Refunds For Banned Second Life Players!! SHOCK!!!

by Pixeleen Mistral on 25/11/13 at 1:19 am

Ban hammer rebounds, hits Linden Lab's wallet

One ex-player hopes for $60,000 USD refund as class action settlement mandates payments to exiles

Over the last several days, players banned from the Second Life virtual world have begun receiving notification of a proposed class action settlement (full text here) which will pay the involuntary exiles for their virtual land and both the USD and L$ spacebux currency in their accounts. The former players also have the option of either accepting a $15 USD payment for their inventory of virtual goods, or selling the  goods on Linden Lab's Marketplace web site.

For those who dabbled in virtual land on a large scale, Linden Lab's $1000 USD sim setup fee will be refunded. With refunds for virtual land holdings set at L$ 2/square meter, and the exchange rate set L$ 252 per USD, payouts for virtual land barons could be significant. Those who formerly owned entire sims are looking at refunds of about $1500 for a sim -- each sim is 65,536 square meters in area.

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  Philip Rosedale and Linden Research admit no wrongdoing, but are willing to settle

I contacted former land baron Intlibber Brautigan - who was suddenly banned in 2009 while in possession of ~40 sims. Mr. Brautigan did some back of the envelope calculations and said, "Excellent. So that's 42 sims, times 1000 bucks plus 130k L$. So that's almost 60K US I'll get just for the sims".

intlibber
Intlibber Brautigan

Brautigan went on to say that the money will be shared with shareholders in his former Second Life ventures:

If I am able to recover money from this settlement, it will be divided among BNT shareholders, BNT Financial shareholders and ACE shareholders, according to their last recorded portfolio holding at the time our assets and accounts were stolen by LL. I thank all our shareholders for their patience in the past few years as this legal process has run its course, and their faith that I have always acted in their best interest to the best of my abilities.

As for his personal share of the refund, and his attitude toward Linden Lab, Brautigan told me,

My share of the settlement money, minus shareholders portion, will be invested in my new virtual world project designed to put SL out of business. Any other persons interested in investing in this goal are encouraged to contact me on Facebook.

Mr. Brautigan's  Ancapistan Capital Exchange group on Facebook is here.

Masa
Masakazu Kojima

I was first alerted to the class action settlement Friday afternoon by Masakasu Kojima who said she had around $500 USD in her account after being threatened and then struck by Linden Lab's ban hammer.

Ms. Kojima also told me at least one of the infamous Voted5 group had also been contacted via e-mail about the settlement. Given the freewheeling approach to banning accounts practiced by Linden Lab, we can only speculate on how many others players are yet to be contacted.

There are also questions about how players' virtual goods inventory will be sold. Who sets the price - the owner of the goods, or Linden Lab? Or will there be an auction? Perhaps a special section in the Marketplace for sales of rare and collectable virtual goods from banned players? This might help maximize the potential revenue from the sales, and benefit the Lab by increasing demand for  L$ spacebux.

Ms. Kojima also wondered how the SL digital rights management system would affect inventory sales and asked, "What about notrans (no-transfer) stuff? What about copyable stuff? Do they sell stuff you made full permissions?".

But the biggest question is whether Linden Lab will provide refunds to those banned after the class action enrollment period ends.

As a matter of basic fairness, we can hope the game gods have learned a lesson in fair play.  If not,  should players continue to expect to fight multi-year legal battles to force  the Lab to respect basic property rights?

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$15 for all your virtual wares - except for DMCA'ed and copybotted goods

20 Responses to “Refunds For Banned Second Life Players!! SHOCK!!!”

  1. IntLibber

    Nov 25th, 2013

    I was talking with Tizzers yesterday about this. I said, “Dude, you had like, umpteen million accounts? Whats $15 times infinity?”

  2. [...] Over the last several days, players banned from the Second Life virtual world have begun receiving notification of a proposed class action settlement (full text here) which will pay the involuntary exiles for their virtual land and both the USD and L$ spacebux currency in their accounts. The former players also have the option of either accepting a $15 USD payment for their inventory of virtual goods, or selling the goods on Linden Lab's Marketplace web site.  [...]

  3. elizabeth

    Nov 26th, 2013

    @IntLibber – is $15 per class member. not per account

  4. Inara Pey

    Nov 26th, 2013

    The document referred to is the initial settlement document put before the courst in May 2013, which was effectively without limitation (i.e. anyone fitting the criteria of sub-class A could apply for relief).

