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Posted (edited)

 

I have a recently growing confussion regarding Second Life's meanings when it comes to Advertisement and Branding and hopefully an official source could put light onto the subject.

Recently there has been plently of mentions regarding advertisement and commercial activities on Linden Lab official things like Linden Home Covenants and SL16B Guidelines.

 

What I understand on these is that branding is being seen as commercial advertisement, but is not exactly clear. For example:

Recent changes to Linden Homes covenant as described by Patch linden: "As a note of clarification and to call out a specific use case example:  If a content creator is using a Linden Home as a display model to feature content they’ve created specifically for a Linden Home, this by itself is ok.  What you may not do is put up signage on the parcel that advertises it, your store, brand, redirect people away from the home for purchases, etc.  You can not sell items off your parcel.  What you can do is direct people to your Linden Home as a demonstrator of your creations from elsewhere (your main store or marketplace listings).  Also, the little cafe/pub type places that have popped up are really awesome and fun, but should also follow the same sorts of guidelines."

SL16B Exhibitor Policies: " Your display at the event should not be commercial. Exhibits promoting buying and selling of goods and services do not fit in with our policies and theme. Any part of an exhibit that violates this rule will be removed. While commerce is a very important part of SL, this is a party, not a mall or sales fair. No selling is allowed and no advertising will be permitted. "

What does the word brand means for Linden Lab and what exactly falls under advertisement?

 

It is extremely common in Second Life for users to advertise a variety of things in many ways. The most clear way of advertising would be using logos with messages that would direct others to either visit a location, a website, open a group, etc, often of stores or content creators, but the problem starts when they also advertise groups that are not exactly identified as stores or paid services. They can be advertising groups of people with something in common, or a society with same interests, or even a legitimate non-profit organization. Eeven these cases that are not stores by the mean of the word, they do also have a brand, often a logo that identifies these groups, societies and non-profits, and those logos or brands are also widely used by Second Life users on all kinds of situations.

Now, what I understand is that branding is branding no matter what the brand is for, the brand purpose or what it represents. I also understand that branding does not necesarily means advertisement. A logo could be use in a way of showing support, giving credit, or simply the logo is part of an object or texture already and there is no intention from the user to use it as a way of advertisement or brand awareness.

There are numerous cases of logos (or branding) being use for other purposes that are not commercial, for example: Belliseria houseboats commonly features large yellow flags with a logo that represents a group. These homeowners clearly don't intend to commercialze the land with these, but non the less, the logos are a brand and they could be seen as advertisement depending where Linden Lab draws that line.

 

Would be interesting to know what other people thinks about this matter, and if someone has been affected by perhaps some loopholes that may exist giving this situation.

 

Edited by Seba Serpente
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I think people tend to overcomplicate things. I tend to apply normal usage definitions to these words, and so far, the comments we have seen from official sources indicate this is a pretty accurate way to interpret things.

I see no issue with "advertising" groups, though I would use the word "promote" instead. To me, "advertising" is a more commerce-related word. It seems plain enough that LL is saying no commercial (connected with money changing hands) activity is allowed in Bellisseria or at SL16B.

Keep it simple. :)

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Posted (edited)

Most of these other groups and organizations are not commercial, however, most do have some way of funding, mostly by asking for donations, tips or fundraisings, wich brings money into the equation technically making it similar to commercial businesses.

We all have expenses to cover.

Edited by Seba Serpente

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There is some similar discussion in the Linden Homes section of the forums. It was just noted there that the question is whether someone is making money off of whatever is being done. So... if I have a group flag on my houseboat, and it is promoting a group, but the group is not selling anything, I think that is fine.

Again, keeping it simple. If you dig deep enough, you can find ways to argue that we are all trying to make money one way or another, and so none of us should even show our faces in SL. lol

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Sylvia Tamalyn said:

There is some similar discussion in the Linden Homes section of the forums. It was just noted there that the question is whether someone is making money off of whatever is being done. So... if I have a group flag on my houseboat, and it is promoting a group, but the group is not selling anything, I think that is fine.

Again, keeping it simple. If you dig deep enough, you can find ways to argue that we are all trying to make money one way or another, and so none of us should even show our faces in SL. lol

Let's say the group does collects money somehow, not directly with your flag, but others will be encouraged to check that group out, teleport to a group headquarters, find a donation box, and will give them money, effectively generating revenue off your innocent flag.

 

How is this any different from me havign my store logo, and people checking my store and purchasing something?

Edited by Seba Serpente

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1 minute ago, Seba Serpente said:

Let's say the group does collects money somehow, not directly with your flag, but others will be encouraged to check that group out, teleport to a group headquarters, find a donation box, and will give them money, effectively generating revenue off your innocent flag.

