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Loss of No Copy Items due to landlord repossessing land


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I want to know what recourse, other than legal action, I can take for the return of my no copy items which were deleted or taken when the landlord repossessed the land I was renting.  I am a resident of the EU, I am well aware that they have recently expressed support for consumers and customers with regard to the ownership of virtual goods and the rights of the customers.  This is 10k L worth of items I am seeking to have reimbursed or returned.

 

For your additional information:

On the 31st of January 2012, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands found that items in the online game RuneScape had been stolen from a player. This is a ground-breaking case as it is the highest national court in the West to rule that taking virtual objects in this way is theft under national criminal law. This ruling may have broad implications for the online games industry.

 

The court ruled that:

  • Virtual items have value in virtual of the effort and time invested in obtaining them
  • The value in Virtual items is recognised by those that play the game (including the defendents who went to the trouble to take them)
  • The Virtual items were under the exclusive control of the player – who was relieved of this control
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If you leave land and don't take your items, or if you don't pay your rent on time and the land is reclaimed, the landowner can only send them back to you. They can't 'keep' them. Second Life isnt programmed that way. Chances are the items are all clumped together in your lost and found and you just need to go to a sandbox and rezz the clumps

I am sure there was a covenant for the land and the land owner has every right to reclaim the land if you do not follow the rules. If that is indeed the case, you have no recourse, only a lesson hopefully learned. Do not expect them to pay for your mistake.

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Whilst I appreciate that the landowner merely repossessed the land, they would also have been aware of the nature of the items on that land that did not belong to them.

 I did not say that they were kept, I said that the landlord knowingly caused the loss of those items.

Therefore they are liable for the return of either the items or their value.  In real life, if you rent a property, the landlord is not entitled to ownership of items you place in that property, or at least only up to the value of rent unpaid.  The European Union is saying that the same rights apply to virtual goods as they do to real goods.  I spent real money on those items, I have a right to the same consumer protection in a virtual world as I would in real life.

 

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Good luck with your court case.


But as suggested before I would check the coalesced objects first because the items may be in your inventory. I expect that is easier and will be cheaper than trying to pursue this through your courts. Infact, I doubt you will find any lawyers willing to take on a case of such complexity for such a small claim. But by all means try and let us know how you get on.

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The item's weren't deleted, your former landlord used the "return objects" command in the land options, expecting the items to be returned to your inventory. Unfortunatly this is a somewhat unreliable proces but that's not your former landlords fault. Like mentioned before often items are clustered together, showing in your inventory as a stack of boxes with the name of the last object added. 

Rezzing such an item in a sanbox should rezz everything added again so you can then take them back one by one. If you still miss items, just contact the creators in a friendly way, there's a chance they'll give you a replacement.

 

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It never ceases to amaze me the self entitled attitude people have when its they who made the mistake.

it is not the landowner who didnt  return your items, its the  computer program  that is Second Life, All the land owner can do is click 'return obkects owned by others' on the About Land. Itis the Second Life program that is responsible for the items finding their way backto you. Try sueing Linden Labs. The cost to file the suit is more than your items are worth.

If the landlord repossed the land for non payment, did you pay them what you owed for back rent?  If not, how come? They kept their end of the agreement when it seems you didn't keep your end. I think they would have the stronger case.

Do you REALLY think a land owner would/should/is going to leave someones items on a parcel waiting for them to be picked up? Many people  just leave SL and never return. It's standard operating procedure to   hit 'return' when  tkaing back land. There is no 'knowingly causing loss'. If you defaulted on the agreement, then they need to rerent that parcel and recover some of thelosses that YOU caused them.  If you couldnt keep up on your rent to the point that the land was reclaimed, thats your fault for not removing the items yourself intime, as is any losses resulting.

 

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The only way your items can be removed from your landlord's land is by your landlord returning them to you, at which point, they are no longer obligated to you for any reimbursement whatsoever.  If, in fact, you did not receive your items, it must certainly be an issue with SL itself.  And considering that they've been doing round after round of unscheduled maintenance on the inventory servers, it also wouldn't be at all surprising if that were indeed the case.  What you need to do is file a support ticket and maybe, just maybe, LL will be able to restore your lost inventory.

