Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jack Linden 'Clarifies' the new Ad farming policy:

In a blog post on the official Linden blog Jack Linden says: 
"In this follow-up blog post on Ad Farming, I will be talking about the new rules. As with my previous post, I’d like to then move the discussion into this thread on the forums so that as many of you as possible can give us your opinion over the next few days.
A number of you have raised concerns over going the formal license route, and we too have come to the conclusion that this isn’t the best option. So instead we are going to cover ad farming activities (and the operating of network advertising businesses) under our Terms of Service, specifically as Harassment under clause 4.1. By Networked Advertising, we are specifically talking about the use of multiple parcels, on multiple regions, for the primary purpose of advertising, usually on behalf of other inworld or real world businesses.
What does this mean? if you operate any such networked advertising business on the Linden Mainland, that breaks any one of the following rules or restrictions, we will consider it to be a Terms of Service violation leading to disciplinary action that can include account suspension and loss of land."

Seen by many as Linden Lab backtracking on the previous policy and again giving in to the large Ad networks on the mainland the new policy raises a lot more questions than it answers as can be seen from the Forum discussion.
Many are disappointed and confused by the lack of a clear cut policy, although this would probably be impossible to achieve or enforce anyway. Not defining an exact policy allows LL as always the option to take action without having to stipulate the 'why'.
It is to be hoped that this will wipe out the ugly sights on the Linden mainland but it is now looking less and less likely:

"We will allow no more than 50 advertising locations owned by a single individual, whether personally owned or via groups in which you are a member, unless you have written permission from Linden Lab to exceed this limit.Use of Alt accounts/groups to circumvent this restriction will be considered a violation.
In addition to the cap, we will allow no more than 1 advertising placement by an individual in any single region."

50 ads spread over 50 regions - with Linden Lab unable to trace alts this seems easily circumvented.
The policy also does not address the land extortion that has been going on for a very long time it is to be hoped that eventually Linden Lab will do something about this too.
The fact of the policy being created at all gives hope - but when up against some of the biggest offenders I can see no way for LL to deal effectively with them. They as always will find ways around it.
Be sure to share your opinions in the Forum, its the only way we really have of getting questions answered when a Linden condescends to join the discussion - but at least there seems to be some ears open since the last forum on this subject.

Dana Vanmoer

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