Stroker Serpentine Slams Linden Lab for Sexbed Blacklist

by Alphaville Herald on 31/05/09 at 5:40 pm

We almost never blacklist by Asset-ID, It's dangerous — Data Linden

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

A single Linden Lab staffer working after the Lab’s California-based offices closed may have been responsible for the Second Life sexbed breakdown that rendered thousands of residents’ avatar animations temporarily impotent -  a romantic disaster for some, and a huge headache for the Stroker Serpentine’s virtual sex toy business.

After the Herald broke the story friday, more details began to emerge when Stroker Serpentine took a break from fixing broken beds and handing out gifts to his unhappy customers to shed some light on the unfortunate situation in a series of posts to the SLUniverse forums.

Beyond suggesting that a single unidentified Linden created the blacklist nightmare, Mr. Serpentine confirmed that Data Linden assisted in correcting the blacklist, and shared a bit of chatlog:

Stroker Serpentine: Going forward..Any indication as to WHY it was blacklisted? The LS one and NOT the Mono one?
Data Linden: And the blacklist has propagated to this region already and the script now remains in the object if rezzed
Stroker Serpentine: LSL*
Data Linden: That I still need to find out, the person who did add it is not yet available
Stroker Serpentine: I mean, this was kind of sudden. It blind-sided us
Data Linden: It is a bit weird too, since we almost never blacklist by Asset-ID
Data Linden: It's dangerous

At least Data Linden was somewhat responsive. Mr. Serpentine describes a curious lack of communication after he contacted  Cyn Linden and the Lab’s legal council Marty Linden in his search for answers. 

Eventually, Mr. Serpentine sent a desperation e-mail to Philip Linden, who put Garry Linden on the case. However, Garry Linden’s suggestion of putting an impersonal repair kit on XStreet was rejected by Serpentine who said “you live and die in SL based upon your reputation”. If this is true, the Lab might want to consider some reputation enhancement for itself – Mr. Serpentine seems far from happy.

A clearly upset Stroker complains about

… the dichotomy of accountability. Out of one corner we hear "Bring your Enterprise/Business/Research Team to Second Life and invest in our community, resources and vibrant economy". The other corner of the mouth murmurs "This is a new and disruptive technology, we can't be held accountable for every little server the TOS".

LL doesn't get a hall pass when we're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, just because "Shit Happens in the Metaverse". Not when WE built the vast majority of everything that goes through the GPU. We continually play Three Card Monty with policy and tier, always to the benefit of Linden Lab. Not to mention that we are held hostage by login access and the "All Great and Powerful Asset Server".

It's really a form of extortion when you think about it. You pay for the "privilege" of bolstering LL's bottom line. PMLF of 5K+ hasn't made any significant advances in years. Ask yourself, is that because of the lack of ingenuity? Or is it because once you reach a pinnacle of success you have your knees cut out from under you by a policy change, content theft and disgust to the point of surrender?”.

and continues,

“If I were still a plumbing contractor and sent a plumber to your home to fix your leaky faucet and he/she ended up flooding your home overnight, who pays? I can tell you, because I have been there. The contractor does. "Ooops sorry 'bout that!" doesn't cut it. Nor, can I hide behind a TOS that absolves me from all responsibility.

This isn't the first time this has happened by any means. More often than not it is the direct result of employee incompetence (or agenda), not technology. I am sick of the ambivalence and the tail wagging the dog. We are not pre-schoolers in need of a Day Care Center.”

Could Mr. Serpentine claim to have suffered significant damages despite the Terms of Service agreement? Does the Lab have any responsibility for lost or damaged virtual assets? As we move more of our lives onto various online platforms these questions will become more common – as are one-sided Terms of Service agreements.

Meanwhile, Mr. Serpentine works at salvaging his customer base by fixing borked sexbeds – one at a time.

19 Responses to “Stroker Serpentine Slams Linden Lab for Sexbed Blacklist”

  1. Mary

    May 31st, 2009

    Mr Serpentine is lucky that Phillip Linden takes his IM’s. Those of us who aren’t SL mega business people don’t have the same priviledge. SL borks our businesses, who at Linden Lab would care?

  2. FlipperPA Peregrine

    May 31st, 2009

    Small Correct: Linden Lab’s counsel is Marty Linden. Stroker’s counsel is Frank Taney. Frank does not work for Linden Lab.

    My thoughts are with Stroker dealing with this complete clusterschmuck. I know in companies I have run – virtual and non – that when I made mistakes of this magnitude, I made sure to fix them as quickly as I could. Back in the day, LL even assisted me with one of these mistakes (which had blamed to be shared with an LSL security hole) – it is unfortunate those days seem to have passed us by.

    One can only hope they’ll own the mistake so Stroker’s business isn’t negatively impacted more than it already has been.