I wish you luck ...Dres

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I will check my inventory very carefully, but I'm saddened that this sort of behaviour doesn't raise more outrage in the SL community, you're happy to spend hard earned real money and see it all disappear at the whim of an unscrupulous landlord?

 

It's that sort of attitude which is allowing developers to get away with these over restrictive and blatantly despotic eula's in the first place.  Yes, I know, I read it before I signed too.  It's really about time some of these were scrutinised more publicly by consumer associations and highlighted for their unfairness.

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Well, it is quite simple to send an email to me.  I'm perfectly happy, willing and able to pay any rent owing.  Please don't tar me with the same brush as those people who renege on debts and disappear.

My ''sense of entitlement' as you so succinctly put it, comes from expecting the same recourse to justice, fairness and return of goods as I would in real life.  If that's being self entitled then I certainly am, thank you very much.  I understand this problem has been present for a long time and yet nothing has been done about it?  Either LL really don't care or people are keeping quiet about it.

Maybe it's about time they tweaked something so that items did actually return to the person who purchased them in the first place.

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Your anger is extremely misdirected. You want so badly to blame the landowner when they have nothing to do with it.

Especially in light of your lack of detail in regard to why the land was reclaimed, it sounds like you are likely the one to blame for the items needing to be returned by landowner in the first place.

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The landlord repossessed the land knowing I had no copy items on there, knowing that they would most likely disappear into the ether.  

They did not email me about the repossession, I don't log in regularly, perhaps once a week, a simple reminder that rent would expire on such and such a date would have done.

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It seems fairly simple to me, the landlord repossessed the land at short notice, causing me to lose items of some value which were no copy and have not reappeared in my inventory.  As I said before, I'm perfectly happy, willing and able to pay the 3 days rent owed, but this action seemed extreme and unwarranted to me.  I would like my items returned or their value reimbursed.

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KatTruewalker wrote:

The landlord repossessed the land knowing I had no copy items on there, knowing that they would most likely disappear into the ether.  

They did not email me about the repossession, I don't log in regularly, perhaps once a week, a simple reminder that rent would expire on such and such a date would have done.

I see.  While a reminder would have been generous, the landlord was under no obligation to do so.  It is your obligation to pay rent as you agreed when you acquired the property.  Your failure to do so put the landlord in this position.  I am assuming that he did not foreclose the minute after the rent expired.  How many hours/days did the property remain unusable because you left your items on his land rendering it unrentable?  The landlord did what any landlord in SL would do, return the items, and attempt to gain another tennant, because they have a landlord to whom they are obligated, namely Linden Lab.  Nothing unscrupulous about that.     

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KatTruewalker wrote:

I want to know what recourse, other than legal action, I can take for the return of my no copy items which were deleted or taken when the landlord repossessed the land I was renting.  I am a resident of the EU, I am well aware that they have recently expressed support for consumers and customers with regard to the ownership of virtual goods and the rights of the customers.  This is 10k L worth of items I am seeking to have reimbursed or returned.

 

For your additional information:

On the 31st of January 2012, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands found that items in the online game RuneScape had been stolen from a player. This is a ground-breaking case as it is the highest national court in the West to rule that taking virtual objects in this way is theft under national criminal law. This ruling may have broad implications for the online games industry.

 

The court ruled that:
  • Virtual items have value in virtual of the effort and time invested in obtaining them
  • The value in Virtual items is recognised by those that play the game (including the defendents who went to the trouble to take them)
  • The Virtual items were under the exclusive control of the player – who was relieved of this control

You are ommiting some salient facts here. 

 

  1. This involved as I recall a Dutch boy who was threatenned by another Dutch boy (or boys) at knifepoint (link) in the Netherlands.  All the Court did was rule that Virtaul Goods had value the same as if it had been for instance a piece of Jewelry that had been stolen.
  2. When you agreed to the TOS you agreed to be bound by the laws of the State of California concerning Second Life.  You acknowledged, putting it briefly, that you play at your own risk.  In general, in International law, Courts rule according to the laws that you agreed to be bound by in a dispute.
  3. The way the permission system works in SL, your Land Lord could not "take" your property.  If he cleared the land, No Copy items would have been returned to you. 
  4. The one caveat would be No Copy items that you deeded to the land/group.  When you deed a no copy item you are given clear warning that you could lose them.  When you deed something, what people fail to understand is that OWNERSHIP CHANGES.  You handed over deed to the property to the land group.

