Legend City Online Fashionista Drama-fest

by Jessica Holyoke on 28/12/08 at 9:43 pm

Should non-payment of land tier result in removal of all creator's content

by Jessica Holyoke

Over on Metaversally Speaking, there is a post about a dispute on one of the new OpenSim-based virtual worlds, Legend City Online.   According to the account, Simone Stern volunteered content to Legend City, as well as her name and goodwill.  In return, she was comped the use of land.  Part of the dispute lies in how long she was to be comped for precisely, whether for one month or longer, and if the free sim use was part of a more elaborate deal.   Eventually, Simone was locked out of Legend City online for non-payment of tier.  But her store and content are still active.  A resident there can buy her products and still use them, with legend dollars going into Simone's now inactive account.

Now Metaversally Speaking is stating that Legend City Online stole her content, by retaining her uploads and her fashions and continuing to sell them.  This is despite this Legend City Online Terms of Service provision: 3. Your Retention of Intellectual Property . . . (b) You agree that any content downloaded into or created items in world give Legend City Online automatic rights to use, produce, and or distribute within our services and this content is royalty free, worldwide and carries no balance for fee. Furthermore, you agree that you have the right and are authorized to grant us such content under these conditions.  

The question is, if in a billing dispute, should the content that Simone uploaded to the server now be removed and how much of it should be removed?  For instance, some commentators are saying that if Simone can't log into Legend City Online, then none of her content should be present. [odd that these  commentators are not making similar demands of Linden Lab - another game company known for bans that orphan user-created content and revenues -- the Editrix].

Now I would say that having the store still up and running with the money going to the avatar unless the dispute is not resolved and then going to Simone makes sense.  Take Sarah Nerd's recent lock out of SL.  Would you say stop all of her sales just because she was banned from SL?  If the dispute is eventually resolved over billing, should Simone have suffered lost sales?  If the dispute gets resolved and Simone gets back in world, should she have to start all over again because Legend City Online removed her content?

The other point depends on how the asset servers are set up.  Some people are suggesting that all of Simone's content should be taken down including content previously purchased by residents.  Which in fairness, doesn't seem right to the person who purchased the item, especially if those who purchased  while Simone was active.  Granted the ToS does state that content can be deleted for any reason or no reason, so the consumer could just as easily be at risk for content loss as the creator, but at this point, I would side with the consumer.  The content creator uploaded the textures at issue, usually the risk is on the business owner in the real world, and it is better for content creators to bear some risk then consumers getting pissed off at a world and stop purchasing all together.  And if you look at it in a physical world context, taking out the ToS and Legend City Online, Simone did sell the items legally to other people.  Why should they lose the content because of an unrelated billing dispute? That would be giving copyright owners more protection than they have in the physical world. 

This is the first time in this reporter's memory where an open ended virtual world had an issue with a major content creator and the copyright of those works and the disposition of them are at issue.  This isn't an issue of copying like CopyBot or the Eros cases.  This is an issue of licensing.  And while "any reason or no reason" is very open to abuse, there is a license to use the content by Legend City Online once it is uploaded to a system.

Instead of telling virtual world providers to give copyright owners more protection than they are granted in the physical world, perhaps content creators should be more cautious of who gains licenses over their work.

Note that Legend City's ToS somewhat tracks to the Linden Lab ToS provisions for user-created content:

Notwithstanding the foregoing, you understand and agree that bysubmitting your Content to any area of the service, you automaticallygrant (and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant)to Linden Lab: (a) a royalty-free, worldwide, fully paid-up, perpetual,irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to (i) use, reproduce anddistribute your Content within the Service as permitted by you throughyour interactions on the Service, and (ii) use and reproduce (and toauthorize third parties to use and reproduce) any of your Content inany or all media for marketing and/or promotional purposes inconnection with the Service, provided that in the event that yourContent appears publicly in material under the control of Linden Lab,and you provide written notice to Linden Lab of your desire todiscontinue the distribution of such Content in such material (withsufficient specificity to allow Linden Lab, in its sole discretion, toidentify the relevant Content and materials), Linden Lab will makecommercially reasonable efforts to cease its distribution of suchContent following the receipt of such notice, although Linden Labcannot provide any assurances regarding materials produced ordistributed prior to the receipt of such notice; (b) the perpetual andirrevocable right to delete any or all of your Content from LindenLab's servers and from the Service, whether intentionally orunintentionally, and for any reason or no reason, without any liabilityof any kind to you or any other party; and (c) a royalty- free, fullypaid-up, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license tocopy, analyze and use any of your Content as Linden Lab may deemnecessary or desirable for purposes of debugging, testing and/orproviding support services in connection with the Service. Further, youagree to grant to Linden Lab a royalty-free, worldwide, fully paid-up,perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, sublicensable right and licenseto exercise the copyright, publicity, and database rights you have inyour account information, including any data or other informationgenerated by your account activity, in any media now known or notcurrently known, in accordance with our privacy policy as set forthbelow, including the incorporation by reference of terms posted athttp://secondlife.com/corporate/privacy.php.

[Disclaimer: There is no lawyer named Jessica Holyoke.  Ifyou need specific legal advice, please seek out an Attorney in RealLife.] 

23 Responses to “Legend City Online Fashionista Drama-fest”

  1. LOL

    Dec 28th, 2008

    This kind of BAD PR can KILL a service before it gets off the ground.

  2. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 28th, 2008

    Um, well, better late than never on a story there, SL Herald, and of course, it was a story that I broke hours ago here:

    And it’s not “some commentators” this and that — but Prokofy. Um, have you never heard of giving credit to sources you use?!

    It’s not about a “billing dispute”. That’s a fake cover story. The sim wasn’t purchased; it wasn’t set up as a regular billing. The sim was comped in an arrangement that unfortunately for both parties wasn’t in the form of a contract.

    The TOS at Legend City tracks LL’s TOS and insistence on having licensed copies perpetually paid up blah blah — but in a very different context. A context without a company, or a proper board, with officers, with some kind of fiduciary responsibility visible to the public.