  3. Pixeleen Mistral

    May 31st, 2009

    Flip -

    thanks for the Marty/Frank correction – its fixed now.
    I’m going to have another talk with Audrey in typesetting.

    - pixeleen

  4. janeforyou Barbara

    May 31st, 2009

    Wel its a online VR game.. any you create in here you can risk loosing, thats even in the TOS that LL are not resposible.SL software got errors, ppl loose inventory all the time, am sorry to here of Strokers problems, that script are importent for the sexgen.
    But i dont know how LL can get in RL companies to SL as thay plan to do a lot more if this RL companies create items in SL then risk to loose important scripts or other stuff that are needed to run tings, if i had a RL company and was reading bout all this i wil stay off SL. To risky as it is now.

  5. cube inada

    May 31st, 2009

    It was sure to finally happen. Now that it has- and to one of the “most sold type virtual items- brands” —

    it will be most valueble to see how LL responds to the situation.

    After 5 years of “virtual fantasies” –reality– as in Buisness Dollars will not be able to be “hidden behind meta antics”

    Hopefully this issue may lead to a new examination of TOS based “platforms” and the “cloud” like euphoria that too many tech agenda business’ and appointed officials have been pushing on the individual and private business today.

    I hope the lab, if at fault, acts accordingly as a business to another business.

  6. secondlifeslut

    Jun 1st, 2009

    @janeforyou Barbara

    I would agree with you if it was a server hiccup, but it wasn’t. This item was deliberately deleted from the asset server by a Linden. That shows negligence – and that means they are responsible despite to TOS (at least, as far as I see it).

    When I worked for a business that ran horseback rides for tourists, we had a legal document which kept the company from being liable for normal course of action stuff – a horse gets spooked by a snake and throws the tourist, or something along those lines. What it would not have protected the company from is if we’d put a tourist on a horse we knew was more than likely going to throw him off.

  7. California Condor

    Jun 1st, 2009

    If SL is made a safer environment by changes like these any of us could be next. Who then is safe?

  8. LOL

    Jun 1st, 2009

    Sex beds broken as the mainland ghetto is ready to start accepting trainloads of undesireable Adult Content. Looks to me like the LAB is moving in to monopolize the last source of income in SL, the SEX! Building thier own new Dungeons, Alleys, Fetish Theme Parks, and only IF you pay the LAB will you even be able to get your freak on. I am actually amazed this stroker guy has stuck it out for so long. I applaud him on the customer service his staff gives, however it truly baffles my mind, why he is making up for Linden Lab’s Mistake. If I was in his shoes, I would tell my customers very nicely, Please file a Support ticket with linden lab, subject: FIX MY SEXGEN BED YOU BROKE.


  9. Ari Blackthorne

    Jun 1st, 2009

    It is so LAUGHABLE that Stroker or anyone else tries to give the impression that he’s a big-wing high roller making money hand over fist. One hiccup in Linden Lab’s equipment and Stroker along with all his wealth go poof just like a fart.

    “However, Garry Linden’s suggestion of putting an impersonal repair kit on XStreet was rejected by Serpentine who said “you live and die in SL based upon your reputation””

    LOL – Then I’m amazed Stroker is still around. :\

    “Could Mr. Serpentine claim to have suffered significant damages despite the Terms of Service agreement?”

    Pah-leez – only a dumbfuck idiot would actually try to proclaim making a living at the MERCY of someone else who has total control and you have NONE.

    How about starting a REAL company before proclaim “hundreds of thousands of dollars” lost. Oh wait, he must mean Linden Dollars. Sorry about that.

    “Does the Lab have any responsibility for lost or damaged virtual assets?”

    Not even close. The only thing any SL user “owns” is the Intellectual property which is an INTANGIBLE. He and everyone else don’t even own the ones and zeros that make up the machine code bits that are drawn on our screens.

    “As we move more of our lives onto various online platforms these questions will become more common – as are one-sided Terms of Service agreements.”

    True. And anyone that even for a millisecond believe they have a single “right” in any of it is lower than a shit-eating fool.

    Wipe your face, Stroker, there’s a dark, stinky smudge around your lips.

  10. janeforyou Barbara

    Jun 1st, 2009

    I got a 10.000 USD invenstment in SL (real mony) Many got more,i pay 15.000 USD a yare in landtiers, i got a staff i pay to work.The cash flow in and out in all the sims and shops and mall are in the millions of L$, i got items that are non copy and that are copy, and i lost lots if items in SL over the last 3 yares, but them losses are not my fault its SL, but Linden Lab are NOT resposible,,even if all i got go away in a snapp Linden Lab got there back coverd. Thay can however do a rollback ( as i had one time) but its not shure i get ALL items back, so there are a HUGE risk and to be in SL you must be willing to take that risk, its like RL.. if your shop burns down and you dont got any inshurance your fecked.The SL inshurance are a Rolleback……..

