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Recent TOS changes cripples not just 3rd party L$ exchange, but creators business.

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Basically, 3rd party L$ exchange is not allowed anymore.

http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2013/05/linden-dollar-terms-of-service-change.html

I say we need something else but PayPal. Russians are banned from PayPal cash outCheapest workaround to withdraw money from it would cost 11% with ~2 days wait time.

Of course we have wire transfer, but paying 25$ for doing it, creating support ticket for each transfer and waiting 7-14 days is quite of a mess.

How about WebMoney ?

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I'm confused. I have just read the TOS:

  "5.3 There are other exchanges that are operated by third parties on which Linden dollars are exchanged.

Third party exchanges are not authorized by Linden Lab and Buying or Selling Linden dollars on third party exchanges are not authorized transactions. Third party exchanges are wholly distinct from both the LindeX exchange and Linden Lab and they have no affiliation with Linden Lab. We do not endorse or otherwise guarantee the legitimacy of the Linden dollar transfers offered on them, and we are not liable for purchases of such Linden dollars. Buying or Selling Linden dollars anywhere other than the LindeX is done so solely at your own risk. If you Buy Linden dollars that are traced to unauthorized credit card activity or other fraudulent activity, we will recoup these Linden dollars from your Account. The only authorized exchange is the LindeX."


Where does it say they are not allowed anymore?

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As we discussed here in the merchant forums in the Rodvik thread back in March, the new restrictions set forth by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network re-classify the way LL has to deal with its virtual currency.

You can see from changes in the TOS recently that LL will not be accepting any liability for their currency from anyone but themselves, and liability to themselves at a bare minimum.

Stick a fork in third party exchanges, they're done.

As for LL offering more payment processors to their offering, it's doubtful, but you can surely run it by them.

To the outside world, this is mostly about Bitcoin. However, FinCEN and other agencies make no such distinction ... virtual currency is virtual currency.

Forbes is projecting now that virtual currency will be on the IRS radar for specific regulation if it isn't already. http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2013/05/02/irs-takes-a-bite-out-of-bitcoin/

Agree a wire transfer is too costly and clunky for many merchants, but alternate payment processors are doubtful at this point.

Related to LL and non U.S. processing is this: http://www.dragonfishtech.com/news-events/2009-archive/articles/second-life.htm

Let's just say that LL is not good with exposing the details of these "user licenses" and "tokens". Section 5.1 of the TOS is becoming obsolete.

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In addition to what being said above, I heard that they sent official letters to everybody who did exchange L$ stating that they must delete all their money receiving thingies. (they sent this letter to my friend who was involved in those activities, so yep, they're dead)

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Evony Silverblade wrote:

I'm confused.

 

You're far from the only one, the blog post said they were not allowed, the exchanges are currently largely closed and it looks like they are indeed dead.

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There are probably some differences in the requirements for handling card payments between the US and Europe. There are options used here which I have never seen used by US companies. Does that mean the USA is less secure? I don't know. But I have done business with US companies, and seen how their handling of the card payment process works, and judged by that experience, Linden Labs is not well run.

A Europe-based alternative exchange with clear starements of the real-world payment I would make and the L$ I would receive before I clicked the button, and operating with the European levels of security checks, looks enormously more reliable than the LindeX. It makes the blog-post claims about being the safer option look rather hollow. And if the TOS fancy-footwork about Linden Dollars being really valueless licences/tokens can't fend off the US government, why bother trying?

The way Linden Research is willing to deny all responsibility for supply of the services we think we are paying for. it just feels wrong. They're lucky they're subject to US law: most of the TOS would be unenforceable in Europe.

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WolfBaginski Bearsfoot wrote:

There are probably some differences in the requirements for handling card payments between the US and Europe. There are options used here which I have never seen used by US companies. Does that mean the USA is less secure? I don't know. But I have done business with US companies, and seen how their handling of the card payment process works, and judged by that experience, Linden Labs is not well run.

