17 hours ago
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Linden Lab Brings Back Educational & Nonprofits Discount
Yesterday on July 24, Linden Lab announced on it's blog "an update to Second Life pricing for educational and nonprofit institutions." To educational institutions and nonprofit charities that qualify, the Lab is offering a 50% discount to setting up private sims and maintaining them.
Effective immediately, any accredited educational institution or any organization with a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit tax status (or equivalent) is eligible for a 50% discount on private region set-up costs and a 50% discount on private region maintenance costs.
Longtime users will remember the half-off price and tier was standard operating procedure with education and nonprofit groups in Second Life until October 2010, in which it was announced they would be paying full price in January 1, 2011. After that, a number of sims owned by such groups shut down, such as ISTE Island. Hamlet Au put the number of closings at "hundreds if not thousands." In Spring of this year, Linden Lab began quietly offering "a select number of nonprofit and educational" groups that let sims go the return of the discount if they returned. Now, the discount is back for all.
The response seems to be a varied one. At the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference, which opened that day, those I overheard talking about the announcement were pleased, considering the announcement timed with their conference. Daniel Voyager considered this development great news. Hamlet Au, not so much. He felt in the years since the discount's end, education and nonprofit groups have moved on to other places online that are much less expensive. Readers commenting to Hamlet's article had mixed opinions. Some called it good news, or at least a step in the right direction. Others felt Linden Lab's move had ruined the trust education and nonprofit groups once had in them, "it's not just about price, it's about trust and stability," and saw the move was too little too late on bringing back the groups which had left the Grid. In the SL Universe Forum thread on the topic, some posters wondered if the abuses of a few had helped contribute to the discount's end.
But for education and nonprofits that remained in Second Life, such as Virtual Ability and the Relay for Life, this move is good news and will help ensure they stay.
Sources: Linden Blog, Daniel Voyager, New World Notes, SL Universe Forums