Ashcroft Burnham on “Law in virtual worlds”

  1. Poinky Malaprop

    [4:07] Welcome all to this Kuurian Expedition presentation

  2. Ludo Merit

    [4:07] If anyone does NOT want to be quoted in SLBM you can IM me saying so. How’s that for taking the social pressure off?

  3. Poinky Malaprop

    [4:08] if you ‘re interested in K.E. and want to be notified of future events

    [4:08] send me an IM

    [4:08] Today we have ashcroft burnham

    [4:08] telling us about law in virtual worlds

    [4:08] so without further ado – go ashcroft!

  4. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:08] Thank you for the introduction, Poinky 🙂

    [4:09] SecondLife is really a fascinating idea.

    [4:09] At one level, it’s an intriguing combination of easy 3d modelling and IM.

    [4:09] At another level, it’s a whole new way of socialising.

    [4:10] What it does have the potential to create, however, and has created, is an entire economic system, and a whole host of entire soceities and communities inside a this virtual world.

    [4:10] Those soceities, communities and economies are, just like soceities, communities and economies of the first life, made up of real people.

    [4:11] And, just like in the first life, the interests of those real people often conflict.

    [4:12] Conflict arises for many reasons in life (both first and second): people can be malicious, irresponsible, negligent, or merely have a principled disagreement with others.

    [4:12] Conflict can arise out of competing financial interests, or competing personal choices.

    [4:12] However it arises, conflict has the potential to get out of hand, and to stifle social and economic growth and development unless it is checked.

  5. Ludo Merit

    [4:13] Can whoever runs the table cut down the number of empty chairs?

  6. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:13] It can be checked in two sorts of ways: either it can be resolved ex post facto, after it has arisen, or it can be resolved in advance, before it even breaks out, by the use of rules.

    [4:13] A legal system is a way of doing both of those things.

    [4:14] It is *a* way – not the only way. Indeed, many other communities and soceities within SecondLife have adopted other ways of resolving and dealign with their conflicts other than using fully-constituted legal systems.

    [4:15] I will argue, however, that using a fully-constituted legal system is the best way of resolving at least the most serious and important of conflicts between people that arise within a community such as the sort that is often seen in SecondLife.

    [4:15] Alternative methods of conflict resolution tend to involve the use of executive power.

    [4:16] So, a group could have a leader or set of leaders, and that leader or those leaders could decide for themselves who had done wrong and who ought be expelled from the group.

  7. Kretan Tatsu

    [4:17] do you mean that in SL is needed courts ans lawyers ad judges?

  8. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:17] Yes.

  9. Cara Fei

    [4:17] who should make the laws?

  10. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:17] The point is that, increasingly communities are being organised around sophisticated governance models.

    [4:17] I don’t know whether anyone has heard of Caledon, for example, the successful Victorian themed sim.

  11. Something Something

    [4:18] Yes, it’s fairly well known

  12. Kretan Tatsu

    [4:18] but this may require to get governors who make laws a legislative group

  13. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:18] The person who runs that project, Desmond Shang, operates it rather like a feudal king, having, de jure, ultimate control over his people, but that control being limited, de facto, by the possibility of rebellion (which, in the case of a virtual…

    [4:19] …nation such as Caledon, takes the form of a mass-exedous, rather than a pitchfork-and-torch uprising).

    [4:19] But the effect is the same, given the cost that it takes to maintain 13 private islands.

    [4:19] Similarly, quasi-military groups, such as Starfleet, have grown up, with their own internal chains of command.

  14. Traxx Hathor

    [4:20] Question

  15. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:20] They work on a heirachical system much like real military organisations.

    [4:20] Yes 🙂

    [4:20] ?

  16. Traxx Hathor

    [4:20] To what extent are these examples role-playing?

  17. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:20] It varies.

  18. Traxx Hathor

    [4:20] I find Caledon to be a social rather than a legal milieu

    [4:20] Not like Neuf

  19. Ludo Merit

    [4:20] I could say something about that in starfleet

  20. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:21] The quasi-military organisations tend to emphasise role-playing: Starfleet, for example, is all about pretending to be connected to the universe of StarTrek.

    [4:21] Caledon is less about role playing, but the Victorian theme always looms large.

  21. Ludo Merit

    [4:21] That wasn’t the question, though.

  22. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:22] But, the point is this: although there are in many of these groups with complex governance structures an element of roleplay, much of the governance structure has (more or less, depending on the groups) a function outside being a game.