A Europe-based alternative exchange with clear starements of the real-world payment I would make and the L$ I would receive before I clicked the button, and operating with the European levels of security checks, looks enormously more reliable than the LindeX. It makes the blog-post claims about being the safer option look rather hollow.
And if the TOS fancy-footwork about Linden Dollars being really valueless
licences/tokens can't fend off the US government, why bother trying?

The way Linden Research is willing to deny all responsibility for supply of the services we think we are paying for. it just feels wrong. They're lucky they're subject to US law: most of the TOS would be unenforceable in Europe.

 No where in the TOS are Linden Dollars called Valueless.  Rather, their value is quite clearly stated:

 

5.1 Each Linden dollar is a virtual token representing contractual permission from Linden Lab to access features of the Service.

 

The TOS then goes on to explain how you can obtain, dispose of and / or use these Virtual Tokens.

While there are limits placed on their use, they are still not Valueless.

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"5.1 Each Linden dollar is a virtual token representing contractual permission from Linden Lab to access features of the Service."

Meanwhile most of the rest of the world says that the value of any product or service is equal (or greater due to things like potential lose of income, etc.) to the money paid into it.

Whether by a choice of morality and good business or government regulation, it will be nice to eventually get to the place where $10 USD worth of L$ is worth .... well, $10 USD.

LL may define it as they wish. Government is beginning to say the same rules apply in any world.

Then again, merchants have always known their goods, work and the L$ are worth the real money put into and taken out of it.

It will be nice when we're finally validated and protected by the same laws as everyone else.

It's a shame that yet another business opportunity like third party exchanges have to be victims of LL's acquisitions and liability dodges in the process,and the difficulties it will make for some people to cash out, though.

But on the bright side, LL will now have some extra millions of money/L$ passing through their hands directly and can perhaps buy a new CEO that will bring us more than Linden Realms, pathfinding, disfunctional chat in a new wrapper, less data centers and new products such as childrens software masquerading as creativity tools.

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just for the record, i am not defending LL's action.

just stating the facts as i see it.

the problem as i see it is government intrusion into our lives in the name of 'fraud, crime & terrorist control.'

their intrusion into our personal lives is a fraud all of its own.

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Correct me if I am wrong but LL still retains the right to dip into our checking accounts and credit cards for mone we allegedly own them and if they have this ablility it would seem that they also have the ability to transfer money into those acounts from here if they choose to do so.  Also as I recall the IRS only requires that deposits above 10 000 usd be reported by banks so there really is no impediment to the relatively minor amounts of money LL generally is transfering.


It will be interesting to see how if at all LL deals with this issue, and I would guess that in the end we will learn if the integrity of its management is any better than the quality of its programming.

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To be honest, this change of the TOS is the next step to make the hole Second life more and more uncomfy for a lot of users, so also for a lot of customers from merchants.

 

Why? Thats quite easy.

In the US, may be the people are used to give there payment accounts like Credit Card number, paypal or.... on request in the internet. I don´t know. I just know, that in Europ, it realy needs some more trustment that someone will give this kind of infos to a company from the US. 

So what will happen? a lot of NEwcomers to SL will get frustrated soon, when they see, that they have no other way than to give lindens there bank account infos.... ohh i forgot, they even don´t accept it for Europeans, as they just accept credit card, or paypal.

This means that most of there users are just able to get money in SL, if they trust Lindens, an american Comany, were most European will not trust on the first moment.

And you can discuss about Laws and so on, what might be the reason why they had do decide this way, sorry, thats nonsens, as they run this game, and so the give the rules.

 

The only real reason i could see for this change in there TOS is just, that they are yealous on the money the 3rd party companies earn with there policy. But to be honest, i think that all the 3rd party companis who cared till now for the money exchanges still earned there money, cause of the services you get, the change rate and so on.

