Linden Labs halts use of Linden Dollars in other virtual worlds

Press release: Avination required to stop transfer of Linden Dollars

London — Due to recent interaction with Linden Labs, the Avination grid is announcing that the transfer of Linden Dollars to Avination is no longer available, including payment for Avination regions via the Avination ATMs.

“Following discussions with Linden Labs they have advised that any use of Linden Dollars in payment for currency of any other virtual world, or for external services which are not used in SecondLife is in violation of their terms of service,” said Avination spokesperson Leonie Gaertner.

Avination at OSCC

The Avination Sim on the OpenSim Community Conference grid. Avination was a sponsor of the conference. (Image courtesy Avination.)

 

Avination management has attempted to discuss this matter with Linden Labs by reiterating the importance of this option as well as trying to understand how this is a violation of TOS, but unfortunately these talks have since broken down, she added.

“Linden Labs’ lawyers are adamant that these TOS clearly state that Linden Dollars cannot be transferred,” she said. “This stance will not just affect us as at Avination but could also see far reaching consequences for other companies considering legal use of L$, including services like Shoutcast Stream Rentals and other services rendered outside of SecondLife.”

This means an end to offering a fast and convenient way of exchanging Linden Dollars to C$.

According to Linden Labs, users of SecondLife must cash out through LindeX before using real currency to pay for services not rendered within Second Life.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause you and please accept we have tried everything in our power to reach an amicable solution with Linden Labs,” Gaertner said.

About Avination

London-based Avination, the most popular commercial grid in Europe, is a service of Avination Virtual Ltd. It is known for its strong focus on content protection, as well as for regularly donating code back to the OpenSim community. For more information or a free membership, visit www.avination.com.

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  • Geir Nøklebye

    As far as I know you can still exchange your L$ holding on the VirWOX exchange for C$, but of course you’d have to become a customer of VirWOX then.

    • Are you sure? A couple of years ago, Linden Lab prohibited all third party exchanges from buying back L$. Here’s the announcement on Virwox:

      “We are proud to announce that VirWoX has been awarded the status are of an officially Authorized Linden Dollar Reseller by Linden Lab.

      “As a result, we can continue to offer the residents of Second Life a wide range of payment options to buy Linden Dollars.

      “However, please note that under the new terms of service we are no longer allowed to take back your Linden Dollars from Second Life and let you “cash out”. Our in-world terminals will therefore no longer accept Linden Dollar deposits.”

      • Geir Nøklebye

        I am pretty sure of that unless there has been a very recent change. You got to a VirWOX terminal in SL and pay to it in L$, and it will end up in your VW L$ account that is tied to your SL avatar.

        You have to create another account for the C$ (or OMC for that sake) and tie your Avination or OpenSim avatar to that account respectively. Transfer between accounts owned by the same person should be swift and readily.

        I can go and test it and see how it goes.

      • Geir Nøklebye

        You’re right, it only a one way transaction into SecondLife, so it would have to go via a real currency to be transferred to Avination. I looked at my transaction history, and there had only been deposits to SL lately. You would still be able to do transfers between OMC and C$.

  • Geir Nøklebye

    I can see why this could be an issue as in reality it would be a money transfer between a US registered company and a UK registered company completely outside of the usual channels for such transfers. (SWIFT). There are probably all kinds of tax issues in addition.

    • Geir —

      The main issue here is if the Linden Dollar is redeemable for real money anywhere.

      In the U.S., there are three tiers of virtual currencies, which have different levels of regulations.

      1. Lowest level: Purely fictional. Gold coins in PacMan. Monopoly money.
      2. Medium level: Can only be redeemed at one company, and only for stuff, not cash. For example, restaurant gift cards. ITunes gift cards. Video arcade tokens. (In some states, you can get your change back in cash if its under a certain amount.)

      3. Highest level: Can be redeemed for cash. This is the Visa gift cards you get at Christmas. These are usually backed by existing financial institutions — like banks — because, in effect, these cards are financial instruments. You put money in, and you get money out. Or you put money in, send it to someone, and THEY get money out.

