- What happened to Woodbury?
- Lets at least start the speculation out rationally, with a timeline of known facts. These are just facts. We can speculate on whether these facts relate to Woodbury's situation or not:
- Two weeks before the bannings: According to Tizzy Teardrop's twitter feed, two weeks before the banhammer struck Woodbury was approved for an academic discount by Jack Linden:
- Related? Maybe. If they agreed to an academic discount they also agreed to be PG and non-commercial. Jack might have been getting them to agree to that in order to get them in a contract they would have problems keeping. Woodbury might have forgotten to take down the penises or left a vendor out, which might have given LL enough legal reason to kick them out of SL.
- Link: http://twitter.com/Tizzers/status/12662893173
- April 11: The video of The Wrong Hands interrogating Fractured Crystal (Jcool) about the Onyx project is posted to YouTube. The Herald runs a story on it the next day. It is widely held that this is evidence that Fractured Crystal is violating TOS.
- Related? Probably. It fits with other parts of the timeline.
- Link: http://alphavilleherald.com/2010/04/emerald-viewer-76000-unique-users-could-be-wrong.html
- April 14: zFire's notecard about Scarlett Vielle claiming copyright over speed rezzer and suing other content creators over it goes out to the opensource-dev mailing list. This turns into an article at Massively. Modular systems announces in response that they will be removing the function that speed rezzer relies on.
- Related? Probably not, but who knows? It has to do with Emerald, so it might be salient.
- Link: http://bit.ly/cYbcOY
- April 15: The Evans et al vs Linden Labs suit is filed, setting up a class action where residents are suing LL for their ownership rights.
- Related? Given the timing, there is a remote possibility. Was Woodbury involved with this suit at all? If they were that might explain their demise.
- Link: http://www.virtuallanddispute.com/
- April 16: Prokovy Neva posts that the Emerald team removed their advertising from Woodbury land. Could this be a sign that Fractured Crystal knew what was about to happen to Woodbury? How would he have known if he was not involved in the decision to boot them?
- Related? I think so.
- Link: http://bit.ly/bMWMGg
- April 19: ModularSystems rolls out their new third party viewer compatible viewer.
- Related? Looks harmless enough on the surface, but read on to see why this looks odd to me.
- Link: http://bit.ly/d1oxiU
- April 20: Woodbury's land is reclaimed or shut down and it's members accounts are cleared on the 140th birthday of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Kind of a neat coincidence, isn't it? This was carefully planned by somebody familiar with Russian history. If Prok was involved he did not tip his hand on his blog that he knew what was going on before it happened.
- The regions involved are Soviet Woodbury, Fetid Inner Sandbox, Animation and Estonia. Ravenglass was reverted back to Governor Linden. This was not a simple mass account killing and land reclamation. A cease and desist letter was sent to Dr. Edward Clift (founder of Woodbury and rated as a hot professor on ratemyprofessors.com). The letter basically stated that Linden Labs no longer wishes to provide services to Woodbury University and asked them to respect Linden Labs wishes. This information is from the chronicle of higher education, which interviewed Tizzy as part of the story.
- The banning is accompanied by articles all over the pundit blogosphere of SL from Prok, Lum, the JLU and others. More deeply connected bloggers like Hamlet Au are silent on the subject.
- The JLU site Krypton Radio reported that LL had two embedded agents within Woodbury at the time and that three members of The Wrong Hands survived the cleansing ban hammer. They definitely have the records to compare to the search results, so the information on the survivors is probably reliable, but I highly doubt that the JLU has the political weight to successfully lobby to ban Woodbury. If they did it would have happened a long time ago.
- Related? Definitely.
- Chronicle of Higher Education: : http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Woodbury-U-Banned-From-Second/23352/
- Prok: http://bit.ly/aJh5PE
- (Plus, everything else he posted on April 20)
- Lum: http://bit.ly/cAChNF
- Krypton Radio: http://bit.ly/a43F1e
- Clift on ratemyprofessors.com: http://bit.ly/aKa8aX
- April 23: Modular Systems is approved on the official third party viewer list made by Linden Labs.
- Related? Maybe.
- Link: http://bit.ly/cEkPn8
- Since then no new information has come to light that I can see. Woodbury's most visible enemies seem to be modular systems, the JLU and Prok. I think modular systems is the only one with the influence and motive to do this. They tipped their hand when they removed their advertising from Woodbury only days before the takedown.
- The woodbury.su web site forum has a list of the dead accounts and ticket numbers piling up. They say they are contacting the ACLU, but perhaps they might do better signing onto the Evans et al vs LL suit (see http://www.virtuallanddispute.com/ ). Perhaps the Evans suit is set up by LL as a red herring, a way for them to get Woodbury to make a case in the worst possible way and by nature of double jeopardy, LL might get out of the consequences of whatever laws they might have broken when they killed Woodbury.
- Does the LL legal team have the resources to send a cease and desist letter to Woodbury's RL professors, fight off Evans et al and Fahy all at the same time if these cases are not related somehow? They probably do, but why fight all these cases at once like this?
- One post on the Woodbury forum speculates that Fractured Crystal has the power to kill the SL asset server and he used that power to blackmail LL into killing the Woodbury sim:
- I doubt he has that kind of power over the asset server, but the facts do suggest that he was involved somehow.
- The Nichols mafia gave Woodbury temporary emergency shelter after the bans:
- Here is my best working theory so far:
- The new third party viewer policy is despised among third party developers. Many have completely stopped working on their viewers over it and the opensource-dev mailing list has been nothing but flames for the past two months. If modular systems decided to not play ball with the new policy and either develop outside of it (by developing for OpenSim and leaving the function to log into SL in the viewer, but not supporting it officially) or if modular systems decided to cease development all together, that would be a huge problem. Linden Labs would be in a situation where they would have to ban at least a third of their oldest, most active residents for using a non-TPV compliant viewer. Modular Systems willingness to work with the policy could make or break the entire open source viewer project.
- According to Prok's blog, Modular Systems claims that the only reason they are not on the approved TPV list sooner is because they are waiting for the modularsystems surname to go through so they can get the viewer "approved in style". This is from Prok's blog, so take that with a grain of salt. http://bit.ly/cIw87U
- Fractured Crystal owns modularsystems.sl and all of their server space, and because of that LordGregGreg told me once that Fractured Crystal is the owner of modular systems and all of their projects. It's his show. I think that out of spite he was withholding support of the new TPV policy until a list of demands were met by LL, and I think destroying Woodbury is one of his demands. Fractured Crystal did loose quite a lot of face at the hands of Woodbury in that YouTube video, so he does have motive.
- That's the best information I have.
- We shall now return you to your regularly scheduled outrage and wild speculation by people who know more than I do.
a guest Apr 24th, 2010 455 Never
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