Kremlinden Lab to Second Life Superior Court: Change Your Name!

by Alphaville Herald on 24/09/05 at 11:45 am

Kremlinden Lab has reportedly asked Judge Churchill and Judge Mason to change the name of the Second Life Superior Court, on the grounds that it might convey the impression that the Court is sanctioned by Linden Lab. Reached at press time by the Herald, Judge Churchill has indicated that he is happy to comply and that the Court will be renamed The Metaverse Superior Court. While this name is probably actually better and opens possibilities for these law students to hear cases from other MMO’s we have to wonder about the logic of the Kremlinden position. Second Life is full of businesses named “The Second Life X” (for example, Second Life Boxing). Do people really think that all these businesses are sanctioned by the Lindens? We have yet to meet anyone who has mistaken The Second Life Herald for an information organ of Kremlinden Lab.

26 Responses to “Kremlinden Lab to Second Life Superior Court: Change Your Name!”

  1. Tony Walsh

    Sep 24th, 2005

    I think of the Herald less of an organ and more of an orifice :)

  2. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 24th, 2005

    Well, the independent judiciary has failed its first test of independence LOL. They should have told the Lindens then to shut them down if that’s how they felt about it. There are thousands of things called “SL this or that” from SL Rentals to SL Boxing to stuff like SLot Addicts and things like and *Cough* you don’t hear any Lindens reaching their special friend FlipperPA Peregrine and telling him to shut down because it uses the term “SL” in its name and that might imply to some customers some endorsement or some official capacity. (Of course, with Jeska doing the modeling for we know in fact they *do* have that endorsement lol but you know what I mean.

    I know of at least one other important SL entity using the SL moniker who have told the Lindens to go fish and they haven’t come back to shut it down yet. So I can’t help thinking that when the Lindens encroach like this they are testing…and they need to get a rebuff, and one that they might then withdraw.

    It’s times like this when you realize that this “Your World. Your Imagination” sloganeering really should be changed to: “Your World? Only In Your Imagination.” It’s not really our world. They try to get us to imagine it is. But the reality checks sure comes often enough…and they don’t even let you take home a doggy bag after that…

  3. Urizenus

    Sep 24th, 2005

    Tony you simply have a narrow conception of organology.

  4. marilyn murphy

    Sep 24th, 2005

    organology??? uh… hmmm… organology??

  5. Urizenus

    Sep 24th, 2005

    sure, not in the sense of the study of musical instruments, but in this sense:

  6. ravic

    Sep 26th, 2005

    I see no problem with the logic of LL’s request.

    At issue is the conjoining of a formal entity name with the name of a specific kind of service. I doubt anyone would confuse a store called Denver Dry Goods or a dance club called Joe’s City Jail with any govenment agencies listed in the Blue Pages of the telephone book.
    I would not expect that the city and county of Denver to operate a retail dry goods chain. I also would not expect that “Joe” is the name of any city, county, state, or federal entity in my area.

    Marrying the name of a known jurisdiction with the name of a service normally provided — or would reasonably expected to be provided — by such jurisdicitons is another story, e.g. Denver Public Schools, Colorado State Police.

    Similarly, Second Life Boxing or SLBoutique read as activity and business names operating within Second Life. By contrast, the name Second Life Superior Court reads like an in-house operation.

    I’m not suggesting that the Herald’s or Prokofy’s critiques completely lack merit. But I do suggest that business names are not compelling examples to support their arguments. If this issue were an axe I wanted to grind, I’d probably focus on “Second Life Police” and the like as examples of LL inconsistency.

  7. Urizenus

    Sep 26th, 2005

    Fair point, but it is pretty common to have user created governmental organizations take the name of the game or at least the shard in which they play. Your example of the Second Life Police is a good one, and this goes back to the old days of The Alphaville Government, and I do beleive there was even and Alphaville Court. Now, maybe the less the project looks like roleplay and the more it looks like an actual dispute resolution mechanism the more distance the Lindens need. I don’t know.

  8. Antje

    Sep 26th, 2005

    United States Tobacco Company

    United States Steel Corporation

    United States Football League

    USA Today

    United States Supreme Court

    *Hums* ~ One of these things is not like the other?

    It amazes me, the length some people will go to, when trying to prove some bullshit point.

