Sugar-coated greed

 

Banned

I have been banned a long time ago already on all regions owned by Soul 2 Soul.  I will call them S2S in the rest of this blog. The reason I got banned was simple. I hired a home and since the home itself was not on sale as product but liking the design I decided to build my own lookalike home for when I would move to my own sim later. I only made that house for my own use and not for any commercial reason. I did not use any prim that belonged to S2S exclusively and also not textures that belong to S2S exclusively. Creating and selling I never will do anyway and it would require full perm rights which I had and have not on how I rebuilt the house. So, nope nothing commercial. I also did not do it secretly because I informed one of the S2S owners, Minnie Blanco, about why I rebuilt the house I hired and how I would use it in a non-profit way and with compliments on the design.

Not amused

While being very friendly when I started to rent (of course  . . . ), that changed dramatically after I informed her about my remake. Minnie was not amused to put it mildly. And while I understand that to a certain extent, people protecting their builds as their ‘babies’ and such and wanting it to stay exclusive, I was surprised by the hostility and anger of her response. Actually it was impossible to have a conversation at all (there was no listening and reasoning, only anger) and it ended with instant bans for me on all regions and also with a threat to report me at Linden Lab. With what I didn’t know yet then, but it was clear she wanted me to fear her and that I was a kind of criminal to her. I already was moving out from S2S myself at that moment because I meanwhile also had been busy with designing my own sim and a good moment to fit the house into the design.

When I finished the sim I contacted Minnie again with the idea she maybe had cooled down now, but no such thing was the case. Minnie threatened me again that if I would not delete the house from my own sim, she would file a complaint at Linden Lab. I  tried to talk sense with offering free promotion for S2S with putting a sign or something  at the house with an LM or link to their website. To be clear  . . . my sim was public yes, but no rentals at all. So also in that way I did not try or even want to make money with the house. I just liked to live in it. Also no entrance fee with a group and such. No tip jars. Nothing. Because I dislike making money in SL. Simple as that. Not my thing.

My proposal for free promotion caused a new avalanche of anger however and was taken as insult. So, end of talk and a new threat to now take the house away because otherwise  . . . .  etc etc Linden Lab. That eventually made me decide to contact a friended lawyer. Because I don’t like threats and I also was not convinced I did something against the official rules. Touching a certain pride and experiencing a lookalike house as stealing is something very easy and sensitive in SL, I know very well. But to explode on that is just silly. Just say you do not appreciate it or something instead of starting to threaten. And no, I don’t see how anyone has a right to forbid me to make my personal home based on another person’s home as long as I do not commercialise it.

But yes I know, when emotions take over, many things can go wrong. Like an overestimation of one’s personal creativity, thinking no one else would or could posses in SL and kind of suggest that every creation always is 100 percent unique. We all know that is not true. Even art is a copy of other art all the time, just with a personal touch that makes it feel different or placed in another context that also makes it different. Any creation is in some way based on another creation and that’s fine. I would have gone really wrong when rebuilding it with prims and textures I owned completely and would have started to sell. Then you can file me a complaint at Linden Lab yes.

 

Second Life™ Terms of Service

The official words on it in this case are below and I quote the friended lawyer I consulted, to have a more official defence:

Section 2.4 of the current Second Life™ Terms of Service. The controlling language is as follows:

2.4 You grant certain Content licenses to other users by submitting your Content to publicly accessible areas of the Service.

You agree that by uploading, publishing, or submitting any Content to any publicly accessible areas of the Service, you hereby grant other users of that aspect of the Service a non-exclusive license to access the User Content through the Service, and to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content on the Service solely as permitted by you through your interactions with the Service under these Terms. This license is referred to as the “User Content License,” and the Content being licensed is referred to as “User Content.” “Publicly accessible” areas of the Service are those areas that are accessible to other users of that aspect of the Service.

If you do not wish to grant users of the Service a User Content License, you agree that it is your obligation to avoid displaying or making available your Content to other users.

Your interactions with the Service may include use of a permissions system as provided in an applicable Product Policy. Any agreement you make with other users relating to use or access to your Content must be consistent with these Terms and the applicable Product Policy, and no such agreement can abrogate, nullify, void or modify these Terms or the applicable Product Policy.


You acknowledge that when you receive a User Content License you receive only licensing and use rights; therefore, you do not acquire ownership of any copies of the Content, or transfer of any copyright or other Intellectual Property Rights in the Content.

I shared that information with Minnie but then got muted of course as well. Also tried Boone (S2S is a couple), to maybe meet a more reasonable mind, but nope . . . same recipe of hostility and muting. But it did stop the threatening.

Mea culpa?