And now, Linden is able to set up an exchange rate, that everyone has to accept, as they have the monopol than, with the exchange rate. But im sure, that this is one of the next steps to get rid of a lot of useres. And when you think about all the decisions they made during the last years, i realy more and more get the impression, that there goal is realy to get rid of most of the useres

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Does anyone find it ironic that a couple of years ago when Phil Linden created the Love Machine one of his stated goals was to create an electronic world currency similar to the Linden.  I guess that plan is no longer operative.

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Here's all I have to say about this.... 

 

Dear Linden Lab, **bleep** YOU! I can't transfer lindens through the services that put it RIGHT in my paypal? I have to wait for yalls bull**bleep** service where I MIGHT get it in a WEEK!??? Yall realize people LIVE off our SL income? And now im pretty much **bleep**ED! So that's GREAT. Thank you Linden Lab ill be applying for a job with wizards of the coast this evening if I get it I'M DONE. Sorry but I can't have my family depend on my Second Life stores as our ONLY current income if LL is going to pull some **bleep** like this like I AM CRYING right now.... idk what we're going to do now honestly...

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lol I'm trying just a bit scared... This is going to hurt many people's RL income... I know it's definately going to affect mine :(

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I'm in the same boat Lexi. My only real income is secondlife. My only method of pulling money out of secondlife was through Virwox... (Or occasionally through a friend as an intermediary.) The problem however is that FinCEN doesn't make the laws, they only enforce them.. and their re-interperetation has not been proven in court. I guess LL doesn't want to be the one to test those laws. Well, I think that pretty much puts a damper on any commissions I do.. I can no longer take L$ as a currency.

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Lullala Lane wrote:

 

The only real reason i could see for this change in there TOS is just, that they are yealous on the money the 3rd party companies earn with there policy. But to be honest, i think that all the 3rd party companis who cared till now for the money exchanges still earned there money, cause of the services you get, the change rate and so on.

 

It appears that LL is reacting to recent banking laws in the only way they can.  Has nothing to do with jealousy.

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Lullala Lane wrote:

To be honest, this change of the TOS is the next step to make the hole Second life more and more uncomfy for a lot of users, so also for a lot of customers from merchants.

 

Why? Thats quite easy.

In the US, may be the people are used to give there payment accounts like Credit Card number, paypal or.... on request in the internet. I don´t know. I just know, that in Europ, it realy needs some more trustment that someone will give this kind of infos to a company from the US. 

So what will happen? a lot of NEwcomers to SL will get frustrated soon, when they see, that they have no other way than to give lindens there bank account infos.... ohh i forgot, they even don´t accept it for Europeans, as they just accept credit card, or paypal.

This means that most of there users are just able to get money in SL, if they trust Lindens, an american Comany, were most European will not trust on the first moment.

Let me get this straight.  You say euro's don't trust a US company with their payment info and so won't use the Lindex to buy and sell L's, yet you expect LL to trust a euro company that you want to use as an exchange and leave themselves open to legal prosecution and liability of that euro company does something illegal?  Where is the logic in that?  

And you can discuss about Laws and so on, what might be the reason why they had do decide this way, sorry, thats nonsens, as they run this game, and so the give the rules.

The only real reason i could see for this change in there TOS is just, that they are yealous on the money the 3rd party companies earn with there policy. But to be honest, i think that all the 3rd party companis who cared till now for the money exchanges still earned there money, cause of the services you get, the change rate and so on.

And now, Linden is able to set up an exchange rate, that everyone has to accept, as they have the monopol than, with the exchange rate. But im sure, that this is one of the next steps to get rid of a lot of useres. And when you think about all the decisions they made during the last years, i realy more and more get the impression, that there goal is realy to get rid of most of the useres

LL is a US company and MUST comply with US laws. They don't set the rules when it comes to things such as this.  Congress makes the laws and the treasury department sets the rules under the law. LL must comply, whether you like it or not.  Since apparently they could be in a lot of legal trouble if they allow exchanges and help them by allowing them to use SL software as conduit for that exchange.  If it turns out that something illegal was going on, I can't say as I blame them for not wanting to open themselves to legal prosecution and accept the liability of having to pay people back.  I doubt LL did this on a whim as they stand to lose a lot of money if people in other countries can't buy and sell L's.  They stand to lose a lot more than they gain, if your claim is true that euro's won't buy L's anymore.   They'd be shooting themselves in their own foot doing that.  LL is known for the poor decisions they sometimes make but I doubt even they would be so bone headed.  You can't have it both ways and say that LL will lose a lot of money because of euro attitudes but gain a lot of profit from forcing them to use the lindex instead of third party exchanges. 
So again, where is the logic in your assertions?


