BNT Claims $500,000 USD in Damages – Hopes to Join Class Action Lawsuit

by Pixeleen Mistral on 23/04/10 at 11:26 am

Intlibber Brautigan notified the Herald today that he has applied to join a virtual land class action lawsuit against Linden Lab and Philip Rosedale which was filed April 15th. The complaint alleges that after inducing players to join Second life with claims they "would receive and retain all right, title, interest, copyright and intellectual property rights to the land, objects and virtual property", unilateral changes to the Second Life Terms of Service and other action on the part of Linden Lab – including banning players from the virtual world – have deprived the plaintiffs of their property without compensation. The complaint claims that at least $5,000,000 USD in damages are possible.

Attorney Jason Archinaco, of Pribanic, Pribanic, and Archinaco LLC of Pittsburgh has set up to help locate other members of the class. While Herald staff continue to digest the 64 page complaint Marc Bragg provides some interesting analysis here.

Meawhile, Intlibber Brautigan tell the Herald he hopes to join the class and claims losses of $500,000 USD. Mr. Brautigan’s letter to the Herald is reproduced below:

On behalf of myself, my partners, and my customers, in Brautigan & Tuck Holdings, its sims, content, and other intellectual property, as well as, M2B LLC and Ancapistan Capital Exchange, I have today applied to join the above class action lawsuit currently before Judge Robreno. We began BNT in late 2006, seeking to build a new world with our vision of a positive, forward looking, pro-business community in Second Life, we did so with the understanding that Linden Lab recognised the property rights of land owners to their virtual land, currency, and content, as well as to their avatar virtual personhood. It was clear as day in the terms of service. With that understanding, we proceeded to invest, in sim purchases, tier payments, and in capitalizing the development of content for our businesses and helping to capitalize the businesses of many others across Second Life, sums in excess of a half million dollars, US.

We have over the past three years seen an increasing attitude by Linden Lab against the property rights of its users, in violation of its agreement with them. We’ve seen them continually amend that agreement unilaterally by adhesion, and with no recourse for objection by the residents. We have also seen the Lab continuously violate the property, speech, and other Constitutional rights of its residents which are protected under Marsh vs Alabama.

Furthermore, Linden Lab engaged in anticompetitive pricing schemes, charging bulk resellers of virtual land, like myself, more for our private sims than they charged their small retail customers, and charging us likewise more in monthly tier fees than mainland landowners paid. They also unilaterally increased monthly fees on some sims, engaged in bait and switch actions, and lied about their justifications for the price increases.

Despite their actions, we have continuously attempted to negotiate in good faith, to deter them from proceeding down this road they have pursued. We have helped organize and led peaceful SOS protests and other civil disobedience actions to publicize the illegal actions of Linden Lab and its staff. My account was once suspended for protesting the right of other residents to engage in the advertising business in Second Life. The Lab has repeatedly suspended my accounts for standing up for the rights of myself, my employees, customers, residents, and business associates, only to release them again when faced with potential legal action, until they finally, permanently, suspended my accounts after a long campaign by Linden Lab staff and their friends to defame, slander, and libel myself, my business, and my associates. They contacted my customers to drive them away from my business, causing me to suffer a collapse of revenues, and seizure of all of my virtual land, including land held in other estate owners sims.

It has become clear, with the recent seizure of the virtual campus of Woodbury University, one of our largest customers, and a University that was engaged in the process of taking over BNT Holdings, that Linden Lab is a predatory, corrupt, racketeering organization engaging in massive fraud against its user base. Linden Lab has promoted the investment by thousands of its customers of millions of dollars into the virtual economy which they rigged and manipulated so that their biggest customers, who stood to compete the most strongly against Linden Lab, would be forced out of business or otherwise see their assets seized by the corrupt activities of Linden Lab.

For this reason, I have decided to apply to join the class action lawsuit now before Judge Robreno in We will be seeking the recovery of over $500,000 US dollars in damages. If this suit is successful, these funds will be dispersed fairly and properly among the partners of my company based on their percent interest in the company.

It is truly sad that a virtual economy that once promised so much both explicitly, and intrinsically, to so many, for the future of online business and the expansion of the information economy, has come to such a situation. We once saw Second Life as the next phase of the internet. However, like AOL, they have rapaciously and predatorily preyed upon their user base and destroyed the economy they once helped foster, and as a result are sealing their own eventual doom as an evolutionary dead end in the history of technology and business.

Mike Lorrey
M2B LLC, dba BNT Holdings /

76 Responses to “BNT Claims $500,000 USD in Damages – Hopes to Join Class Action Lawsuit”

  1. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    Good to see Intlibber joining the class action. I think this is the first lawsuit against LL that I actually agree with, which is why I joined it as well.

    I read the court filing, I’m not a lawyer, but how I understand things, they are suing LL for taking our ownership rights away.