    When you have this kind of Grid Diva, this kind of TOS without a context (and no, the wording isn’t quite like LL’s, and LL has more carefully defined the purposes), and already have drama building for weeks, with a scripter not getting paid for his work, with other rumblings going on, then when the Grid Diva locks out the content creator and it’s still sitting in world and selling and copying, it is right and just to demand that she return the content and delete the account. The issue at hand is removing all the free or deep-discounted newbie stuff that helps that Grid Diva hawk her world — and which she implies that she will hang on to and keep selling by refusing to comply with this designer’s wishes.

    Does the battle against content fascism mean that you shouldn’t ever eradicate or deprecate all the content of a person just because they are banned, or leave permanently, so as to ensure the property rights of the customer who bought their goods?

    Oh, I don’t know if you can put it so starkly or definitively in each and every case. I don’t think you can make some sort of permanent rule about this “always remove all content and make them an unperson” “never remove content but just remove the person” etc. etc.

    I think in this setting with a new world, where what *clearly* happened was that LaLa Xevious got top creators in, precisely to give trust in her world, and to create a buzz and to create free content and get people who had been burned by both LL and OpenSim to come in and stick, Simone sure as hell has the right to urge a DMCA takedown of all content, including the freebie content for newbies designed to help them come. It’s a very clear transaction — “provide free newbie content, advertise my world, I give you a sim”.

    That’s very different than a situation where out of thousands of content creators in a world already in swing for years, the Lindens ban, or have a falling out with, a Starax, say, and then he or they would seek to remove all content. That would screw over the customers who bought that content. But these customers in LaLa Land didn’t buy this content for the most part; they got it for free as a promotional device.

    This problem happened back in the day with Wells Fargo. The people who made the content for this sim, the first corporate big deal that the Lindens landed, were dismayed when Wells Fargo pulled out of SL — and took that content with them, and they didn’t get access to it or could stop it from being further deployed elsewhere on other platforms. Guess they didn’t get their contracts wired down.

    A balance must be struck between content and consumer rights. We wouldn’t look for wisdom on this balance from the non-lawyer Jessica Holyoke. The issue isn’t whether all content should be removed, but whether a content creator should be locked out in this way, given their role in making the world habitable and attractive — especially when the Grid Diva said if there was a billing issue and a lock-out, she would ensure it was overridden.

  3. Jessica Holyoke

    Dec 29th, 2008

    Ah this is classic. Sometimes I forget how much fun this can be.

    Extremely Non-lawyer Prokofy is missing the point that the DMCA DOESN’T APPLY HERE. Simone uploaded the content under the Terms of Service with LGO which provides a license to use the content to LGO. What’s that phrase..Full Stop.

    Thanks for bringing up Wells Fargo. If they hired content creators to provide content for their sims, then Wells Fargo, not the creators, owns the work. Its called work for hire. Like the articles I write for the Herald aren’t mine once they are published. The copyright goes to the Second Life Herald and they can do with them as they wish. Pretty basic concept Extremely non-lawyer Prokofy. So Wells Fargo, if they hired people to create content for them, had every right to take the content with them to other platforms.

    And Extremely Non-Lawyer Prokofy, if you are talking about fraud, surprise billing and non-payment of employees, which granted might be an issue in this economy, why is content facism/communism even at issue? Now granted some of Simone’s content was given out as free, but you sound more like you would include the articles that were deeply discounted in content that should be deleted from LGO as well.

    And really, Extremely Non-Lawyer Prokofy, if Simone promised to do something in exchange for LaLa’s promise to do something else, its a contract. It might not be as in depth as a Terms of Service, but that’s all you need. And the fact everyone communicates in Text, means that there is always a written record.

  4. Darien Caldwell

    Dec 29th, 2008

    I think it does bring up an interesting problem. If the infringing party you are filing the DMCA against is the ISP, how does the law handle that? I wonder if there is any precident for that. It should be obvious there is a huge conflict of interest in such cases.

  5. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 29th, 2008

    Jessica, you don’t lose the rights to your copyright protection because someone has an unconscionable TOS. I think all the existing legal lessons of SL to date have been utterly lost on your. BTW, did you get a real job as a real lawyer yet? Or still hoping to pass the bar?

    Uploading to SL or LCO, regardless of the call of the server owners to be able to use your content merely order to technically display it, doesn’t mean an open-ended license to grab and resell it. And there are already even CC court cases on this (i.e. the train set guy).

    Work for hire doesn’t imply endless abuse of the work to grab and resell. It takes place in a context of ethics and business best practices that seem utterly opaque to you, as you’ve been raised on the Internet.

    Such is the stuff of lawsuits. And in the Wells Fargo case, there wasn’t a clearcut giveaway of that nature, which is why it emerged as an issue later. Ask those involved like Cubey or Aimee, they will explain it to you.

    The $50 deep discount articles were offered as part of the package. That was the deal, to attract new users, like the cheap sims were to attract them. Duh.

    They don’t always communicate in text anymore. With Skye, which doesn’t give you an instant voice record unless you rig it up; with voice in SL which people increasingly use, there isn’t a trail.

    Nor is there a trail when you call someone at their RL home, as LaLa did to Simone! Now had she taped that, she’d be violating RL law. So duh, Jessica, go back to work at the Safeway bagging groceries and hit those lawbooks again.

    Darien is right: it’s a rogue ISP that doesn’t follow the basic norms of ISP expected behaviour.

  6. Professor C

    Dec 29th, 2008

    I’m not sure if I should point and laugh or feel sorry for this person. One thing we are missing is this…

    WHERE IS THE VERBAL AGREEMENT!?! Verbal agreements do not hold up in court unless both parties agree that it was made in front of a judge or there is a third party witness to the agreement that will testify it was made. OR you have a verifiable way to show it was made. And a notecard log isn’t going to cut it. Anyone can write that up. Either way this person uploaded the content and agreed to the terms of service. It’s a risk you take. All they have to do is pay the fees and they are back online and making money again.

