Saturday, December 16, 2017

News and Commentary: Linden Lab Offers Apology to Strawberry Singh Following Takedown Demand

By Bixyl Shuftan

Protecting what they consider trademarked images and names has been an issue for companies for decades. For instance, for years the Lego corporation has asked people to call it's building toys "Lego bricks" and not "legos." Some have gotten a reputation for going overboard, such as when Disney once demanded a preschool paint over images of Mickey Mouse and other characters. For Linden Lab, the issue of trademarks usually comes up when one of it's residents makes an item inworld that is trademarked by someone else. But it's own trademarks haven't been an issue for many years, until now.

Strawberry Singh is a noted and award-winning blogger of Second Life, one whom has been doing so for years. On December 13, she announced she was removing one of her tutorial videos, "Introduction to Second Life." The reason, one of the Lindens, Tia Linden, complained to Youtube about it, and Youtube gave Strawberry 48 hours to resolve the issue before taking action on her account. Wondering what was wrong, Strawberry emailed Tia asking what was the issue. Tia soon answered, saying while they appreciated her continued support of Second Life, "we have not given you permission to use Linden Lab's intellectual property in the manner of which you have done." She emailed her again, but did not get an answer by the time the 48 hours was almost up and deleted the video, saying in her blog post, "in the future, I probably won’t be doing any other tutorials like this where I show how to use Second Life because their logos might pop up in the videos." She would tell Hamlet Au when he asked shortly afterwards that she didn't think the Lab cared she was promoting the virtual world.

As Strawberry's blog has a lot of readers, it didn't take long for word to get around, to New World Notes, Modem World, Living Virtually, and presumably other blogs. Hamlet Au would write, "Linden Lab's actions are contrary in spirit if not in letter to its stated policies around medua use of its trademarks." Inara Pey wrote, "the statement that certain images and logos now cannot be use in any capacity. If this is now the case, it is worrying for many of us who routinely blog about Second Life and have used such images and logos. ... Where do we now stand if we are now seeing a shift in position from Linden Lab? Are we now in violation of a new prohibition on image use?" Mona Eberhardt's title of her commentary was more blunt, "Yet Another Stupid D**k Move by Linden Lab." Daniel Voyager has yet to write about the incident, as of the writing of this article, but did end up retweeting a statement from Ebbe Linden (left).

Eventually, the Lab began to realize it had a public relations mess on it's hands. Ebbe Linden ended up defending Tia Linden from an angry Tweet by Mona Eberhardt, "I'm willing to take all kinds of heat, but suggesting that Tia is anything but an incredible team player and professional crosses the line for me. ... We will review policies that make things better and easier for us all though."On Thursday, they issued a public apology on the official Second Life blog.

Recently, the Linden Lab IP team sent a takedown request regarding a YouTube video created by the great Strawberry Singh. She and many others have pointed out that this seems like a mistake, and we agree. We have reversed that takedown request and have reached out directly to Strawberry, but would also like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to her. 

Strawberry, we feel fortunate to have you as a member of our Second Life community (and Sansar as well!), and we are grateful for the public support that your blog, YouTube channel, and other social media activity provides. We’re fans of your work, we are sorry for this misstep, and we hope you will continue sharing your awesome videos.

Following the apology, the Lab explained that the incident came from it's policy of protecting it's trademarked images, and that it would be revised to allow people to write about and video to promote Second Life without worry of hassle, "While we still need policies in place to protect our trademarks, we will apply them as permissively as we can with the goal of encouraging and supporting our community."

Strawberry would tell the Newser, "Aside from a big thank you to all of my readers that gave me so much support yesterday I really don't know what else to say. I was so surprised at the response my post got as my reason for doing the post was just to inform others of what happened so they don't experience the same thing I did. I never expected that people would be so vocal and supportive and do all that they did for me yesterday. I was also pleasantly surprised with the Lab's response too. I was not expecting a response at all so all of it was so encouraging and uplifting and I'm so happy that the end result will be hopefully a better policy for all Second Life bloggers and bloggers in the future."