    *Stuffs Oscar back in his can ~ Kicks can for good measure*

  9. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 26th, 2005

    Once again, the Lindens don’t have a policy, and don’t have a posture together, and maybe don’t even agree among themselves, and in their weakness, do pouncings. Instead of devising a simple plan for avoiding confusion or disputes over their own trademark/brand called “Second Life” with the green Hand of Fatima thingie, they waffle, and let some people sign agreements to use it (did you realize they did this? I found it out accidently) and they ignore others, and then they pounce on still others. They’ve now successfully pounced on two entities in SL and twisted their arms to change their names to “Metaverse” something (including the one I was claiming was telling them to go fish — they caved in the end.)

    Meanwhile, thrives lol. Sure, we get it about a government and its functions being different than a store. But this “government” never establishes itself. Two years ago, they could have said, like EA or any other game with fans, look, here’s our fan kit, use this on your website, but make disclaimers that you’re not us, and don’t call your business by our name, just have links — or whatever normal rules they could make. For them to be always stepping in after the fact and playing gotcha is just no good. It shows that this stuff about “your world” is just our imagination, like I said. It’s their world, and they’ll remind you of that when and if they think they have a reason to, which is more and more frequently.

  10. Janus Sartre

    Sep 26th, 2005

    Let’s take a look at some of the examples and things trotted out here:

    USFL – Football with teams from the U.S.
    SL Boxing Assn. – You have to be in SL to participate.

    USA Today – Covers U.S.A. events
    SL HErald – Covers Second Life.

    The U.S. Supreme Court – Highest court in the U.S.A.
    The S.L. Supreme Court – ???

    The analogies are things that people do tithout thought. The linden name being attached to a game? No problem. BEing attached to a newspaper which bashes them? Again, all pub. is good pub and they say thank you Urizenus. If someone in WoW killed the chap sitting on the throne in Ironforge, would he then be able to make decisions for the Alliance and for Blizzard until the poor NPC re-pop’d? No.

    What “Laws” are truly in place for this court to enforce? If you went to them for arbitration of a dispute and didn’t like the decisions, where would you appeal the decisions of a “SL Supreme Court”? That’s right, the Lindens. They are distancing themselves because they want to continue to administrate through the channels they have (or don’t) have set up already to manage Customer service instead of handle 10-20 appeals of a couple of member’s fiat every day.

    I can certainly understand that with a not completely but mostly without merit contingent of contemporaries claiming that SL is an entity unto itself with citizenship instead of subscription and Bills of rights instead of Terms of Service.

    I mean I hate to be the uncareful adult who lets slip information about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny… But we all need to grow up some time and realize that this huge metaverse chat client is a privelege (for some of us more than others) and not a right.

  11. Staleo

    Sep 26th, 2005

    Y’know, the whole “Kremlinden Lab” schtick is tired, folks. The Lindens aren’t even close to as oppressive as you wish to portray them. Comparing the way they operate with the Kremlin is just this side of asinine.

    Furthermore, this particular decision is logical. If users get the impression that this “court” is part of the Linden’s built in regulatory system, it acquires a level of moral and (I daresay) legal force that it doesn’t have on its own. Attributing the power of SL’s creators to this court, rather than treating it as a simple advisory board, would have more negative repercussions on the free expression of user behavior than the simple request to change the name of the court has had.

  12. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 26th, 2005

    Linden Lab continuing to get our business is a privilege for them, too, and not a right.

    Kremlinden Lab is not at all a stale analogy and I look forward to even more witty renditions of it.

    I’m troubled by this court for many reasons (I think courts appearing out of nowhere in a situation with no separation of powers is fraught with abuse). Confusion with the Lindens special powers is not one of them.

  13. Joe Public

    Sep 26th, 2005

    “Confusion with the Lindens special powers is not one of them.”

    ooo..Special powers!!!

    So what special powers does Proky have to fight the evul genii of kremlindenlab and the nefarious Dr. Phil at the helm???

    HectoringMan to the rescue…dut da dah!

    “Faster than an auctioneer. More powerful than a tv evangalist. Able to leap tall fallacies in a single bound — ‘Look, up in the sky,’ ‘It’s a bird,’ ‘It’s a plane,’ ‘It’s HectoringMan….’
    [ls zooms to cu of Proky in flight position wearing his Preen Special Edition "Hectoring Man" bridget jones style panties and cape with HM emblazoned in fiery red letters]

    adds on inlcude:
    the cone of abuse
    the wand of misdirection

  14. Janus Sartre

    Sep 27th, 2005

    “Linden Lab continuing to get our business is a privilege for them, too, and not a right”

    That is the business model, yes. This is a statement of the obvious, and would venture redundant. However, it is a somewhat flawed statement. The Lindens need customers, yes, but they do not specifically need Me or You or Any one person to be a Customer. Honestly, do you think they are going to lose any members over this particular naming issue?