    Either way this is a bad move for Legend City if they do not work with Simone. After all who wants to go into an Opensim if this could be the result for uploading hard worked on content?

    Points go to Jessica for bumping down the obvious shameless plug of Pixeleens to promote Legend City in the previous article. It seems that the Herald Mogul Pixeleen is getting to the point that instead of reporting the news, she is reporting a bias news that will line her E-pockets.

    Good Luck with that. In the tradition of Linden Labs motto of do nothing and let the money roll in because of content created by your residents, The Herald has built itself a name and is using that popularity to make money on the side by promoting who helps them out the most and lines their pockets. Or maybe they are just getting desperate and taking bribes in their old age. Who knows.

  7. Orion Pseudo (Shamroy on SL)

    Dec 29th, 2008

    Uhm, in all honesty this sounds to me like a total mismanagement of the situation and possibly the grid in general. Albeit I’ve never been over to Legend City, mainly as from the outside it didn’t look like my cup of tea. Somehow the flashy SL like noobey club video they have playing on their site managed to make me cringe and turn away.

    But anyway, this whole thing just doesn’t even make sense to me. Especially from an “I want my grid to succeed and grow.” standpoint. In situations like this, especially where you’re dealing with people who have been beaten and battered by the Lindens you need to treat your users, customers, and content creators like they’re made of gold. Make sure you give them all the resources and leeway they need, and especially treat them with respect and dignity. In short, do the opposite of what the Lindens would do! You’re certainly not going to accomplish this by undermining your user’s trust by banning people like this.

    Ok, sure you had a billing issue. You don’t just ban that person outright and completely disrupt their virtual life. Talk to them and work out a deal. And in cases like this especially where money is or will be involved, before you even think of doing business make sure you have everything in writing and worked out to a T. That’s just common business sense for all parties involved.

  8. Jessica Holyoke

    Dec 29th, 2008

    oh Prokofy and all your non-lawyering…

    Let’s skip all the fun stuff about me because you don’t know me and you seem to be making things up to make yourself sound smarter.

    Let’s start though with the part with the trails. Yes LaLa did call Simone at home. Was that when she made the agreement or was it before? Was the agreement made when she talked via voice on Skype or via text? At least from what I saw, part of the conversation was via text. And stop putting words in my mouth and then saying that I’m wrong based on the words you placed there. Its classic Prokofy, but something a childish bully who has to prove to everyone that they are smarter than they really are would do.

    Then again, sorry Professor C, you are wrong here, you don’t need to have it written to have a contract. You can speak to each other without anyone else present and make a valid contract subject to certain restrictions regarding subject matter. Sometimes you don’t even have to speak and a contract is formed.

    Which brings me to the big point that really bothers me about what Prokofy is arguing. He’s suggesting that just because someone received the item/prepresentation/code for free, then the consumer has no rights to it. But when you think about it, even if the customers didn’t pay legend dollars for the item, they still went to the store, clicked and bought the item. The customer performed an act which they didn’t have to do and in return, they got an item.

    What Prokofy is proposing doesn’t making sense. He’s saying that if there is a bookstore giving away free books to promote an author, the customers show up to receive the books, but the author and the bookstore run into a disagreement and the author is banned from the bookstore, the bookstore gets to take the books back from the customers or even the courts later get to take the books back from the customers.

    Maybe Prokofy should have practiced law for a year…

  9. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 29th, 2008

    1. Did you pass the bar yet, Mr. Jessica?
    2. The agreement was made LONG before LaLa called Simone at home in the last week — and that’s the point, her store in the newbie WA has been there for more than a month.
    3. Text, chat, semiphore, doesn’t matter. It’s not being purveyed for public consumption by either party. That alone should indicate something. But anyone who has been there to LCO, flown around, read the forums, talked to people, got what the deal was: LaLa brought in a bevy of top content creators from SL; she gave them comped, free sims; she got them to put up stores with content to give newbies the idea that this was a sold world; she got a huge influx of customers that way. Then…that deal broke down. For a variety of reasons. Read my blog. Some people still have their deals! Simone doesn’t. End of story.
    4. A verbal say-so may not stand up as a contract; I think your grasp here is rather shakey. The whole reason why people say “get it in writing” — duh — is that…it’s what you need to pursue further action.
    5. I haven’t argued ANYTHING of the sort regarding content already purchased or received. I haven’t said anything remotely this tendentious and stupid — you have. The point is this: when a deal is broken, and content is removed from the world, a boon that the owner of that world dispensed with to sell her world, the issue is raised: should that newbie content be deprecated? I just wrote above: “I don’t know, it could be this or that”.

    But…it’s a stupid and abstract question. Because all Simone has asked is that her content in the WA, the links to her stores, the sim with her name, and her stores with her content on that sim, be removed. The issue of what’s in the inventories of newbies like me from the freebie joint isn’t on the table. And…it’s a red herring. It’s one you’ve chosen to bully and harass with — which is what YOU are doing — because you haven’t got anything to say here, except “Pixeleen takes ads from these people. Let me see if I can find an angle to harass Prok with.”

    Indeed, in the post above, I referred to the CC case that involved copyright of a creator even on a free thing given over to this guy who took it, then used it to add to a thing he resold (a train set). Google it or find it in your law websites, I dunno. So the idea that free stuff somehow loses its copyright protection has been overturned with that court case, if not others.

    So once again, this is a fake, stupid, red herring that Mr. Jessica is perpetrating here. I’m never a promoter of creator fascism. The creator fascist sticking his long arm into your inventory and deciding what you cannot and can do with your object you bought. I think putting things on no-transfer hobbles the economy. I should be able to sell my CD at a tag sale, just like my SL table. On the other hand, i should not be able to make *copies* of that, when I got it for free, and resell it.

