Tag Archives: SL Marketplace

Second Life Marketplace: full permission product scams

The Second Life Marketplace is both a convenience and a pain. Convenience because it provides an ease of selling / buying to users. Pain because its sheer size can make it difficult to effectively police, leaving it open to various forms of abuse.

However, Strawberry Singh has highlighted one area of concern content creators are facing, and has asked for people to pass the word on.

In Full Perm Marketplace Scams,Strawberry points to the abuse of full permission items content creators make available on the Marketplace.  Typically, these items are offered individually or in kits as templates for people to re-use in their own creations, and they generally come with an end-user licence agreement (EULA) specifying their intended use. More often than not, these EULAs forbid the re-sale of such items on an “as is” basis and / or re-sale as full permission items. And if a dedicated EULA isn’t offered, the fact that the items are not intended for full perm resale can generally be found in the listing description.

However, there are unscrupulous individuals doing just that: purchasing the items and reselling them unchanged, as full permission items, thus violating the original creator’s intent and licensing. To add insult to injury, the items undercut the original creator’s own market price.

To help raise awareness of the problem, Strawberry offers some advice on how to identify or avoid such items:

  1. Before purchasing look at the seller’s other listings. If there is a hodgepodge of brand names and the vendors all look different, they are most likely an illegal seller.
  2. Purchase the items from the in-world store of the full perm creator instead of the marketplace, to ensure that you are not purchasing from an illegal seller.
  3. Most of the illegal sellers have blank profiles. Real full perm sellers usually have a full profile filled with links to their websites, main stores and marketplace stores.
  4. Most Full Perm sellers have started using water marks on the vendor ads which say the name of the avatar that is supposed to be selling it. The illegal sellers are still using those ads, even with the watermark. So it is important to look at the name of the creator on the watermark, and if it isn’t that person selling it, don’t buy it.
  5. Try to find a way to report these items, either to Linden Lab by flagging the listing or to the original creator of the items.

It’s sound advice for anyone looking at full permission items. I’d perhaps only expand a little on point (5.) for clarity. While we may grumble about the DMCA process, it is the means by which such items can be most effectively removed from the Marketplace, as the nature of DMCA filings requires that Linden Lab respond to them accordingly.

So, if you believe an item on the Marketplace is being illegally sold and can identify, or are aware of the original creator, do be sure to contact them directly and make them aware of your concern.  Provide information on the item: where it can be found (listing, etc.), so that they might investigate for themselves, and if necessary, file a DMCA. This approach not only helps the creator take the required action to have violating listings removed, it also potentially helps to establish a history of violations which they can also put to the Lab, if necessary, which might in turn encourage the Lab to take more stringent action against repeat offenders.

Strawberry also has an article concerning in-world Giftbot scams as well. Given these are still very much a problem in-world,I’ll point you to that piece as well.

Lab announces new SL Marketplace search now live

secondlifeUpdate: August 16th: Merchants have been reporting a number of reported issues with the new search tool. The Lab has set-up a forum thread for general discussions on issues and problems. If you are experiencing issues with the new MP search, please join the discussion on the forum thread.

If you are noting specific issues which appear to be bugs, the Lab requests you add details to  BUG-37670.When doing so, please provide the following: Affected Field:  (Demo linking, Related Items, Quick Fill, etc.);  Name of Product you are editing:  (What is the name of, or link to, the item listing that you are trying to add a demo or related item); Search Term:  (What is the exact search term you have entered to try to locate the Demo, Related, or Quick Fill Template);  and if possible, provide a screenshot showing the empty search return showing the search text and the lack of results. The exception to this is “Adult rated items that contain profanity”.

On Monday, August 15th, Linden Lab announced the “new” SL Marketplace search is now live.

First issued as a beta test in November 2015, the updated search has been undergoing refinement and improvement (and bug fixing!) since then, hence why it has taken some time to reach a release status.

The new search mechanism is designed to address some of the shortfalls inherent in searching for listings and products on the Marketplace, which can often by a frustrating and time-consuming, as anyone who has used it will be able to attest.

To achieve this, it is said to be a complete step away from the older infrastructure supporting Marketplace search, with the new system hopefully being faster and more robust. In particular, the Lab point to it having a learning algorithm intended to improve search results over time – essentially, the more search is used, the better it performs. The new search also supports the use of boolean operators – AND, OR, NOT – so users can hopefully set-up more focused search criteria.

During testing, the Lab took feedback from merchants and users into account, using it to further refine and improve the new system. This obviously doesn’t mean it is flawless, but the hope is the overall experience will be improved, and will continue to improve over time. Should anyone encounter significant bugs or issues, they are asked to file a bug report. There is also a pinned Commerce Forum thread where general discussions might be continued.