 

How is this any different from me havign my store logo, and people checking my store and purchasing something?

Maybe because I am the one flying the flag, and I am not making a penny from it?

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3 minutes ago, Sylvia Tamalyn said:

Maybe because I am the one flying the flag, and I am not making a penny from it?

In your specific case you are not generating money with it, but, there will be case where the person will do, and there is no pausible way to know if the person does or does not get any profit off this.

 

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8 minutes ago, Seba Serpente said:

In your specific case you are not generating money with it, but, there will be case where the person will do, and there is no pausible way to know if the person does or does not get any profit off this.

Are you intentionally trying to make this way more complicated than it actually is, or do you truly not understand it? Or are you simply looking for some sort of loophole that would allow you to sell whatever it is you sell from your Bellisseria home?

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2 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Are you intentionally trying to make this way more complicated than it actually is, or do you truly not understand it? Or are you simply looking for some sort of loophole that would allow you to sell whatever it is you sell from your Bellisseria home?

I am actually waiting for an answer from Linden Lab related to branding on the SL16B as I am an exhibitor, and a Mole in charge of these did not have enough knowledge on the subject.

And now this new post related to belisseria that specificly mentions that you cannot put anything on your parcel that advertises your brand, seems like a similar case where the specifics are actually not clear enough when it comes to ruling them.

 

But now that you mention it, several loop holes can come to mind.. for example.. just having others to have my logo on ther parcel and not on mine. That way they have no direct business with it. I can also pay people 1 linden per day to have a flag with my logo on their boathouses. Or, create a group that i can advertise, and use it as proxy to direct people to my store.. have flags of that group instead.

 

Of course, these are hipotetical as I have no intentions on recurring to these shameless tactics.

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1 minute ago, Seba Serpente said:

I am actually waiting for an answer from Linden Lab related to branding on the SL16B as I am an exhibitor, and a Mole in charge of these did not have enough knowledge on the subject.

Did you actually open a ticket with support to request this answer?

2 minutes ago, Seba Serpente said:

And now this new post related to belisseria that specificly mentions that you cannot put anything on your parcel that advertises your brand, seems like a similar case where the specifics are actually not clear enough when it comes to ruling them.

It seems very clear to me. Don't advertise on your Bellisseria parcel. 

3 minutes ago, Seba Serpente said:

But now that you mention it, several loop holes can come to mind.. for example.. just having others to have my logo on ther parcel and not on mine. That way they have no direct business with it. I can also pay people 1 linden per day to have a flag with my logo on their boathouses. Or, create a group that i can advertise, and use it as proxy to direct people to my store.. have flags of that group instead.

It would cost you a hell of a lot more than 1 linden to fly your flag on my houseboat.

And it is direct business... you are paying people to fly your flag. And if you create a group, and somehow coax Bellisserians or anyone else into joining for whatever reason, then bombard them with advertising for whatever it is you sell, you're nut if you think your business won't suffer.

12 minutes ago, Seba Serpente said:

Of course, these are hipotetical as I have no intentions on recurring to these shameless tactics.

The very fact that you're pushing this envelope leads me to believe that you are, in fact, considering shameless tactics such as these. I have no idea what you sell, but I have every confidence that you would resort to shady tactics to sell whatever it is, and that's convinced me to make sure I never buy whatever it is you sell because if it was a good product, you wouldn't need to resort to littering Bellisseria or SLB16 with your flags, or whatever it is you're trying to push.

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2 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Did you actually open a ticket with support to request this answer?

This was handled directly with a Mole, who directly went to Linden Lab with the question.

 

3 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

It seems very clear to me. Don't advertise on your Bellisseria parcel.  

that is not what is in question here.

 

4 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

And it is direct business... you are paying people to fly your flag. And if you create a group, and somehow coax Bellisserians or anyone else into joining for whatever reason, then bombard them with advertising for whatever it is you sell, you're nut if you think your business won't suffer. 

Hipotetical

 

5 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

The very fact that you're pushing this envelope leads me to believe that you are, in fact, considering shameless tactics such as these. I have no idea what you sell, but I have every confidence that you would resort to shady tactics to sell whatever it is, and that's convinced me to make sure I never buy whatever it is you sell because if it was a good product, you wouldn't need to resort to littering Bellisseria or SLB16 with your flags, or whatever it is you're trying to push. 

I find wrong to assume that placing something in question is evidence of shady intentions.

I dont mention anywhere intentions to use my Bellisseria property to advertise.

And as to my reason, like mentioned before, I have an exhibit which is currently pending on an aproval cause there is lack on knowledge from the event staff, regarding the use of logos and if they are Advertisment or not, wich is what I put basicly in question here.

