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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.
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