    LL told us that our creations and the virtual goods we purchase belong to us (a bit of lore: I heard that back around 03 or 04 people actually had to protest for ownership rights in SL). After we invested money and energy in virtual goods in SL, the lab turned around and decided that we are no longer owners of this content, but licencees, and if we do not accept that arrangement they will cut off our access to it. There is no consideration here, it’s just LL saying “we run the servers, so we’ll take all your stuff and give you licences.” Before this happened I could take my stuff to other grids, but now I can not do that without violating TOS. This severely degrades the functionality of my virtual possessions.

    If my reading of this is correct I think that everybody who ever purchased or created goods in SL are able to join the class action suit.

    Anybody else who wants to join should fill out the form here:

    BTW, Intlibber keeps bringing up Marsh vs Alabama in comments below articles and he did again in this message, but I really don’t see how that precident is useful. I don’t know, I’m no lawyer but I know they tried to use that case to protect spammers in the 90s, but it failed.

    See the subsequent history section of this page for info on Marsh vs Alabama in the Cyber Promotions case:

  2. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    Hi Bubblesort,
    There is a distinction in constitutional law between commercial and noncommercial speech when it comes to the protections of the first amendment. Spam, being commercial speech, is less protected, much like any sort of advertising other than election ads.

    AOL vs Cyberpromotions limited the protections of Marsh vs Alabama only in respect to commercial speech. It does not apply to other, more protected forms of speech, nor to other rights which Marsh clearly stated includes all of our Constitutional rights, including rights to property outside of eminent domain (note, Linden Lab not being a government agency or delegated by congress, does not hold eminent domain power over private property).

    Furthermore, we posess the contractual rights that the Lab originally recognised but later attempted to amend out of the terms of service and force upon us by adhesion. Adhesion is illegal, to put it simply.

    Linden Lab could only amend the property rights language of its terms of service if it gave its users the option to sell back to Linden Lab their land at the price they paid for it.

  3. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    Oh, ok, I see how Marsh vs Alabama is useful now. Thanks.

    Did I read the filing correctly? I mean, is the suit only about land or can anybody join the class action who previously owned any kind of virtual good and is now a licencee of the virtual goods because of the new TOS? When I filled out the form to join the suit I just estimated how much money I’ve spent in SL and put that down.

    Do premium account suburban homes count as land that would be considered in this suit?

    The forms were hard to parse, with all the legal language and mixed metaphors about Disney Land and WoW. I hope I didn’t waste anybody’s time by filling out the form to join a class action that I can’t actually join.

  4. Judge Joker

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    Anyone else notice the error in the title?

    BNT Claims 0,000 USD in Damages – Hopes to Join Class Action Lawsuit | The Alphaville Herald

  5. Sweet Albama

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    The title bar, yup. Took me a mo to realize what you meant. Hits Chrome.

  6. V

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    I applied to join the case myself for having lost all my inventory (2 years worth of maniacal shopping) and might have very nearly lost a whole sim worth of mainland holdings in quite pricey regions, were it not for them being group owned and my partner taking care of them. So I, for my part, consider lost inventory a damage as well, even though of course it’s not close to the 500,000 $ of IntLibber.

  7. BNT is a scam

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    Intlibber is a joke and a scammer, he doesn’t even have the integrity to face up to investor’s in ACE and BNT. Telling people there are investments are worth lots of lindens when really any stock he issued is worth ZERO. He himself is guilty of what he is trying to sue LL for.

    People should be suing him not the other way around.

  8. Inniatzo

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    hmmm, i’m not a lawyer or anything, but the phrase “as well as to their avatar virtual personhood” strikes me as a way of extending a lot of rights people have as, well, people, to their avatars. That seems to make as much sense as extending all rights of an individual to their facebook or twitter accounts.

    Likewise i have no idea if a bunch of data on some company’s server that can be displayed on a screen as land should have the same rights as actual, well, land. i tend to doubt it, but i suppose this is one of the points of this lawsuit.

    i also don’t see how marsh vs. alabama is relevant, intLibber seems to be implying that we have other constitutional rights in sl which LL can not take away. but i don’t think that is the case at all, for that to valid one would also need to make clear distinctions between “public” and “private” lands, for instance.

    its possible ll is complicit in some damages the plaintiffs have suffered, say by not cracking down on copybot or something, i have no idea. again, i’m not a lawyer, but this seems to be a real reach to apply real world legal protections for a bunch of data on a commercial server.

  9. TrinityDejavu

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    Yay for the money grabbers. Half a million US in damages, really…

  10. Stroker Serpentine

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    @ Inniatzo

    Software, images, animations, video and sound are also “ on a commercial server”.

    ‘just sayin’.

  11. jake

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    sooo..let me get this straight….

    You invest piles of real money into a computer game run by a private company, where people behave with no accountability, and then sue them, which, as the lawsuits crop up, could only result in either stricter TOS or the place just shutting down entirely.

    makes perfect sense!