    Urizenus – When are you going to do a piece on the embittered few who will bad mouth anything the Lindens do, try to talk down the world to anyone with ears and shoot gas onto any flame which burns againt the Lindens not because of mert but because it is against the Lindens? Just a friendly stroy idea from an ex-jourrnalist. :)

  15. urizenus

    Sep 27th, 2005

    Janus, thanks for the story idea. As you may or may not know, anyone is free to submit stories and op/ed pieces to the Herald. Why don’t you write the story/opinion piece?

    On the question of what laws are in place for the court to enforce, I think the question is off base on a couple of counts. In the first place, this court would not be in the business of *enforcing* laws, but rather in the business of rendering *judgment* on whether certain legal principles are being adhered too. Note the term ‘principles’ rather than ‘laws’. These principles are reflected in the terms of service, in Koster’s Rights of Avatars, and in international law, trademark law, etc.

    I get the idea that many people here think of law as coming top-down from an all powerful sovereign. Some laws do come into existence in that way, but another model is the case where people go to a local elder or respected “wise man” who can render an impartial judgment. Perhaps the judge can explain the decision in terms of principles that everyone in the cociety agrees to, or at least provide some justification of those principles.

    One can also imagine an interesting competition among judges. As judges show us the merits of their decisions and convince us of their fairness and respect for deeper principles, we will come to respect their opinions more and their decisions will trump those of other judges.

    In the fullness of time, if we come to respect a judge enough we may even find a way to enforce their decisions.

    It really comes down to this. What do you think comes first, the power to enforce the law or the cultivation of impartial and wise judges who understand the deepest normative practices of our community. This exercise is premised on the latter.

    Law is about more than who controls the police. It is about finding ways of cultivating forms deliberation and systems of judgment about social norms and conflicts between community members. Those forms of deliberation and systems of judgment cannot be imposed top down, but must grow organically within the community. I think even the Lindens would agree with this (and with the notion that experiments like this are a very good thing).

  16. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 27th, 2005

    You’ve expressed it very eloquently, Uri. I agree that many people don’t see the distinction between APPLYING law — law which they’ve affirmed as applicable, whether international customary law or Koster’s avatar rights — and ENFORCING law — where this is going to be one of those situations such as faced by the Pope, who has no army. Still, I think without an initial power-sharing agreement, and a separation of powers, it is very hard to insist on the rule of law and the application of law, and what we get in its place is rule-by-laws — and that leads to unequal and shoddy enforcement and application. The forums are exemplary of this unequal enforcement, as are other arenas (like vigorous prosecution of sandbox shooters and near-negligence regarding bounce-script users who teleport people home without warning).

    Let me tell you about my initial experience with these judges: I sent them a possible case, that would involve a Linden, and they sent me back an extremely cautious reply, and an indication that they will be very careful about trying any case against a Linden. I gathered the impression that they wouldn’t likely want to open their docket with a case against the Linden. In fact, if I were in their shoes, I’d want to pick about 10 really clear-cut pre-cooked cases that would make them look very good — heroes of the community, heroes to the Lindens, and vindicators of justice over people or issues that everyone hates. So they might pick something like copyright theft — handbag design stealers — or a clear case of negligence, i.e. with a shoddy product or failing to make a land transfer or misrepresenting private island costs on ebay or something that will be easy to render a judgement on.

    Building up the case law — the precedents — even in a system where no precent, let along judgement, is recognized, will have strong moral value. It will be discussed. But you can be sure that if some unfair practice by a Linden was tried and the Linden found guilty, the Lindens would have to close ranks around one of their own to maintain their authority. That will create an impasse that a young court will not want to face.

    I personally feel reluctant to get involved with a court involving two law students eager to polish their resumes and impress teachers and Lindens and the media and land themselves fancy media/info policy/cyberrights type lawyering jobs. I’d rather have those wise and seasoned beings that Uri’s talking about. I don’t know if these kids are capable of role-playing those wise and seasoned types. I’m an adult, and I”m not role-playing when I have a serious allegation to make of injustice, and what’s at stake for me isn’t my resume sheen but my land holdings if the Lindens get mad enough at me to boot me. You’d like to think that merely for trying a case, the Lindens aren’t going to do that — the games media outcry could be potentially damaging. But for a hated figure they’d like an excuse to get rid of, sure. And bad cases make bad law. Good cases make good law….if you have the rule of law and not the rule-by-laws which we have with the TOS, CS, and “general Linden subjectivity guided by the sense of the FIC communit” which they rely on.