Linden Lab also mentioned what happened with a parody blog in January 2007 in which the blogger invited the Lab to issue a "cease and desist" letter. But instead Linden Lab's lawyer issued an "uncease and desist" letter, stating, "Linden Lab objects to any implication that it would employ lawyers incapable of distinguishing such obvious parody."

Also at the time, there was at least one instance of someone making modifications of the eye in hand symbol for the purposes of promoting Second Life. In early 2006, Yiffy Yaffle came up with a "Second Life Furry" logo as a way for sims to be identified as having a population of furs. The symbol is seldom seen today, though presumably from lack of interest.

Perhaps the incident was the result of one overzealous employee, but unfortunately Linden Lab has a history of making foul-ups such as this. While the Lab did apologize to Strawberry, that the incident happened in the first place is likely to be seen by many longtime residents as just the latest in a long series of blunders.

Sources: Strawberry Singh, Linden Lab, Washington Post,Twitter

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "Jenny's Holy Night"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Nikira Naimarc and Die Villa on Nov 23, "Life is unfair. That feels also the little Jenny. She not only has to fight against the cold of the winter, but also against the cold in us. The pursuit of wealth, money and prestige leaves us too often blind and we also unlearn to look carefully left and right. Maybe the little Jenny will open our heart as well."

Crew Meeting

Last week on December 9, the Newser held it's crew meeting at it's office in HV Community. Due to technical difficulties, a couple were unable to attend. From left to right are Shaza Denver, Alura Denver, Bixyl Shuftan (me), and Klaus Bereznyak. We went over a few ideas on what to cover for the month of December.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, December 15, 2017

North Pole Village

With only ten days left until the big day, Gemma Cleanslate's exploration of Christmas-themed places took her to a place that kids will think of when the holiday comes to mind: North Pole Village. Gemma looked around, seeing where the cookies and toys are made, the elves dormitory, and a peek at the jolly old elf himself.

Read Gemma's story in Places.

News and Commentary: FCC Votes to Scrap Net Neutrality Protection

By Bixyl Shuftan

No, the Internet isn't dead. But things will almost certainly be getting more difficult and complicated for many of us.

Yesterday on December 14, in a 3-2 decision, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the rules it passed to enforce Net Neutrality.  Outside, the building, protestors called on the Commission to maintain the rules, and the proceedings were briefly interrupted by a bomb threat. The vote came despite calls to maintain the rules by Congressmen and women of both political parties, tech companies and other businesses, and thousands of individuals. Jessica Rosenworcel (D), one of the two dissenting votes, called the decision a “rash decision ... on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public. ... This is not good ... Not good for consumers. Not good for businesses. Not good for anyone who connects and creates online.” 

So what happens next? The attorney generals of several states have indicated they will or will likely sue to the FCC to reverse it's decision. It's probably the number will grow as nineteen state attorney generals appealed to the FCC to delay it's Net Neutrality ruling due to the huge numbers of online requests to repeal it being made with stolen identities. In the meantime, the FCC will be making final adjustments to the new rules, or the absence of, which will likely take a few weeks, and will take a few months to be official after being filed on the Federal register. After that, while Internet Service Providers will be free to throttle Internet access to all but favored customers, slow down or block access to websites and services of rival companies, or impose limits on broadband use that would result in huge fees or disconnection of exceeded. "The Verge" suggested for most customers, rather than obvious restrictions, they will see more subtle moves by ISPs to get a little more money from them, "that may initially sound good. But in the long run, they disadvantage upstarts that don’t have the money to pay up. ... we may not know what products and services we missed out on because they never made it through the mess." Philp Rosedale, the founder of Linden Lab, was more worried that ISPs would be fairly likely to impose limits on broadband use.

It's possible Congress may pass laws of it's own to restore Net Neutrality protections. Wired reported that, "Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) recently called for Congress to pass bipartisan net neutrality legislation. In 2015, Thune and Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan) introduced a bill that would have banned blocking or slowing legal content, but limited the FCC's authority over internet service providers." While neither efforts got much of anywhere at the time, after the FCC's decision, there may be more of a sense of urgency, as well as a desire to calm down the voters whom emailed them about the issue.

