Transcript for Jan. 17th

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copied from Hearo's history


[16:55] Dancer Morris: giant hot dog?

[16:55] Dancer Morris: I don't see anything -- maybe it's already gone?

[16:55] Einsel Lesnie: yeah, over there by the money sign

[16:56] Einsel Lesnie: it is behind some trees

[16:56] Einsel Lesnie: but it flew in a couple minutes ago

[16:56] Einsel Lesnie: maybe it is a spy hot dog

[16:56] Dancer Morris: I don't see it, but my draw distance is 64m -- might be out of range for me

[16:59] Loren Douglas: Hey Hearo

[16:59] You: hey

[17:00] Loren Douglas: Its brandon

[17:00] Loren Douglas: did we ever establish a group

[17:00] You: oh, good, I'll probably be in and out

[17:00] You: we havn't, but we can IM

[17:00] Loren Douglas: i will definitely be in and out, i am still in audtions

[17:00] Loren Douglas: ok

[17:01] Vitango Spinotti: How do I become a Juror?

[17:01] Daisyblue Hefferman: now I see u Cordelia

[17:02] Loren Douglas: i may stand in the backl

[17:02] Eon Berkman: hello all,

[17:02] Daisyblue Hefferman: Judge.

[17:02] Eon Berkman: becca will be a bit late arriving this evening

[17:02] GeoffMcG Xi: the sim is acting up

[17:02] Vitango Spinotti: Is there a sign up sheet?

[17:02] Eon Berkman: we have decided to hold the event here rather than in the courtroom just for sake of ease in operation

[17:02] Nate Grigges: will we be meeting here tomorrow as well?

[17:03] Eon Berkman: would the jurors please all sit in the section to the right

[17:03] Eon Berkman: where nate and yuu are already sitting

[17:03] GeoffMcG Xi: whose right?

[17:04] Eon Berkman: and would others sit in the section to my left, where dancer morris is seated

[17:04] Necker Philgarlic: did he im you?

[17:05] You: who

[17:05] Eon Berkman: when we come to the portion of the proceeding in which witnesses are questioned we would like the witness to sit in the seat at the other end of the bench from me

[17:06] Jenn Susanti: did i miss anything

[17:06] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Your honor, where do the lawyers sit?

[17:06] Eon Berkman: and will ask the lawyers who are addressing either the jury or the witness to stand

[17:06] Eon Berkman: no one has missed anything yet. we have not yet begun. :<)

[17:08] Eon Berkman: will the court plesse come to order

[17:08] Eon Berkman: the case is bragg v. linden labs

[17:08] Daisyblue Hefferman: yes, ice still on everything here

[17:08] Eon Berkman: jurors, are you prepared to hear the case?

[17:08] Cordelia Moy: Yes, Your honor.

[17:09] Yuu Nakamichi: yes, your honor.

[17:09] Daisyblue Hefferman: yes, your honor

[17:09] Nate Grigges: yes, your honor

[17:09] Eon Berkman: are the lawyers for bragg and linden labs present and ready to proceed

[17:09] Tetero Lesse: yes, Your Honor

[17:09] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: yes, your honor

[17:09] Einsel Lesnie: yes, your Honor

[17:09] Necker Philgarlic: yes, your honor

[17:09] Menacers Otoole: Yes, your honor

[17:10] Eon Berkman: jurors, we will beging by hearing opening statement for mr. bragg

[17:10] Eon Berkman: we will follow with opening statement for linden labs

[17:10] Eon Berkman: we will then proceed to witness testimony.

[17:11] Eon Berkman: would counsel for bragg please rise, and address the jury with your opening statement

[17:11] Menacers Otoole: May it please the Court, and the ladies and gentlemen of the jury...

[17:12] Menacers Otoole: My name is Menacers Otoole, and I am here today to present the story of a man named Mr. Bragg.

[17:13] Menacers Otoole: Mr. Bragg joined the online community of Second Life some time ago.

[17:13] Menacers Otoole: He invested his time, money and effort in experience to purchase and develop real estate here.

[17:13] Menacers Otoole: At first he purchased virtual “real estate” through the normal Second Life's standard auction procedure.

