Thursday, March 3, 2011

Linden Labs Acts Against RedZone

On March 2, Linden Lab moved against the controversial RedZone device. It was removed from Second Life Marketplace, as well as the in-world vendor, and stated it was in violation of their Terms of Service.

Soft Linden made the following post on the JIRA directed at RedZone:

Hey, all. I got the go-ahead to give an update on zF Red Zone specifically. Again, thank you for the ARs with specific info about violations. These have been very helpful for letting Lindens know what's going on.

Tuesday morning, we removed zF Red Zone from the Marketplace for a second time. We removed the in-world vendor distributing the item as well. We determined that zF Red Zone was still in violation of our Terms of Service and Community Standards.

We asked for removal by no later than today of all zF Red Zone functionality that discloses any alternate account names. That is, even if consent is asked, the service may not act on the consent. In addition, we asked for removal by no later than Friday of the interface for and any remaining implementation of the zF Red Zone consent mechanism because it does not comply with our policies. If these updates are not made, we will take appropriate steps to remedy the violations.

As before, we appreciate your help in keeping an eye on content. If you find that any merchant's product is not in compliance with our TOS or our Community Standards, please file an abuse report about the product. Do this even if you filed against a previous version. Include a specific explanation of what you believe is a violation, and ideally select and report the in-world object at issue in case it behaves differently than what's in the Marketplace. Before reporting, make sure you have first-hand knowledge of the issue. Support can best react if you explain specific steps to reproduce or confirm a violation.

The creator of RedZone, zFire Xue, naturally did not take the news very well, as evidenced by his response to a poster about Soft Linden’s statement on the RedZone forums:

Soft Linden did not say ‘zRZ contains malicious intent.’ It does prove that LL is easily manipulated by a flood of ARs. Consent is not allowed? Even if Alt names are not shown? So first alt names are forbidden without consent. Now consent is also forbidden? That's Linden Labs for you, the people who play politics rather then blocking copybot viewers or dealing with actual abuse ARs. All it takes is a flood of ARs now. Good times. (wink)

Tateru Nino stated on her blog that the inworld vendor was soon replaced, only to be taken down by Linden Labs again. She stated that Soft explained “specific conditions have been relayed to the creator that must be met before it can be reinstated. What those conditions consist of is not public at this time, to the best of my knowledge.”

Hamlet Au pointed out another statement from Soft Linden, stating that the Disclosure Section of the Community Standards page was updated, more clearly stating alts were not open to disclosure, “The key passage from the Community Standards now reads: ‘Sharing personal information about your fellow Residents without their consent -- including... alternate account names... is not allowed.’ "

This is probably not the end of the RedZone controversy. There was a picture on the JIRA of a blog post made by ZFire, saying if he was ever banned from Second Life, he would “privatize” RedZone by making it run outside the Grid, providing scripts for people, and accepting Paypal payments. But checking the RedZone forum, it was gone.

The RedZone units already bought and the RedZone service of sharing the blacklist of suspected copybot using accounts are still out there.

Sources, Dwell on It, New World Notes

Bixyl Shuftan


  1. Go ahead Zfire; privatize it. Go get a server for 100$ a month and accept paypal from vendors. Then all LL has to do is add a single IP address -- your server -- to their IGNORE list on the router. In case you were wondering why another web sales group didn't jump up after the Xstreet mess, this is it. But there is a silver lining in that mess -- it will keep people from selling products that don't work and will eventually ban everyone from everything in SL.

    If your product worked, I'd be more sympathetic. But you make a severe error when you think that IP addresses are suitable to identify people. They aren't. The IP address to my house serves 4 people. I logged in at the hotel recently at a scifi convention along with 30 or so other people -- does this mean everyone at that hotel is my alt? By your logic, it does. And if one of them happens to be a thief you then label ME as a thief in error.

    Your product does not work. Period.

  2. I applaud this action by LL against this scam artist. LL needs to go further, and remove every Redzone object from the grid, and from inventories.

  3. Really they should take it further than that, The secondlife viewer encapsulates and submits the users hardware MAC address to Linden Labs when they log into secondlife, they need to remove the user zFire Xue and theBoris Gothly, and then ban Any MAC's they have logged for these users. As far as the threat to Privatize in the case of a ban goes, Thats blackmail which is a prosecutable crime, and in the event they do start selling the scripts, they can sue for distribution of spyware, and/or submit sources of the redzone spyware to the FBI in a spyware complaint.