  23. Kretan Tatsu

    [4:23] but each group may have their own rules and government structures

  24. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:23] As we know, in SecondLife there are real assets with real (and often considerable) economic value. Furthermore, any group needs, in its capacity as a group, the capability to regulate itself and its membership to stop any sort of conflict getting out of

    [4:23] hand.

    [4:23] Indeed, Kretan.

    [4:23] Now, some of those groups have more governance than others.

    [4:24] The military organisations, for example, purport to exercise a great deal of control over their subjects, whereas in Caledon, the approach is as lassiez-faire as it can workably be.

    [4:25] However, with the non-interventionist model encapsulated in the Caledon structure, there are drawbacks.

    [4:25] Those are the same problems as one finds in the enturely ungoverned mainland.

  25. vidK Pro

    [4:25] hola

  26. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:26] People can engage in antisocial behaviour, commit fraud or intellectual property violations, and the remedies, if any, against them are most limited.

  27. Frank Koolhaas

    [4:26] I think that creating laws we are giving a strong backbone to this world, making it ever more similar to the real one. but finally it is that we want? If we ban every transgression from here, it will not become too dull? People will be afraid to "play"

  28. Bernard Cooke

    [4:26] Surely this sort of governance most closely resembles first life, where different sims (countries) have their own rules… but some rules apply to a lot of people (EU / Linden Labs)

  29. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:26] If you enter into a contract with another individual in SecondLife in respect of a SecondLife transaction, is there any realistic prospect of being able to enforce that contract in first-life courts if it is broken?

    [4:27] To answer the previous questions, that will hopefully become clear when I describe the solution that I’ve been working on to these issues.

    [4:27] Which I’m just about to come on to 🙂

    [4:28] But before I do, the final sort of conflicts that need resolving are conflicts about the governance structures themselves: constitutional disputes.

  30. vidK Pro

    [4:28] there is already a court system of sorts set up… if one were to encounter a av with the last name of Linden…. isn’t one feeling as if their actions are being, at least minimally, scrutinized?

  31. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:28] The more complex that a governance structure is, the more sophisticated things that it can do, but the more likely it is that disputes will arise.

    [4:28] VidK, I’ll come onto that in a moment 🙂

    [4:29] Disputes can often arise as to what power(s) that different individuals and bodies within governance structures have, and those governance structures are critically destabilised if there is no formal and final way of resolving those disputes.

    [4:30] Ultimately, if a group has no formal and binding way of resolving its internal disputes, the disputants will tend to think that there is no possible solution to their problems, and there is a high chance that the group will fractionate.

    [4:30] There are great advantages in having larger groups, but, without formal and final dispute resolution, large groups are unstable and prone to fractionate into smaller groups.

    [4:31] Where there are formal and final means of resolving a dispute, disputants will tend to rely on those methods rather than giving up in despair that there is no way that their arguments can have a fair hearing.

    [4:31] Returning to a point made earlier, there is a certain degree of governance over the whole world exercised by Linden Lab, but it is very minimal, and hardly transparent.

    [4:32] The Linden Lab Terms of Service and Community Standards are not a comprehensive code of law by any means.

  32. Traxx Hathor

    [4:32] disagree with the notion of ‘minimal’

  33. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:32] The enforcement is erratic, and there is no way of ensuring a fair hearing before the sanctions are exercised.

  34. Traxx Hathor

    [4:32] We just got a new TOS

  35. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:32] Generally, LindenLab only intervenes in fairly extreme circumstances, and even then unreliably.

  36. Traxx Hathor

    [4:33] It asks us to cheerfully give a big okay to cheaters copying our content

  37. Grace McDunnough

    [4:33] So are yo arguing the value of the LL mediaton or the terms?

  38. Traxx Hathor

    [4:33] This isn’t minimal

  39. Frank Koolhaas

    [4:33] you talk about these new military groups. Is there the risk that some of them take the power, in a certain way, and impose their laws in many islands?

  40. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:33] Linden Lab will not, for example, intervene to resolve internal conflicts in groups, nor, for example, to enforce contracts.

  41. vidK Pro

    [4:33] what, exactly, are you proposing needs governing and judicial oversight?

  42. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:34] Frank: the military groups are quasi-military in that they have a military-like command structre. They can’t *actually* exercise military like power and invade places 🙂

    [4:34] I was really referring to their internal structure.

  43. Frank Koolhaas

    [4:34] not now. and in the future?

  44. vidK Pro

    [4:34] if it is the adherance to TOS… that is up to Linden Labs and only LL to ennforce

  45. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:34] As to Traxx’s point, I will deal in a moment when I deal with the legal system that I have been working to develop on the potential IP-related benefits.