      The principle here is that if it acts like a bank, it IS a bank, no matter how you try to dress it up with fancy names and technology. You put money in, you get money out, you can transfer it to other people — that sounds pretty bank-like.

      What I really don’t understand, though, is why Linden Lab is doing this backwards.

      Take restaurant gift cards, for example. You can sell it to a friend at a discount, or sell it on eBay. The restaurant can’t control that, and they’re also not liable for it — it’s out of their hands. But if the restaurant itself started redeeming it for cash, it would be in big trouble.
      But that’s exactly what Linden Lab did. They prohibited third-party exchanges from trading in Linden Dollars — even though they could have easily said it was out of their hands — but continued to allow cashouts on the LindeX.

      Oh, this is interesting… I either missed it, or forgot it, but Linden Lab is registered as a money transmitter with FinCen, the US financial services regulator:
      http://www.fincen.gov/financial_institutions/msb/msbstateselector.html
      It’s licensed as “Money transmitter, Provider of prepaid access, Seller of prepaid access” in all states.

      — Maria

      • Geir Nøklebye

        Huh! It is not even prepaid access they provide as the access is free, and all land holdings (tier) are billed based on the max land holding for the previous month.

        I suppose that you could say that access to land is prepaid when you purchase the sim or mainland initially, but mainland is often sold between residents.

        Where I am they have not tried to regulate it yet – probably cost too much compared to the gains. Could be the same in Austria where VirWox is located. I have a feeling the UK is a bit more strict as they made some regulations for BitCoin.

        • It’s “prepaid” in the sense that a restaurant gift card or iTunes card is prepaid. You fork over the cash now, then at some point in the future, you can use it to get land, or stuff on the Second Life Marketplace, or stuff in-world.

          • Geir Nøklebye

            I can see that definition work. However, when I purchase a real currency like USD with my local currency it takes on the same characteristic. When in addition the exchange is reversible (sans fees) it takes on the form of legal tender. :-))

            Was SL for a period a paid for access service? Maybe it was filed during that period?

          • Under FinCen rules, “closed loop prepaid access,” is defined as “prepaid access to funds or the
            value of funds that can be used only for goods or services in transactions involving a defined merchant or location (or set of locations).” The definition includes gift cards that provide access to a specific retailer, affiliated retailers, or retail chain, or alternatively, a designated locale, such as a college campus, or a subway system.

            Lots of parts of SL are paid access. Content on the marketplace, for example. Land. premium memberships. Just because some parts are free (regular memberships) doesn’t mean the rest can’t be paid access. For example, iTunes has some free stuff, but their gift cards are still prepaid access. A restaurant can offer free water, but the rest of the meal is paid, and gift certificates and gift cards would be considered prepaid access — a type of virtual currency that’s only good in that restaurant chain.

          • Geir Nøklebye

            Ok, thanks for making that clearer.

        • Susannah Avonside

          As far as I know it is only once you have cashed out virtual money for real money that the authorities start to take an interest, but then we are charged varying rates of VAT on our virtual currency purchases, in the UK it’s 20% at the moment.

  • This was to be expected. Issuing convertible virtual currencies creates quite a lot of liability for the issuing company, even when it registers with FinCEN. One way to limit that liability is to reduce the ability of third-parties to contribute to ways the virtual currency could be used for money laundering. Restricting the use of the virtual currency to company-related transactions makes this a lot easier to enforce.

    This is part of the reason why we have never enabled Kitely Credits to be convertible and why we refused offers made by third-party exchanges to trade in KCs or exchange them to L$.

    Finally, this is why we provide a separate path in Kitely Market for transactions where the merchant expects to get paid in real currency. If the merchant wants to earn real money then the buyer needs to pay real money and that money is never converted to a virtual currency. It doesn’t even get to our company’s bank account and is left inside PayPal until the payout is made to the merchant’s PayPal account.

    I would highly advise OpenSim grid owners who offer their users a convertible virtual currency to read up on the legal liabilities they may be creating for themselves. It’s yet to be determined whether OMC, and similar third-party operated convertible virtual currencies, don’t create a liability for the grid owner who enabled two of his or her users to participate in money laundering using a virtual currency that his or her grid enabled them to use.

