Conflict of Interests?

Last night I had an unpleasant surprise. An e-mail from Linden Lab. Not telling me that I had been banned or suspended from SL (thank Goodness), but informing me that I had inventory that infringed Intellectual Property rights. Not simply that, but they had removed said infringing item from my inventory.

Now, to my mind this creates an unwelcome precdent:
1) Linden Lab have (or reserve to themselves) the right to open and plunder my inventory on the pretext of removing infringing items. I wonder what other pretexts they might use next time?
2) They told me the Name of the item (which is a mystery to me, since I’d never seen it in my inventory anyway), but not from where, i.e. what item, they had removed it. Since I don’t know where it was, I have no idea which merchant/vendor to avoid in future.

This seems ham-fisted at best. I applaud the fact that LL are, it would seem, defending IP rights of creators, but not in the way that they are doing it. If I knew in advance about this I would have been perfectly happy to delete said item or have them take it. To have them do it clandestinely as they have seems utterly idiotic, since I cannot avoid a merchant I cannot identify.

Attempts to get some clarification from LL via Live Chat with Sandra Ontyne was pointless, since she failed utterly to answer any of my questions (which, I might add, I phrased politely), and so far a ticket I have raised on the matter, giving detailed account of the e-mail received, has been unanswered, though that is hardly surprising. On past performance, I will not be holding my breath waiting for a response.

I know that LL regard us as mere “users” and not genuine “customers”, but this action seems high-handed, if in principle laudable. I suppose I should not be surprised.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on September 23, 2010.

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