Account Changes (LL Blog)

Amity Slade

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A business that is in the business of holding its clients' money for them has a bunch of legal responsibilities to the client and to the government concerning that money. No business wants to take on all those responsibilities for small change, or wants to hold on to those responsibilities for infinite duration. Small dormant accounts are legal burdens, and that's why any business holding on to a client's money wants that client to use it or lose it.

Linden Lab hasn't done a good job of defining the type of account with which they are concerned. Plus the way it has treated Linden dollars has always been confusing. (The "dollar" in "Linden dollar" makes it sound like currency, right?) Remember that when you want to cash-out your Linden dollars, it is not Linden Lab paying you- Linden Lab facilitates a transaction between you and another resident in which the other resident buys your Linden dollars. Linden Lab disclaims any sort of responsibility whatsoever to compensate you for the Linden dollars in your account.

So theoretically you have nothing of monetary value in your account until a third-party buys your Linden dollars, and Linden Lab is holding on to that money from the third-party prior to giving it to you in the form of a cash-out, or paying it to Linden Lab if you owe it money. Or I suppose the other way money gets into your account is if someone buys something on the Marketplace using the option to pay with USD instead of Linden dollars, if that's still a Marketplace option.

So only an account that holds real money that already belongs to you is affected. As far as I know, the only ways to get there are via cash-out, or selling things for USD on Marketplace.

Linden dollars don't qualify as real money. With an account that just pays Linden Lab for its services (e.g. Premium payments and land payments), that money belongs to Linden Lab immediately upon receipt, so those payments to not accumulate as money in your account that belongs to you.
 

Beebo Brink

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This bears repeating:
Linden dollars don't qualify as real money.
If you haven't sold your Lindens on the exchange, and you don't have any USD balance, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

If you have sold Lindens and you've got USD sitting in your account, then either cash out or pay your Premium fees from it. Don't just sit on your pot of gold.
 

Kara Spengler

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Thanks, AFAIK I do not have a USD balance, once a year SL just hits my paypal for my annual fee.
 

Kara Spengler

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A business that is in the business of holding its clients' money for them has a bunch of legal responsibilities to the client and to the government concerning that money. No business wants to take on all those responsibilities for small change, or wants to hold on to those responsibilities for infinite duration. Small dormant accounts are legal burdens, and that's why any business holding on to a client's money wants that client to use it or lose it.

Linden Lab hasn't done a good job of defining the type of account with which they are concerned. Plus the way it has treated Linden dollars has always been confusing. (The "dollar" in "Linden dollar" makes it sound like currency, right?) Remember that when you want to cash-out your Linden dollars, it is not Linden Lab paying you- Linden Lab facilitates a transaction between you and another resident in which the other resident buys your Linden dollars. Linden Lab disclaims any sort of responsibility whatsoever to compensate you for the Linden dollars in your account.

So theoretically you have nothing of monetary value in your account until a third-party buys your Linden dollars, and Linden Lab is holding on to that money from the third-party prior to giving it to you in the form of a cash-out, or paying it to Linden Lab if you owe it money. Or I suppose the other way money gets into your account is if someone buys something on the Marketplace using the option to pay with USD instead of Linden dollars, if that's still a Marketplace option.

So only an account that holds real money that already belongs to you is affected. As far as I know, the only ways to get there are via cash-out, or selling things for USD on Marketplace.

Linden dollars don't qualify as real money. With an account that just pays Linden Lab for its services (e.g. Premium payments and land payments), that money belongs to Linden Lab immediately upon receipt, so those payments to not accumulate as money in your account that belongs to you.
I wish LL could be this straightforward. They would have saved a lot of premium account holders who do not create content from freaking out all over their forums.
 

Kalel

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Hm.. if I’m not accepting these ToS’s.

Does that mean I’m done with SL?
your account will still be there, you can attempt to login... you won't be able to "use the software" until you accept it..(including accepting it on all your alts)
 

Adeon Writer

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your account will still be there, you can attempt to login... you won't be able to "use the software" until you accept it..(including accepting it on all your alts)
Interestingly, I can still receive and reply to offline IM’s via email. I might be good into the foreseeable future.