Not really. Yes I can understand someone is not amused with me making my own house that looks almost the same. It is close to copycatting in plain words, but not affecting the business of S2S in a negative way. It even could have been used as promotion when showing more flexibility in being smart with a design someone likes and who also is more than happy to share the official designer’s name  and credits as well.

No I cannot understand it needs aggression and bans and threats which make no sense and only show an arrogant mind and big ego that thinks to own all SL prims and designs, because yes, pardon me, also Minnie creates sims and houses and other stuff that can look similar to other people’s creations. Who was first in SL with that would be a nice question. Chicken and egg dilemma’s all over the place if that would become a battle.

 

How unique can you really be in Second Life?

Fact: Every sim designer uses the same available decoration and landscaping objects and only can be unique in using them in a different way. Nothing in SL is 100 percent owned, except for maybe a few fully self-sufficient builders who create every single prim or mesh themselves, including textures, scripts and animations. Those are rare if they exist at all  . .

Yes a rebuild is different, less creative and not trying to make it exceptionally different. I know that of course. But again, I did not have commercial reasons and really born from the fact that the house was not on sale in their MP. I could have decided to then search another house, but why not make my own lookalike if I can and have skills enough to do so. I also don’t buy a chocolate cake if I can make my own vanilla cake I prefer as taste.

 

How unfriendly can you be?

My first experience with S2S also already was unpleasant to be honest. Several years ago I had rented a house on another sim. They just started S2S when I did. I was there 2 days and still moving around prims and such to make it a nice home and then a very strange and annoying thing happened. I am actually quite good at decorating if I may say so myself, but yes I am . . .  and I never make a mess or ugly interior/ exterior and all will always be in line with a sim design. But the next day I login I received a message that ALL my prims and decoration had been returned into my Lost and Found folder. Not even thinking that would or could be a deliberate act and also no warning or notice of any kind, I asked Minnie and Boone how this could have happened. Without any regret or sorry they told me I had placed a few prims on a place they considered not okay and therefore returned it. Against their decoration rules while I was still playing with prims and not even finished half yet. I protested against that kind of rigid ways of monitoring a parcel still in progress but nope  . . .  no discussion possible. It was their right to do so was the simple logic. It made me move away from S2S instantly. Well done S2S. I should have stayed away after that I now know as well yes.

 

Professional yet also rude and silly

S2S is popular in SL and yes I understand. The sims are very nice and nothing to comment on that really, except little parcels in general with little extra prims and quite expensive for what you get. But, that’s a choice one makes when deciding to rent and no one who forces you to do so. They have made a successful business that appears to be professional in most ways. Just the communication skills and rigid monitoring of prims not (yet) in the right place is just unprofessional really. It is impatient, rude and being a bit too much a control freak  And well, the overestimation of personal rights and uniqueness, plus a client unfriendly approach do not give me the feeling it is about ‘SOUL’ only so much in S2S. More revenge and retribution as communication style when not liking something. And that’s risky for a business I think.

Anyway, this is not a revenge blog or something. I wish them well with their business and stuff and don’t need S2S myself in any way to be perfectly happy in SL. It is more a surprise blog and shaking my head on the ever present strange behaviours in SL and how people here sometimes seem to become hard and rude over nothing. Not only S2S shows it, many other businesses as well. As if it dehumanises them, success and money. Maybe just like in RL? Losing touch with a more friendly and moderate approach? When I checked if I still was banned 2 weeks ago or so I noticed the ban still is active. And while I do not wish to ever rent at S2S again myself, it would block me to visit friends who would rent there and that’s not exactly promotion for the renters there is it? It actually works counterproductive even because I will not recommend renting at S2S at any of my contacts and I will also tell them why. And coincidence, fate or justice  . . .  but I truly do not know no anyone whom I would want to visit and rents at S2S.

The funny thing is it is very easy to bypass the ban if I want to and therefore also quite silly, like all bans in Second Life are pretty pointless. I only have to create an alt, activate my VPN and I can visit all S2S sims. Oh wait, what did I just say? I almost confessed to have 20 alts? Shit    . . . now my undercover existences are busted. Oh hello Minnie and Boone. Yes it’s me but you just don’t know . . .

 

Similar experiences

In case you think I am the only one and just trying to look innocent and victimise myself here . .. .  no, that’s not the case at all. I don’t mind I am banned and also don’t care how people ru(i)n their business here. I live remote and hardly socialise and need almost no one to feel happy. Even when alone I am utterly happy, because I am one of those hermits with an introverted lifestyle away from people. The main reason I decided to move to a personal sim is privacy, silence and total freedom in what I can create and do at that sim. Literally no one’s business than mine. And I know how recreating an existing house is not the most subtle way of choosing a living space, so I accept the consequence of that being seen as bad for who likes to look at it that way. All fine with me. I tried to do it with respect however and never intended any upset in the way it happened. But upset actually is something very different than hostile revenge and anger and I simply see no excuse for that in this case. Upset is genuinely being affected by feeling sad and disappointed more. This here all is just pride, honour, vengeance and ego.