  12. Neo Citizen

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    IntLibber could have chosen any number of bizarre approaches to seek some sort of compensation for his business augering in, but he seems to have chosen an approach that makes some kind of sense – though he does seem to be making the same assertion he always has, that property and contractual rights extend into a game environment where the entire system is defined by a private company, not the real world legal system.

    That’s the hurdle he has to overcome if he’s going to make any of this stick, and if he does, it’ll change online gaming forever.

    But that’s a pretty big if, and so far, nobody’s ever managed to take the right of control of a private service away from the private company who creates it. I wish him luck, because he’s going to need it.

  13. Lum Lumley

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    Actually, it doesn’t make much sense. Marsh v. Alabama was specifically rejected in a recent case that attempted to invoke First Amendment rights in an online service banning.

  14. Ari Blackthorne

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    I didn’t read the whole diatribe in the letter, but the part about how Estate owners are charge more for their regions as compared to “mainland” region owners is moot.

    I own two and a half regions of Mainland (and yes, I have owned 5 “private” regions in the last four years so I know what I’m speaking on here) – it is NOT the same.

    First, a mainland region does not allow the same controls that estate regions allow. As a full region owner on Linden Mainland – I get the exact same “parcel” controls anyone who owns a 512-square meter gets. No less, no more.

    However, as an Estate owner and the private regions that come with it you get God-mode controls over each region independently. Literally access to practically every single control there is with regard to a region right down to uploading or downloading RAW files for terrain layout, restarting at will, controlling the day-cycle and all the rest, not to even mention your choice of neighbors bordering your regions.

    So with regard to the portion of the complaint that you are cheated because you pay more tier (by $100 a month) for an Estate Region as compared to a mainland region is purely bogus.

    And the ironic thing is that you have been in SL as long as I have.




  15. Stroker Serpentine

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    @ Lum

    I “think” the crux of the case is indeed whether or not SL can be compared to a “state actor”. There are significant differences between Sony Home and Second Life. Sony, nor it’s representatives, have never made the assertion that you “own” anything. Combine that with economic manipulation, supply and demand and access to assets and “Marsh v. Alabama” could indeed be relevant.

    @ Neo

    This approach has been bandied about for several years. What makes it particularly curious is why, if given a bulletproof TOS, would LL systematically remove all references to ownership. Indeed a full-on class certification and award would have a resounding effect on whether or not future VW’s would relinquish IP rights to content creators.

    Many believe (and the complaint outlines) that LL used the lure of ownership and potential revenue as an enticement to bolster their bottom line. If these are indeed substantial motivations, why replace “own” with “license” ? 20/20 hindsight?

    Then there’s the whole “click wrap” issue. The recent TOS was the first (if memory serves) to ever grant a grace period to comply. Therefore effectively giving 30 days to liquidate assets if you do not agree with the terms and conditions.

    Dell was on the receiving end of a class action that specifically addressed contracts of adhesion:

    Hang on to your hats!

  16. Lum Lumley

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    Many believe (and the complaint outlines) that LL used the lure of ownership and potential revenue as an enticement to bolster their bottom line. If these are indeed substantial motivations, why replace “own” with “license” ? 20/20 hindsight?

    Probably because, as you note, granting ownership also opens them up to increased legal liability.

  17. Darien Caldwell

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    I would suggest people think carefully before joining this Class Action Lawsuit.

    Doing so means you give up all rights to any future litigation against LL in relation to similar matters. If The Class Action fails or decides to ‘settle out of court’ at terms you don’t agree with, you will be Shit out of Luck as they say.

    So be sure the fight they are fighting is the one you want to roll your dice on, you only get 1 roll.

  18. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    I think (or at least hope) that the crux of the case is actually contract law, rather than free speech. I mean, I’m no lawyer, but it seems like adhesion would be an easier case to make.

    @Darien: Nobody is joining the case yet. I think that filling out the form just gives them info and then they will let you know if you can join or not. I’ll definitely have a lawyer check things over before I actually join.

  19. Emperos Norton hears a who?

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    So if they win while 1/2 million be paid our in Lindens since that is how much the virtual, only works on LL servers is worth?

  20. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    As Stroker as pointed out so well, Second Life is quite different from every other online community: the hosting company asserted that we owned it, its all “ours”, that our stuff is our right to own and they’ll *never* mess with it, and that Second Life is “essentially a country”. These details are of course in the Bragg case that burned LL so badly, and note that this class action is before Judge Robreno, the same judge in the Bragg case.

    You all should read the submitted complaint, it details a LOT of rather embarassing stuff from the Bragg trial, including statements from Phillip in his testimony that were pretty ironclad and made it impossible for LL to not lose or settle that case.