 

Lastly, on a side note, many people don't understand or miss the fact that with some limitations, any one in a group can mess with any object deeded to the group. 

 

eta:clarity

 

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I normally don't respond to the rare lashing out by unhappy former tenants. However, seeing as the only  response I recieved from Kat after THREE messages to her, letting her know her  rent was in arrears. was a link to her posting here, I am happy to give the details she has failed to.

We are very generous with our grace period when a tenant falls into arrears, especially if they communicate with us during it. Our rent boxes send remindersdaily  that rent is soon due 3 days before it expires and then daily to tell them it is in arrears.  After 4 days of rent being in the red and 3  more messages from me personally to her having gone unanswered, we reclaimed the land, hit return on the land to return the items and set it back up for rent. Tenants sometimes leave SL or move to a different land and don't feel the need to tell us or respond.  I do more than needed to attempt to contact them, as I did Kat.

To assume that a landowner knows, looks or is required to look to see if any objects on the land are no copy, is absurd.

As we all know, the excuses of only logging in once a week and/or not recieving IM's to email, is the tenants choosing and does not abscond them from keeping current if they want to retain their land.. It is the tenants responsiblilty when they agree to the covenant, to maintain their rent payments or have the land reclaimed. As with most covenants, ours also has a clause stipulating that objects lost upon return are not our responsibility. A covenant is a contract that is agreed to.


I also sent a private message to Kat after she sent me this link, explaining how to clear inventory cache and check for coalesced objects.Also that if she had kept her rent current or had at least responded to one of my messages, she would have avoided this dilemna.  I also asked if she intended to pay for the rent owed.

Again, she did not bother to reply.

 I wish Kat much luck and happiness in her Second  Life adventures.

 

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I just want to clarify that I did not deed any of the items to a group.  They belonged to me solely.  They have not been returned to my inventory.

 

Regarding the Dutch Supreme Court ruling, the company concerned was a UK based company and the goods were virtual and removed from the control of the player without his consent i.e theft.

The EU subsequently went on to consider the rights of consumers with regard to existing legislation and subsequently concluded that where the eula/T&C were vague or not providing sufficient protection to the consumer, then EU directives might overrule those T&C.

China, South Korea and residents of several other countries have also sought to challenge unfair eulas.

 

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Thank you very much for replying here, where I can actually receive and read the message.  I'm not going to get into a long debate with you about the i'm's and how much notice i received.  You were offline when i sent the original im and I have yet to read your advice on clearing cache etc. I am unable to reply or read these messages, unless I am actually logged in to SL.

I am more than happy to pay the rent owed as I did on the last occasion, also pay in advance as I did before.  However the items are definitely not in my inventory, I have checked my purchase history and the value is 10k L.

As the entity who hit that return button, who else would be responsible?

As I have received some helpful replies from this thread, I will now raise a ticket with Linden Labs and see if i can get the items returned that way.

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KatTruewalker wrote:

I just want to clarify that I did not deed any of the items to a group.  They belonged to me solely.  They have not been returned to my inventory.

 

Regarding the Dutch Supreme Court ruling, the company concerned was a UK based company and the goods were virtual and removed from the control of the player without his consent i.e theft.

The EU subsequently went on to consider the rights of consumers with regard to existing legislation and subsequently concluded that where the eula/T&C were vague or not providing sufficient protection to the consumer, then EU directives might overrule those T&C.

China, South Korea and residents of several other countries have also sought to challenge unfair eulas.

 

The issue in that case was not WHERE the goods were located but whether or not they had Value.  It only was coincidental they were located elsewhere.

If you came into my house and forced me to give you the log in information to my bank accounts, you would be prosecuted here where I live, not where my bank is located. (My bank happens to be located in a different place than I live). 

Additionally there is nothing vague about what has happenned here or the rules.

I do hope you are able to recover your goods but you are barking up the wrong tree with the rest of your complaint.

 

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The point was... those virtual goods had value and they were the property of the young man who lost them, the company tried to argue that as they were virtual, they remained the property of Runescape.  The court determined otherwise.

 

My point being that the goods lost belong to me and removal of those goods without my consent may be deemed as theft.  I think this is very pertinent given that people invest a great deal of hard earned money into virtual goods, don't you?

 

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