S2S will survive my blog, because who am I anyway and no one can verify and confirm my story except maybe Linden Lab if they save all chats. I do not. The business is popular enough as well and SL fans who have an interest and pleasure in renting at S2S I all wish well. I also wish the owners well and do not aim to destruct anyone’s business. Why would I want that and what use would that be for me? I would feel bad and guilty if that would be the consequence. It would be really scary as well if one blog of one individual would have that power in SL. Wow  . . .   But no, of course destruction will be not the consequence. Such things mostly happen due to someone messing it up by themselves and maybe that’s the risk here a bit when being hostile in communication a little too often. . .

And yes I think it is okay to reflect on how things in SL so often become traps of bad communication, anger and pride. I took S2S as example because having a bad personal experience with them. There will be tons of other examples with other residents in other businesses. Some more than others maybe yes. And I actually do happen to know about several residents with similar S2S experiences, but there always will be more residents with good experiences. Well I hope, but I have no reason to think otherwise.

If already anyone from S2S would read this, they might want to consider how to improve their communication skills instead of starting wars against ghosts. To have some more temperance in how they deal with whatever touches their pride and listen to reason more than emotional impulse. And IF, just IF Terms of Service would change and would need me to delete the house after all, then fine. But threats are no Terms of Service. So by all means relax when shit happens or more clear, when supposed shit happens.

 

Boomerang effect

Telling my experiences most likely will work against myself more than against a business like S2S anyway. Because it is an isolated story with a few other isolated stories hardly anyone will see as relevant. It probably will be more something like . . . ‘Hey you caused this yourself you fool’.  Miss drama queen needing her ‘revenge’, what a poor girl. The boomerang effect. It is okay if you feel it like that. I know how my writings can be annoying or even infuriating when I choose to be critical on SL behaviours and that it looks as if I am an angel who never does anything wrong. And of course I am not an angel all the time. I only am 99.9 percent of the time  . . .   :P

But yes, I guess the point I am trying to make is that SL really is a very silly place. To see fights over prims is hilarious. As if it’s the ‘MY PRECIOUS’ ring from the Lord of the Rings that no one else shall posses or even touch. It’s al too silly for words and the fact lawyers are needed here for prim fights is kind of sad, right? It shows how money, like always, rules. Because every prim fight is about money eventually. How to have the biggest and exclusive benefits on a design. That will be battled at all costs by certain persons. And while I understand that a bit better if something is a true copy and also is commercialised to benefit from it, it is pathetic to see people fight over tiny details that only an obsessed brain can see as copyright infringement. You only have to look at the ‘Genus head’ battles for that I would say  . . .

I cannot really care on all that kind of stupid battles. It only makes me laugh and joke on it, while also sad of course because wow what people do to each other when into such battles. It is like believing you are an Emperor or Empress but actually are a servant of your own greed. A sugar coated greed of course, because Second Life is all about pink realities, denying the fuzzy edges. Keeping up appearances should have a SL version :P

 

The house . . . . which one, show us!!

Hahaha, you wish  . . .
Nope, that would be promotion and it was made clear to me that was unwished for.
I can tell you though that the house it concerns is on sale meanwhile. Not short after the threats it was rebuilt with S2S prims only. The original house had prims of another creator in it. Yes I inspected all. And shhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone because oh my goodness, the roof was not a completely unique S2S design and needed another creator’s skills and creative style. So no, I will not show it nor place a promotional link here. It would be seen as insult still most likely. Real smart investigators could discover it however. Not by visiting my sim no, because no longer public. But in another way ; )  Anyway, I offered promotion once, it was declined and I feel not like having to make up for anything and most certainly not when being banned. Ooh damn, is that pride? See, how infectious it is!! Second Life sooo sucks :P

P.S. 
Hardly anyone reads this blog anymore since I left social media (Facebook and Flickr), so I decreased my own options for ‘influencing’ opinions by sharing my own. I am a so called non-influencer. That’s a new trend. To be NOT in the centre of attention and reach as little people as possible. I am highly successful in that. No no no, don’t you dare to call that the equivalent of ‘loser’. I have lost nothing. I won back my independence from places where I never felt happy. The few that still read or stumble upon on my blog apparently appreciate it or are curious enough to read a few lines. Many do not read here anymore however after I stopped promoting it. All good, because it is about me liking it even so. Why?

My personal brain drain . . .
My own social media with the limitation of being the only individual who socialises with   . . . ermm  . . . herself.
It almost sounds narcissistic.
Calls the therapist for a consult.
Now I worry!

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