Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Land Conservation

I was in a National Park the other day in RL and was delighted to see that developers were in the process of knocking down the trees to build 1500 residences, all with 3 car garages, a landing strip for the airport, three new schools and a very large shopping area to support the new residents with groceries and gas.

*pointing* This would be my sarcasm face.

Linden Labs (LL) recently released a new policy on the use of Openspace land. This has caused a lot of ruckus lately and upset a lot of people. Let me be clear by stating I am happy and sad about this change.

Much like my scenario above, when Openspace owners rented out their land to people to build their homes etc, the technological strain was significant for LL. The land was never intended to be used for rentals or for that matter, significant traffic constantly calling up a new pair of pants as they put an outfit together. Basically, they abused the land they purchased and now LL is working to correct the technological problem they caused with misuse.

I know a lot of people are angry. Some will have to move their businesses, others their residences. I feel for those who were innocent in this - confused in their purchase/rental. The "laws" of LL can indeed be confusing. But for those who knew better and yet opted to set up shop on Openspace saying "everyone does it" well shame on you. Just because everyone does it does not mean it is right. And shame on you again for complaining when someone came about to correct your stealing because that is essentially what it is. You've stolen server and asset draw space.

Harsh? Not really. Most folks knew exactly what they were doing. Some owners did it to be popular with their friends (giving them low cost space to "help them out"). Some did it to be greedy in another way - to make as much cash as possible. Some probably did it because they didn't have the skill to produce pretty space and left it up to others to fill in the gaps. Reality is, open space is meant for conservation and beautification, not a shopping mall, a sex palace, nor residential tracks.

Am I delighted with LL's crack down? No. I'd have liked them to instead have put their foot down with those sim owners who abused the opportunity. Instead of working it through with them one by one (hey, they could have contracted with me to manage this project!), they opted to raise their rates for all.

While many think they are victims, the real victims (aside from all of us who loose our beautiful space due to rate increases) are the non profits and educational use clients. Because of the greed of some, several non profits will suffer. Yes I know, University of North Carolina can probably afford the increase. But can a small non profit? Perhaps not. Disappointing.

So what does this mean? It means that some entrepreneurial folks are already on top of it, creating new developments for the mass exodus of people who need a new home. Ultimately, the LL economy lives on and the only loss is perhaps the sailing space, forests and gardens we all once enjoyed.


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