Saturday, 5 April 2008

Linden Lab® vs. Residents (yet again)

What most of you won't know at the moment, unless you actively follow any SL blogs, is that there is currently a huge SL Blogger protest going on, against LL.

I'm not a law expert, but I'll tell you the basics of what is going on. For anyone more interested, check out Gwyn's postings on the topic.

Linden Labs have decided to crack down on their logo / branding etc policy. All fair and right and good.

But...that update to the TOS that we all had to agree to last week? Well, it has some potential implications for the thousands of blogs out there...mainstream ones like Gywn's and Torley's, but also for teeny tiny, unimportant ones like mine.

Not only is there a clause in the TOS anyway to say that LL reserve the right to shut down your account for absolutely NO reason whatsoever, but now...well, I can technically get shut out of SL for not putting the right ® or ™ in the right places. Hell, I don't even know where they are on my keyboard! I had to copy and paste the damned things!

LL now has a cute Brand Center and it IS the right way to go for the company, moving forward but their guidelines seem to have gone way above and beyond any sense of reason.

Bloggers essentially were, and still are, the marketing and PR for LL. And they are furious! Because LL are now trying to specify exactly how they are written about. It goes far beyond the normal idea of trying to protect the company's interest and distance themselves from any generic issues and third-party services.

An example of this craziness, is that I can't write:

Second life, second life, sl, Second-Life, SecondLife, 2nd Life, 2Life, Second Lifers, Linden Labs or even slurl

But I can write:

the Second Life® virtual world, the Second Life® world, Second Life® residents, the SL™ community, an SL™ account, Linden™ dollars or a SLurl™ link

I think anyway. Not quite sure as there as 1001 rules added as to it as well which is all way too far above my head to comprehend. Can you imagine this is chat???

Not only does this affect blogs, but also company names. Including non-profit organisations inside of SL. Like the SL Ballet company. Companies and organisations who have also helped to promote and add to SL. The Second Life Herald wrote a rather amusing report. (LL rules about names and having to have two generic nouns...huh???...incorporated)

Now I know that its highly unlikely that any Linden employee is ever gonna stumble across my little blog here, and even if they do, its also unlikely that they'll serve Poppy with a cease and desist notice. But its just damned annoying.

I've always read a lot of blogs about SL...the change to the banking system (which was good), the ban on casinos (which I couldn't care less about, but hey! all adults here, if people wanna gamble then let em!), the introduction of VAT with virtually no notice and so on and so forth. They have THE worst timing and the worst way of imparting new information.

A few interesting links for the discussion (hey it'll help pass the time until the-place-which-I-dare-not-name is back up and running ;P):

Ciaran Lava, Just another unauthroised virtual world fansite
Dedric Mauriac: Another life from the first
Virtual Village Voice

And take a look at their profiles and disclaimers..made me chuckle at least.

*looks at the blog page and sees that SL is STILL down! Gaaaaahhhh!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Linden Labs™,

My name is Half Short® and I® am a resident in Second Life®.

I® know its a pleasure having me as a resident. I® am smart, witty, creative and very caring. Of course I® am aware of the fact you don't want to lose me as an asset to your Wonderful World (® or ™), therefor I® want to ask you to use the ® or ™ when my name is mentioned in correspondence or in chat.

I™ trust SL® will inform all the Secondlife™ residents as soon as possible to ensure the protection of the name Half Short®.

Best regards,

Half Short®