  46. vidK Pro

    [4:35] if it is SL World behaviour…. few if an residents will adhear or agree to a universal judicial system

  47. Traxx Hathor

    [4:35] : )

  48. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:35] VidK: what I am proposing is not a form of arbitration on the SecondLife Terms of Service 🙂

  49. vidK Pro

    [4:35] the best one could hope for would be some sims that "subscribe" to the system.

  50. Frank Koolhaas

    [4:35] do you think we need a police structure here?

  51. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:35] VidK: I am not proposing a universal judicial system.

  52. Frank Koolhaas

    [4:35] a police corp

  53. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:35] Frank, yes, possibly.

  54. Frank Koolhaas

    [4:35] which are the crimes here?

  55. vidK Pro

    [4:36] you want to "police" sl??

  56. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:36] Now, to conclude the first part of this presentation, it is clear that: (1) complex governance structures of large groups have distinct benefits; but (2) are not stable unless they have a formal, final system for resolving disputes; and (3) that…

  57. Cara Fei

    [4:36] a builder broke a contract and ran away with the upfront payment, what can I do?

  58. Kretan Tatsu

    [4:36] but a police corp will be the fact a millitary organization and take the power, who will be policeman?

  59. Second Life

    [4:36] Decka Mah accepted your inventory offer.

  60. Frank Koolhaas

    [4:36] and the punishment will be only here or also in RL?

  61. Second Life

    [4:36] Decka Mah accepted your inventory offer.

  62. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:36] …in any event, disputes arise in SecondLife that need formal, final resolution mechanisms beyond that provided by Linden Lab.

    [4:37] Kretan and Cara, I’ll get to the structural and enforcement point in a moment.

  63. Nobody Fugazi

    [4:37] Ashcroft, please finish with (3)

  64. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:37] I did finish (3) 🙂

  65. Frank Koolhaas

    [4:37] sorry, ut is really intriguing

    [4:37] but

  66. Nobody Fugazi

    [4:37] I’m sorry, you did. I was distracted.

  67. Kretan Tatsu

    [4:38] Cara that’s same problem in RL if you take a builder and make one payment it can also disapear… and with real money XDD

  68. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:38] The final point to note at this stage is that, as many have pointed out already, SecondLife is so diverse that one will never get everybody to agree to the same set of laws comprehensive enough to resolve all the significant conflicts that need resolving

  69. Cara Fei

    [4:38] L$ are bought with real money

  70. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:38] I don’t know whether anyone here ever heard of the Superior Court of SecondLife that was established by two US law students last year?

  71. Traxx Hathor

    [4:38] yes

  72. vidK Pro

    [4:38] I agree with Kretan on this… the only REAL goverance that would be appropriate would be surrounding financial matters.

  73. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:38] Indeed, Cara.

    [4:39] That failed largely because there were no enforcement mechanisms.

    [4:39] However, it would never get enforcement mecnahisms, because not everyone in SecondLife would ever agree to being subject to the same court system.

    [4:39] A lot of people are here because they like the anarchic system.

    [4:40] Other people are here because they want to have total control over their own feifdom themselves.

    [4:40] Clearly, therefore, a system that answers the needs of conflict resolution cannot be universal.

    [4:40] SecondLife would be ratehr less popular if it was 🙂

  74. vidK Pro

    [4:40] the only real way for any enforcement to meet the criteria of authority would be if LL agreed to its legitimacy… outiside that.. it would simply be another form of RP

  75. Frank Koolhaas

    [4:41] under which government would be SL?

    [4:41] if I play in Italy, I will be under USA laws?

  76. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:41] What is needed, as has been recognised for some time, is laws growing out of individual self-governing communities in SEcondLife.

  77. Cara Fei

    [4:41] where the servers are located iguess

  78. Poinky Malaprop

    [4:41] TOS says that SL operates undr the laws of California

  79. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:42] So, instead of seeing SecondLife as a single nation, with one government and legal system, one sees SecondLife as an entire *world*, with a whole host of different nations, some of which have their own governments and legal systems.

  80. Something Something

    [4:42] Frank: since Linden Lab is in the US, your interaction within SL is to some extent already governed by US law. Eg, DMCA is a US law.

  81. Nobody Fugazi

    [4:42] Frank, there’s room to discuss that since servers in the UK have been seized by FBI before.

  82. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:42] But, the laws governing one’s interaction with Linden Lab are not the same as the laws governing one’s interaction with other SL users.