[17:14] Menacers Otoole: Second Life runs real estate auctions by creating web pages for each piece of virtual property that they plan to sell in the future.

[17:14] Menacers Otoole: During the course of Bragg's virtual real estate venture, he discovered that the real estate auction/bid pages were actually posted online and accessible by using a simple Google search, even before they were listed in Second Life auction listings

[17:14] Menacers Otoole: What's more, he was able to activate the auctions, place bids, and -- in the absence of competition -- win the auctions at very low prices. In this manner, he acquired $300 (US) worth of property.

[17:15] Menacers Otoole: When Linden Labs discovered what Mr. Bragg had done, they voided these purchases and reclaimed the property in question.

[17:15] Menacers Otoole: But, LL went further. Not only did they take the property acquired by these premature auctions, they also took Bragg's property acquired earlier through the standard auction procedure.

[17:16] Menacers Otoole: This property was auctioned off, and Bragg received nothing. What's more, Bragg's account was terminated!

[17:16] Menacers Otoole: We come here today to ask whether it was right for Linden Labs, the god and architect of this virtual world, to summarily kill Mr. Bragg’s avatar and seize all his property.

[17:17] Menacers Otoole: Yes, Linden Labs is a relatively small company that has undertaken to manage this large and growing online environment. Yes, detailed monitoring all of the transactions that occur in Second Life would be a monumental task.

[17:18] Menacers Otoole: Certainly are concerned that other participants in Second Life should feel as if the environment is fair -- that nobody should become enriched fraudulently -- and that the rules will be respected through the use of appropriate deterrence.

[17:18] Menacers Otoole: And rightfully so.

[17:19] Menacers Otoole: But you will also learn Linden Labs designed the universe in question -- set the laws of nature in their world -- and that Mr. Bragg did nothing that their environment did not permit.

[17:19] Menacers Otoole: He did not steal any password, break encryption or gain false advantage by lying to a company representative or programmer.

[17:19] Menacers Otoole: In any event, the following three questions must be asked, and I think that the answers to at least some of them are clear:

[17:19] Menacers Otoole: 1. Did Mr. Bragg really own the legitimately acquired property that he bought before he embarked on his “exploit?”

[17:19] Menacers Otoole: The answer to this is clear.

[17:20] Menacers Otoole: The evidence will show that the president of Linden Labs has publicly stated that people who own property in Second Life really own their property here.

[17:20] Menacers Otoole: If that is not a statement we are meant to rely upon and take seriously, I don't know what is.

[17:20] Menacers Otoole: 2. Was Mr. Bragg’s auction activity wrong? While I might think that, in an engineered environment like Second Life, ability should equal permission, you or the law might take another view, and I acknowledge that reasonable minds can differ on this subject.

[17:20] Menacers Otoole: 3. If Mr. Bragg’s activity was wrong, what should be done about it, and how should it be done?

[17:21] Menacers Otoole: There are really two questions here: What is the appropriate range of punishment for certain actions we deem wrong, and how should be go about determining guilt, fixing the punishment, and carrying it out?

[17:21] Menacers Otoole: The evidence that will come before you will show that Linden Labs exceeded its mandate of god the watchmaker -- designing and setting in motion a universe for us to inhabit -- and instead assumed the role of an Old Testament god of vengance, singling out individuals whom it thinks committed some insult and smiting them down utterly.

[17:21] Menacers Otoole: As to both parts of this question, there is a wide range of possible choices.

[17:21] Menacers Otoole: A light punishment: The sales would be voided and the money put down for them refunded.

[17:22] Menacers Otoole: Heavier: The money put down for them would not be refunded, but the rest of Mr. Bragg’s activities would continue normally.

[17:22] Menacers Otoole: Or restrictions could be placed on Mr. Bragg’s Second Life activities.

[17:22] Menacers Otoole: Or his activities on Second Life could be terminated, but the proceeds from the sales of his legitimate lands returned to his off-line personality.

[17:23] Menacers Otoole: Also, what process should determine the punishment received? Should Linden Labs decide, or should the people of Second Life decide?

[17:23] Menacers Otoole: I will ask you today to examine the evidence that comes before you. I will ask you to decide whether or not the story I’ve just told you is true, in light of it, or more plausibly true than any other one offered today.

