On January 30th, 2014, Linden Lab updated its Bot Policy. The update is small, but potentially far-reaching, outlawing the use of bots for mainland parcel purchases.
Updated by Patch Linden, the revisions comprise two parts: a comment on the use of bots in mainland parcel sales, and an update to the policy itself barring the automated purchase of mainland parcels via bots, etc. In turn, these read:
Mainland parcel sales and bots
Some bots are used to automate the purchase of Mainland parcels priced below fair market values.
Using bots to purchase Mainland parcels is not allowed
The use of bots, autonomous software, scripting (manual or automated), scripted agents, or any systems or software internal or external to the Second Life service that circumvent, automate and/or remove the human interaction required to purchase a Land parcel within Second Life on the Linden Lab owned Mainland is prohibited.
With thanks to Mona Eberhardt.
17 thoughts on “Lab Updates Bot Policy”
What prompted that after all these years?
I wouldn’t be surprised if questions had been asked about money-laundering. Land sales are about the only transactions in SL of sufficient value to be worth making the effort. There’s other problems with money laundering through SL, the money is already in the banking system, but a FinCEN enquiry costs the company whether justified or not.
Agree with Danko, this is several years late, I’d say they are likely to be more help than hindrance with land prices so low these days.
This is good news but I find it amazing that the Lindens realized land bots are a problem after all these years.
Better late than never.
Landbots are about the only way you can sell mainland these days if you need to cash in fast. This makes no sense.
Personally, I share Indigo Mertel’s feelings on this. It’s a good move. The reason is that landbots are, in essence, a way to manipulate and – if you want – game the system in order to gain an unfair advantage over other buyers. On various SL-related fora and blogs, we see stories about how someone wanted to sell a parcel for a symbolic price to a friend (which is well within their rights) and, within seconds, someone’s landbot had already purchased the parcel. This move came tremendously late, but… Better late than never.
No argument here, Mona, I’m with you. I lost half a mainland region to a bot once. Had a buyer for it too. Was a tech glitch that caused it – lag basically. Was nothing I could do about it. Except verbally abuse the land baron who showed up a few minutes later.
So I don’t think bots are fair either.
Although Ciaran’s point is a good one too.
But I mean my question above quite literally. What prompted them to finally take action? Did somebody wake up one day and say – “Hey, let’s fix the land bot thing today!” Or did it take them a half dozen years to work their way down the To Do List and finally get to it? Or, is this in response to some recent events. Most likely the latter. I’m just wondering what it was.
I think Occam’s Razor points us to one thing: Perhaps the Lab realised it was losing money because of the use of landbots. Land is generally sold between users with L$, right? Well, we generally buy L$ with RL money. So, they might have seen that the use of landbots was so widespread that it led to certain land barons making a pretty penny out of renting land they bought for extremely little money.
I’d agree with you if this were seven years ago. However with land prices so low these days, there probably aren’t many land bot runners active now and those who are will still be able to use bots to run searches to find plots quickly.
Ciaran, I assure you that there are still land bots running and they proved to be a real nuissance for members of the East River Community more than once. I was hit by a land bot a couple of years ago and a the latest episode happened only a couple of months ago to another member of the community. And even if this move won’t stop land bots entirely there is at least a policy I can appeal to with Linden Lab.
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