    It’s worth pointing out that in October 2013, Judge Ryu approved a revised settlement in the case which limits claims to (quote):

    “All persons whose assets, including virtual items, virtual land, and/or currency in lindens and/or U.S. dollars, have been deliberately and intentionally converted by Defendant Linden’s suspension or closure of their Second Life accounts on or after April 16th, 2008” (my emphasis).

    (see Evans et al vs. Linden Lab: Judge Ryu OKs revised settlement and Top Class Actions)

    Will be interesting to see what impact this does have when the next hearing takes place (February 2014), and what objections the Lab may file.

  5. Corsi

    Nov 27th, 2013

    This is something interesting. I can imagine that it would fall through for the most part for those banned for things like … griefing … giving land and space to griefers … and so on. Legit reasons to get rid of someone might get something in return like the L$ amount in their accounts but the setup fees for sims are paid knowing that you would not get that 1000$ back if you surrendered the sim. So that wouldn’t be recoverable. The most I can see coming out of this is nothing more than the Linden Dollar balance the accounts had at the time of being banned for doing something they shouldn’t have.

  6. Urizenus Sklar

    Nov 28th, 2013

    I think the sad thing about this is that it shows Linden Lab did not believe the hype they were pushing, even while the users did. They said that we could own property and own our creations, but then wrote in their TOS that this could be revoked “for any reason or no reason.” If they had actually believed that they were creating a virtual world and that users were actually creating real wealth they might have managed Second Life in a very different (and more successful) way.

  7. Emperor Norton

    Nov 29th, 2013

    A FREEDOM loving Job Creator like Intlibber Brautigan taking BLOOD MONEY from a corporation SUCKED out of it by a statist socialized LOOTER vampire court?

    Shocked I am, shocked.

  8. IntLibber

    Nov 30th, 2013

    right on Uri, something that I spoke about often enough when I was on the grid, and which earned me the labs hostility (among other hijinks).

  9. Paul

    Dec 1st, 2013

    Urizenus,
    Maybe they started out believing their own hype…idealistically believing that were going to create a virtual world where people could own property etc., but they did not envision that this world would be over-run with crass venal capitalists (who were often simpletons like Intlibber) who covered the land with ad farms, tacky slums, & whore houses. Nor did they, perhaps naively, imagine that their virtual world would be infested with juvenile delinquents like Tizzers and The Penquin who rationalize their rampant vandalism and bad manners as “hactivism.” Maybe they then said….screw, this is just a video game…let’s tighten up the rules and run it like a real business”

  10. IntLibber

    Dec 7th, 2013

    I take offense to that, Paul, I never once operated an ad farm, a tacky slum (thats Prok’s gig), or a whore house. I built some of the most beautiful structures and sims on the grid. It is obvious that Paul never visited my sims.
    The fact is, freedom is not neat. It is often messy. When you empower people grown up in lower classes of society, you often wind up with low class dreams being expressed. Sometimes you give voice to their justified complaints against an often unfree and immobilizing real world that enforces political correctness.
    A virtual world isn’t a place for totalitarians like Paul to lord it over people he thinks he is better than. It is a place to empower people to achieve that which they could not in real life for reasons not of their own making. It is to enable people to aspire to become better, but who defines what “better” is? You don’t get to do that for them, it is for each of us to decide what our “better” is, Paul.

  11. Verbena Pennyfeather

    Dec 9th, 2013

    Well, this will be an interesting close to a sordid little time in my life. Still, $1500 will go a little ways to help fund some personal self-improvement I’ve been putting off.

    Hugs and kisses to all my old pals, W-HAT, Voted5, Furries, Friends, and targets.

    Dr. Verbena Pennyfeather, NP-C
    (Yeah, I got my doctorate, at the ripe age of 30)
    Goddess of Gridcrash
    Founding member of Voted5, Owner of Satyr sim

  12. Debi Dastardly

    Dec 11th, 2013

    Congrats Intlibber I hope you are compensated for your loss. Also PAUL I rented from Mr. Int for a long time he didn’t allow any foolishness and even came down on me one time because my race track was to loud. So stuff your untruths.

  13. IntLibber

    Dec 14th, 2013

    take a look at this link:
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/10/us/politics/games-docs.html

    Perhaps LL chose to settle after Snowden leaked dox about the “war on e-terror”???

  14. Emperor Norton

    Dec 22nd, 2013

    IntLibber @ “A virtual world isn’t a place for totalitarians like Paul to lord it over people he thinks he is better than.”

    And how much more totalitarian InterLibber is that court with it’s monopoly on violence that is forcing Linden Lab to pay a fiat currency penalty against it’s will?

    Remember; government is never the solution.