    Before you rule this out consider that those users would not be able to make those transactions inside the grid owner’s grid had that grid owner not installed a money module that supports that virtual currency and then promoted the use of that virtual currency in a virtual environment with very little oversight.

    • Geir Nøklebye

      Setting a grid up with the OMC is different from defining a grid currency and making it convertible to a real currency in that all transactions takes place between registered users on the OMC exchange where they are subject to the scrutiny and volume limitations imposed by the exchange.

      The OMC module merely displays the OMC balance held on VirWox via the viewer’s mechanism for displaying a grid currency balance, and for non-zero transactions hands the transaction over to VirWox, notifying the grid that the asset transfer can take place once the monetary exchange has been approved and cleared on VirWox. So there is never a currency bearing account on the grid and the grid servers.

      Secondly laundering requires a certain volume to hide the laundering in, and the OMC volume is low, so it is therefore transparent to the exchange. The grid owner never seems the volume unless it is volume paid to the grid owner directly. The mechanism is exactly the same as pointing an in-world vendor to PayPal where the money transaction are handled outside the grid.

      In terms of grid owner liability, every grid owner has to check that out with respect to the legislation in the country where the grid is established.

      • The technical aspects may be similar to using PayPal but the legal ones may not be. There is no case law AFAIK that could be used to evaluate a grid owners liability in having avatars hosted by the grid using a convertible third-party-managed virtual currency that was promoted and enabled (via money module install) by the grid owner. This should be a source for concern for any legaly minded grid owner. In any case, it’s not a risk that we were willing to accept at Kitely.

        • Geir Nøklebye

          As I said above, the liability must be evaluated out of the legislation in which the grid is incorporated (if company) or the owner (if individual). It can be anything from highly regulated to completely unregulated.

          I believe the overall risk is far lower than implementing a fund bearing grid currency as in that case the grid is taking monetary transactions.

          In the case of OMC the grid is just facilitating the ability for two parties to perform monetary transactions on an exchange by providing links to it, and facilitating exchange of intangible goods or services after approval of said transaction. The transactions have each to be approved by the paying party after login to the exchange.

          EDIT: There is nothing preventing a grid with OMC to take a dual approach such as Kitely in that any payments to the grid itself could always be real currency (I would say should be.)

          • The facilitating is what may be questioned if this ever gets to court. A possible analogy would be BitTorrent sites which do not hold any copyrighted content themselves but contain torrent files which are then used by some people to break copyright laws. As we’ve seen with BitTorrent sites, such cases can go well outside the jurisdiction from which the website/grid owners operate and/or reside.

            Current legislation is lagging behind technology, basing your decisions on it today may come back to bite you in the future.

          • Geir Nøklebye

            IDK but in my democratic legislative environment, laws can not be made retroactive, so no, current law is what we operate under.

            The Ministry of Finance has said that virtual currencies are not regulated by any EU legislation and they are not going to bother regulating it locally as the overall volume is too small.

            There is a slight chance that EU consumer legislation would kick in as you purchase OMC from VirWox, but that is not the grid’s problem.

            To compare grids with OMC to BitTorrent sites is disingenuous at best. Kitely would by the same token be a BitTorrent site as it using the same OpenSim + Viewer mechanisms to facilitate the transactions there.

          • The money-related activities in question, such as money laundering, are already illegal in the EU. The only unknown is the amount of liability website/grid owners have for facilitating such activities using third-party-operated virtual currencies. Right now the transaction volume is probably too low to warrant the attention of the relevant authorities but people facilitating such actions should take into consideration that this may change quickly in the future.

            BitTorrent sites do not break copyright law by distributing copyrighted material themselves, at best they are providing a search portal for links (implemented via torrents) to illegally distributed copyright material. And yet, people who run such websites are being sued for facilitating copyright infringement. There is simply no way to currently evaluate the real risk that facilitating illegal activities via a third-party convertible virtual currency may create for your business and, potentially, for you personally.

            Kitely doesn’t facilitate the use of any convertible virtual currency, neither one provided by us nor one operated by a third party. This doesn’t eliminate our potential liability for PayPal-based transactions but there is case law that we can use to try to evaluate that liability. There is no such case law to determine the risk you accept if you facilitate third-party-operated convertible virtual currency transactions.