    And what’s at issue here, then, is from the perspective of this reseller of Simone’s content — LaLa — is whether LaLa can keep dispensing free content to newbies like this. It would like clear that she can’t. Do the newbies get to keep this disputed content? Who cares? What’s operative is that she cease using this to build her world up, and worse, selling it and keeping the money on a closed account to which only she has access to.

    And, it pays to pay attention to what happens in real-world cases. Example: YouTube. When one of these lawsuits happen, like CBS suing Google or Warner Brothers or whoever it is that doesn’t like seeing their tunes, movies, news shows swiped up there on YouTube, what happens? Google gets a takedown notice. There’s a lawsuit. *And the copy of that item disappears from MY FAVORITES* for every single person who had linked it. So no Internet lawyer comes along and screeches that my personal copy on my account page is sacrosanct and can’t be touched.

    In fact, once it is marked to go — it goes throughout the service. Leaving holes in your collection if you linked it, simply because it was there. Someone might look at SL much the same way — it’s only a visual manifestation, a copy, of software. I tend NOT to look at SL that way myself; I think the chair I buy to interact with and place and such is my commodity, and not a limited license to access “chair” visually while online that can be revoked.

    And the EASE with which content can be deprecated off an online pixelated service helps decide these things; the impracticality of going to pick up all those heavy books means they wouldn’t bother.

    But obviously, this is the stuff, or will be the stuff, of lawsuits. And we’ll get clarity from it not from Jessica, who is not tethered to real life.

  10. Eva Ryan

    Dec 29th, 2008

    Regardless of who is a corporate lawyer or not, it’s my opinion that Simone is just ass out.

  11. Former SL Resident

    Dec 29th, 2008

    @Professor C

    I have noticed a trend in you posts over the past 6 or so articles on this website. It would seem to me that no matter what the story is about or who writes it, all you have to say is a load of crap and hate. Like seriously, I understand this is an open forum and that anyone can basicly say anything they choose to, but looks to me like your just a fucking cyber troll. No matter what article, comment, writer, or content all your posts are filled with nothing but hate. Reading what you say on this forum is like reading pages from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. So much hate for anyone that does not share your views, thats signature nazi indoctrination.

    Do you say these things to make yourself fell better, or are you really filled with that much hate of other peoples good fortune and positive experiences on Second Life that is actually cause you moments of emotional pain and conflict? Has the roots of your narcissism run so deep in your psyche that you actually must attack people on websites for not good reason. Perhaps you were not held enough when you were a child.

    Cyber stalkers and trolls like you is the reason I cancled my Second Life account and got on with my real life career and relationships. Now to find your act on a webforum outside of Second Life really makes me wonder what other kinds of crap I am not missing on the virtual world. If anyone on this site needs to unplug a while and reflect on the state thier real life is, IT IS YOU!

  12. Professor C

    Dec 30th, 2008

    @ Jessica Holyoke

    It is quite obvious that you have never practiced law for even so much as a day or even gone so far as to sit in on a case involving a verbal contract. Not only that but your arguments are just as flawed as Prokofy’s. Neither of you seem to have any sense of intelligence in whatever it is that you call a brain. So lets get this right out on the line. Shall we?

    Lets break this down into the simplest of terms since that is what it is you can both understand.

    Simone Stern uploaded content onto Legend City. She immediately is bound to the terms of service of Legend City in regards to that content. Why? Simple. The only way to get into the grid to upload is to have agreed to the Terms of Service agreement on their website. Reading the TOS is negligible. Understanding it even less so. That is a contract.

    Simone Stern and Legend City are both stating that Simone got a free sim. But the conflict is HOW LONG she was to keep it for free. Since this was a Verbal contract and Legend City is not prosecuting, that leaves Simone to prosecute. And any moron with half a brain cell knows this one thing.

    The Plaintiff MUST prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The bad part for Simone is that she cannot prove that the verbal agreement was made for what she is claiming. All Legend City has to do is say no and counter with the TOS contract.

    What a judge would likely rule is that her vendors and anything that is currently in her name be removed though allow residents that own copies to keep them. But unfortunately Legend City can still argue and state that they have some rights to give away Simone Stern’s items now and forever.

    As for personal shots Jessica if you are such a non Lawyer, as you remind us that Prok isn’t, why in the holy fucking hell are you pretending to know a damn thing about the law? Both you and Prok need to do a bit of serious growing up really fucking fast cause you are sounding like childish three year olds that just learned about the judicial system and think they know it all.

    Jessica, you in particular remind me of an old joke I heard years ago:

    My girlfriend has PMS and ESP … Makes her a bitch that thinks she knows everything.

    @ Prokofy Neva

    I would concede that you make a few good valid arguments however the fact remains that Simone made an agreement she shouldn’t have. If she read the TOS in the first place and like you said … Got it in writing … then there would not be any issue here in the first place. She’s not going to win this. I’m sorry but she’s screwed.

    What I want to ask you is simple. What is your vested interest in her that you know when and where she gets phone calls from the City? Something tells me that you do not have an unbiased opinion and have something to lose if Simone loses.

    If you want to look at trust gone awry, it happens in SL all the time. Like I tell people … Dig deeper and you will see the black shit stains of SL’s rocky past. For instance. Have a look back at a post earlier this month. Look at a few things that are said. Check up on them.

    Some will say that I am a coward for hiding behind the name Professor C. I prefer not to get estate banned by the lying cheating and conniving people in SL so I can continue to point these things out to the greater populace. Truth always emerges. It’s only a matter of time.

  13. Wiseguy Capra

    Dec 30th, 2008

    IN regards to: “3. Your Retention of Intellectual Property . . . (b) You agree that any content downloaded into or created items in world give Legend City Online automatic rights to use, produce, and or distribute within our services and this content is royalty free, worldwide and carries no balance for fee. Furthermore, you agree that you have the right and are authorized to grant us such content under these conditions. ”

    Is the same in the LL TOS. It is basically needed to allow LL (or LC in this case) to transfer and present your content in their grids. If you would for example sell textures, but LL does not have any right to provide the infrastructure for sales, transfers or having your textures displayed in SL, you wouldn’t be able to sell your creations.