  15. IntLibber

    Dec 29th, 2013

    Courts would exist with or without government. Read David Friedman’s “The Machinery of Freedom”… its a free e-book.

    http://www.daviddfriedman.com/The_Machinery_of_Freedom_.pdf

    I’d be just as happy, even more so, if LL paid me in gold, silver, bitcoin, or dogecoin.

    The Contract is the Whole of the Law, and thats not totalitarian.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lex_mercatoria

  16. Globber

    Jan 19th, 2014

    Good. LL’s practices are certainly unethical and thievery at best. If something is paid for and the service has ended, any remaining money should have been refunded. LL is NOT a collection service and they had no right to treat their customer’s money as such. Yet they’ve kept countless money from individuals. It’s like a bank deciding to close one day and take all your money in your account with it. Sad online companies practice what is known in RL as thievery.

    I’m hoping more move away from the thievery and b.s. which is LL as more expansions are coming. This is why I have moved onto OpenSim/NewWorldStudio/Minecraft/Other Open-Source Online Platforms because of these reasons. Other opportunities are opening up .The only problem I see is those bringing in LL habits into these new realms. We want something totally new and different from LL, not embracing LL’s draconian influences. The old residents and crazie stalker groups that kissed LL’s behind can stay and rot there in their e-lawns and fake hair prims.

    Open Sims. No more Big-Brother restrictions, no more company b.s. and you can treat a virtual world as a virtual world without having to follow some RL bullshit social code of conduct. It’s freedom again to goof off and have fun as a virtual world should have been. Something that is very much missing in the politically endorsed 40+ years of age user in Second Life with it’s boundaries, ejections and other mulls that I think has held back this platform for a long, long time. The grid became less and less about creativity, and more about territory and running into shopping malls at every corner. Second Life is nothing more than a giant virtual mall now, and unfortunately anyone who thought outside of this box was kicked out from the LL club. I’ve seen several banned residents who had talents far superior than some of the so called jealous residents that ARed their accounts to death, not to mention LL’s own play of favorites on customers too. A stalker group like JLU allowed to spy for the sake of ‘protecting’ Second Life allowed to exist, yet others who didn’t treat SL as RL were removed. I am sorry for any of those who got banned who were dragged into some RL mess over the stupidity of LL. I heard this poor fellow tizzers was getting stalked by crazie middle-agers over Second-Life. This type of virtual profiling should be dis-allowed, but LL has done 0 for those type of groups because they were doing LL a ‘favor’ of free ‘security’ services.

    The LL script engine is b.s.,too. Here today is 2014 and yet the servers lag so much it’s hilarious compared to upscaled game companies. Can’t make flexy mesh, can’t use the ‘game’ features of SL and no true built-in game engine except some crappy glitched out one. I bet their servers still run on Duo processors. When I look at SL I don’t look at something that’s a runner. I look at an old, out-dated client that can’t even keep up to the invention standards of quality game engines like the Unreal Engines. The residents are old and dead and so is their RL- Egame, too.

  17. Keeping It Real

    Jan 25th, 2014

    Did anybody actually READ this bullshit? This is dated LAST MAY. If LL was going to act on this, they’d have done it by now, first of all. Second, the entire suit is only worth $43K. Third, it’s completely up to LL as to what the terms of payback are according to this. And fourth, the lawyers are asking up to $175K in legal fees. And fifth, because this document was leaked before it could be signed, it is now DEAD, because LL will never sign something like this now that it’s been published regardless of what it is, and the lawyers, if they’re still working on the case, are probably in a lot of trouble now. The only possible alternative is that they are NOT working on the case, and as usual this is another Herald article full of lies and bullshit.

    No, Intblubber, you’re not getting a thin dime. You were banned for cause. So were the other losers on this suit.

    Nothing to see here, move along, move along.

  18. IntLibber

    Feb 19th, 2014

    Sounds to me like Kalolz is still suffering from teh butthurt, as well as some serious mathematical illiteracy. Apparently “Keeping It Real”, you haven’t actually read the entirety, and you are mis-converting numbers. We just filed some objections on the 6th, and there is a hearing scheduled within the month to finalize the settlement. L$43,000,000 is not $43,000 US, to start with, more like four times that amount, and only constitutes a limited set of claims that LL is copping to. Furthermore, that amount only applies to actual funds held by banned avatars, and you are ignoring the rest of the settlement that requires repayment of sim setup fees of $1000 each region, plus L$2/square meter for land lost, or about $500 per region. So if you lost a full sim, you are getting $1,500 back for it. I had 53 total sims. I’m sure you can do simple math like that.

  19. LOL

    Mar 7th, 2014

    this could also mean LL will just ban undesireable avatars, give them 15$ and send em on thier way?

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