So what does Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the FCC who wrote the proposal to dismantle Net neutrality think of the criticism? He responded to it with this video. a semi-subtle slam at the critics in which he grins at the audience while telling them of "7 Things You Can Still Do On The Internet After Net Neutrality." It's notable in the "Game of Thrones" clip the dragon flies right over Pai, and in the "Star Wars" reference he wears a dark outfit while wielding a lightsaber. Pai would almost certainly know that opens himself up to people doing videos of the dragon catching and eating him or Star Wars parodies of him being the new Dark Lord of the Sith. Maybe he thinks it's funny, feels it gives his critics something to hate besides the overturning of Net Neutrality protections, or both.

Hopefully the protections Net Neutrality once had will be restored soon.

Sources: BBCArs Technica, The Verge, Wired, Av Club 

Bixyl Shuftan

My Last Article For SL Newser

Over time, the Second Life Newser has had a number of writers. Among them was Wesley Regenbogen, whom over time wrote many articles. Unfortunately, Wesley has stated he can no longer write for the Newser, and will be leaving us. Before departing for good, he had one final article.

Read Wesley's goodbye in Extra.

This Week At The Science Circle: "The Future of Fukushima"

Saturday, December 16th at 8 AM PST

"The Future of Fukushima: The Reconstruction and the Radiation Protection" by Fumon Crystal
A magnitude 9.0 earthquake on 11th March 2011 resulted in a tsunami and nuclear accident.

There are ***still*** over 80 thousand evacuees in 2017.

They come to grips with the reconstruction and decontamination after the disaster and enjoy their everyday life. There are the dignified smiling people and the diverse cultures in Fukushima. For the renewal of the agriculture and the fishery, scientists, engineers, and local media’s are collaborated in the science communication and the public understanding of science on the radiation and the health care from the external and internal exposure based on the evidence.

This Science Circle session provides the actual cases how to live in the low dose waiting zones according to the major concepts by ICRP publications and the reconstruction of the social infrastructures.

Presenter visualized such efforts as evidences of history at “la Médiathèque de la Radioactivité” under consultation of Hajime Nishimura.

The presenter will guide you through the Fukushima exhibition at 4000m Sky of Edu Portal, The Science Circle.

Note: Presenter uses text chat in English.

More information about Crystal's excursion at .

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Railroad Stop at the Newser Office

The work on the land of the Sunweaver community never seems to stop these days. Those going about the Sunweaver Estates have noticed railroad tracks in the Sunweaver Space sim for some time. In October, Cynthia Farshore told the Newser the railroad would soon be extended into Sunlight Bay. Earlier this week, the rail system was extended into HV Community. As the "Brandi's Intimates" store and the SL Newser office were the largest public locations at ground level, the railroad was laid between them on a bridge with a station there.

Laying the track and building the station required the taking down of one fountain as it couldn't be reduced in size. But no doubt the rail system will be an interesting touch to the sim.

The railroad tracks have been extended to the edge of the Sunny Beach sim. Getting the system through there and into Sunweaver Bay will require talks with the owner.

Correction: Earlier the Newser wrote that Cynthia Farshore's friend Shockwave Yareach was helping her build the railroad. He has since contacted us saying the work was all hers.

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Fundraiser at Veterans Isle on Saturday

Frets Nirvana and US Military Veterans Group announce the 2017 December benefit for Homes For Our Troops in Second Life! 

Frets Nirvana, the premier guitar artist in the virtual world Second Life and the US Military Veterans Group announce the 2017 December benefit on December 16, 2017 in Second Life for the Veterans Support Organization  Home For Our Troops .

Frets Nirvana states:  “HFOT is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these Veterans are multiple amputees, paraplegic, quadriplegic or suffered severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).  As of January 2017 they have built 229 homes for severly wounded Veterans and have another 85 projects underway.  Since its inception in 2004, over 90 cents of every dollar spent by Homes for Our Troop has gone to directly support Veterans. ”

Home for Our Troops benefit concerts feature premier Second Life talent monthly at Veteran’s Isle.  The concert on December 16, 2017 is scheduled from 11AM- 4 PM PST.  Featured artists will be DJ Waya Snowpaw, Frets Nirvana, Keeba Tammas, Qqquartzz, and Max Kleene.

