items on their servers, as long as a USER put them there. The Service Provider is also NOT LIABLE for someone slandering someone else just because it might have happened on their servers.

Now, this is all good and well, until you start to put some pieces of the puzzle together. Let's say this one, have you ever been in Second Life and seen a COPYRIGHTED logo that was being displayed either on someone's clothes or in their home, and doing the right thing you reported it, only to find it was still there weeks later? This is the problem Linden Lab has to face, that when their USERS report violations, if these violations are NOT taken care of, they then CAN be held liable, because they have received notice of the illegal item. This is also true with the DVD businesses in SL. I'm willing to bet, that NONE of these businesses have the correct license structure with the big Studios to be re-broadcasting the DVD's for commercial profit. If they did, they would be like NetFlix and offering 30-second startup movies on your PC.

Over a year ago now, I brought this apparent problem to Linden Lab's attention, and was told by Philip to talk it over with the Attorney. This went for one round of emails, when the attorney told me in no uncertain terms to: "Trust me, I'm a lawyer, you aren't." While I found this attorney's arrogance to be super terrific, I found his understanding of DVD Licenses to be a bit lacking. If you pull out a NEW DVD and carefully read the license agreement, you will see it states plainly that this is for PRIVATE USE only and NOT for re-broadcast. So, unless these DVD Business owners have a license from the studios to be re-broadcasting them for commercial gain, then they and Linden Lab could be under the gun if a group like the MPAA started to investigate our world.

In the earlier days of SL, if you made something and applied a COPYRIGHTED protected image to it, you would be slapped down hard and fast. Today, you can do it, and laugh about it, because NO ONE at Linden Lab seems to care if you break the law, just as long as you don't get caught, and if you do get caught, trust me, Linden Lab will take the position they are a Service Provider and NOT responsible for the User Generated Content in the world.

I'm only saying that Linden Lab needs to adjust how it handles these cases, because it takes only ONE BIG lawsuit to bankrupt a company like Linden Lab, which means we are all out of our world if that happens.

Legal Ease: Second Life is a registered trademark of Linden Lab. NetFlix is a registered trademark of NetFlix Corporation. And I'm just covering my a** in case Uncle Philip takes this too personally.