Monday, June 04, 2007


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One tradeoff: having to accept differing international standards of what consenting adults can do with their avatars.
Sounds fair to me as long as residents can teleport around without visas and passports.

Nicholaz Beresford

At the end of the article Rosendale says:

"In the ideal case, the people who are in Second Life should think of themselves as citizens of this new place and not citizens of their countries,"

LMAO ... then you'll have the lesser common denominator, because the governments of the countries where the server reside will see you as a citizen and enforce their law on you and SL law and order will do the same.

The way we are now, at least we are only bound by RL law, so not having another second law means more freedom.

Cyn Vandeverre

How are we going to know if we're dealing with a server in, say, Saudi Arabia? Is my avatar going to be prohibited from driving a car because it's female on such a server? (Used to be the case that women couldn't drive in Saudi Arabia; not sure about now.)

Are we going to be given a list of local laws when we teleport to a "foreign" server? Is my home country going to try and prosecute me if I do something illegal on a foreign server which is OK there but not at home (as countries sometimes do in real life?)

Laetizia Coronet

Second Life needs it's own set of rules. Clearly formulated and enforced. Then every country can decide for itself whether to allow it's citizens on the grid or not. I don't see any modern democracies banning SL.
All of this is getting very confusing and makes me feel as if LL is unwilling to commit itself to setting standards and taking control.

Alexander Burgess

All this speculation is worse than useless--it only serves to confuse the issue. Hamlet, you should be using your position and trust to actually get some real answers--and push for clarification when your friends talk to you. I didn't see "ambivalence" in your conversation with Daniel Linden, I saw "ambiguity" and "abstraction." We need some concrete definition and discussion.

Linden Lab needs to get it together on the communication front. It's easier to understand what professional obfuscator Tony Snow is saying than get clarity on the statements coming out of LL.


Sure there is lot of abstraction here, but I don't see Hamlet or any other blogger or media representative responsible for that. Lindens are keeping things blurred on purpose. One cannot impose new set of rules if those rules sounds like "broadly offensive content". For the millionth time: What the hell that suppose to mean?
Lindens are keeping things undefined for the reasons (probably) known to them. Will that strategy succed? I doubt.

Hamlet Au

Like I wrote above, I asked the Lindens for a comment on this, and they haven't replied. It's not "speculation" that placing SL servers in a non-US country puts any virtual activity that goes on there under the jurisdiction of the host nation, that's generally true for any Internet business. (As Philip says.)

Alexander Burgess

I'm not asserting that it's Hamlet's responsibility--it's Linden Lab's responsibility. I'm just being somewhat pushy because I'm admittedly frustrated with the deliberate vagueness. And I do think that people at Linden are more likely to give weight to what you say, Hamlet.

And, I'm not disagreeing with you that the laws of the host nation apply to the activity on the server, but I am saying that what is most important is to push for clarity, rather than attempting to parse every semi-related statement that comes out of Linden Lab. I see that as paramount. In any case, it's good dialog here, thanks for posting and responding.

Hamlet Au

Yeah, I agree, it would have been better for everyone involved if they were clear with the announcement, and if server location was a factor, state that upfront.

I don't know how much weight I have with the Lindens and their policies-- even when I was a contractor for them, they mostly kept me at arm's length.


About clearance of Linden's words:
It makes sense to doubt they want to be clear. Just recall what they said about flagging adult parcels. It is us, residents to decide what should be flagged. That is, parcel owners, their neighbours and community. That doesn't tell us much beside that they are to leave the hot issue to residents to handle. For reasons explained at http://metaverse.acidzen.org/2007/user-generated-censorship that is fair. And it might seem like some attempt of democracy in virtual world. But, over any democracy there is constitution and set of rights called human and citizen's rights. They are to protect the individuum and the society in the situations like this one. We don't have such a thing as constitution!


Linden Labs is based in San Francisco. It very much needs to obey the laws and community standards of the United States.

It's still an awesome virtual world.

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