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Gistya Eusebio

Sim Owners: How to Protect Against Your Build Getting Returned By Sim Managers / Builders

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In this post I will describe how a sim owner can protect themselves against all their stuff getting returned, how to properly interact with builders that are working on your sim, how to empower sim managers without endangering yourself, etc.

I'm a roleplay sim owner. I had my sim built by someone in exchange for me renting them land. Then later they returned the build and screwed me over. Later I had another build done and bought it via parcel transfer to protect myself, however parts of it did not transfer over due some no-transfer contents. Other parts of the build came over as no-copy, so I can't even back-up the build to my inventory. It all made me wonder, how could I have done things differently from the beginning? 

• Use real-life contact information and use a real-life contract when dealing with a builder. This protects both of you from a case where one person does not follow through with payment or provision of service.

• Pay your builder. That way they have a real incentive. Don't pay them prior to the build being done. (See below.) 

• Consider using a real-life escrow service with technical verification to provide payment. You put  money into escrow for the builder. The builder then does the build without payment. Then the escrow service verifies that the build has been done according to the agreed-upon specifications. Lastly the escrow service pays the builder once they have transferred the build into your name. 

• At the very least, use a parcel transfer with objects to pay the builder. Put the parcel in their name then have them sell you the parcel with objects included in the sale. That way they don't get paid until the build is fully in your name. 

• Own your build. When you hire a builder, specify to them that you need to be the owner of all the prims at the end of the day. If they are not OK with that, then you need to realize that they can simply remove the build at any time, and there is nothing you can do about it if they choose to screw you over (short of suing them).

• Own a copiable version of your build. Hire the builder on the condition that they build everything in such a way that it will be at least copy-mod to the next owner. That way if you want to make adjustments to the build or take a back-up copy to your inventory, you can do so.

• Don't give anyone return rights to group objects or mod-rights to your objects (i.e. your build) unless you absolutely trust that person. If they have mod-rights they can royally screw you over. Return rights can also screw you because there is no way to easily re-rez something in the exact same place it was. By "absolutely trust" I mean, this person needs to be someone that you know in real life and ideally you have a contract with them in which they agree not to return any of your build.

• Ideally, use a script to enable sim managers to only return objects that are not owned by you. With the latest scripting methods, you can actually have a scripted object set up that your sim managers to return objects set to group except it won't allow them to return any prims that belong to you, the sim owner. That way you can give a sim manager return rights so they can deal with renters, etc., without having to worry about them returning your whole build. 

• Don't let anyone build major areas of your sim without a structured agreement around it (as described above) so that you can be protected from a situation where they decide to remove the build without warning and you are left with major parts of your sim missing or gone. 

I really hope that you don't suffer what I've had to go through. Protect yourself. I wish someone would have told me all this when I first got into being a sim owner so that I wouldn't be stuck with a largely no-copy build that I can't back up. LindenLabs gives you no way to back-up your sim; the only thing you can do is basically back up your terrain file to your local hard drive, and save any copiable objects to your inventory. 

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Gistya Eusebio wrote:

In this post I will describe how a sim owner can protect themselves against all their stuff getting returned, how to properly interact with builders that are working on your sim, how to empower sim managers without endangering yourself, etc.

I'm a roleplay sim owner. I had my sim built by someone in exchange for me renting them land. Then later they returned the build and screwed me over. Later I had another build done and bought it via parcel transfer to protect myself, however parts of it did not transfer over due some no-transfer contents. Other parts of the build came over as no-copy, so I can't even back-up the build to my inventory. It all made me wonder, how could I have done things differently from the beginning? 

• Use real-life contact information and use a real-life contract when dealing with a builder. This protects both of you from a case where one person does not follow through with payment or provision of service.

A good chunk of the builders you will run across will not go for such a set up and will likely (and rightly so) tell you off for suggesting such a thing.

• Pay your builder. That way they have a real incentive. Don't pay them prior to the build being done. (See below.) 

This is simply common sense.

• Consider using a real-life escrow service with technical verification to provide payment. You put  money into escrow for the builder. The builder then does the build without payment. Then the escrow service verifies that the build has been done according to the agreed-upon specifications. Lastly the escrow service pays the builder once they have transferred the build into your name. 

I'm sorry - what are you smoking? No real life escrow service is going to touch Second Life with a three mile pole.

• At the very least, use a parcel transfer with objects to pay the builder. Put the parcel in their name then have them sell you the parcel with objects included in the sale. That way they don't get paid until the build is fully in your name. 

A convoluted method that is frankly not required if you use common sense.

• Own your build. When you hire a builder, specify to them that you need to be the owner of all the prims at the end of the day. If they are not OK with that, then you need to realize that they can simply remove the build at any time, and there is nothing you can do about it if they choose to screw you over (short of suing them).

You are hiring a builder within Second Life to construct a virtual building for you. They own the IP rights to the design unless you have explicitly bought those rights from the builder. A law suit is not an option and quite frankly any judge worth their salt would laugh such a case out of court.

• Own a copiable version of your build. 
Hire the builder on the condition that they build everything in such a way that it will be at least copy-mod to the next owner. That way if you want to make adjustments to the build or take a back-up copy to your inventory, you can do so.

Most builders will make a copiable/modifiable build for you.

• Don't give anyone return rights to group objects or mod-rights to your objects (i.e. your build) unless you absolutely trust that person. If they have mod-rights they can royally screw you over. Return rights can also screw you because there is no way to easily re-rez something in the exact same place it was. By "absolutely trust" I mean, this person needs to be someone that you know in real life and ideally you have a contract with them in which they agree not to return any of your build.

Lets see here: Using a third party viewer, you 
can
re-rez an object or coalesced object back out to its exact position. Using the criteria that one 
must
know those to whom edit or return rights have been given in real life is utterly absurd and paranoid.

• Ideally, use a script to enable sim managers to only return objects that are not owned by you. With the latest scripting methods, you can actually have a scripted object set up that your sim managers to return objects set to group except it won't allow them to return any prims that belong to you, the sim owner. That way you can give a sim manager return rights so they can deal with renters, etc., without having to worry about them returning your whole build. 

Sim/Estate level managers should not be hampered by a script system. If you do not trust a user with that sort of responsibility, do not make them a sim/estate manager.

• Don't let anyone build major areas of your sim without a structured agreement around it (as described above) so that you can be protected from a situation where they decide to remove the build without warning and you are left with major parts of your sim missing or gone. 

This falls under common sense.

I really hope that you don't suffer what I've had to go through. Protect yourself. I wish someone would have told me all this when I first got into being a sim owner so that I wouldn't be stuck with a largely no-copy build that I can't back up. LindenLabs gives you no way to back-up your sim; the only thing you can do is basically back up your terrain file to your local hard drive, and save any copiable objects to your inventory. 

 

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