    Because of these prior public statements, advertisements, and website presentations that asserted our rights, it is my assertion that Linden Lab has put Second Life into the status of a Mars vs Alabama company town by its own statements, and we are, under Bragg, to take LL at its word on this under contract.

    That they then sought to strip these rights under illegal practice of clicwrap adhesion contracts, and seize the property they had previously recognised, is tantamount to what Prokofy would call a “bolshevik conspiracy” to defraud the user community of their individual Constitutional rights to property, to speech, to due process, to assembly, to self defense, against search/seizure without a warrant and eminent domain without just compensation, against self incrimination.

    As for anonymous claims made in comments about myself, I recognise that investors in my ventures have lost money, due to no fault of my own other than having trusted that Linden Lab would adhere to their original contract. The purpose of joining this suit is to make the investors whole. If we win, funds gained will first off go to all the shareholders in BNT, to the depositors in ACE who lost their deposits when LL seized my accounts, and to the shareholders in BNT Financial, which had originally been the independent bank of Meta Bank which we attempted to rescue when it was near collapse, only to see its deposits looted by a former partner in the bank (Charles Granville) and some brazillian hackers.

    The losses others have incurred are as follows:
    a) BNT Holdings: shareholders invested in the 2007 BNT IPO: $48,000.00
    b) BNT FInancial shareholders: about $3700 USD as of Sept 2009
    c) ACE exchange depositors: $5000

    We experienced growth to 53 sims from 12 in the years following our IPO. 12 sims were in the Surreal Estates where we got our start and which were illegally seized by them after LL illegally seized our other assets.

    I retain 61% ownership of BNT. BNT owns most of BNT Financial outright, and 53% of ACE Exchange.

    I find it amusing that folks attacking me here refuse to show their faces, hiding behind anonymity, they are likely one of the people who has tried over the years to defraud BNT and did not get away with it, including a certain Linden who attempted to steal our ATM machine and loot our deposits (Dan Linden) by installing one in his private sim, Charles Granville, who hacked my IntLibber Brautigan account to steal an ATM in a similar attempt to steal our deposits (and who LL refused to ban, threatening me with a ban if I continued to pursue the issue, indicating to me that he is also a Linden), or Angel, Kalel, or Maldavius, who used their alts in the PN to grief my estates and later slandered my company across the grid when we cut off ties with them. Or perhaps Jack Linden, who tried to order one of the few ethical Lindens to ban me from SL for doing nothing more than leading the SoS protests at Linden Estate Services island. There’s plenty of manipulative twats out there who think anonymous treachery in SL is just good fun. The amount of dirt that will be coming out in public in this case is going to be deliciously fun. Discovery is a great tool.

    Watch what happens.

  21. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    If we are able to regain my personal and the company avatar accounts, we can use ACE ATMs to disburse the funds as L$ or allow people to cash their L$ out of ACE via our currency exchange at a fixed rate, since I doubt many people are interested in buying L$, or won’t once we finish with LL. Cashing out via our exchange would require you submit the email address of your paypal account.

  22. Jumpman Lane

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    Though I’ve made up with Torley, I filled out the survey to see if I am able to jon the class for when Torley (or Some other dept of LL other than governence according to Harry) “took over my account” , blocking my ability to access the service of Second Life when I was supposed to have created some “#1 Torley Sux!” tees.

    Harry upon learning of thie “made” Torley reinstate me with so much as a sorry, excuse us, he was wrong and will be punished or kisss my ass or anything. If I had’t called LL i never would have known what was wrong. If I hadn’t contacted my newl acquired gteam friends the Torley prob would noot have been fixed.

    SHOULD I be added to the class I would repsectully decline much Like Bobby Lee repectfully declined to comamnd Lincoln’s Union army, I would decline joining the class as a point of honor of a gentleman.

  23. Emperor Norton hears a who?

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    @ IntLibber Brautigan
    So in other words you accept the equivalency of fake money for fake land?

  24. jake

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    So in the early days, Philip whatshisname had some grandiose and idealistic ideas about a brave new world where anythign was possible and people would own (and be responsible) for their own actions. Pretty naive, and now he is getting burned for it. Because in practice, while 95% of the people go into sl to play, build, and hang out with other people, another 5% decided to do one of two things: either they turned SL into a capitalist nightmare filled with spam, ad farms, and inflated prices by becoming land barons (like this guy seemingly) or sex bed donald trumps, which may have had short term benefits for some, and a smart person would have cashed out immediately (and done something real with it) , rather then trust actual money to a company owned computer game. And of course, the other half of that 5% are the narcissistic losers like the JLU or the other hackers and griefers who need any kind of attention to feel good about themselves cause they can’t hack it in the real world.

    You may be right about the contracts or whatever, but either way, you put yourself in this position (you and your friends seriously invested $48,000 in this??? good lord), and in the end, it will be the 95% who will have to find another game to play when LL cashes out and those guys laugh themselves to the bank. So much for the idealistic brave new world. LOL

  25. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Apr 23rd, 2010

    If you ever believed you owned anything SL, you were an idiot right from the start.