  17. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 27th, 2005

    Janus, are you a paid shill for the Lindens? Just asking. Because the evangelist paid by the Lindens to go out and tout SL on forums has got to be visiting here now and then and posting. I’m not sure who it is or what their strategy is. I find the very job and its name to be odious and fake. I realize it’s accepted in this games industry. That makes it none the less odious to me. The role that a shill like that could be playing on a board like this could be subtle –making sure that “nice” stories get posted, i.e. pretty stories about things like libraries or sailing — or making sure that hated posters get rebuttals.

    If you’re implying me to be one of those types who is allegedly “bitter” and has “nothing but bad to say,” well you don’t know me. I spend hours and hours in this game, essentially selling it to other people, helping them to get adjusted, helping them to have a home in it. I love my job in this world and I love the world, especially the part of it I make myself. I look at the Lindens as talking a good game about letting us make a world and merely being helpful gardeners in this game…but I see them constantly stepping in, unable to stop tweaking their creation in political and social ways that I find intrusive. I think they need to get out of the way more and allow more of a free market and stop the social engineering they do. They still view the world as a kind of 3-d byproduct of their computer and social engineering experiements. That’s why it’s called a Lab.

    I find that most of my debating isn’t even against Lindens, who are usually pretty sensible and who at least understand your point, even if they disagree with it, it’s fighting off the hordes of mediocre minds that are incapable of even understanding the subtleties of positions and just harangue and hector just out of a sense that they’ve been challenged and don’t like the feeling.

  18. Joe Public

    Sep 27th, 2005

    “it’s fighting off the hordes of mediocre minds that are incapable of even understanding the subtleties of positions and just harangue and hector just out of a sense that they’ve been challenged and don’t like the feeling.”

    What a load of Bollocks.

    How you have the nerve to accuse other people of “harangue and hector” is beyond me, as your past history and the general quality of your posts indicate that you were doing exactly that.

    Little put downs of “incapable mediocre minds” of anyone who does not see the subtlty of the grat prokofy or disagrees with your points is a cheap tactic worthy of the lowest political operator…capitol hill or kremlin based.

    What’s that sound I hear?
    Is it a machine gun?
    A woodpecker on crystal meth?
    Nooo…it’s prokofy neva typing another self promotional diatribe against intellekchewal mediocraty [wipes foam off screen].

    You must be an amazing touch typist with your head that far up your arse!!!

  19. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 27th, 2005

    Public, I think far from any kind of hectoring of blanket accusation, “incapable mediocre minds” is a pretty accurate description of the tiny lowlifes that peck at me and my posts here. I never see you put forth any idea of your own, I never see you respond to any of these articles with any critical thought, I just see you harass me. It’s kind of humorous. I just wish you all would find a new metaphor that doesn’t involve heads up asses, that’s so unattractive.

  20. Joe Public

    Sep 27th, 2005

    “I never see you respond to any of these articles with any critical thought,”

    I’ve responded multiple times in many forms to your paranoid asinine takes on many of the articles here. Some have been poking fun, as in the above (well, partly fun) but many have been critical deconstructions of your fallacious arguments. It’s interesting to see you try and twist arguments and avoid fact it’s the most interesting part of playing with you. It reflects greatly the level (or lack of) of critical thinking ability lying under that thick neo-con skin. The quote above is a pure illustration of the points I have just made, as the reality is completelty opposite of you usual.

    Call it “revenge of the nerds” or just plain bad luck, but if you take it upon yourself to harass other people with weak, argumentative, fallacious bullshit and blather…why can’t someone harass you in return with factual responses that force you to intelligently defend the crap you pump out.

    As for my own ideas…well…we’ll see that come out of the lab when the time is right. Currently I’m content to read the paper and poke you in the eye when you speak rubbish.

    If I make you think a little bit more before you type then my mission has been successfull.

  21. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 28th, 2005

    Public, you’re still remaining obtuse to my point. I mean I’ve never seen you respond to any of these articles with any critical thought *about the articles themselves, about ideas or events, about anything other than what I say*. Your sole purpose on this forum seems to be to come and harp and peck at me. I’m hardly a neo-con, and all your assumptions just let me know your own considerable pile of prejudices. There’s no ‘twisting of reality,” but your endless desire to re-make reality that anyone can see staring them in the face: that you’re here only to harass me, and that means you’re just one of a handful of malcontent mediocrities from the SL forums who has nothing better to do, and nothing to say.