  83. vidK Pro

    [4:42] there are plenty of laws in the communities already… go to any sandbox and you’ll see "no weapons" signs everywhere… go to someone’s home and grief them.. I guaruntee they’ll enforce their personal laws with one click of the boot button.

  84. Nobody Fugazi

    [4:42] and a libel case based from a US server was held in Australia

  85. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:43] VidK: there are plenty of *rules* in other communities, yes, but the enforcement of them is left to executive discretion.

    [4:43] That is an unsatisfactory situation for the reasons that I’ve already given (fairness and group stability).

  86. Bernard Cooke

    [4:43] So are you proposing that there may be some ‘safe havens’ where no-one governs, and others where there is full blown court systems? If so, what happens when people make contracts ‘over the boundaries’

  87. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:43] Yes, indeed, Bernard 🙂

  88. vidK Pro

    [4:44] right… each parcel makes the rule… if I shoot at you or chase you around in one parcel… I may get booted… if I do it in another… it may be part of the role play.

  89. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:44] The point is that, when people make contracts, they know whether they’re making them with people who reside in communities governed by law or not, so they know how enforcable that those contracts will be.

  90. Poinky Malaprop

    [4:45] if enforcement is even possible

  91. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:45] If somebody makes a contract with somebody who owns, direct from LL, a chunk of land on the mainland, one knows that, if that person breaks that contract, there is not much that one can do.

  92. Kretan Tatsu

    [4:45] i’ll go dinner…. interesting discussion…. but my REAL stomach needs food XDD

    [4:45] bye

  93. Nobody Fugazi

    [4:45] For there to be governance, there have to be areas to govern, else there is no ‘property’ as we understand it now.

  94. vidK Pro

    [4:45] I dunno… I think only LL can enforce contracts… this is a buyer beware situation and the TOS covers that.

  95. Bernard Cooke

    [4:46] But this would lead to complex agreements between regions, such as in the real world, about to what extent one country can ‘arrest’ someone in another.

  96. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:46] However, if one makes a contract with a person whose business is located in a self-governing community in SecondLife that has a legal system whose ultimate sanction is to banish hte person from the entire community, one knows that there are substantial..

  97. Poinky Malaprop

    [4:46] real world laws can staill apply to contract disputes

  98. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:46] …powers of enforcement.

  99. Nobody Fugazi

    [4:46] In the new ToS, LL is not involved in contracts.

  100. Frank Koolhaas

    [4:46] I think everyone of us heard about the idea of applying taxes on the transactions in Sl. What’s your opinion?

  101. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:46] VidK: why do you think that only LL can enforce contracts? What is to stop any given group saying "If you break a contract, we will throw you out of the group, banish you from group land, and take away any right that you have to bring an action in our…

    [4:47] …courts"?

  102. Traxx Hathor

    [4:47] alts

  103. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:47] Frank: I very much doubt that real-world nations could practically do that. The transactions are of such small vaule and so numerous that the cost of doing so would vastly outweigh any beneifts.

  104. vidK Pro

    [4:48] LL will NEVER be involved… that’s what I mean… they are a service provider and are not responsible for the actions of their users… if their users do something illegal then they are responsible for reporting the activity to the real authorities

  105. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:48] The best system of doing things is for SecondLife community governments to have their own SecondLife taxes (or charges) as necessary to pay for their own governmental structure.s

  106. Poinky Malaprop

    [4:48] Why couldn’t I file a lawsuit in the Real World, aagainst the entity known as Ashcroft Burnham, and subpoena LL for your real identity?

  107. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:48] VidK: LL don’t need to be involved.

    [4:48] All that’s needed is for a group to have the power to do something to one of its members that acts as a sufficient disincentive.

  108. vidK Pro

    [4:49] there’s no real way to do waht you are talking about Ash.

    [4:49] simply because of this…

  109. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:49] If a group is a group that owns land, and people rent land from that group, then banishing a person from all group land is a significant disincentive.

  110. vidK Pro

    [4:49] … if I break a law in an area that is "governed" as you define it…

  111. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:49] VidK: we’re already doing it right here 🙂

  112. vidK Pro

    [4:49] … and I am banned…

  113. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:49] Then you can be banished from all areas governed by that community.

  114. vidK Pro

    [4:49] … I can sign up with a new av and set up shop the next day.

  115. Traxx Hathor

    [4:50] That group would first have to establish itself as a significant source of benefits

  116. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:50] But you will have lost your business goodwill.