  26. BNT is a scam

    Apr 24th, 2010

    So Intlibber, what happened to the claim that ACE deposits were 100% liquid?

    Don’t you think that using those deposits to try and keep your failing land business alive was wrong?

    Especially when you claimed that depositors would always be able to get their money back, when the reality is that Hugo Leckrone was right, you were using a fractional reserve system and LYING to customers.

    You are worse then Luke Connell, a lying scammer that has done nothing but harm the community and now your attempting to harm it even more.

    Every single BNT financials presented was fake, claiming shareholders owned highly valuable buildings which are nothing more than pixels worth zero.

    You are far more guilty of the crimes you are accusing LL of.

  27. Curious

    Apr 24th, 2010

    Here is the actual court document.

  28. At0m0 Beerbaum

    Apr 24th, 2010

    I said it for years. you do not own anything, nor is the linden a real currency, as much as people deny it. It’s mickey mouse money, and only holds value as long as the lindens give it value.

    Hell tomorrow they could do away with the linden money system, and instead price things in USD, and not offer compensation for real linden value, or do it at a very unfair rate (ie, they claim that $100 L is really worth 1 cent, much less than what it was bought for)

    and guess what? you cannot do a damn thing about it.

    It’s a scam that’s been successful because LL puts more money in marketing than actual development, and it shows. If they were actually running this as a technical platform, they would have gone bust years ago over internal politics and ego-driven bullshit that seems to infect their company. The fact they side with a bunch of furries who have criminal records (who use the furry thing to hide their true nature, which is why many of them do so) and old farts who dress as superheroes, and give them credibility, is sign of a company you should *NEVER* do business with. I’m glad I put very little money into this shit. The new TOS grants them the ability to do what this lawsuit claims they do even more effectively.

    They now do away with the warning system, they just outright ban you with zero chance to appeal, if they decide you’re a threat in any way. Hey, have a nice sizeable chunk of land, but yet, someone else wants that land, and they happen to suck on linden cock? BAM. your account is gone, your land holdings immediately abandoned, and your lindens drained to zero. The lindens hold absolute right to deprive you of your holdings at will now. They have done this in the past, but at least then, it could be contested as it broke their contract if they didnt give you a warning. Now they found away around this.

    Oh and I use “your property” in a figurative manner. It’s theirs. It’s always been theirs. This is also why cloud computing is a horrible idea. It’s like letting your friend store something of yours in his house. Technically, he can sell it without any real repercussion as it was on his property. Same applies here.

    if you don’t actually own what you have, it isnt yours. plain and simple.

    If you actually owned the hardware and the software that ran the sim(s) you supposedly owned, and the assets created at that sim were stored in your local asset server (and cached through the main grid’s assets) then you could claim ownership.

    Get back into reality and realize this is a company that is keen on blowing smoke up your ass while they rob you blind because you are addicted to their little world. They know this and will continue fucking you over knowing you will come back with “Please sir, may I have another?”

    I’m willing to bet that most of the people involved in this lawsuit are people who still actually play.

    Thankfully the lindens saved me some trouble and banned me. Good, now I can do more interesting things, like counting grains of sand, and watching grass grow. Sucks that I lost a lot of virtual money, but whatever. The amount I had earned through little trinkets and shit that I sold is negligible. I make more real money in one day than I made in SL over the course of three years.

    Wake the fuck up people.

  29. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 24th, 2010

    “So Intlibber, what happened to the claim that ACE deposits were 100% liquid?”

    They were 100% liquid, right up until the day Linden Lab stole them all. Of course, you’re probably a Linden, so, to quote the great Jon Stewart, go fuck yourself.

  30. Jaden

    Apr 24th, 2010

    I hate to say it, But I agree with this lawsuite based on Linden Lab Recent Actions… Why was IntLibber Banned? For supporting woodbury? Why did woodbury get taken offline because of some griefers with no evidence… Linden Lab needs some trouble, and troubles for all the first world Copyright infrigment data being stored on their servers knowingly… Not limited to, Gorean,Star Wars, Na’vi/Avatar, Star Trek, Lord OF The Rings, Ect.

  31. Otto

    Apr 24th, 2010

    Just read the filing. If LL offers to settle for a free Linden Home take it. It’s about the best offer your likely to get.

  32. Ted

    Apr 24th, 2010

    What about the people who purchased land from barons, was thrown off, lost all their money including tier etc..? This suit is all about people who purchased land from Linden. The real story is in all the people hurt over the purchase from individual land owners paying Linden taking their land back from those they resold to. Reselling the land over and over. I would think that there would be far more people with those issues than that had purchased directly from Linden.

    The problem? The whole land business was setup so that those purchasing from Linden could chop up the sims and sell to others. Linden not only made this possible but encouraged it.