          • Geir Nøklebye

            > The only unknown is the amount of liability website/grid owners have for facilitating such activities using third-party-operated convertible virtual currencies.

            They have none as long as a virtual currency does not exist as a legal object in the country in question.

            Each transaction can only be regarded as a temporary private agreement for exchange of non-tangible goods or services by the exchange of a token.

            At best purchase of OMC from a legislative standpoint in most of the EU can be seen as a consumer purchase of a token that may or may not have a barter value. Alternatively it may be seen as a game token, where any OMC gained is treated as won in game. For this reason they are tax exempt here when exchanged back to real currency (which is how the tax authorities regard L$ for instance.) It is only when they end up as currency holdings in a bank account they are taxable in the standard manner come year end.

            The only real vector for laundering via the OMC would be if you somehow managed to generate a large amount of OMC and exchanged into BitCoin where it could be dispersed via other channels. I don’t see this as a realistic scenario anytime soon. The trading limits VirWox has set both for deposit and withdrawal via real currencies does not encourage money laundering. I also don’t see any vector for generating lots of OMC as the grid cannot generate any by itself. Any OMC in circulation is the result of purchase via a real currency or BitCoin.

          • “They have none as long as a virtual currency does not exist as a legal object in the country in question.” <= that is exactly the type of assumption I would advise people not to make. There is, AFAIK, no case law where this statement has actually been scrutinized by the courts. Making assumptions as to the outcome of such scrutiny is very risky.

          • Geir Nøklebye

            As I have cautioned before, each grid owner must evaluate the legislation in their own country, as sweeping statements cannot be made.

            Inside the EU virtual currencies does not exist as legal objects, but that is not to say this is uniform. Both Germany and the UK, for instance, have legislation for BitCoin that is not part of EU law.

          • The problem is that knowing the current laws in your own country does not limit your liability for cross-border transactions. In addition, you can’t make good predictions for how such virtual-currency-based transactions will be regarded by the court.

            It is much harder to track transactions that are done between avatars using a virtual currency than ones that are done between people who use their real identities using a real currency. This may drive judges to rule in a manner that tries to follow the spirit of the law (e.g. to prevent the facilitation of money laundering) and goes beyond the letter of the law that does not cover these specific scenarios.

          • Geir Nøklebye

            For the OMC (unless the source in BitCoin) you have to register with your real existence information, SSN, and credit card information. There is no exception. Temporary cards will not work.

            As long as a virtual currency does not exist as a legal object it cannot be subject to liability.

            The only legal transaction taking place is between a consumer or a business purchasing OMC tokens, in which case there would be a liability on VirWox if not delivered or exchanged back if there is such a clause in their terms. There is no liability on what happens with the token when used for bartering. It is an unregulated entity in that case.

            There is no mechanism for extending another country’s law into your own (unless you play world police and use lethal force.) So you cannot take a citizen in another country to court if the transaction or action was in accordance with the law of that persons country of residence, and the transaction happened in that country.

            For this reason it would be impossible to take LL to court over the TOS, because they are not even close to fulfilling the EU Consumer legislation. They would have to be registered as a legal entity here for that to happen.

            Further, it would be close to impossible to extradite a citizen to another country for legal proceedings on such grounds, and we would never, ever extradite to a country with capital punishment for any reason whatsoever.

          • Geir —

            I think you’ve got the laws wrong here. And jurisdiction DOES extend across international lines. Look at the recent case of Kim DotCom — his MegaUpload site was overseas, he himself was in New Zealand, or something like that, and US authorities tracked him down and shut him down. Not because his site was hosting infringing content — they had a DMCA policy in place to take it down. But because it turned out there was evidence that he was deliberately encouraging people to post infringing content, knowing that it was infringing, and rewarding the top posters.

            The case is still ongoing, and one of the arguments Kim is making is what he was doing was legal in the countries he was doing it in.

            However, as Ilan mentioned, money laundering isn’t legal anywhere. Neither is, say, child pornography or drug dealing or whatever. If it turns out that your site helps facilitate this, it gets shut down.

