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Narugawanaisa Yumako

Ingame Contracts

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Hey guys, sorry i wasnt sure which category to post this under, admins feel free to move it if it doesnt belong here

Ok basically. whilst job searching in secondlife out of interest in making some linden love, i discovered a phew companys which i wont name that require you to sign a "contract", calling it a digital contract

So i was wondering, how binding, or legally setting is a contract through a game. especially secondlife

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Linden Lab will not enforce a contract if you break it and they report you. This is a matter between residents and LL does not get involved in resident disputes as long as no TOS has been broken.   As far as RL, they probably wouldn't hold any water with a court and even if they did, what are they going to do?  Spend hundreds of RL dollars to sue you over a few hundred linden? Don't think so.

Generally these are used to emphasis to a potential employee that they want them to take the job seriously and not just part of a game.  They want you to commit to showing up when your supposed to and giving them plenty of notice if you can't, so they can find a replacement.  It can be hard to find employees with a good work ethic.  Most will blow you off if they get a hot date without even notifying you because a SL is just a game to them.

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The only "legally" binding contract in SL is the ToS and CS.  By legally binding I mean it's the only contract the only "legal" authority in SL is Linden Lab........and they will enforce their contract.  Any other "contract" is between individual residents and, As Amethyst pointed out, LL won't get involved in any way (as long as not part of the contract they will enforce is not violated).  Of course the person you digitally signed the "contract" with can take action against you........banning you from their land or club, muting you, or removing you from their group.  That's about all they can do ("legally").

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Actually it's much more complicated than that, and will depend on the jurisdiction in which the residents live. In some countries such a written contract will be valid in law provided it adheres to any laws concerning such contracts, and even verbal contracts may have the force of law, particularly since there may be logged chat of such contracts making them effectively written. While some may consider SL a game, you are in fact contracting for time and services between two real people, regardless of how much Lindens are worth in real money.

Having said that, you are of course right in that generally most people won't bother with the law for such piddling sums, and it may be nigh on impossible to enforce if people live in different countries, but it doesn't mean the legal rights are not there. And again in certain jurisdictions, employers might technically have liabiility for things like pension or social security payments too lol.

But if say someone loses a sim or business through the breach of contract, then the amount involved might well be worth persuing in a small claims court. And LL's ToS will have no say in that, because it cannot override the laws of the land.

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Well the only thing legal in SL is the TOS/CS which people obviously have to always try to follow to their best, and by that I mean sometimes people step out of line a bit in the Community Standards I don't make a big deal over such, anyways...

In game contracts between users mean nothing at all, I do not consider any type of Digital Contract, or Agreement from any Third Party, game, or software Legally binding unless signed in real life there is no evidence, not to mention all the services I signed up for when under 18 RL were not legally binding contracts to certain points.

The most any service really ever does in any game, or service not including but not limited to Second Life, is ban, or suspended/terminate your account, or access to the service.

As far as an in game contract between two residents, or a company, I wouldn't consider that legally binding, and I assume you are talking about a contract like an Escourt, or a Slave contract or possibly something else like a Hostess/Club Contract, those are all agreements made by a person, or personal in SL, now LL will not get involved with those type of contracts for any reason.

However I would not sign any type of digital contract outside of Second Life, or Give any Real Life information, as if you did such or signed up an actual contract they could always try to sue Real Life which is of course outside LL's jurisdiction.

NoteCard, Contracts obviously mean nothing, and are not legally binding, and LL will also not get involved with such, I have seen these even been given them before to sign up if I wanted a SL Job, not only do most SL Jobs pay hardly anything, at least the ones I know, but these contracts can be broken at any time by either party and there is nothing no oen can do, although they can ban you from their lands, and possibly spread rumors about you breaking the contract, although that there is considered Defaming of avatar, and a Violation of the Community Standards I still see people doing that all the time at least it has happend to me twice big times by popular people but they couldn't back anything they said.

* see in a Court, or Law.*

You can simply plead the 5th means you don't have to say anything, and it is up to them to prove you are guilty,however in SL servers NoteCard contracts, or assets can often become edited in many ways, and there is no proof to verify that it is legal or not, this is of course not talking about a digital contract outside SL such as a third party site, or something which I would not do myself, but even those without a RL signature can be hard to prove.

<< Plead the Fifth. 

Although a good rule of thumb to know is that if you sign a contract you should always honor your part of it, and have good faith in it, but also know that by doing such you should never give Real Life details for any reason, and you should always know that it can be broken as well and you may loose money, or  whatever was in that contract.

Of Course if you accept a contract you no longer want to be a part of such as being a slave in SL, you should always just contact the people you made the deal with it and work it out with them, and the most they can do is again ban you from their land or spread rumors but beyond that you are not breaking the TOS/CS, however defaming residents is a violation of the CS, but a lot of people try to do it sometimes espically RP simulators, GM's, or Owners.