I wonder if they’ve are permitted to Ding my balance on accounts that haven’t accepted the term?
 
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RealVioletWitch

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We do keep a USD balance in one premium account, cos of the monthly tier fees for our little piece of mainland. Every few months we sell a bunch of L$ to prop up the USD balance, and then don't hafta worry about LL ever hitting our credit card. The tier nibbles away at it, and once a year the premium renewal drains it. We have 2 other premiums but they'll be going back to basic before they renew cos of the increased premium rate.

Anyways so it looks like we don't gotta worry cos there's transactions every month for the tier, the account's not 'inactive'. we also log into SL a few times a week too so its not inactive there either.
 

Galen McGinnis

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same login/same password... OPSEC FAIL!

(can i be any clearer?)

SL survives in spite of it's creators, and now presumably maintainers, though little proof of this is offered.
Stay or go has never had anything to do with the technology, it has always been about the people, something LL has never really understood.
 

Amity Slade

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I wish LL could be this straightforward. They would have saved a lot of premium account holders who do not create content from freaking out all over their forums.
Part of the vagueness may be because Linden Lab doesn't want advertise the fact that it is regulated as a financial services provider. The main thrust of the ToS is that Linden Lab can do whatever it wants to you and you have no legal recourse. Regulations and regulatory bodies could provide you legal recourse in some disputes with Linden Lab.

For example, Lindan Lab via the ToS says it can casually suspend or terminate your account. I am not by any means an expert in financial regulation, but I suspect if I rooted around a bit, I bet I could find some regulations governing when Linden Lab can and cannot deny access to the money in your account. Denying your access to Second Life is one thing, denying access to your money is a completely separate matter.
 

Da5id Weatherwax

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same login/same password... OPSEC FAIL!
More like "common authenticator service" which is no more a security failing than it would be in any other circumstance. Authenticating against a service "maintained by someone else" is hardly an uncommon practice - and it's that "someone else" who is responsible for that services security. In this case, I would not be surprised if LL were to spin off the auth service to tilia as well as the "money service" side of things so rather than tilia authenticating against a "SL" service ("money service" using a "game authenticator" - not good regulatory optics) it was the other way around ("Tilia's authentication is compliant with money service standards and they don't get better than that, so we're using their service...") which would be viable since they are requiring every SL user to have a Tilia account
 
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Ailsa Muliaina

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Why would you leave actual dollars in an inactive account though?
Until now it's been a safe enough thing to do. So anyone who didn't read the Tilia info really carefully could think their dollar balance is totally safe. I think the inactivity fees are something LL should have highlighted in their emails to customers and in the terms for Tilia.

Part of the issue was set up by LL when they changed the fees for processing credit. Say you have a modest linden balance to cash out, you convert it to dollars and go to process credit. You then realise that you'll lose at least $3 of your money if you cash out now. Let's presume the user has say $15 balance. The logical thing to do is leave that dollar balance where it is, wait until you have what seems like a lot more lindens and cash out a larger sum. Then you only get hit with 1 x $3 fee, rather than several if you cashed out multiple smaller amounts. If you're more sneaky, you set your lindens to sell above the going rate which takes longer but can earn you the $3 extra to offset against fees. The problem is going to come with some users who do that and aren't aware of the inactive charge.
 
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Argent Stonecutter

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Hmmm. I've got US$ credit that's almost exactly the transaction fee for turning it into L$, so I guess I'll let that evaporate.
 

Noodles

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Hmmm. I've got US$ credit that's almost exactly the transaction fee for turning it into L$, so I guess I'll let that evaporate.
Why not just roll it back into L$? Not enough for the minimum I guess probably
 
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Noodles

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Because I wouldn't net any L$, it would all go into the transaction fee.
Derp, I misread that as being the transaction fee to transfer cash to PayPal (or whatever). Isn't there a fee for that?
 

Argent Stonecutter

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I think that's a percentage. I haven't ever done that.
 

Ailsa Muliaina

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Derp, I misread that as being the transaction fee to transfer cash to PayPal (or whatever). Isn't there a fee for that?
Yep, the fee to take out to Paypal/bank is 5% with a minimum fee of $3, max $500. Which is why you really notice the fees on smaller cash-outs now.