            Another recent example of this is the Silk Road. It used Bitcoin for its transactions, and had legal activity on it as well, but became known for drugs, money laundering, etc… Okay, and the head guy tried to hire an FBI agent to murder someone. So not the brightest bulb.

            But the fact that they were using a virtual currency didn’t insulate them from prosecution. Neither did the fact that their servers were scattered around the world.

            So, bottom line for grids:

            * Know your customers and pay attention to what’s going on on your grid
            * If you don’t absolutely have to have a virtual currency, try to do without one. Consider sending your customers to the Kitely Market for shopping, or encourage your vendors to use PayPal
            * Consider using a closed-loop currency — one that is not redeemable at all

            One final option for currencies, which I’ve recently talked to a big currency provider about, and which they’ve run past their legal department:

            Have a virtual currency that’s not redeemable by regular users but which CAN be redeemed by your business partners.

            One example of this is iTunes. If you are a regular customer with a gift card, you can’t go to Apple and ask for your money back. You have to spend it on stuff.

            But if you are the musician who sells his music on iTunes, even though people are buying with gift cards, you get your payment in real money.

            This requires that you treat anyone who wants to cash out as a real business partner.

            You need contracts, you need tax information for them, you need their legal identities, etc… etc…

            Personally, long term, I think this is going to be the most workable approach. HOWEVER, we haven’t seen any court cases testing it yet.

            It’s reasonable, logical, and that’s the way it already works in other area of prepaid access. So it’s very likely that the same principles will apply to virtual currency-based prepaid access.

            And you can make a good faith legal argument to that effect right now.

          • Geir Nøklebye

            Maria,

            No I don’t get the laws wrong. They can extend across borders if there are treaties – but in many areas there are no treaties because of significant difference in legislation. As mentioned before we will never do extradition to the US for instance for any reason because you have capital punishment.

            There is no trade treaty between the EU and Us because of significant differences on privacy and consumer legislation for instance. They are still squabbling over it, hehe.

            It is possible to do a takedown of a site in my country from another country if the site was breaking the local law, but it would have to be done by local authorities and prosecution. This is why it took ages to take down Pirate Bay in Sweden, since the legislation there is almost identical.

            For child pornography it would be reported to the EU child porn filter and it would be inaccessible all over the EU immediately in addition to triggering a local prosecution.

            For virtual currency, however, it is unregulated territory in most of EU, so there is nothing to prosecute against; there is no law to break.

          • Geir — Typically, extradition is only an issue for capital punishment situations where you have an offense that is subject to capital punishment. Money laundering does not fit into that category — I can’t see any why country would be hesitant to extradite someone for financial crimes. (Though it might definitely take a while, and a small grid would clearly be at the bottom of the list of priorities!)

            But keep in mind that nobody is talking about prosecuting against virtual currencies. Virtual currencies are perfectly legal in most countries, including the U.S. In fact, throughout the US, you’re actually allowed to print your own money (as long as it doesn’t look like official money) and use it in your community. (We have ValleyDollars here in W. Massachusetts.)

            The discussion is is prosecution for financial crimes, such as failure to comply with anti-money laundering regulations or know-your-customer laws, etc…

          • Geir Nøklebye

            Well, we don’t extradite for any reason to countries with capital punishment. It is in the constitution. It is like that in most of western Europe.

            For the OMC, it is sufficient that VirWox has the anti money laundering monitoring and reporting in place because all OMC transactions take place inside their entity, and I believe they already have good safeguards in place. The grid only facilitates the transaction to start, and delivers the asset after the monetary transaction has completed.

            That does of course not exclude the grid owner from being vigilant and preventing illegal activities of any nature to happen on their grid.

            Blanket statements that virtual currencies are legal in most countries are not necessarily correct because BitCoin is banned in a lot of legislations, and gambling, betting, false marketing and similar laws may kick in preventing their use depending on where you are. I would have big problems printing anything that looked like money unless it came with a game – and that is exactly what the authorities says. Virtual currencies are treated like game tokens both as a tax object and in terms of legislation.

            I know this is hard to understand, and many US companies get their fingers burned when doing business in Europe when consumers are involved.