I would also never for any reason give any real life details in Second Life, as Second Life has really good people at times, but I often run into a lot of griefing, and trolls in this whole grid, some people who are well known trust griefers, or trolls sometimes I guess their lack of judgement, or Intellect or something, but doing such can lead to stalking, harassment, threats, or worse at which point you should contact the police, or file a Internet Crime Complaint, and save any logs of such to your PC as evidence as if the issue does take legal action those logs can be found on the game, or server, but take actions as they occur not way later. * OF Course if there is no RL threats, just in game griefing you should file an abuse report for either of them, but LL deals with the in world griefing.*

Also Be Aware of Third Party Surveys, these type of Surveys, or Contracts some of them are done by Web Browser, or Third Party Surveys, and they collect information such as IP addres, RL details, and such they give you Free L$, but if you do not read each ones privacy policy, or if they don't have one and you give any information about yourself at all this information be can be sold, or given away freely about you, your identity, and it is hard to deal with, and LL doesn't deal with such either. I for one do not permit this type of stuff in my SL Life, not saying that all surveys are bad as there are some that will not do such but a lot of these lead to spam mail as well, possible account compromise in SL, and possibly other games or services, and is a good way to get a virus sometimes too, and NEVER  Give out any type of payment information, and Always Verify, that you are signing into the correct site such as Second Life, or the Service You are using, do not be folled by phishing attempts.

In fact to protect your privacy you should never Leave Media enabled, Never  Let Scripts Control Your Play Button, or accept any type of Web Requests from any object spamming you to visit a site such as a grief, or anything these can be used to obtain your IP or other information, and used to troll, or grief a user, only go to sites you trust in SL.

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Narugawanaisa Yumako wrote:

 

So i was wondering, how binding, or legally setting is a contract through a game. especially secondlife

For 1 . Second Life is not a game. It is a Social community with Businesses and bueinesses that are real life. Linden Lab built, and sells services for the platform for businesses alike to operate and build. The exchange of money makes it not so much a game, but a community with a full working economy. All Applicaple laws in your state and or the state of which the "business" owner is in do apply . Digital signatures can be recognized in more than one way. Having a resident create a note card them selves and making it no mod. pretty much makes for a solid statement as to the contract you have written. It can be either my signature or a process of creating a doccument. Email Signatures as well can be used and legaly binding

 

Enforceability of electronic signatures

In 1996 the United Nations published the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce.[9] The model law was highly influential in the development of electronic signature laws around the world, including in the US.[10]

The U.S. Code defines an electronic signature for the purpose of US law as "an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record." It may be an electronic transmission of the document which contains the signature, as in the case of facsimile transmissions, or it may be encoded message, such as telegraphy using Morse code.

 

In the United States, the definition of what qualifies as an electronic signature is wide and is set out in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act ("UETA") released by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) in 1999.[12] It was influenced by ABA committee white papers and the uniform law promulgated by NCCUSL. Under UETA, the term means "an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record." This definition and many other core concepts of UETA are echoed in the U.S. ESign Act of 2000.[11] 47 US states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands have enacted UETA.[13] Only New York, Washington State, and Illinois have not enacted UETA,[13], but each of those states has adopted its own electronic signatures statute.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_signature

 

Legal action can be taken but will not apply to TOS for sl .. Some peole fail to realize that there are companies and businesses in SL lol Its not just a game

There is still a lot of undefined areas regarding Virtual worlds. Legal action has been taken on other residents for various reasons, and have won their cases.  Content theft and other things. Laws do apply.

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GothGirl Demonia wrote:

In game contracts between users mean nothing at all, I do not consider any type of Digital Contract, or Agreement from any Third Party, game, or software Legally binding unless signed in real life there is no evidence, not to mention all the services I signed up for when under 18 RL were not legally binding contracts to certain points.

The most any service really ever does in any game, or service not including but not limited to Second Life, is ban, or suspended/terminate your account, or access to the service.

As far as an in game contract between two residents, or a company, I wouldn't consider that legally binding,

 

Unfortunately, as Sticky pointed out, it's what the law considers is legally binding rather than you, and in most countries now there is provision for electronic contracts.

 


GothGirl Demonia wrote:

You can simply plead the 5th

 

Depends which country you are in, SL is global, and US law does not apply outside the US, it's the law where the residents live, and complicated if they live in different countries.

Otherwise you make some good general points. LL is mostly limited to kicking you out for a breach of ToS, as long as the ToS does not break California or US law.

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In our case we use one when sell stuff to people. Like you buy car parts or a shell from us full perms. Our contract states that you can only use these items in a build, not sell them individually. For instance lets say you buy a car shell from us full perms, and instead of using it in a build you decide to sell the shell on the market place for 500L, or just start giving it away. Which hurts our business. And it is a real business for the owner of our company, she gets her real life income from it.

Sl has no obligation to punish the person that violates this contract, as far as removing the items from the grid or banning the person. They can if they want, but they have no obligation. In most cases they will remove the item from the market place though.

Legally any action taken would have to be done outside of sl. Which means the owner of the company would most likely have to hire a lawyer to take action. And this has been done before. I am pretty sure the lawyer can contact LL and get the real life info for the person violating the contract and then you would sue them in a real life court. And this could require a court order for the information depending on what LL wants to do with the persons info.

So in most cases, yes it is not worth the trouble because it would cost you way more than what you would get. However in some instances the amounts lost are worth the effort.

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