  117. Traxx Hathor

    [4:50] there are lots of places to rent land

  118. Ludo Merit

    [4:50] Very good, Traxx

  119. vidK Pro

    [4:50] then it is the honor system… and that is ALREADY in place.

  120. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:50] Also of some interest, VidK, is a proposal being developed by an identity service provider.

  121. Traxx Hathor

    [4:50] business goodwill is valid in this context

  122. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:51] There is now a real possibility, when the system is developed, of being able to tell exactly which avatar is an alt of which other avatar.

    [4:51] Without knowing which real-life identity ties them together.

  123. Frank Koolhaas

    [4:51] which are the most common crimes in SL?

  124. Poinky Malaprop

    [4:51] if people opt-in, surely

  125. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:51] Poinky: I don’t know the details.

    [4:51] The person developing that system is Simon Beckham.

  126. vidK Pro

    [4:52] I need to interject something important… something relevent….

  127. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:52] Now, moving onto the details of what we are doing here…

    [4:52] Yes, VidK?

  128. vidK Pro

    [4:52] …. lets try this…

    [4:52] … Copybot…. that is a significant and obviously impacting "crime"…

    [4:52] how would your "system" govern something like that?

  129. Something Something

    [4:52] Ashcroft: can you describe how that identity service provider would work?

  130. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:53] Copybot itself is not a crime. Only using it to make infringing copies is.

  131. vidK Pro

    [4:53] I didn’t ask that.

  132. Frank Koolhaas

    [4:53] so which are the crimes here?

  133. vidK Pro

    [4:53] how would your system handle the "use" of it.

  134. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:53] We could do what we do to all people who do wrong – banish them from all of our land.

  135. Ludo Merit

    [4:53] People, please let Ashcroft describe his system further before telling us why it won’t work.

  136. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:54] The point is that a self-governing community is an area in SecondLife that enforces its laws. It cannot make the rest of SecondLife subject to its control: indeed, that would obviate the point of it being a specific community.

    [4:54] Now, coming onto the model of implimentation that we have already adopted.

    [4:54] You are all sitting in the amphitheatre of Colonia Nova.

    [4:54] Colonia Nova is one of currently two island sims run by the Confederation of Democratic Simulators.

    [4:55] The Confederation of Democratic Simulators is a democratically governed nation within SecondLife.

  137. vidK Pro

    [4:55] I’m not saying it won’t work… just that SL citizens would need a compelling reason to adopt a system of governance beyond what is already available to them.

  138. Ludo Merit

    [4:55] True.

  139. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:55] VidK: some SecondLife residents already *have* adopted such a system, as I’m explaining.

  140. Ludo Merit

    [4:55] Now listen.

  141. vidK Pro

    [4:55] I think all citizen have to some extent.

  142. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:55] We have our own legislature, executive, and, most recently, judiciary.

  143. vidK Pro

    [4:56] sounds like a nother form of role play… with the only real punishment being "ban".

  144. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:56] The CDS has, albeit under different names, existed for a number of years, althoguh the judicial component is new.

    [4:56] Take a seat, Jeremy 🙂

    [4:56] VidK: that’s a common but fundamental mistake to make about our enterprise.

  145. Jeremy Utarid

    [4:57] Thank you all. But I am in RL. Butt please invite me again. I very much would like to be a part 🙂

  146. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:57] It is not roleplay because we are not pretending to have legislative, executive and judicial power: we really have it. They are not making and applying pretend laws about pretend things: they are making and applying real laws about real things.

  147. Bernard Cooke

    [4:57] vidK, since (and in fact including) the death penalty, BAN is the only final protection in the real world too.

  148. Jeremy Utarid

    [4:57] It is rude to come and go like this, but it can’t be avoided

    [4:58] please do good things:)

  149. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:58] Although the streets and houses and land are not real streets and houses and land, they are real something (that is, real server capacity on real servers) that has real and considerable economic and social value and needs, just as anything with…

    [4:58] …real economic and social value needs in the first life, formal and final means of dispute resolution in respect of it.

    [4:58] Now, returning to the means of implimentation…

    [4:59] Our judicial system is based on a common law model.

  150. vidK Pro

    [4:59] look.. I’m here because I was at a Slingo game that was lagging and the script was so buggy I eventually left because I was tired of waiting and couldn’t get another card to play… I lost the money I contributed to the pot…

    [4:59] … if your "system" can prevent that kind of thing from happening again… then I’m all for it.