            Our consumer authorities will tell us that Apple’s EULA for iTunes – EULAs they use across the planet, is null and void in Europe because they don’t satisfy the minimum requirements of the law. So the prosecution and courts will not even touch such a case. Because of that Apple has had to create country specific terms for iTunes and the App Store.

            Likewise LL can never sue any in the EU over breaching the TOS as they are null and void facing the European consumer legislation.

          • “As long as a virtual currency does not exist as a legal object it cannot be subject to liability.” <= It is not the virtual currency itself which creates the liability, the liability is created from facilitating illegal money-related activities using that virtual currency.

            I'll give an analogy, if you run a convenience store and knowingly let people stand inside your store and sell contraband to other people visiting your store then you may find yourself being accused of facilitating those illegal transactions. The fact that you weren't a participating party in those transactions, that they were executed using mobile devices accessing a third party website, or that the website didn't transfer real money as part of the transaction would likely be irrelevant. You may have liability from knowingly letting an illegal activity take place inside your place of business.

          • Geir Nøklebye

            You seem to indicate that just employing the OMC on a grid is perpetrating an illegal action. It is not more or less illegal than selling copyrighted material with KC or $ on your grid or out of the marketplace.

            Kitely does not have any worse or better controls in place than any other grid when it comes to transferring illegal content into it via direct upload, iar or oar upload, hypergrid transfer.

          • That is not what I said. I said that using a convertible virtual currency creates a lot of liability for the grid owner. We don’t offer any such currency in Kitely (KC are non-convertible) and we don’t facilitate the use of convertible third-party virtual currencies in our grid.

            The subject of how unlicensed copyrighted content is handled in our grid and how that compares to how other grids handle it is a separate subject. There are differences (at least when compared to most OpenSim grids) but that really isn’t the matter at hand so let’s not derail the conversation.

          • Geir Nøklebye

            And my claim is that using the OMC creates limited exposure in terms of money laundering simply because currency can only enter the system via credit card transactions from know persons on the VirWox exchange (excluding BitCoin), and all payment transactions takes place inside the exchange. There is no currency being held on the grid.

            The rest of the liabilities are highly dependent on the legislation the grid exists in, so grid owners must check and understand their legislative environment both to minimize risk, exposure and stay within the law.

          • We differ in our risk assessment regarding the amount of exposure created by actively facilitating the use of a third-party convertible virtual currency (actively = installing a money module to specifically support the use of that virtual currency).

          • Geir Nøklebye

            It is more like; not all third-party convertible currencies are created equal, and risk profile will therefore vary 😉

            Enabling the grid currency in any incarnation has a certain risk and liability profile as long as there are purchase of grid currency via legal tender.

          • Susannah Avonside

            Goodness Geir, I wish I could say that about the UK – the country that
            allows the US (a country that does practice capital punishment) to
            extradite it’s citizens to the USA, but is not allowed to extradite US
            citizens to the UK – but then we are considering one semi-civilised (the
            UK) and one uncivilised (the USA) with a truly civilsed and humane
            country that also limits prison sentences to a maxiumum of 21 years, if I
            am indeed thinking of the correct country. I’m now worried that people
            will now be suspected of money laundering if they attempt to exchange L$
            for other virtual currencies, be suspected of terrorist activity and
            whisked away to Guantanamo Bay – that may appear extreme, but it could
            be less than far fetched with the way things are going in with the UK
            government and it’s fealty to the government of the USA.

            Don’t
            get me wrong, I know that there are many millions of decent, civlised
            people who oppose the death penalty in the USA, and who are as anxious
            as anyone that their society become truly humane, but they are not
            represented by the various governments of the USA at either state or
            federal level which supports the truly uncivilised practice of capital
            punishment, not to mention inhumane prison conditions that have also
            been successfully used to block extradition procedures from a certain
            Scandinavian country – on would hope that this would also block any
            extradition attempt to the UK with it’s equally apalling record of poor
            and inhumane prison conditions.