Lab announces Marketplace search beta

secondlifeOn Wednesday, November 11th, the Lab announced the trial of a new Marketplace search. In particular, the Lab states they’ve been working on infrastructure changes to improve the relevance of search results and have made changes for search to scale better as more content and categories are added to the Marketplace.

Search has always been one of the large issues with the Marketplace over the years, as likely most who have used it will be able to attest. There have been attempts to improve / tweak / amend search over the years, but none have really seemed to hit the nail on the head in terms of generating appreciable improvements, which has potentially been the biggest annoyance faced by anyone using the Marketplace.; so it will be interesting to see how the new updates fare.

The updates can be tested using a special beta search Marketplace  – note they are not yet a part of the main Marketplace, so don’t expect to see changes there just yet -, with the Lab noting that further work is still in hand for boolean searches (or at least, excluding keywords from searches).

When testing the updated search capabilities, make sure your using the beta search marketplace, not the "main" marketplace

When testing the updated search capabilities, make sure your using the beta search Marketplace, not the “main” marketplace

Users are invited to use the beta Marketplace “to perform all your regular Marketplace activities”, and to report and specific issues via a JIRA bug report with the SLM Beta Search component.

In addition, there is a forum thread available for general discussion on the new search capabilities, which currently offers some mixed feedback, with ChinRey in particular (at the time of writing) offering considered feedback on some of the pluses and minuses she has observed / can see. There is also an interesting note from Grumpity Linden on why the beta search might appear to be a lot slower than the “main” MP, which is worth keeping in mind when trying it, because it is currently very slow in responding.

Again, if you do give the search beta a good try, and want to leave feedback,  make sure you use the Lab’s forum thread to do so. Comments left here aren’t likely to be read by the relevant staff at the Lab.

Viewer-managed Marketplace feedback meeting: video, audio and Q&A transcript

On Friday, December 12th, Brooke Linden chaired a meeting on the Aditi grid to discuss the upcoming Viewer-managed Marketplace (VMM) changes, which are currently undergoing beta testing on that grid. With her were core members of the Viewer-managed Marketplace development team, comprising:

  • Baker Linden has been working on the back-end of the web service for the project
  • Merov has been working on the viewer updates
  • Sklar Linden has been working on the updates to the SL marketplace itself
  • Steeltoe linden is one of the Lab’s user experience designers

Also in attendance from the Lab were Xiola Linden, lead community manager, Jeremy Linden, who is responsible for the VMM Knowledge Base documentation, and Kurt Linden from the Lab’s QA team.

The meeting was intended to gather feedback from TPV developers and merchants on the existing status of the VMM changes, as they are presented on Aditi and through the VMM project viewer. However, and for whatever reasons, attendance was somewhat low (and I plead guilty to this myself, being unable to attend), with the majority of non-Lab people attending being from TPV and viewer code development and support.

The meeting was recorded by Chakat Northspring, while Baker Linden produced an audio recording of the meeting as well.

I have embedded the video below for reference  – my thanks as always to North for providing it. It is followed by a summary of the core areas of discussion as shown in the recording, with particular emphasis on the Q&A session. Time stamps are provided so that comments can be heard in full for those preferring to read rather than listen, but do keep in mind the first part of this article is a summary, not a transcript.

Also, please note that there was a region disconnect issue at around the 32:40 mark which lasted a number of minutes. during that time the video (and voice) kept running until people re-logged, after which there was a very brief discussion. As the meeting disbanded shortly after the required relog from the disconnect, with the exception of a brief note on accessing the Aditi test regions, coverage of the meeting in this article ends at the time the disconnect occurred.

VMM Overview

The first half of the meeting [04:57 onwards] deals with how VMM will function from the user’s perspective. Most of what is discussed is covered in my overview of the VMM beta and the VMM project viewer. as well s the Lab’s VMM Knowledge Base article. However, as a very brief summary of key points:

The Marketplace listing panel is the viewer-side hub of the new VMM functionality

The Marketplace listing panel is the viewer-side hub of the new VMM functionality

  • VMM doesn’t replace the marketplace, but improves aspects of managing inventory and Marketplace listings
  • With it, items can be delivered to customers directly from a merchant’s inventory (including items which are No Copy to the merchant), eliminating the need to upload items to the Marketplace servers or use Magic Boxes in-world
  • VMM allows basic listing operations to be performed from within the viewer: creating a listing, assigning a new or updated item to a listing, amend listings, remove items from a listing, and unlist goods entirely
  • VMM does this by replacing the Merchant Outbox with a new panel, the Marketplace Listing Panel (a hidden system folder within inventory)
  • Merchants can easily “migrate” existing Marketplace listings with items to be delivered by VMM in a simple 3-step process.

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