    Does this suit include people that have purchased from fraud barons, been kicked off the sims losing all their money paid for buying the land, while leaving the land baron to resell the land over and over while Linden didn’t do anything about it?

  33. Ted

    Apr 24th, 2010

    “Intlibber is a joke and a scammer”

    @BNT is a scam,

    This is a good point. Anyone that spent time in SL around 2005 to 2006 knows that Linden sponsored the likes of SL bank fraudsters, other investment fraudsters, land baron fraudsters, etc..

    Over time, Linden changed the terms, however, many people lost a lot of real money due to all of the fraud in SL.

    My question is as stated above, what about the people scammed by those that file the suits claiming they were scammed? The whole fraudulent setup was configured from the top down. And those that paid the greatest price were not those paying Linden directly, but those paying the individuals paying Linden. All money still went to Linden. Those that were allowed by Linden to take back their sims, resell over and over, while everyone caught up in the mess were losing the money.

    Linden always took the stance that they were not responsible for what happens between residents. And this is the greatest problem of all. As those that were losing hundreds and thousands of real dollars to land baron scammers, Linden was profiting each and every month.

  34. Inniatzo

    Apr 24th, 2010

    Using the word ‘own’ in the TOS was no doubt a mistake by LL, it remains to be seen if it was a *big* mistake. nevertheless, anyone who wanted to invest so much money should have gotten a better idea of what exactly ‘own’ meant before dropping it all in.

    On some level though, i don’t see how anyone could think that they would ‘own’ the virtual land in SL in the same way they might own real estate out in the rl. If the company goes belly-up you land is gone, kaput, vanished, for instance, and there wouldn’t likely be much one could do about it.

    on the other hand what did the tos say about banning accounts? has that changed. i thought there was something about how they could ban for any reason, etc. etc., which is not atypical, i would think.

    the idea that in SL we have “individual Constitutional rights to property, to speech, to due process, to assembly, to self defense, against search/seizure without a warrant and eminent domain without just compensation, against self incrimination” is silly. Free speech in a mall is not guaranteed by the feds, for instance, so how could free speech possibly be applied inside a virtual world?

    They may have a case on some level, i have no idea. intellectual property rights are one thing, but it certainly seems to me that they are really over-reaching in the legal arguments, which of course is pretty typical in the begining.

    if they have sort of case it will settle. if they have a weak case they’ll settle. since the settlement agreement will likely be confidential we’ll never know for sure.

    and, frankly, i can live with no knowing.

  35. Marc Woebegone

    Apr 24th, 2010

    As President Obama says, dialogue is good.

  36. V

    Apr 24th, 2010

    To anyone who goes along the lines of: “How could you ever think you really own land/assets in SL?” – Would you argue that you lose ownership of data when hosting it with a web hoster on the net? Would you argue that you lose all rights to your blog postings once you post them on wordpress? Or your pictures once you upload them to flickr? And now, what makes SL any different? Just because they forced their ‘new and refined’ rules upon you as time went by? I don’t think so, and this case is the one chance to find out.

  37. Senban Babii

    Apr 24th, 2010

    Second Life – The Official Guide, Second Edition (published 2008)

    Page 2

    “…Second Life is a 3D online digital world imagined, created, and owned by its residents.”

    Someone with a good knowledge of contract law needs to go through every version of the SL TOS with a fine-toothed comb.

  38. Ted

    Apr 24th, 2010


    That has been my stance for a long time. Anyone that has hosted pages, had their own servers, or colocation hosted in data centers understands how it works on contract. I’ve viewed SL as no more than a hosting company all along. And thus did believe in the advertised position that the data ownership was that of the person or company hosting the data within their domain. And still to date believe that it should be considered such. Just because one hosts personal or company data on a hosting server doesn’t give the hosting company rights over the information. And whether this case be the one to finally argue the position of “whom truly owns the data”, I do think that at some point it will have to be determined by the courts being Linden Lab takes a position that doesn’t directly reflect what you would expect from a hosting service provider.

    I’ve always believed that Linden’s terms wouldn’t hold up under the scrutiny of the court system. And I do agree that those that believe or state as you have suggested most likely don’t have the experience with hosting, being the ISP, being in the data centers, or being the company behind such with the contracts that are required to provide for the services.

    Just changing TOS doesn’t cut the mustard as with any contract, there were prior agreements to be taken under consideration.

  39. Tux Winkler

    Apr 24th, 2010

    Having owned land, and lost it due to bans (along with all the L$ in the accounts) I actually think Int has a case. Yes I was around in the early days, I saw how it was sold. We owned everything.

    For those who say differently, think on this. If you went to a college, into an arts classroom, and painted a million pound master piece, would the college own the painting or the money??

    LL created a monetary system allowing transactions both ways. There is an exchange rate. Therefore any time they take your L$ it is simply theft!