    In the end of the day YOU’RE always the IP and copyright owner of your content. No matter what is in any TOS. Not LL, not LC TOS.

    As for the actual story. I think there is 2 sides to it. Simones and Lalas. Not taking any side here really but people are putting to much into the story without knowing the “why” of all this. Lala for example claims that Simone agreed to pay the sim tier, than said it was stuck in paypal, than was not available any more avoiding Lala. Like I said, not taking anyones side here, but Lala posted a chatlog from LC live support and a statement here: http://www.gamerssoul.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=188

    Guess everybody needs to read it ALL themself and than make up your own minds about this story.


  14. Professor C

    Dec 30th, 2008

    @ Former SL Resident

    I have to find it amusing that you think I hate everyone. Honestly I could care less. But if you notice when and where I post it is usually at those that are trying to toot their own horn (The Cheerleaders & Steve01) yet have secrets they do not want exposed.

    For instance the Cheerleaders went on a random tangent talking about how good and pure they are. But if you go in and look the ranch is a brothel and they are selling stolen content. Something their biggest supporter Stroker is dead set against. Perhaps he did not know that or perhaps he does and he is turning a blind eye. Which makes you wonder if he is doing the same and just getting away with it. And tell me honestly, if your local charity organization was really a whore house in duisguise would you want them in your neighborhood? Or representing you at all? Thought not.

    After that there really wasn’t anything … wrong going about. Not even on this thread until….

    I came on and saw these two having it out. But what was going past the average user were the statements that Prok said to the tune of knowing about phone calls. Well that means he knows Simone personally. Which raises the question of Does he have something to gain in all of this and is that why he is suddenly fighting tooth and nail? And for that matter why is Jessica defending her article so passionately? There is something more to this that you and I are not being told. I already pointed out Prok’s reason for posting. He has a vested interest in the content. Prok DID give a hint to why Jessica is being so nuts over this. And that is cause Prok beat her to the punch on another newspaper. Jessica got scooped so you have a journalist fight. In fact if you look my first post was taking a crack at Jessica because she is trying to state that a verbal contract is still a contract. Yes it is but it won’t stand up in court which is where this is going. Her logic is faulty.

    Now here is logic that is not very faulty. You sir made this statement:

    “Cyber stalkers and trolls like you is the reason I canceled my Second Life account and got on with my real life career and relationships.”

    I corrected the typo for you. But if you really left and canceled your account wanting nothing more to do with Second Life, why do you care? Or perhaps you are lying as well to give yourself a bit of self worth by taking a pot shot at me? Is that why you are listing yourself as ‘Former SL Resident’ instead of your old SL name? It’s because you never deleted your account. You are a cog in the machine that is Second Life. Just like I am.

    I have to say that out of all the trolls and griefers that are going on with these forums, I am proud that I am the one singled out to have shots taken back at me. You know what that tells me? That I am hitting the mark. My digging and researching of these little Golden Children and showing their flaws to the public is pissing them off.

    I have been lurking these pages for years and gathering information. Time for the truth to come out. Truth always comes out.

  15. Snap Spitteler

    Dec 30th, 2008


    Well everyone here can argue amongst eachother like school children,but the bottom line here is this article,and all the comments here are just he said, she said and will have no bearing on any decision made by anyone in this disagreement.
    So what’s the point other than to get people to read this…..
    wich is what is happeneng really nothing more,ok maybe a smear campaign against someone…one or the other,or both.

    @Wiseguy….Don’t you have anything better to do ??? ;)

  16. Jessica Holyoke

    Dec 30th, 2008

    Actually Professor C, I do know a far bit about the law. Prokofy and I have been going around on my ability to practice and whether he or I know what we are talking about for almost two years now. Yes, I know, its been a long time. Other people have long since given up talking to him or they stopped arguing with him well before two years. I do it because there are times he’s wrong on something I feel passionate for and if you just let him go I feel like its doing the public a disservice.

    For instance on the Herald, he accuses me of suggesting that Simone should have tape recorded LaLa’s conversations. And then told me how that breaks RL laws and I should go back to bagging groceries. Then he posts this http://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2008/12/voice-of-consent.html#more which lists how many locations allow for one party consent on recording conversations. Meaning how many states allow for doing what Prokofy insinuated I said Simone should do then proudly stated how wrong I was for suggesting it.

    And you are right that Simone would have to be the one to enforce the contract in court. However, it is only to a preponderance of the evidence, not beyond reasonable doubt. Meaning that it is more likely than not that a contract that she said was formed was created. And the thing is that bothers me about this is that if LaLa was making these same deals with everyone, offering free sims for content, then where are the other people saying either “yes, she offered us free sims for life and what she is doing is wrong” or “no, she only offered us free sims for a month.” Either way, that’s your proof in court with these people. There are issues of proof, don’t get me wrong. It would be vastly greater if the agreement was in writing, but people have won court cases when a contract has been made with a nod of the head.

  17. Professor C

    Dec 30th, 2008

    @ Jessica Holyoke

    It’s about time someone responded to my posts with forethought and intellect. Taking the time to breathe and relax and not just posting some random message about hating who I am or what I do. For that Jessica you have earned even my respect. You need to take the same attitude in dealing with Prok as you do with me and relax. I can sense the anger in your tone with every post to him. Let that go.

    But enough about that. Back to the subject shall we?

    The location of the servers is irrelevant when it comes to Second Life. As Prok politely pointed out in that other blog post, California has a two party consent law. The fact that Texas has a one party does not matter as Linden Labs is based out of California and not Texas. The laws do not care about where the server itself is only the company the server belongs to. End Result. You cannot record. Prok’s logic is flawed. And he is grasping at straws to defend his investment in Simone. Forgive me for not having more information on exactly what he is gaining out of this. It is early and I have not started sticking my nose in their business.