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21 minutes ago, Seba Serpente said:

And as to my reason, like mentioned before, I have an exhibit which is currently pending on an aproval cause there is lack on knowledge from the event staff, regarding the use of logos and if they are Advertisment or not, wich is what I put basicly in question here.

I think it would be wise to just wait and get a reply to your request from official sources, rather than fish around in here. It really does sound like you are hoping someone will show you some loopholes.

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Just now, Sylvia Tamalyn said:

I think it would be wise to just wait and get a reply to your request from official sources, rather than fish around in here. It really does sound like you are hoping someone will show you some loopholes.

Honestly, i am just hoping we all get good information regarding this matter. I am not the first nor will be the last with this same problem. Is happening on the SL16B, and will likely happen on Bellisseria as well.  Belliseria is full of advertisment of all kinds. Yellow flags, drivers logos, store logos, all kinds of group elements. This can go in many directions if people starts to dig.

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Just now, Seba Serpente said:

Honestly, i am just hoping we all get good information regarding this matter. I am not the first nor will be the last with this same problem. Is happening on the SL16B, and will likely happen on Bellisseria as well.  Belliseria is full of advertisment of all kinds. Yellow flags, drivers logos, store logos, all kinds of group elements. This can go in many directions if people starts to dig.

The digging is what is overcomplicating things. This should not be so difficult. I think my rule is going to be "if I have to ask if what I am about to do is advertising, then maybe I should not do it".

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Sylvia Tamalyn said:

The digging is what is overcomplicating things. This should not be so difficult. I think my rule is going to be "if I have to ask if what I am about to do is advertising, then maybe I should not do it".

I wish it was that easy in my case. I have a logo on my exhibit not any more used as any other logo on the rest of the event, with the ony difference that my logo is from my store, and is not from a group. The problem there falls on that detail as the mole at first read the rules as if stores cant have a logo but groups can, but then again, there should not be any difference betwheen these two in any way, and that the mole seems was aware of. There is were my personal problem with this issue rests.

Edited by Seba Serpente

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The SLB guidelines used to be clearer, but I'm unsure with the current guidelines where the line is drawn. I'm not sure whether gifts can include store landmarks (which was allowed in the other years I took part). I'm also not sure whether freelance writers/artists are considered to be a brand and therefore any linking (like website and social media) is considered to be advertising. Or with the harshest interpretation, whether simply naming the brand (my name) is allowed at all. I usually include a notecard about the build and me, but I'm not sure what I'm allowed to say about myself this year.

It doesn't hurt to ask and it doesn't mean someone is trying to get away with anything. The rules do have holes. Some of that is most likely not intended.

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4 minutes ago, Polenth Yue said:

The SLB guidelines used to be clearer, but I'm unsure with the current guidelines where the line is drawn. I'm not sure whether gifts can include store landmarks (which was allowed in the other years I took part). I'm also not sure whether freelance writers/artists are considered to be a brand and therefore any linking (like website and social media) is considered to be advertising. Or with the harshest interpretation, whether simply naming the brand (my name) is allowed at all. I usually include a notecard about the build and me, but I'm not sure what I'm allowed to say about myself this year.

It doesn't hurt to ask and it doesn't mean someone is trying to get away with anything. The rules do have holes. Some of that is most likely not intended.

I was told literally about couple minutes ago that landmarks are allowed  to be given if something is touched to get it. I assume it doesnt matter what the landmark is for.

I still have other questions tho. I don't know if i can have a sign that says to not only get the landmark if touched, but other things like group invite and link to the marketplace. That does seems like advertisement, but like you said, that used to be fine as is not an invasive or agressive way to advertise. The guidelines does makes it seem like absolutely no advertisement is allowed but certainly there has to be some level of it since they also mention people can touch as sign to get things, wich, makes it in some way an advertisement object.

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Posted (edited)

A good public relationist will tell you that you are a brand and that you must sell yourself like a product.

 

Hey, just look at lawyers... no better example there.

Edited by Seba Serpente

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Posted (edited)

I think whe have a definition problem here. The Californian (and maybe US) use of "commercial" might not be a par with the rest of the world's definition. This is not very useful in an international community. In past SL birthdays I got plenty of stuff I would clearly consider "commercial". So someone runs a company that sells stuff and hands me a free sample of their works... how on earth is this not considered "commercial". This is a clear advertisment in my part of the world. A free sample is a way to both demonstrate my skills to potential new customers who never heared of me before and a reminder to former customers about my continued existance... it is branded by my company name (in SL my username). How on earth should this not be considered to be an commercial act of advertisement? Even if someone genuinley wants to just make everybody happy and share some of their creations without wanting to advertise - they cannot, the spectre of a commercial act of advertising is always looming over their shoulder.

A wiser wording might have been "no primarily commercial activity"... because IMHO you never can exclude the commercial aspects - they are undenyably always there.