    All you’re able to do is bully and harass me, you have nothing original to say about anything else. I guess you’ve said it all with your comment that you’re “content to read the paper and poke me in the eye”. That’s pretty obvious, and it’s good you’ve admitted it so we don’t have to waste numerous column inches establishing the fact that you’re a loser, unable to do anything else but react to another person. Is there a name for that condition? Certainly nothing you say would ever give me the slightest pause before I type, you’ve never said anything the least bit thought-provoking — you’re just the malicious stalker from the SL forums Nolan/Cienna/whoever you are lol.

  22. Joe Public

    Sep 28th, 2005

    “All you’re able to do is bully and harass me, you have nothing original to say about anything else. ”

    Dude, that is the pot calling the kettle black.

    If you think the paranoid schizo waffle you write passes for original critical thought then your are even further up your own arse than I thought.

    “you’re just the malicious stalker from the SL forums Nolan/Cienna/whoever you are lol”

    umm…lol…whatever…rofl…I think this descibes a certain prokofy neva recently booted from the SL forums for being a malicious stalker and thread ho.

    I like harrasing you proky…it speaks volumes about your real character that you can dish it out but you can’t take it. A typical personality trait of critical personalities who hate creatives beacuse they are either too lazy or incompetant to be original themselves.

    As for original critical thought I find volumes of material for reply in the often innacurate statements that you try and pass off as “fact”.
    Someone has to put the record straight…it’s certainly not you, of little mediocre mind.

    It’s the easiest thing on earth to stand on the sidelines and carp away by being hyper-critical, as you so often do with anything that diverges from your world view of how business should run their operations.

    Actually making something…infinitely harder, my sad loser critic.

    You should try it some time…it might take the edge off your bitterness when you finally grok how difficult it is to actually build things (physical, social, or otherwise) rather than just be a shrill harpy bitter and twisted journo.

    Have you tried applying for a job at Fox news? You would be a shoo in.

  23. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 29th, 2005

    “Public,” I suggest you go inworld and look at the hundreds of thousands of square meters of land I own chock full of rental homes, public spaces, activities, large commissioned builds, malls, stores, non-profit projects, wilderness exchanges — just go look at it some time and STF. I know about creating physical and social objects. I know more in my little finger than you will ever know. I’m highly creative myself, and don’t hate creatives, unless of course they are creator-fascists who ofte become so anal-retentive and oppressive precisely because they are covering up a huge inferiority complex. Yes, like you said, so easy to stand on the sidelines.

    I wasn’t booted from the forums for being any malicious stalker, as even the most cursory readings of my voluminous posts can tell you. It’s just that persist fighting of those who *are* malicious stalkers is something the Lindens find “not good for business”. Pity.

  24. Joe Public

    Sep 29th, 2005

    “I know more in my little finger than you will ever know.”

    are you sure?
    It’s a sign of supreme arrogance to assume things you know nothing about…but I suppose as you are a rather godlike figure you really do know it all.

    As for looking at your virtual duchy, kudo’s for some of your attempts at right minded virtual social engineering, but your Donald Trump like boasts of landholdings and strip mall ownership dulled the impact a little.

    If you really wish to impress, show some specific SL (ie: Second Life/Slum Lord) differentiated examples with real quantifiable economic, social, or qualitative outcomes that have actually been achieved.

  25. Joe Public

    Oct 1st, 2005

    mmmm….still waiting for some real examples and figures.

    or are you too busy now with your new role as chief medical examiner of the Metaverse Board of Health?
    (self appointed, I might add…how kewl is that….ewwwwwwwwwwwww)

  26. Janus Sartre

    Oct 3rd, 2005

    Prokofy. I don’t really know what You’re talking about. Ok, cutting the coquettish crud I am not a schil for the Lindens.

    I am not against any group of people in the metaverse/social experiment. However, I to this point retain a detatched reality. This is all a business venture at it’s roots, so I’m trying not to over-emotionalize things. If I honestly thought that the chaps at LL had crossed a line or done something out of order I’d be at the front lines in the other direction. To be frank, I don’t know you, Prok… And I’m not judging you as yet. I just like, pick a metaphor: goring the bull, spooking the herd, advocating the devil…

    The court is a splendid idea, for what it is worth and I hope it takes off. I should go visit the building and talk to some people about it.

    Urizenus, If they come out and fix my cable modem some time this week (Damns to hell the evil gods of connectivity glitches) I might just look into starting a few pieces of either Op/Ed or Featurish stuff, though I make no guarantees. Tag me in game some time and we can talk possibilities.

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