[17:23] Menacers Otoole: And, if the story I’ve just told you is true, I will ask that you answer these last three questions, deciding how Mr. Bragg should be treated in this community, and how the rest of us should be treated if we were to run afoul of the law -- or be accused of it -- someday.

[17:23] Menacers Otoole: Thank you.

[17:24] Rebecca Berkman: (nice exit!)

[17:24] Eon Berkman: thank you

[17:24] Eon Berkman: would counsel for linden labs please rise and face the jury

[17:25] Einsel Lesnie: May it please the Court, Madame Fore-Avatar and Avatars of the Jury,

[17:25] Einsel Lesnie: Linden Labs created Second Life as a community of innovative citizens who can build an immersive digital world and retain the rights to their digital creations by buying, selling and trading with other residents.

[17:25] Einsel Lesnie: Mr. Rosedale, Linden Labs’ CEO, was indeed excited about the emerging property rights of SL users and made public statements outside of SL to that effect.

[17:26] Einsel Lesnie: BUT

[17:26] Einsel Lesnie: in order to secure property rights for all, Linden Labs must ensure that individuals do not violate them unilaterally

[17:27] Einsel Lesnie: Therefore, in this world, we share a code of ethics that ensures that this community thrives and grows.

[17:27] Einsel Lesnie: The foundation of this community code begins with the Terms of Service agreement users sign when joining Second Life.

[17:27] Einsel Lesnie: But more importantly, the code is reflected in the spirit of cooperation and fairness among SL users.

[17:28] Einsel Lesnie: In this case, you will find out that Mr. Bragg, an experienced and creative computer user, manipulated Second Life’s land auction system.

[17:28] Einsel Lesnie: This system was designed so that all Second Life users have a right to engage in auctions to trade land at fair market value.

[17:28] Einsel Lesnie: The auctions are Linden’s way of giving control over property to users.

[17:28] Einsel Lesnie: Mr. Bragg discovered a way to begin auctions that were not yet intended for public bidding.

[17:29] Einsel Lesnie: He then acquired land for below market value.

[17:29] Einsel Lesnie: He made NO attempt to contact others about the bidding because he didn’t want it to be fair or open.

[17:29] Einsel Lesnie: You will see that Mr. Bragg’s actions were inconsistent with the community code that allows SL to thrive.

[17:29] Einsel Lesnie: As such, it was Linden Labs’ right under the Terms of Service agreement to expel Mr. Bragg.

[17:30] Einsel Lesnie: But more importantly, it was Linden Labs’ duty to allow the property he wrongfully took to be bought by others in order to respect the community’s ideals of cooperation and fairness.

[17:30] Einsel Lesnie: We therefore ask that you find for Linden Labs and in so doing affirm the values on which this community is based.

[17:30] Einsel Lesnie: Thank you.

[17:31] Eon Berkman: thank you counsel

[17:31] Eon Berkman: we will now proceed to witness examination.

[17:31] Eon Berkman: is counsel for bragg ready to proceed

[17:31] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: yes, your honor

[17:32] Eon Berkman: please call your witness

[17:32] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: we call Mr. Brgg

[17:32] Rebecca Berkman: it seems that Bragg is out of the courtroom right now.

[17:32] Rebecca Berkman: Oh, wait, he just came back online.

[17:33] Eon Berkman: one moment please

[17:33] Rebecca Berkman: here he is!

[17:33] Eon Berkman: would the clerk please locate mr bragg

[17:34] GeoffMcG Xi: i'm here your honor

[17:34] Rebecca Berkman: i've got him, he's sitting in the witness stand.

[17:34] Rebecca Berkman: (GeoffMcG Xi)

[17:34] Eon Berkman: Mr. bragg, do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth

[17:34] GeoffMcG Xi: i do.

[17:35] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Please state your name.

[17:35] GeoffMcG Xi: my name is Marc Bragg

[17:35] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Are you or were you ever a member of Second Life?

[17:36] GeoffMcG Xi: yes, i once was a resident of second life.

[17:36] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: When did you join?

