If you're a lawyer or another kind of expert in American legal practice and you have a subscription to American Lawyer magazine, I'd love your help. Thing is, I'm not a lawyer nor do I play one on the Internet, nor can I read in full The American Lawyer's article on the matter, since it's paywalled, but it looks like several Second Life landowners who lost their SL property after their accounts were suspended just accepted a class action settlement from Linden Lab. And the class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 57,000+ SL users in a particular category of land owners. Specifically, as this 2012 class action granting decision designates:
The settlement amount paid by Linden is small, reported in a law blog as being paid to the defendants in Linden Dollars: 43 million L$, or USD $172,000. That it's being paid in Linden Dollars suggests it's being given to active SL users. Beyond that, I'm not going to speculate any further, but I'd love a legal expert to (carefully!) do so in Comments. Read the full class action decision here.
Update, 11:15AM SLT: Just got an e-mail from Agenda Faromet, avatar for an RL legal expert, who gave me the following quick-take analysis:
"Settlements like that are usually pretty hush-hush, neither side admitting any fault but both sides at least getting something. This one looks a lot like the Bragg settlement, which was a big loss for Linden, and it's a damn shame the class couldn't keep going long enough to get an actual decision. I would have loved to get the precedent... but I absolutely understand how expensive and emotionally draining a suit like this is to the plaintiffs.
"Short version: looks like Linden Lab lost, just like it did in Bragg. But it looks like the plaintiffs had a very hard time proving significant economic damages, so LL didn't lose much. I do wonder what else came out of the settlement other than the monetary damages."
I wonder too. More comments welcome in Comments below.
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