    As for yourself, if you think she can have a case on this based on a contract that, for all intents and purposes, does not exist then so be it. You are correct in your last statement. And in fact Most of your argument. But the fact remains that if there is no proof the contract was made she is going to have a hell of a time fighting this. And all the evidence she is going to have over this is virtual and in most cases, correct me if I am wrong, circumstantial. She can show upload fees, any text documents but if they are Text files they can be discarded with a simple ‘I didn’t say that’ by Legend City. And from what I am seeing this conversation happened on Skype. No witnesses to see the contract. Again laying this down we have the following:

    A voiced agreement (Contract) where there is no proof detailing exactly what was said.
    Printed text documents that are alterable very quickly.
    The TOS Agreement
    Uploaded Items to the Legend City Servers.
    Simones account shut down and content still there and being sold.

    What is our end result? All Legend City has to say is that the text documents are incorrect and that the voiced agreement did not happen in the way Simone portrays. So what evidence is there now? Simple. Zero at least in Simone’s favor. She now is left to convince a jury of her peers that the agreement was made. What will be the end result? Honestly I don’t even think this is worth pursuing in court. Not the least bit. Unless … you know something that I do not? Would you care to share the things you may or may not have told the others in the class?

    Now I will end this with a bow to you Jessica. Perhaps you have a good head on your shoulders after all.

  18. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 30th, 2008

    Professor C, you sound like an asshole, and you also sound like someone with only partial knowledge of law, and not a licensed, practicing lawyer. If you are a licensed, practicing lawyer, you’ll have no problem submitting your RL name and your firm’s website for validation. As you aren’t doing that, you remain invalid : )

    I have absolutely no stake in the world of LCO, and absolutely no stake in Simone Stern or her dealings with any party. Something like 3 years ago, Simone once rented I believe it was 2 stores from me back when there were telehubs or right after the telehubs — ages ago. It was one of many stores in one of several of my malls. Rent was something cheap like $150 a month and $250 a month in Lindens. There was another location she considered taking — but she never got the store in and somebody else took the spot. She was there in my stores for a few months or something, she made sales, but then she decided to consolidate herself on a new private island which she got after she moved her main store out of that old telehub sim which Forseti built. Since then, I haven’t had any business dealings with Simone. There are literally thousands and thousands of people who have been my tenants. I have so many newbie rentals, large residential areas, cheap stores, stalls, etc. all around that sooner or later, many people pass through, in one way or another. It means nothing.

    Simone is merely a friend, not anyone I know especially well or even talk to very often — I met her once in RL at SLCC 2 years ago. I hear from her now and then; she sent me some suits recently as I guess I’m notorious for never shopping and never dressing and people get tired of seeing the same outfit on me. I don’t really “move in her circles” as I don’t follow fashion and don’t shop except for gadgets.

    She sent a message through her friendship card list about how wonderful LCO was — this would be about 6 weeks ago or so. I didn’t have a good enough computer or the time, but when I did, I began going there and saw that it was a much better set up — seemingly — than the commerce-hating copyleftism freetard republic of OpenSim, and I considered buying there. But I merely made a free newbie account and didn’t buy any land or sims or make any relationships or business dealings whatsoever. Simone hyped it up quite a bit — I visited her freebie newbie store, picked up some outfits from her and Asri, and explored around. But the world crashed so much I just couldn’t “stay put” and moved on.

    Simone contacted me about the deal going wrong about a week ago, when she was locked out. I went to investigate the status of her content and wrote a story. How can I know about her phone calls from LCO? Because, um, I interviewed her? Duh? I fail to see anything “damning” or “vested interest” in that. She told me she had had phones calls with LaLa; that LaLa pursued her even at home at her RL number, etc.

    I hardly think that someone who had had the kind of conversation with LaLa that was clearly retained as a chatlog would fear telling this story, and fear any chatlogs coming out, because she felt that she was absolutely in the clear on this. And as far as I can tell, she is.

    There’s several levels of misunderstanding here and assumption on your part — which is framed from Jessica’s false framing of the issue from the start, which merely naturally flows from the inherent bias and tendentiousness here at the Herald (no surprise there).

    It’s one thing to look at a system like this, with its regular rules, which are “you register for free, you buy a sim, you set up a recurring maintenance payment, you sign a TOS to enter the world” and it’s another to look at the rules for that world’s FIC, which are those special partners, and special deals with people you want to provide content or services for the world itself, as third-party consultans or contractors. LL has paved the wide road for how you make FIC here; others copy it.

    LCO was no different; they knowingly, openly, in chatlogs, made a deal to have a comped sim, outside the system, that had no payment on file and no automatic billing set up (as this chatlog from LaLa in fact inadvertently tells you in spades). They had an arrangement, which we’ve now seen in loads of other comments from other divas — that upload fees, which are considerable for a content maker, were compensated, and that sim initial purchase costs were comped. Simone understood the deal to be one where she would continue to get tier waived; she also appears to have understood the deal that if/when the business seemed to generate
    enough for tier, payment of tier may be appropriate, but clearly she wasn’t there yet; that fact was referenced in the chatlog.

    So why all this Fisking and literalizing about the TOS when this is a documented, validated extra-TOS, extra billing system deal? Duh? A, the TOS is unconscionable, “counsellors,” as you well know; we even have a RL ruling on the Linden TOS about that, thanks to Bragg. It’s a contract of adhesion — and worse, with worse wording, and in a worse context where there is no track record or good business practices, with a history of complaints. B, it’s a documented extra-TOS agreement outside the system.

    The promise in the deal, written in chatlogs, verbal on Skype, or up your ass, it doesn’t matter, is glaringly indicated in the fact that LaLa had to manually send a dunning notice telling Simone to go put payment on file and start paying for the sim. Simone initially decided to jolly her along on that, but pointed out that business wasn’t happening. And you know why? Because the world sucks. I made repeated visits, as did others. One attempt to TP to Simone’s store not only crashed the LCO client, it crashed my computer. Repeated, repeated attempts for days of logging on and visiting always ended, sooner or later, in lock-ups, crashes, TPs going nowhere, stuff not being able to be selected — the usual menu of woes. Also, the currency system, which was very new and very creaky, wasn’t in position quite yet, and not full of trust. So it had a long way to go.

