Friday, January 23, 2009

Linden Lab buys XStreet and Onrez

I heard about the buyout of XStreet and Onrez a couple of days ago, but I am not sure what the implications might be. I'm assuming that the buyout is more significant than simply buying the technology and customers of the two services, which both allowed residents to buy items online and have them delivered in world.

Both services were notorious for allowing crooks to sell copyrighted material, and for allowed the promulgation of illegal weapons and scripted objects.

Currently there are concerns that there is a method of cloning objects in world, as there are people who sem to be empowered to make endless copies of items which are no-copy and do not belong to them. The old fashioned method, which was involved when Stroker Serpentine went to court to fight for his rights, was to ask for a roll back of a sim, when you had already taken some items into your inventory. That hole in security has been plugged.

I'd like to see Linden Lab being much more pro-active in the case of people who are copying other people's work, and a lot less lenient when it comes to people who are doing this in a very organised way. Creators get tired of chasing a scammer around the grid, issuing DMCAs and then waiting for the material to be removed in world, only to see it pop up a couple of days later.

The TOS already allows them to suspend someone's account if they break the rules, and to do them credit, Xstreet did often react more quickly than LL when a disputed item popped up over and over again, if the copyright holder was alert and kept telling them what was happening.

It wil be very interesting to see how the service develops over the next few months, and what plans Linden Lab have for it.

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