Linden announces estate governance changes

As announced yesterday, estate owners will soon be able to opt out of the current Linden Abuse Report system, in lieu of dealing with them themselves, thus leaving LL to deal with the mainland. Well, the current AR system rarely works, so at first glance this would seem like a good thing, but there have been questions, and thus far, no convincing answers.

For example, Ice Brodie asked:

“Kind of curious, what happens when the estate owner violates TOS?”

to which Chadrick Linden replied:

“Ice: On the Linden Governed mainland, same thing as everyone else. On their own region, it depends on the offense. For example: All fraud tickets would still come to Linden Lab. Same with Under Age Tickets. If he’s assaulting someone on his region, he has the right to do so, it’s his.

A big flashing red light there folks. The estate owner has the right to abuse you on his or her land! Oz Spade asked a similar question, but was not answered separately, yet.

Let’s look at another part of the announcement … in response to a question regarding bans, Chadrick replied:

“He’ll be banned from that one region, and LL monitors the number of regions someone would be banned from. So if someone decides to start causing problems in multiple regions, we notice.”

So, while a single island owner is unlikely to get someone banned from the grid, someone owning say 100 sims, probably could. Way to go, Linden. And remember people, once this happens, there’s no more anonymous reporting of abuse… it goes to the estate owner, to share as they wish.

Now, in their defence, since I don’t want to be completely negative, Chadrick did also state that we’d be told when we enter a sim that’s not governed by Linden Law, and I think this is a good and necessary thing. But I think we should know before, when the teleport invite appears, or when we open a landmark, or the map, and we should know WHO is governing the sim and have a choice whether to visit or not. Sadly, I doubt it will be the case, but I can hope.

7 thoughts on “Linden announces estate governance changes”

  1. While I think there are plenty of issues to be resolved, overall I think this is a necessary step.

    Expecting Linden to govern the metaverse in its entirety is like expecting CERN to govern the web on the basis that they created the first web server. Linden will continue to police the systems it controls – sims on the mainland, which are owned by them; the monetary system; the ID and item databases. What they won’t do – in fact, can’t do – is police systems which aren’t owned or operated by them, which is what we’ll be getting in the future with open source servers.

    One other little point: I think this may mean that server open sourcing is coming sooner than most people think…

  2. I’m pretty worried about Open Sourcing servers too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of OSS, but in this case, it’s not the right direction to take. I predicted things would happen when they announced the OS Client, and I was right, it’s rule by bot now.

    Once they OS the servers, well, as LL have stated, Sim owners will not only have the ability, but the right to steal anything from us while we’re on their land.

  3. I’m not sure about the “steal anything from you” bit. Chadrick highlighted fraud reports as ones which would continue to go to Linden, rather than estate owners.

    I can see them adopting the role that the US Federal government takes, with estates playing the part of the states. Things which involve Federal currency – the Linden Dollar – and anything that involves inter-estate commerce (which basically means anything that monkeys with inventory, which is a Linden service) will remain Linden-governed matters.

  4. I wouldn’t bet on it. They don’t do anything about currency now. See the number of complaints on various forums about it. Added to the fact that they still claim the L$ is worth exactly zero, I don’t think we have much recourse. I hope I’m wrong. I’ve just been around long enough to have seen how LL usually does this sort of thing.

    And to think, I used to be as pro-Linden as Flipper… Even he’s beginning to notice all is not right in LindenLand too.

    As for stealing, I don’t think monkeying with the inv is the issue. Scripts, textures, anything that’s processed by the server… is on the estate owner’s PC…

    Actually, another thing that happens now, but I see becoming increasingly popular… So called “security guards”, demand you teleport to them so they can deal with you on their land… so that of course, you can’t AR them… Griefers all, of course, but LL doesn’t care about that if they pay for a sim (or after OS, a sim location).

    By the way, thank you for the comments Ian. Even if we disagree over much of it, it’s good to have the discussion.

  5. “As for stealing, I don’t think monkeying with the inv is the issue. Scripts, textures, anything that’s processed by the server… is on the estate owner’s PC…”

    That depends on how they engineer it, really. You can create a system where even a server doesn’t have access directly to a script or texture, but has to call it from an asset server – and I *think* that’s how LL is engineering SL now.

    “Actually, another thing that happens now, but I see becoming increasingly popular… So called “security guards”, demand you teleport to them so they can deal with you on their land… so that of course, you can’t AR them… Griefers all, of course, but LL doesn’t care about that if they pay for a sim (or after OS, a sim location).”

    People will need to be as careful in SL as they are on the web and in RL. There will be the equivalent of phishing scams, no doubt – and it will be down to individuals to avoid them, because it will be effectively impossible for LL to do so. With web phishing, we don’t expect DNS owners to blacklist scammer sites – and Linden’s clear aim, as Flipper said on his blog post, is to be a bit like the DNS for the metaverse.

    But the alternative is a centralised metaverse that’s owned, operated and policed by a single company – and I think that this is far more dangerous prospect than anything likely with open sourcing.

    “By the way, thank you for the comments Ian. Even if we disagree over much of it, it’s good to have the discussion.”

    Yep! Disagreeing means testing your arguments against other people, and that’s totally healthy. 🙂

  6. “That depends on how they engineer it, really. You can create a system where even a server doesn’t have access directly to a script or texture, but has to call it from an asset server – and I *think* that’s how LL is engineering SL now.”

    With textures, you may be right. Scripts are run on the server though.

    “People will need to be as careful in SL as they are on the web and in RL. There will be the equivalent of phishing scams, no doubt – and it will be down to individuals to avoid them, because it will be effectively impossible for LL to do so. With web phishing, we don’t expect DNS owners to blacklist scammer sites – and Linden’s clear aim, as Flipper said on his blog post, is to be a bit like the DNS for the metaverse.”

    Well true, but SL is not the metaverse. Right now it’s a barely functional game platform.

    “But the alternative is a centralised metaverse that’s owned, operated and policed by a single company – and I think that this is far more dangerous prospect than anything likely with open sourcing.”

    Again, if SL were the metaverse, I’d agree… but I’m yet to be convinced of this. At the moment, I’m not even sure it has a future.

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