ABOUT HOMES FOR OUR TROOPS  - HFOT builds homes as a departure point for Veterans to rebuild their lives, and once again become highly productive members of society. Despite their life-altering injuries, many Veterans have embarked on new careers, completed their college degrees, or started families. Empowered by the freedom a mortgage-free and specially adapted home brings, these Veterans can now focus on their recovery and return to their life’s work of serving others. Many have embraced their roles as motivational speakers, sharing their messages of persevering through tragedy with groups and classrooms around the country; others take to a national platform to promote awareness of veteran suicide, homelessness and PTSD. Their incredible stories are the driving force for the work for HFOT. To learn more about the Homes For Our Troops visit

Sponsored by Frets Nirvana and the U.S. Military Veterans Group of Second Life.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: Dalek Pony

Ponies and Daleks seem like an impossible combination as the former value friendship and the later values hate. But this one found a way,"Am I not Dalek-tible in this outfit?"

By Bixyl Shuftan

Christmas at Calas

Gemma's journeys across Christmas-themed places have taken her to a favorite location: Calas Galadhon Park. The region is not static, but it's owners Ty Tenk and Truck Meredith make changes every season. Every Christmas, they do something special, and when Gemma traveled over to see what they were, she found some sights to behold.

Read Gemma's story in Places.

Linden Lab Issues Statement Supporting Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality has become an issue in recent weeks when the Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, released a report calling for the repeal of laws protecting it. The result was numerous protests from individuals. But corporations and organizations have also joined the fight calling for Net Neutrality's continued protection. On Tuesday December 12, Linden Lab joined the number of businesses in it's support.

We at Linden Lab believe that net neutrality is extremely important. Lifting the FCC’s Open Internet Rules would not only jeopardize the experience of Residents using Second Life, but can also negatively impact all aspects of our online lives.
Later this week, Congress will vote on this issue, and we encourage Second Life residents to join us in calling on our representatives to preserve net neutrality. 

To that end, we have joined the “Break the Internet” initiative, and if you visit or login to Second Life today, you’ll notice a pop-up tool (snapshot below) that makes it easy to send a message in support of net neutrality. Of course, if you’d prefer not to use this, you can simply close the pop-up and login as usual, but we hope you’ll consider adding your voice to this important issue.

"Break the Internet" is a page that offers a number of ways to protest the move to remove Net Neutrality, from calling local representatives and senators, to spreading awareness, such as the following video.

"Twisted Christmas" Special at the Happy Vixen Club

It's that time of year again....a week from Christmas and just so damn tired of the saccharine sickeningly sweet yule tide pablum being spoon fed down our throats by every media outlet in the world to make sure they get their share of the pie.  It's enough to make even the most charitable soul scream "Bah Humbug!" So on that note, it's time for the "Twisted Christmas" special event. This event will have numerous funny songs and parodies from mild to wild to "Oh-Em-Eff-Gee, what were they thinking?!" There will be adult songs, so those with sensitive ears beware. So come on over and "stick it" to the sappy side of Xmas.

4PM to 7PM : DJ Naughty Nydia
7PM to 9PM : DJ Geerkil and the Dragon Crew

Purrfection Estates (236, 219, 24)  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Events This Week at the Sunweaver and Furry Fashion Clubs

It's a week of events at the Sunweaver and Angel clubs, and the Furry Fashion Lounge. Thia includes the "Twisted Christmas" special at the Happy Vixen.

Club Cutlass: Best in 'G,' Stripes/Spots, On the Job

Club Zero Gravity: Red and Green, Sled Pullers

The Happy Vixen: Pets, Wings, Weird Science, Steampunk, Red and Green, Christmas Ball, Twisted Christmas, CAYA

Furry Fashion Lounge: Lupines/Rabbits, Rave, Monsters, Disney, Wasteland, Anti-Christmas, Sealife, 80s

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.