[17:36] Eon Berkman: one moment please

[17:37] Eon Berkman: i am not hearing responses from mr. bragg and am concerned that others may also not be hearing

[17:37] Einsel Lesnie: I am hearing

[17:37] GeoffMcG Xi: can you hear me now?

[17:37] Rebecca Berkman: is anyone else not hearing from GeoffMcG Xi?

[17:37] Necker Philgarlic: we hear the witness OK

[17:37] Eon Berkman: mr. bragg, may i ask you to rise and come to the middle of the bench

[17:37] GeoffMcG Xi: Hey!

[17:37] Loren Douglas: i am hearing and i am sittng next to Eon Berkman

[17:38] Vitango Spinotti: I hear as well.

[17:38] GeoffMcG Xi: how about here?

[17:38] Eon Berkman: thank you. please resume

[17:38] GeoffMcG Xi: i first joined second life in 2005--i believe it was in late november, maybe early december

[17:39] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Why were you drawn to join Second Life as opposed to other online communities?

[17:40] GeoffMcG Xi: well, there are a number of MMORPGs available, but Second Life was an enviornment that purported to offer residents rights in the land they bought.

[17:40] GeoffMcG Xi: i do a bit or real estate development as a hobby and wanted to try by hand in virtual worlds property.

[17:40] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: When you first joined, did you read the terms of the service agreement?

[17:41] GeoffMcG Xi: no, i did not.

[17:41] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: What did you understand about your rights and your property ownership, and how had you formed that opinion?

[17:42] GeoffMcG Xi: i based my opinions on what i had heard about second life--that it was a place where a resident retained certain rights over his or her creations. I believe i was lead to that opinion by statements made by the ceo of Linden Labs.

[17:42] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Have you purchased land in Second Life?

[17:43] GeoffMcG Xi: yes, i acquired quite a bit of land. somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty parcels.

[17:43] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Please describe how you generally make purchases in Second Life? Do you use real U.S. money?

[17:44] GeoffMcG Xi: yes. second life, although it is a virtual world, fundamentally transacts business un US currency.

[17:44] GeoffMcG Xi: i acquired my land through the auction process

[17:44] GeoffMcG Xi: essentially, linden labs identifies parcels of property that they create or recycle

[17:45] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Before the date of April 30, 2006, had you ever gotten in trouble with Second Life administrators?

[17:45] GeoffMcG Xi: not to my recollection.

[17:45] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Did you purchase another plot of land on April 30, 2006?

[17:46] GeoffMcG Xi: yes, the last piece of land i purchased at auction was a parcel called Taessot. a really nice plot.

[17:46] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: How did you find out that this plot of land was going to be auctioned?

[17:47] GeoffMcG Xi: linden keeps a list of parcels that are up for sale; they also have a blue box system that shows residents what parcels are going to be sold.

[17:47] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Did your purchase of this plot of land differ from your prior purchases?

[17:48] Nadia Tureaud: Oh, okay.

[17:48] GeoffMcG Xi: yes, it did.

[17:48] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: How so?

[17:48] GeoffMcG Xi: each parcel of land, the sims, are assigned an ID number that is specific to that particular sim.

[17:49] GeoffMcG Xi: the auction web pages for those plots of land that are available contain that identification number.

[17:49] GeoffMcG Xi: what i did was find the ID number for Taessot and plug it into the auction webpage.

[17:49] GeoffMcG Xi: it just goes into the URL, like any old web address

[17:50] GeoffMcG Xi: as it turns out i won the parcel.

[17:51] GeoffMcG Xi: (for the record, my hands keep moving but i'm not actually typing)

[17:51] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Did you use an unauthorized password, or any other "hacking" techniques, in acquiring this parcel?

[17:51] Necker Philgarlic: Objection

[17:51] Eon Berkman: what is the nature of your objection

[17:52] Necker Philgarlic: witness is not qualified to offer an opinion on that

[17:52] GeoffMcG Xi: no. what i did was nothing more than type a few numerals into the web address bar at the top of my browser. those numbers had already been assigned to Taessot by Linden.

[17:52] Eon Berkman: overruled

[17:52] Eon Berkman: the witness may proceed

[17:52] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: What was Linden Labs’ response to your purchase?