    As I now own very little land (thanks to my recent LL encounter) and I have lost three very good land owner accounts with no reason other than “the reason for banning them is correctly applied”. I totally back Int.

    Will I join? No, I have decided to revert to my early activities in SL and play the game as I did back then. So the few sims tier I was paying is a loss for LL and a gain for me. I will expand my open sim so those who play they are free to do as they wish. But LL will not get another penny from me.

  40. Gundel Gaukelei

    Apr 24th, 2010

    So all those make-money-fast venturers who thought it would be a bright idea to rip off others by hording up all the fake estate and resell it overpriced (that way making playing the game more expensive for the majority) now claim damages because there has been no way they could have known there would be any risks in venturing? I wouldn’t expect to much sympathy.

  41. caveat emptor

    Apr 24th, 2010

    I am a land owner in SL since 2005 and have owned as many as 62 SIMs at one point and never have had any of the issues that IntLibber Brautigan claims.

    Through prudent investment techniques I have been able to do this with only a minimal financial investment on my part and with a good reputation among my renters. I only say this to show that it can happen and can be done. It takes a lot of effort and patience, but it can be done.

    It is funny to see the language that IntLibber Brautigan uses: “The purpose of joining this suit is to make the investors whole. If we win, funds gained will first off go to all the shareholders in BNT, to the depositors in ACE who lost their deposits when LL seized my accounts, and to the shareholders in BNT Financial”

    Does anyone really believe that IntLibber Brautigan knows what he is doing as an investor? The first rule of investing any money is to do your “due diligence” and if it sound too good to be true it probably is.

    If you as a person are going to put real money into such a venture then you need to verify the person at the other end. Does that person have the knowledge and resources to get this done? Or are they preying in your own greed so you don’t check them out.

    Of course this is the conondrum of Virtual Worlds. Is it really a good looking 28 year blonde bombshell at the other end? or a 50 year old guy with a beer gut luring you to a sex bed. I would argue that IntLibber Brautigan is the 50 year old equivalent in the investment world.

    All the evidence points to the fact that IntLibber Brautigan was just running a complex pyramid scheme facilitaded by the LL TOS. Anyone that wants to be unethical can do that in SL or in RL by bending or breaking the law. How come other large landowners in SL have not had the type of problems that IntLibber Brautigan claims to have had?

    I would agree that LL is not clean on this, but if one looks at what they say over time, they will telegraph their moves and we users are responsible for figuring it out. They may not spell it out for you, but is there if you pay attention. The Open SIM changes is a good example. Many lost money there, but it was their lack of seeing what was coming even though LL told everyone many times before it happened. When LL takes action, it is swift, and it is very painful to deal with them to try to make it right. But then again that also happens when you try to use the help desk at Dell.

    Everyone should be very careful when investing money into any venture and to hear IntLibber Brautigan talk about “Meta Bank”, “brazilian hackers”, “illegal seizure”, “investors will be made whole”, “the Linden’s actually hacking his accounts” and many other excuses, it just reminds me of the Nigerian emails I get begging me to invest money, or pay that “small fee” to get my millions.

    Look back in history and read about every ponzy/pyramid scheme and you will see the same symptoms in IntLibber Brautigan’s actions including the continuing assestions that “every investor” will get his/her money back.

    In the history of this type of lawsuits and investment catastrophes, NOT ONCE EVER have investors been made whole. The average return is about 3 cents on the dollar.

    If you believe that IntLibber Brautigan has a list of every single person that he needs to return money to, and when he gets his share of the lawsuit (if it is favorable), those people are going to be paid in full then you are buying into the last level of the pyramid scheme and will be ready to give some more of your hard earned money to the next scam being run by another AV in SL.

    Buyer Beware will always rule the commercial world.

  42. Nebula/PinkBunny

    Apr 24th, 2010

    I should file for wrongfull termination of my original account XD they took my entire sim and account and gave me no reason and rejected all my appeals.

  43. Ted

    Apr 24th, 2010

    @ Tux,

    Wait until you go to close your account with an “L” balance. Do you think Linden will refund your money back to the credit card in which is was purchased? I just took it for granted they would.

    No. They keep it. And after a phone call to them just over that topic, all of my beliefs about Linden were reiterated. Any decent and honest company would refund the money back to your credit card if you closed your account. Not Linden. In fact, they wanted me to pay $9.95 to reactivate the account so I could retrieve the balance.


    The money purchased in SL is not directly related to the account, as the account is a “free” or “no charge” account. There is no reason for Linden to keep your “L” balance if your account has been closed. A credit should be made to the credit card in which it was purchased.

    Does anyone disagree? Do you believe that Linden should be keeping the “L” balances for those that close an account? If so, please state why you believe this.

    As far as I’m concerned, scammed going in, scammed going out.