            Once again I think it’s yet
            another attempt by Linden Labs to raise a bogey in order to dissuade
            people from using the Linden for services other than in Second Life
            itself, especially as they are beginning to see an imcreasing exodus
            from their somewhat overpriced grid. I’m sure there is some truth in
            what they say, but hey, let’s get serious for a minute, they need to be
            far more concerned about the use of the L$ for money laundering than
            it’s use for services without, as I’m sure the volume within SL makes it
            far more attractive a proposition for that purpose than targetting
            VirWox or transfers from Avination/InWolrdz currencies, which are going
            to be miniscule and any attempt to use these transfers would be
            immediately obvious.

            Will this affect me? Yes, probably in that I
            pay for my Shoutcast stream in Linden Dollars, and that costs me the
            massive sum of L$ 1910, less than £5 or $8.

            This will probably be
            yet another huge LL own goal. I can understand where transfers are
            large, and where they could be classed as unusual activity, but again,
            the only place where the volume of transfers likely to be anywhere near
            the levels required for efficient money laundering is within Second Life
            itself.

            Perhaps it’s time for the sane virtual worlds to establish themselves on servers in Iceland!

          • Geir Nøklebye

            It is hard to say to what extent transaction volume between Avination has had anything to do with it. I’d rather think it has come up as part of an audit and the auditors may have found that cross border transactions between two companies bypassing Swift was not quite the ticket.

            My impression is that LL has a reasonable handle on money laundering in SecondLife, but that is a relatively casual observation.

            I guess Iceland could be a good place to have servers as there are plenty of bandwidth passing through and there is natural cooling all year. 🙂

            For someone who is establishing a serious grid it might be worthwhile to give the legislation the servers are placed in, and company are incorporated in a good think. I am not saying that operating out of an EU legislation is unproblematic, because there are issues with both privacy and consumer legislation that has to be taken care of. But then again it may be a marketing advantage. The tax man might also be a bit more greedy.

            I have been wondering about the UK’s stance on extraditions to the US, but it might be a “colonial affair” from back when.

            I am not in Iceland, but Norway – same heritage though.

          • Susannah Avonside

            I don’t think it’s a colonial affair in quite the way that you are thinking of it, though maybe a neo-colonial thing, given that it is the US that dominates UK government polices on issues such as privacy (or lack of these days) and human rights, as well as econonic and social policy (or lack of) – we seem to be going backwards as a nation, and personally I have never regarded the supposedly ‘special relationship’ or US government presence/influence as anything other than as a liability, as US ‘defence’ policy was to fight World War 4 (The Cold War was the third world war) would have been fought out largely in Europe. It is a sore point that extraditions seem to be one way, from the UK to the USA, but not the other way round – I’d be opposed on principle,as I consider the USA on balance as being less civilised than the UK. and anyway, prison conditions are even less humane in the USA than they are in the UK, which still locks people up for not paying local taxes or a TV licence or other trivial and non violent matters. The UK also seems rather willing to get involved with wars started by the USA, when did Norway last declare war? 1814 wasn’t it?

            I know that you’re from Norway Geir, as your Xmir has a Norwegian flag there – and If I’m not mistaken you told on my visit there that you were a Norwegian, as I believe Norewegians are won’t to do – maybe lest they be mistaken for being Swedish, (but not a Swede, because that is a vegetable!). And anyway, I would no doubt have asked where you were from anyway, as that is a national trait that Welsh people have, as almost invariably the second question we ask of a new acquaintance is where they are from, which is sometimes the cause of some cultural misunderstandings.

            Iceland also has lots of very cheap electrcity, and happens to be Northern Europe’s biggest producer of bananas.

          • Geir Nøklebye

            We ask that too – where are you from? The scary thing is that someone (foreign) blew up over it the other day in the media thinking it was something racist. Which it is not.

            I am trying to wrap my head around this Putin thing this evening. – Since you mentioned WW. There is actually some rather shocking news passing around the unofficial channels and it does involve the UK. Journos have been asked to stand by for a major announcement this weekend. Keyword is Sorcha Faal. We shall see what it amounts to.

  • Chav Paderborn

    Linden LabS?

  • Frank Corsi

    Ilan Tochner is correct!

    • Geir Nøklebye

      He is mostly correct if your vantage point is the US. Seen from across the pond he is not.