[17:53] GeoffMcG Xi: a day passed and nothing happened, although i was awarded the parcel for a winning bid of $300.

[17:53] GeoffMcG Xi: then on may 2nd i received a message from the lindens.

[17:53] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: What did the message say?

[17:54] GeoffMcG Xi: i cannot recall the exact language, but i was led to believe that the company took umbrage at the auction price.

[17:54] GeoffMcG Xi: see, i got the parcel for a very good price.

[17:55] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Did Linden Labs’ give you any kind of notice or arbitration process to remedy the situation?

[17:55] GeoffMcG Xi: but my impression after reading the message was that the lindens were revoking the sale and refunding my money.

[17:55] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Did Linden Labs’ give you any kind of notice or arbitration process to remedy the situation?

[17:55] GeoffMcG Xi: oh no. this was a statement, not a negotiation.

[17:55] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: How much did you lose because of this?

[17:56] GeoffMcG Xi: on that one auction, or throughout the course of this ordeal?

[17:56] Eon Berkman: please rephrase your question

[17:56] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Please tell us how much you lost total, and what portion of that was unrelated to the transaction at issue.

[17:57] GeoffMcG Xi: oh, i see. well, i had USD$2,000.00 in my SL account that was never refunded.

[17:57] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: What was the value of your SL property that was seized?

[17:58] GeoffMcG Xi: and on top of that, i would estimate another USD $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 in virtual land.

[17:58] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Had anything you had experienced in Second Life lead you to expect this type of reaction from Linden Labs?

[17:59] GeoffMcG Xi: no, there have been some controversied in SL about property between residents getting lost or deleted because of a glitch in the system; but there was nothing that led me to think that i would lose my US currency, all of my land in SL, access to the game, and my business scripting fireworks.

[18:00] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Do you think you did something wrong? Do you think Linden Labs did something wrong?

[18:00] GeoffMcG Xi: no.

[18:00] GeoffMcG Xi: i did nothing wrong.

[18:00] GeoffMcG Xi: everything that i did was made possible because of Linden's program.

[18:01] GeoffMcG Xi: they let everyone know the property was up for sale by assigning an ID number.

[18:01] GeoffMcG Xi: I do think that Linden is wrong for taking my property.

[18:01] GeoffMcG Xi: in all of its froms.

[18:01] GeoffMcG Xi: forms.

[18:01] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Thank you very much, Mr. Bragg. Your honor, we have no further questions.

[18:01] Eon Berkman: Thank you. Cross examination, please.

[18:02] Rebecca Berkman: Your Honor, it is 9pm.

[18:03] Eon Berkman: yes, thankyou for pointing out the time. we will suspend court at this time and resume tomorrow evening

[18:04] Eon Berkman: at 8pm est. we will begin with cross-x of bragg, and then proceed to the exam of mr. rosedale.

[18:04] You: does counsel have any objection to this?

[18:04] Necker Philgarlic: No, your honor

[18:04] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: Your honor

[18:04] Rebecca Berkman: can someone who has been here the whole time upload a transcript to the wiki for the couple of jurors who couldn't make it?

[18:05] Superlawyer3000 Susanti: We move that, should the trial not be over by 9pm tomorrow, we stay late tomorrow night, rather than meeting on Friday.

[18:05] You: i will

[18:05] Necker Philgarlic: Rebecca, yes

[18:05] Vitango Spinotti: I have a copy as well.

[18:05] Rebecca Berkman: The trial will finish tomorrow.

[18:05] Rebecca Berkman: Thank you for agreeing to upload the transcript.

[18:05] Eon Berkman: is there objection to staying later tomorrow to finish

[18:05] Necker Philgarlic: No, your honor

[18:06] Cordelia Moy: None, your honor.

[18:06] Rebecca Berkman: Thanks everyone for being here this evening. The court is no longer in session.

[18:06] Eon Berkman: Court is adjourned until tomorrow evening.

[18:06] Vitango Spinotti: Nice job everyone!!

[18:06] You: thank you all

[18:06] Rebecca Berkman: I agree. I think that was great!

[18:07] Rebecca Berkman: It will be very interesting to see if we can find some ways to make more use of the physical space.