  44. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Apr 24th, 2010

    What Ted describes is true. At one point a few months ago the credit card on my premium account ran low, so the charge would not go through to pay my $9.95 to keep my account active. I had about US$15 worth of spacebux in my account at the time. I tried cashing out US$10 to pay my premium fee but they would not allow me to do that. I had to change credit cards and go from there.

    The real scam is when you report a copybotted item on xStreet. 99% of the time LL will shut down the offending account but leave the copybotted item up for sale. This means that the copybotted item is still being sold and the proceeds are going into an account that LL controls and will not allow to cash out. In effect, LL becomes the seller of the copybotted work in question, because they keep 100% of the proceeds. The only exception to this policy seems to be when people make a fuss over it.

  45. Piddles

    Apr 24th, 2010

    Let’s hope that Intlibber wins this one for his sake. After not paying off his sims (which was the reason his account got suspended), and running off with the money of his tenants, perhaps this is his way of trading off the blame for his irresponsibility and in his hope he can return to the grid to play off his land tactics again. I really hope he gets around to retuning tier payments to everyone who trusted and invested in his estate, who lost not only their sims but their businesses and property as well.

    He claims WU was one of his largest investors, but simply because they are an investor in your company does not mean they have the right to break TOS time and time again on the front that they are an educational entity with money. Lord knows we as americans love knowing our tax money is going towards an (ironically) liberal arts school with not concept of intellectual property to run a bunch of sims where their idea of education is developing clients that steal other people’s content and then mass distributing it to all its members.

  46. swedishfox ghost

    Apr 24th, 2010

    quoted from At0m0 Beerbaum: “The fact they side with a bunch of furries who have criminal records (who use the furry thing to hide their true nature, which is why many of them do so)”

    sorry, but i resent your bullshit lableing the furry community.
    1. not all of us have a criminal record, i dont.
    2. SOME of us use the “furry thing” to get out of the bullshit that is the world

  47. Stroker Serpentine

    Apr 24th, 2010

    @ Bubblesort

    I had a similar circumstance happen to me. I couldn’t access my account until I offered a different card. An account with hundreds of dollars worth of $L on it. When I asked if they could allow me access to it I was denied. Not even temporarily. I was astounded that LL would be willing to risk a long standing customer relationship over a banking mistake. The bank was refusing the debit because it was being billed from the UK as a video game and set off their fraud mechanism.

    But then I’ve seen a LOT of things that would make you shake your head in astonishment over the years.

    Granted, LL grew too big too fast IMO..but some things are just common business sense.

  48. Jumpman Lane

    Apr 25th, 2010

    @Stroker Serpentine It’s far from over hehehe you gonna see some MORE shit make you shake your head. Mark my words.

  49. Jumpman Lane

    Apr 25th, 2010

    punk! hehehehe mark my words

  50. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 25th, 2010

    @ Piddles,
    I ran of with exactly zero Lindens. It was all taken by LL. We suffered a serious and rapid reduction in revenues due to a campaign of slander by several Lindens, as well as the JLU (Siobahn McAllen specifically, among others), and of course Prokofy’s spaz attacks after SLCC last August.

    Nor did I say that WU was an investor, they were one of my largest customers and we were working to complete a deal where Woodbury would gain majority ownership of the company.

    In fact I do have an entire and complete list, both of residents in my sims, investors in my companies, and despositors in ACE, down to the L$.

    You Lindens/JLUfags/Prokofy alts are getting ever more desperate with your arguments.

    You’re exactly right. Of all the screeds and rants by people claiming to have ever been scammed by an SL banker, and that they were suing, how many have you actually heard held enough merit to go to court? Not one. Some folks claimed they were suing me once over the Meta Bank takeover/bailout rescue we did just prior to the interest ban. Did any of them ever actually present anybody with a single real court filing? Not a one.

    We contacted all of our depositors (we were not the founders of Meta Bank, we had previously been the largest depositor, and took it over out of a sense of community with the other depositors who had stood by our company’s growth for so long, we didn’t have to help those people, but we did anyway and got nothing but headaches over it) and a majority of them agreed to the stock conversion proposal after LL banned interest, as the best option.

    Some of them are still shareholders. If/when we succeed in this suit, they will share in the money recovered.

    Stroker is right on. I had the same issue with my paypal account and later Paypals debit card issuer (JP Morgan Bank) and LL. JP Morgan decided these game charges coming from Britain were fraudulent a couple times. Prior to that, I had reached a point where Paypal refused to pay Linden Lab anything directly out of my paypal account because they have had such a bad history dealing with Linden Lab’s billing practices.

    Imagine that, Paypal refusing to do business with Linden Lab. What is so incredibly funny about that sort of statement is that Cyn Skyberg, Vice President of Customer Service for Linden Lab, is married to Rolff Skyberg, Vice President of eBay, which owns Paypal.

    One has to wonder why Rolff doesnt trust his wife with his customers credit cards…

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