And then there are those other Lindens…

What was so very upsetting about the massive layoff of 1/3 of the Linden workforce almost a year ago was not just the number, although it was large enough to grab attention by itself. What came as a shock was the departure of the Lindens we knew — the good guys, the ones on our team, the ones who understood Second Life and demonstrated that as quirky as SL residents tend to be, we had their respect and understanding.  They gave a human face to Linden Lab. That was a real blow to many of us. LL became this faceless Corporation.

Slowly some other good people have emerged to take their places. I won’t name names here, because given LL’s obsession with secrecy and anonymity, it might not serve a Linden well to be identified as one who interacts with residents. 

I am one of those who has been “foolish” enough, according to some, to invest heavily in SL.  I quit my teaching position to run my store full time. I just bought a fourth sim. And so, some might assume, as one other merchant did recently, that I am a large merchant with some kind of influence.

My response: ppfft. There are no large merchants, as far as LL is concerned. We just don’t pay enough tier (marketplace commissions are peanuts). And my merchandise is about as high prim as it gets — furnishings and homes, most rezzed at all times, so I pay about as much tier as any merchant is going to. But no I don’t have any clout at all, as was demonstrated recently when some anonymous Linden on the IP Team decided he was perfectly willing to break the law and withdraw my valid DMCA without my consent — and then procede to ignore my emails. He knew I was utterly powerless. And who would ever know anyway?

He assumed there was no one around for me to turn to for help.

But he forgot about those other Lindens — the ones who understand what we are doing here and why.  The ones who believe they are ultimately here to serve SL’s residents.

The first thing I did when I discovered that I was being stonewalled was to email the only Linden I know who has any idea who I am. I explained the situation briefly and asked if s/he knew who I could contact for help.  I emailed the IP Team again and CCed CEO Rod Humble.  I IMed a couple of Lindens I saw in the Concierge group. I called Linden Lab and left a message for Lisa Berry, LL general counsel (and very likely to be aware that no Linden is legally qualified to withdraw a DMCA on the filer’s behalf).

I got one response, from that one Linden I had emailed. And that Linden simply told me that the the IP Team had in fact received my emails and would be responding to them ASAP.

That’s all — but I nearly cried with relief. Until then I felt like I was shouting into some huge void.

And a couple of hours later, I got an email from the still-anonymous IP Team Linden saying he/she was sorry for the misunderstanding and that I could just reply to the email to confirm that I wanted the takedown to occur.*

I don’t know if general counsel Lisa Berry also contacted the IP Team to ask them what the deal was — why is this woman saying you illegally declined to do a takedown upon receipt of her valid DMCA?  But I do know that because the Linden I emailed took the time to ask the IP Team what was up with ignoring my emails, their behavior was no longer a secret.  At least one person at LL knew what they were doing. And that’s all it takes.

*As of this writing, no takedown has occurred, and in fact the infringer continues to list more items — and yes, with my content.

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