Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Next Big Drama

I'm going to attempt a little prognostication. (Note that I'm not referring to all Open Space landlords here!) I'm going to say that the next group of residents screaming and yelling will be legitimate victims of the great Open Space Land Barons - in addition to the Artists, Education Representatives, Not for Profits and those of us who actually buy and use Open Spaces for their intended purposes. Those new victims I'll call the Pseudo-Owners.

Imagine if you will that you enter Second Life and want to buy land - but an island (which is appealing) is pretty expensive. Along comes your friendly real estate tycoon who offers to buy an open space for you - they can do that because they own a full prim island - so it's not a problem for them. You just have to pay L$20,000 up front and then enough every month to cover tier plus some so they make their money back. You go on the land profile as the owner and get full god-like powers - well it's your island.

Then the OS price increase arrives and all these Open Space Land Barons decide to protest by abandoning their open spaces. They can do that because all the money it cost them to have the OS created has been paid to them by the "new owner". So it's annoying but it won't cost them anything to abandon it (except the loss of future revenue which they don't expect to get anyway because of the tier increase).

It gets abandoned and suddenly you - the supposed owner - discover that you don't actually own your island. You were a tenant - you had no rights and no ownership in that land. In fact, you realize, the real owner could have kicked you out at any time and you would have had no recourse.

I suspect there will be more of these Pseudo-Owners than we can guess. And they will be justifiably angry (no matter how many times somebody points out that if they weren't paying tier directly to Linden Labs then they weren't the owner). And it's going to be loud. I think at least some of them will go after their landlords in rl.

PS - There was a lot of speculation in the Concierge Group that the LL were doing this to eliminate competition from places like Nautilus. They also couldn't understand why Nautilus prices were going so high. Let me suggest that Nautilus offers something that those Open Space Land Barons don't - in addition to a good build, Nautilus offers community. Something to be prized in any universe.

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