    Jessica — like some very vested interests on the forums like “Paperdoll,” an alt who has an interest in LCO — is working for the Herald, which takes LCO ad money. No firewall there. So Jessica is trying to frame this issue as “customer signs TOS; customer waives IP over to grid owner on TOS signing; customer doesn’t pay tier and gets locked out; customer waits 30 days to be deleted and should shut up”.

    But that’s all literalist Fisking bullshit. Simone made a deal to provide her content to help promote this new world! As did others, some of whom, we are told, are only paying now $25 tier a month, not $100, or no tier at all — in keeping with the terms of the insiders’ FIC deal for this world. TOS need not apply. And Lala herself gives credence for the existence of the deal by telling Simone that she doesn’t have to worry about the lag in putting money on her PayPal; that if she is automatically locked out as a routine manner, all she has to do is contact LaLa or Live Help *and it will be overriden*.

    It will be overridden! There it is, in LaLa’s improperly released but authentic chatlog! So you all you fiskers and fucktards have to “get it” here: it’s a FIC deal, it’s an extra-TOS deal of the likes the Lindens would create; and it’s a deal that went WRONG.

    Instead of overriding, LaLa, for whatever reason, possibly because she needed to accommodate other designers and hustle Simone’s content out of the newbie store and put in other people’s (that’s what it looks like, judging from her rotation plans mentioned on the forums), decided to dump Simone. She figured she could get away with it. She estimated that she could dun Simone for tier, and Simone, eager to keep a store there, would just go along with it. She estimated incorrectly.

    What will a judge rule, if he even agrees to take this case? I have no idea; there aren’t very good precedents for judicial rulings on content and its problems in virtual worlds; in fact, there aren’t rulings *at all* because they always are decided in *settlements*. He may say Simone has no case, but meanwhile, the wheels of the DMCA procedure grind forward. Rather than treating this as some “ISP” with a “TOS”, Simone and her counsel are going up a level, and going to the *real* ISP here, which is the host of the LCO grid, and asking for a takedown of content, as it is being distributed without the creator’s consent, and is selling as well, into an account to which only the grid owner has access. So, we may see this resolved in 24 hours as it is merely taken down to comply with the ISP directive, or we may see it take some time to resolve — but we’re seeing this dealt with a far, far simpler manner than all you Internet Lawyers imagine.

    LCO’s claims of a voice contract or a text up your ass, Prof. C, do not matter. All that matters is whether the host of LCO decides that they need to remove that content. That’s all. And likely they will ensure that it is removed. That’s my guess. I could be wrong. We’ll see.

    Ultimately, you don’t lose the right to your copyright just because a TOS is unconscionable. Or because it is given away for free. Please find me a case of user-generated content in an online world where that is the case, and where this notion of yours is confirmed not by your lawbooks, which you can study out your ass, but by *judicial review and judicial decision*. From a court RULING. Not a settlement. And not what you imagine the law to be, and how you hypothesize how it will apply.

    And you won’t find them.

    There’s no bow that goes to Jessica here, who as usual has flied a tendentious and hateful story based merely on his hate of me, because I keep calling his stupid bluff. He keeps cooking up concoctions and tendentious, deliberately misreadings, like this foolish one: “For instance on the Herald, he accuses me of suggesting that Simone should have tape recorded LaLa’s conversations”.

    Huh? Where did I do that? I didn’t. It’s some deliberate misreading. Again, the story was thus: IF Simone had taped the conversation or if LaLa had taped the RL phone call AND they lived in states where they needed two-party consent THEN they might face a challenge or a prosecution. That’s all. I merely referenced that. I have no idea what states they live in; that’s their business. It’s immaterial to this story, as LaLa published chatlogs from her Live Help customer service. I simply don’t know if that is “the same thing as” a RL telephone call, and I simply don’t know which state’s laws would apply, especially if the host of these servers is in Germany, I believe.

    So far from having what you ennumerate as the facts, here’s what we have:

    o Chatlogs from the Live Help service of LCO that the original grid host may be able to confirm if needed, which appear authentic
    o Acknowledgement in that chatlog that a) there was no billing info on file, and a comped sim outside the normal purchase/tier system and b) acknowledgement of a special arrangement, and willingness to override the normal billing/lockout procedures on LaLa’s part
    o A filing of a DMCA notice to the host of LCO, and their prompt response that they have asked *their customer*, LCO, to remove the content within 24 hours
    o A TOS agreement that is unconscionable
    o Simone’s content still there, and available for sale to her closed account — I checked again last night

  19. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 30th, 2008

    The laws do not care about where the server itself is only the company the server belongs to. End Result. You cannot record. Prok’s logic is flawed. And he is grasping at straws to defend his investment in Simone. Forgive me for not having more information on exactly what he is gaining out of this. It is early and I have not started sticking my nose in their business.


    1. I have no investment in Simone, and never had any investment in Simone. Her being my cheap rentals tenant 3 years ago isn’t “an investment”. I have no business dealings with Simone and have had none since she was a tenant; she left long ago. Your insinuation of this purported interest is laughingly one-sided, as you never track the obvious vested interest that Jessica and Pixeleen have in covering this story: they take paid ads from LCO right here on the Herald site, duh. I imagine in your benighted peabrain, no one can undertake a story and a blog for any reasons of public interest and civic good, they could only be using the press to grind an axe. As the Herald incessantly grinds its axes and pampers those paying its ads and helping to sell its newspapers, the bar has been set rather low.

