Linden Lab’s blatant clawback

Earlier in 2008, Linden Lab overhauled their system of “void” (water) sims, each with 1875 prims to create what they called “OpenSpace” sims – low-cost sims with 3750 prims, operating at 4 to a server (rather than the usual 1 sim per server).

At the time these were shamelessly promoted by LL as a means for land owners to “make money”. They were also stunningly successful – in fact, it now seems, too successful.

Under the guise of a series of weak-kneed excuses, Linden Lab has issued a notification of massive hikes in the cost of OpenSpace sims – hikes that see the monthly tier raise by some 66% from January 2009. At the same time, they are restricting all opportunities to transfer OpenSpace sims between users (one of the very planks they used in their campaign to get land owners to buy OpenSpace sims in the first place).

One of the issues LL cite for this unprecedented clawback is “sim over-use”, alleging that the OpenSpace sims were intended to be “open spaces” and not overly developed. Well, lets look at one of the chief abusers of this “light use” so-called “policy” for OpenSpace sims.

“Space Base” is a place where (quote): “Several researchers are stationed at this remote outpost, hoping to uncover the secrets of an alien world.” It is a build totalling some 3113 prims on a sim. It is a place developed for sci-fi roleplay, where people are encouraged to go. It is a place owned by…Linden Lab and it is a place located on Mos Ainsley – an OpenSpace sim….

Then there is the glorious new LL realm of “Nautilus” – now we’ve all seen the login page notices extolling us all to go and explore and even LIVE in Nautilus. Well.. guess what….yup, you’re WAY ahead of me…

Nautilus has no fewer than 22 OpenSpace sims, the majority averaging around 50% total prim usage….

Can anyone say “double standards”?

So… who exactly is “abusing” the OpenSpace sim “rules” in these two cases…..?

But back to the salient point. Whether you own an OpenSpace sim or rent land on an OpenSpace sim or not is irrelevant – this kind of arbitrary action on the part of Linden Lab, coming at a time of HUGE economic downturn globally & coupled with (again) falling standards of service within SL (witness the increasing grid-wide lag), is nothing short of cynical money-grabbing, and could set yet another very negative trend off in LL / Customer relations.

A JIRA has been started to let LL FORMALLY know the depth of feeling with regards to this propsal. I urge all of you to go along to it and vote – and to do so whether or not you are an OpenSpace owner / user.

To vote:

Log-in to the JIRA system using the link at the top right of the page & using your SL user name and password.

Go to the leftmost column of the JIRA page and scroll down to the VOTE FOR IT link.

Thanks for your support!


Since the above was posted – surprise, surprise, Mos Ainsley was taken down by LL for several hours. When it returned, it had been upgraded to a full sim. And just in case you doubt Mos Ainsley was an OpenSpace, here’s a picture – note the total prim count for the sim on the right of the image – 3750 not 15,000….