Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Why Linden Lab Screwed Us: Three Possibilities
Location: Linden Lab Blogs
Over at the Lab, the torrent of reactions continue. I replied at length to one poster, and I'll share it here:
Phil Linden repeatedly stated he's "interim" CEO. Now i was looking at LL's job offerings. . . .Is Phil planning to stay devoted to us :-) ? ...and if not, did LL miss to post the CEO position or has it already been decided behind the scenes ?
No. He's a businessman. His devotion is to the bottom line and perhaps the company he made. That's not evil; it's just the way the system works.
Rosedale buttered educators up at SLCC and let this increase move forward. I have lost faith in a man whose vision I respected. As "Interim" CEO, he's come back to either save the company or, it seems more and more likely, to arrange to sell it to someone else.
In the end, I've reached the conclusion that either:
1) Linden Lab does not want the good will and marketing power of having so many educational institutions and nonprofits associated with its product. This seems far-fetched, but that would make eliminating the discount actually a reasonable decision.
2) Linden Lab is so desperate for an income stream that they'll boost prices in hopes that educators have long-term investments in SL and will need to stay for a bit longer.
3) As others have said in this stream and elsewhere, Linden Lab has decided it needs to jettison colleges and universities as soon as their contracts end. That way, they'll avoid breach-of-contract cases by a host of well-funded and talented legal teams in US higher ed. My own school's amiable lawyers are a scary bunch when they go into action.
If it's #2 or #3, look out other users. Don't think for a second that LL won't sell you out the second they can get a buyer. And most of you won't be able to muster a legal challenge to what they do.
I don't know why another company would want the database or our user base, given the stigma of the adult content--a fact, not a value judgment by me because I don't care what you do with your avatars.
Will another company need us, except to exploit our information for marketing purposes? They might want some of the core technologies and staff from Linden Lab.
As for the fate of your virtual goods and invented "lives" in SL? Just read the TOS: it is not exactly "all your IP belong to us" but you've no recourse if they dump the database after a buy-out offer.
And there will be real suicides among those who call SL "home" and have complicated social relationships here. That saddens me.
Update 10/6: Tateru Nino shares Jack Linden's justification for the increase. it's contemptible, but then Jack can take it. He has been known for a while as "the most hated Linden." Tateru also shares her own thoughts about why LL may be selling the company.
I've also replied to Lalo's suggestion about the image I used (from the time when I was a LL mentor, before they gutted that gesture of goodwill, too).