    2. Please show me a court ruling with a judicial decision that tells us that issues like two-party or one-party consent for voicing in virtual worlds hinge on the location of the company, and not the location of the servers or the location of the user’s connection. Also, keep in mind that the Lindens have a variety of other companies and sub-contractors for their localizations. There are companies in UK, Singapore, China, etc. Soooooo let’s here your argumentation *there* “counsellor”. The notorious Vryl, for example, whose perfidies have been much ventilated on these pages, is in France, where it is a crime to tape private telephone conversations without two party consent, and so she’s invoking the fact of her access from France to these servers in California for saying “she has a case”. I don’t *think* she has a case, but I don’t know. Let her try her case.

    3. Stick your nose all you like in any business you like, you are merely proviing yourself to be a tendentious asshole.

  20. Professor C

    Dec 31st, 2008

    Wall o’ text anyone?

    First of all thank you for pointing out the obvious. Yes I am an asshole. I am quite good at it evidently and if you think for half a second that I am changing sides you are sorely mistaken. I have my own side, no one elses. Now unlike Jess you are responding out of anger for my statements.

    As for your pointing out so dilligently that you have nothing to gain? That is a lie and you stated it yourself. You and her are close friends and you stated that she gives you free content. So this is your way of kissing her crusted ass so you can keep that friendship. As for the rest… WOW I have never seen such a blatant disregard for common sense in my life. Did you even read back through your own post to see if you made any sense at all?

    Here’s what I beleive. I think you are just pissy cause I backed a few things that Jessica said. And because she is firing at you, you have to come back at me to give your e-penis a nice fat erection to make yourself feel better.

    Am I a lawyer? No. Have I stated I am? No. Do I know a bit about the law? Hell yes.

    My advice is simple. The two of you need to stop this little pissing contest that is doing nothing more than to waste away your keyboards. Move on. There’s new things to make fun of now. I know I will.

    Oh … One last thing. No it does not matter where the servers are. Only where the company is that is paying for them.

  21. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 31st, 2008

    Wall o’ self-righteousness, anyone?

    Actually, I’m not close friends with Simone; she’s a friend in SL, and that by itself tells you that she is not “close” because she’s not among my RL friends. I’ve met her once in RL. That time, I wasn’t hardly able to talk to her — she’s popular, and surrounded with other people. I rarely talk to her in SL, but occasionally we’ll chat, usually when she reaches out to her entire friendship list. I think I have perhaps a dozen free outfits from her, some of them I got years ago, and some more recently, the collegiate ones. I have more free stuff from people who aren’t even friends than I have from Simone, and that’s ok, why wouldn’t I just buy the stuff if I want, that’s what I normally do with all content creators.

    Of course, what difference would it make if I were her bosom buddy? The principles are the same. What’s to gain from protecting Simone? Nothing special. In fact, I only get what I usually get for calling it correctly — miles of hate, threats, harassment, griefing, google bombs, etc. Only 2-3 weeks ago in fact I publicly disputed something Simone said about traffic, and I ranted at her for 2 days because she was wrong about dismissing the importance of traffic. Hardly the behaviour of a little sycophant ready to “gain something”. But of course, in your narrow and cynical mind, that’s how you view all of Second Life, a series of wretched favour banks.

    Getting a few shirts and talking to somebody occasionally in SL doesn’t constitute some motivation to go and blast some fledgling world that in fact I was interested in supporting at first. I had no knowledge of these people before. I just thought it was wrong. If they did this to even an enemy like Cristiano or Hiro, I’d call it too — nobody should get burned on a deal like that and content creators shouldn’t be shafted by grid owners. This is an important precept to get right now, at the dawn of the outer Metaverse.

    No, what you can’t deal with is my telling the truth as a I see it. You can’t face that truth, and can’t imagine that people would simply be motivated by morality to tell the truth about a bad situation.

    Jessica self-discredits.

    I’m not certain at all that in fact it *does* matter where the servers are. And I know that frankly, Philip Rosedale is committed to that idea and talked about it enthusiastically in an interview with BBC — he wants countries and grid owners to take over servers and make their own rules for SL. He loves that concept.

  22. Jessica Holyoke

    Dec 31st, 2008

    When I reported on this story, I had no idea that LCO advertised on the Herald. I’ve never been there myself until today.

    And I don’t care about the actual dispute between LaLa and Simone. Its “she said, she said” drama as far as I’m concerned.

    Here’s where it gets interesting to me; we have persistance in virtual worlds, whether or not we’re are online. Our actions, buildings, creations, can have consequences whether or not we log in, or even if we continue to live. On Second Life, when you die, you can transfer your account to someone else through your will. But what about other grids? And more to this story, if a resident owes a bill, should the grid use the account to pay the money it is due? A mechanic can keep and sell a car she’s been given to repair if she has never been paid for those repairs. Should a grid company have the same benefit with intellectual property that has been uploaded to it? Its application might be debatable here, but there would be other situations in the future where this would come up.

    Now Prok did raise a great point about whether or not receiving a freebie on a grid is the same thing as embedding a YouTube video on a website. I do not believe making a purchase on a grid is the same thing as embedding a video on your website because no matter how you look at currency, I’m giving up a limited license right for the right to access the inventory on the grid. I am not giving up something in order to embed a YouTube Video.

    But in using YouTube, it could be said the primary purpose is to watch the video on the website, with options of embedding the video or sharing the link, and for the producer to have his video viewed. With Freebies, the primary purpose to the consumer is to obtain an item and possibly be sold other items. For the producer, its about getting potentially more sales. I think that distinction is important, but reasonable minds can disagree.

    And the other difference in my mind involves transfering rights. If I get a no copy transfer item, I can give up my license and give it to someone else. I don’t lose a YouTube embedding by sharing the embedding. If it is copy, then I can create more licenses to view based on my own insistance. And this distinction may be too fine of a point, but I’m not creating more licenses to view by sharing the embedding code.

  23. CentralGrid

    Jan 5th, 2009


    If someone stole a car, would you ride around in the car?

    Central Grid was a stolen and changed to LCO, this was the start of the greed and underhanded operations of LCO.

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