 

 

 

 

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I just read that blog, does make sense and I HOPE that is why LL has changed things and not just to get more money out of us. :/ It still sucks tho! lol Really feel bad for those who are not in the USA and can not utalize paypal for transfers :( 

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I cater to store owners in sl... they can't cash out... they don't buy my products to sell... i lose income..

 

I'm already seeing a drop in sales :(

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Yeah I'm scared of that too Alex *hugs you!!* Pretty sure all us full perm sellers are going to see a HUGE drop cause what like half of my customers are non usa.... so like... yeah im TERRIFIED right now :( Just got done applying for a job with Zynga and Jagex :/

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Is PayPal not a global service? I've always used LL's Lindex service and have never had to wait more than 4 days from selling my lindens to it being deposited into my PayPal account so I'm trying to understand the impact for so many.

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Perrie Juran wrote:

just for the record, i am not defending LL's action.

just stating the facts as i see it.

the problem as i see it is government intrusion into our lives in the name of 'fraud, crime & terrorist control.'

their intrusion into our personal lives is a fraud all of its own.

Belated response ... I wasn't thinking you were defending LL. I also share your dislike of government intrusion.

On this one though ... when LL tries to bear zero responsibility for well, just about anything it's a case of a company pretty much exploiting loopholes in order to make up their own business rules.

LL has never learned (or cared to learn) about the difference between having a winning product and doing "that" as opposed to playing masters of the universe and turning maximized monetization into science.

Some companies need to monetize and those that do tend to be competitors in saturated market. It's the lowest common denominator in the startup world. If it's not innovative enough or really "all that" as a product, or something like yet another game in an app store it needs to monetize.

SL never, ever needed that. It was once an innovation in virtual worlds and successfully out-competed and won. Their monetization above and beyond an already expensive service was pure greed and ignorance of a how to do business when you've actually got a product on your hands.

When I couldn't cash out money that I earned because LL wouldn't approve my limit, when people get billed multiple times for marketplace "enhancements", when we pay for 3 premium accounts which LL happily processes and flags the credit card after the fact? Then yes, government regulation that requires virtual currency to be treated as real money is required.

LL had 10 years to take responsibility for this stuff and create the type of business environment that merchants, solution providers, land barons, companies and universities expected. Instead, their takeaway on both LL's new products and the chairman of the LL board Phil Rosedale projects decide that the monetization of people and what they produce or provide is more important than the product.

It's about time for a little government intervention. Mitch Kapor once called us the wild west and early but troublesome adopters. All along it's been LL skirting these issues that have brought the unsavory wild west bits to business.

A couple of years ago I'd said to watch that as LL declines, they'd continue to cannibalize bits of SL. Seeing this as a regulatory excuse to do just that and still claim no responsibility to the end user that currency people pay for has real value because it was ummm ... paid for with real money.

License to use parts of the service indeed. Dunce hat to LL in 5.1 of the TOS that states L$ are a license and not providing any license. Sorry your honor, we forgot.

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Lexi Zelin wrote:

I just read that blog, does make sense and I HOPE that is why LL has changed things and not just to get more money out of us.
:/
It still sucks tho! lol Really feel bad for those who are not in the USA and can not utalize paypal for transfers
:(
 

Which countries do not allow Paypal?  Apparently European ones do. http://community.secondlife.com/t5/General-Discussion-Forum/Hey-LL-the-Lindex-has-no-instant-cashout/td-p/1997089/page/2

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