Edited by Fionalein
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4 minutes ago, Fionalein said:

I think whe have a definition problem here. The Californian (and maybe US) use of "commercial" might not be a par with the rest of the world's definition. This is not very useful in an international community. In past SL birthdays I got plenty of stuff I would clearly consider "commercial". So someone runs a company that sells stuff and hands me a free sample of their works... how on earth is this not considered "commercial". This is a clear advertisment in my part of the world. A free sample is a way to both demonstrate my skills to formerly potential new customers who never heared of me before and a reminder to former customers about my continued existance... it is branded by my company name (in SL my username). How on earth should this not be considered to be an commercial act of advertisement? Even if someone genuinley wants to just make everybody happy and share some of their creations without wanting to advertise - they cannot, the spectre of commercial act of advertising is always hovering over their shoulder.

A wiser wording might have been "no primarily commercial activity"... because IMHO you never can exclude the commercial aspects - they are undenyably always there.

Wise words there, I totally agree with this and seems is a better example of what I was trying to bring up.

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Here is an update for all of you to see:

Quote

[17:42] Mischievious Mole: Sebastian I have just heard from Patch on the logo issue. Merchants cannot have logos on the Exhibits because that is a for profit endeavor. Roleplay and community groups may have logos because they are not for profit endeavors that enrich the community by providing activities.

This is just wrong as is not hard to understand that even community groups do generate profits, some actually sells products, others generate profit by donations or fundraisers.

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2 minutes ago, Seba Serpente said:

Here is an update for all of you to see:

This is just wrong as is not hard to understand that even community groups do generate profits, some actually sells products, others generate profit by donations or fundraisers.

"Profit" is generally understood to mean that a person or company is personally gaining a profit... Charity is different and has always been understood differently because charity is for a cause... hence the term Not-for-profit organization.  

Perhaps the biggest example of that in Second Life is the Relay For Life which happens every year or some of the other various causes.

The mole's response was good and I would trust it if it comes from Patch... it certainly answered my own questions about it too... Over in Bellisseria many of us have some sort of logo over our little public RP spot.  We dont have tip jars or accept donations we just offer up our homes as a public place that people can visit... Even one of the Linden created spots has a logo or "branding" if you go to the houseboat area and wander onto a popular little public spot called "The Squishy Pickle" there is a sign and a logo but its just something that was created for fun...

If my neighbor wanted to create a big sign for his house that said "Bob lives here" it would be a logo one could even argue its a brand.... but its not for profit it would just be to let people know... Hey this houseboat is Bob's place...

I'm sure the same concept applies to the SLB places... Logo is for something that will advertise for profit then you cant do it... if its just a fun logo for something that is not for profit then it is just a fun logo.

 

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1 minute ago, Evangeline Ling said:

"Profit" is generally understood to mean that a person or company is personally gaining a profit... Charity is different and has always been understood differently because charity is for a cause... hence the term Not-for-profit organization.  

Perhaps the biggest example of that in Second Life is the Relay For Life which happens every year or some of the other various causes.

The mole's response was good and I would trust it if it comes from Patch... it certainly answered my own questions about it too... Over in Bellisseria many of us have some sort of logo over our little public RP spot.  We dont have tip jars or accept donations we just offer up our homes as a public place that people can visit... Even one of the Linden created spots has a logo or "branding" if you go to the houseboat area and wander onto a popular little public spot called "The Squishy Pickle" there is a sign and a logo but its just something that was created for fun...

If my neighbor wanted to create a big sign for his house that said "Bob lives here" it would be a logo one could even argue its a brand.... but its not for profit it would just be to let people know... Hey this houseboat is Bob's place...

I'm sure the same concept applies to the SLB places... Logo is for something that will advertise for profit then you cant do it... if its just a fun logo for something that is not for profit then it is just a fun logo.

 

That would be fully valid if all these groups on the SL16B were official non-profit organizations, but to my beleive, that is not the case.

The SL16B is full of all kinds of groups, many relies in donations to keep lands, others usually host parties and events where they asks for tips in a way or the other. Profits are all over Second Life cause expenses are all over Second Life.

I fail to see the logic here.

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22 minutes ago, Seba Serpente said:

That would be fully valid if all these groups on the SL16B were official non-profit organizations, but to my beleive, that is not the case.

The SL16B is full of all kinds of groups, many relies in donations to keep lands, others usually host parties and events where they asks for tips in a way or the other. Profits are all over Second Life cause expenses are all over Second Life.

I fail to see the logic here.

You really are making this way too complicated if Patch's answer is not enough for you...

Do you make a profit of money you keep in YOUR pocket... if so it's an advertisement... if not then it is just a logo...

 

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