  11. Laid-off GM Employee

    Jun 1st, 2009

    Hey, instead of making money on virtual goods, you could go to work for a RL company and enjoy security and stability all your live-long-days.

    Or maybe the entire debt-based, consumer-dependent economy is about as real as SL. Cheap oil and easy credit and wishful thinking (cue the Horatio Alger song-and-dance) kept the thing stumbling along.

    One day it’s all going to go “poof” too…uh, never mind. I think it may be poofing already.

  12. janeforyou Barbara

    Jun 1st, 2009

    @ Laid-off GM Employee
    Hehe i do make good mony RL..if i dident i wil NEVER afford to risk invest in SL
    SL are a hobby to me,, a “escape” Risky yes,,

  13. DagnyT Dagger

    Jun 2nd, 2009

    This just supports what I’ve always said. Everything we create in Second Life is there, and available at the will of “The Lab”. They can, with a few clicks of a mouse button, eradicate anything you’ve created – and even you (well, okay, your AV – not YOU you, like the REAL you – I think).

  14. Stroker Serpentine

    Jun 3rd, 2009

    @ DagnyT: You have hit upon the crux of the issue. Accountability.

    From the main page of SL: “One of the most exciting aspects of Second Life is its vibrant marketplace for virtual goods and services. Second Life has a fully integrated economy built on the residents’ ability to buy and sell their virtual creations. With nearly USD$35 million traded between residents each month, the Second Life economy has grown to become one of the world’s largest user-generated virtual economies.”

    The marketlace is directly tied to LL’s business model of subleasing server space (land). We entrust our time/talent and treasure to their care. I can assure you that there would be rack after rack of idle servers if we did not have the marketplace. No where in the above PR-prose do they mention the risk involved. Sure, there is risk in any business, virtual or tangible.

    It is difficult for many of us whom have been on the grid for an amount of time to identify with the new entrepreneur. We are all familiar with the “OMG! I have been the victim of CopyBot!” threads. Many of whom had no concept of what CopyBot even is until they are a victim. The fact of the matter is any such warnings or disclaimers by LL would be detrimental to their business model. Policy changes that have a devistating impact upon businesses are never released as “This is what we are considering…”.

    Icompetence notwithstanding.

    I personally feel a responsibility to these budding merchants as one who was held up as a “Success Story” in the media, along with many others. Anshe Chung’s “Dreamland Estates” suffered ten’s of thousand’s of dollars in lost revenue and additional time/expense at the hands of the recent “Open Sim” debaucle. Only to have Homesteads button-holed into the mix to the benefit of Linden Lab. I won’t even get into the Adult Content Changes here. Why do you think the shift is towards Education and Research?

    One word. Accountability.

  15. General Drama

    Jun 3rd, 2009

    Well, seems to me that the proper place to look is the G-Team F-Troop. See which furry friends of the g-team have come out with businesses to compete with Stroker.

    I’ve seen LL insiders delete the parcel UUIDs for major stores that compete against businesses owned by a Linden alt, in order to take the competition out of search. They delete classifieds from your profiles too. They are rigging search so you can’t trust that your ad will be in the same place day after day (like, say, you can with google, even though LL claims they use google algorythms).

  16. DixonHill

    Jun 4th, 2009

    That are exactly the reasons, i will never ever invest much money in SL/openeing a business. LL´s customers have no rights at all, in the end LL controls and owns everything. They can break business with a fingersnip, raise prices as they wish (no serious competions yet on the market)delete your avatar if they like to, or shutdown the grid tommorow. And there is nothing anyone can do about that. It is totally unpredictible what the future brings.

  17. Stroker Serpentine

    Jun 4th, 2009

    @ General Drama: Unfortunately there are well documented cases of impropriety and collusion between Residents and Lindens. I am by no means suggesting that is the case here. However, AT MINIMUM there should be an investigation and some form of followup. Compensation notwithstanding. It’s human nature to demand a head to roll in a situation like this. I take a lot of the blame on myself for the time and financial investment I have made in good faith. But, then again, I will not be a victim either. It’s hard not to be disillusioned when many of the icons of SL have closed their doors due to CopyBot, exploits and incompetence. We have all heard the stories. Are we just numb to them now? Where is the accountability? Does a TOS give LL blanket authority to do real life damage? Who?, if anyone, will stand up and say “This isn’t right/fair/conscienable!”??

    $450 million and counting.

  18. At0m0 Beerbaum

    Jun 5th, 2009

    “Sorry honey I cant get it up today, my penis is blacklisted”

  19. Bahi

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    I know this question comes a long time after anyone spoke here but I’m having a hard time understanding why offering a fix to any product that is broken or has a problem on Xstreet has an adverse effect on a business or person’s reputation.
    If anything I think the opposite would be the case.

    Could you explain for me why you feel it would have a negative effect?

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