Edited 3PM

Announcement: Letter to Santa Contest at Trotsdale

The Library is running a writing competition again finally. This time you can thank Milo as the idea to write letters to Santa was his, and he has generously donated a sizable prize to start the prize pool. Details and instructions are in the attached card. It is open to everyone so feel free to pass a copy to your friends.

Uh oh! Christmas is coming, that goose is looking pretty tasty, there are lights and things going up, undercover elves spying on us all a lot more noticably and not even in stealth mode anymore. It must be time to write that letter to Santa!


1) There is ONE prize. Send in the best letter and you take home the prize.
2) The rating is G. G-rated content only.
3) Notecards must have both your SL LEGACY NAME and your CHOSEN PEN NAME. Display names change too often, legacy names stay.
4) All submissions must be set on full perm notecards and placed in the scroll case drop box on the library table.
5) Copies of this rule card can be picked up from the inkwell in the library table if needed.
6) These entries will be archived on the library forum. They will also be read in a video placed on Youtube for the library's audio archiving. This is why if you don't want your SL Legacy name out there it is important to have a pen name chosen.

Amehana Ishtari and Milo (decitrex) are the judges. If a tiebreaker is needed they will enlist a third judge that is not competing.

The contest prize pool currently is 1,038$L started off with the first donation being ponied up by Milo (decitrex). It may increase depending on any donations received (please send those to Hanaarashi Resident, who is the contest bank account/alt of Amehana Ishtari) or through the pile of books on the library table.

Trotsdale Library:

Monday, December 11, 2017

Survivors of Suicide

We all feel down at times. But some of us have real problems falling into and staying in dark moods. Depression can be crippling, and can lead to a final end: suicide. Suicide is a major form of death, with tens of thousands in America and almost a million worldwide taking their own lives despite it being against practically every major religion and philosophy. Fortunately, there are numerous organizations and groups devoted to helping those at risk. In Second Life, one such group is the "Survivors of Suicide." It has moved on to help anyone or friends of someone with depression, but it was created for those who either attempted suicide, those at risk of it, or friends and family of them. The Newser recently sat down with the current head of the group, Sebastien Bouevier, and he talked about Survivors of Suicide and what it does.

Read the story in People.

A Gacha Garden for Littles

Gachas can be a lot of fun. And by all means it's not just full-sized avatars that enjoy them. Those who prefer child avatars like them just as much, unless they have a lot of items they can't use such as clothes too big to fit them. Fortunately for them, there's the Little Diva Gacha Garden. This is a gacha designed with child avies in mind, and have some items the grown-ups can use as well. Alura Denver took a look to see what was available.

Read Alura's story in Design.

Who Will Be The Newser's Man (or Woman) of The Year

In real life news, Time Magazine just announced their Man of the Year, or rather "Persons of the Year," known as "The Silence Breakers." This is an annual tradition of theirs going back since they first gave the title to Charles Lindbergh in 1927, the man, woman, or sometimes group of people or object, whom they feel had the most impact in the news in the past year for good or ill. While often seen as a badge of honor, the title has on occasion gone to some villainous figures such as Joseph Stalin and Ayatollah Khomeini. And once in a while it goes to an object, such as the computer.

But what about Second Life? Who here has had the most significant impact in the news about the virtual world?

There's been no shortage of news in the past year from the release of Sansar, to noted residents to departed the Grid, to charity groups such as the Relay for Life, to the plans by the FCC to repeal Net Neutrality which could be potentially very bad for Second Life, and more.

This will be the fourth time the Newser has given the title. In 2014, the new CEO of Linden Lab Ebbe Linden was the Man of the Year. In 2015, the residents of Steelhead were the Community of the Year. And in 2016, the title was given to the Relay for Life in Second Life.

So who do you the readers think made the most difference in the news in Second Life this year? Please leave us your opinions below.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Cartoon of the Day: "Third Life"

From Spring 2007. Somehow I found this computer and desk, with a familiar-looking picture on the screen.

By Bisyl Shuftan