  151. Poinky Malaprop

    [4:59] ok, let’s hear how the system works, and then see if it applies

  152. Ashcroft Burnham

    [4:59] That means that the laws are determined by judicial precedent set in decided cases.

    [5:00] The legislature can always make legislation that over-rides the common law, but the legislature is not expected to, and does not, make a comprehensive code of laws covering every eventuality.

  153. Something Something

    [5:00] In RL you have "acts of God"… in SL we have "acts of Linden". Buggy sim software that causes lag and crashes would probably qualify 🙂

  154. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:00] Indeed, Something 🙂

  155. vidK Pro

    [5:00] I suppose next you’ll tell me there will be an SL version of Lexis or Westlaw.

  156. Fim Fischer

    [5:01] I have to leave soon and wont miss the chance to ask one question

  157. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:01] The general principle is that the legislautre lets the common law develop (especially for aspects of private law) unless and until it considers some aspect of it unsatisfactory, when it legislates to deal with that specific question.


    [5:02] The reason that a common law system was adopted was mainly that, because we are such a small community, it would take us until domesday (especially in SL timescales) to create a truly comprehensive code of laws, that would probably be flawed…

    [5:02] …in any event because we would have had to create them from scratch. A common law system is more flexible.

    [5:02] Yes, Fim? :-)_

  158. Fim Fischer

    [5:02] Taxes have to be used to benefit the community. Should the RL community financial benefit of our virtual community, which community have to benefit?

  159. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:03] I don’t understand the question, I’m afraid… this presentation really isn’t about tax, I’m sorry…

    [5:03] It’s more about law, and especially private law.

  160. Fim Fischer

    [5:03] if you establish a law…

    [5:04] someon have to pay for lawyers the court

  161. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:04] In any event, in our nation, we have a written constitution. That constitution provides that nobody can be banished from any public land, or have any asset seized, without a trial in accordance with law, or consent not to be so tried.

  162. vidK Pro

    [5:04] seems to me that there are only two ways to compel SL citizens to abide by this legal system you propose… a) purchase land and make it part of the covenant or b) provide a service to other landowners and hope they subscribe.

  163. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:04] That means that our sanctions are in the hands of our independent judiciary, and not in the hands of the executive.

    [5:05] Fim, as to financing the courts, that is done partly by the profit on the land charges that citizens (who are citizesn by virtue of renting land here) have to pay, and partly by court costs, paid by the unsuccessful parties to litigation.

    [5:05] VidK: what we do is model (a) 🙂

  164. Cara Fei

    [5:06] we will soon have parliaments and politicians here

  165. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:06] Now, our judicial system is not the only example of the use of court process in SecondLife.

    [5:06] Cara: we already do 🙂

    [5:06] And have had for some time.

  166. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:06] I think that Sl will be more and more formed by independent states ruled by communities and groups. do you think ppl will accept to have a superior legal system, stronger than their single laws? Think of the rules in some islands…

  167. Traxx Hathor

    [5:07] I agree with that projection

  168. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:07] The most notable example was the recent StarFleet trial, about which Ludo wrote an article in last week’s edition of the SecondLife Business Magazine.

  169. vidK Pro

    [5:07] this isn’t a particularly good model…. I’m sorry. The reason I feel that way is because I’ve given you two real world examples of problems I’ve personally encountered while in SL… and your only solution is "ban". In both cases…

  170. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:07] However, that was plagued by a lack of written procedure. The people who ran the trial there were not people who had legal experience in real life.

  171. vidK Pro

    [5:08] … there is little or no retribution… and no relief for me… if you ban someone who takes my money… I’m still out the money… if you ban someone who copies my inventory… my inventory is still copied and/or my product is devalued.

  172. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:08] We are different here: those who assembled and are operating our legal system are people with, between, them, substantial real-life legal experience.

  173. Resident A

    [5:08] Publication permission denied.

  174. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:08] We have English barristers, US attorneys, law teachers – and quite a number of them.

  175. Traxx Hathor

    [5:08] VidK, the solution is a group with some compelling reason for you to want to be a member.

  176. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:08] Margot: we dealt with that earlier 🙂

    [5:08] Traxx: indeed.

  177. Resident A

    [5:08] Publication permission denied.

  178. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:09] One of our compelling reasons is that one can be in a position to say to others that any contract into which one enters can effectively be enforced 🙂

  179. vidK Pro

    [5:09] that’s great… and I understand you’re a RL legal professional… but telling me that your only legal rememedy for a legal resolution is "banning"… that’s not a compelling reason to think this is anything more than roleplay.

  180. Resident A

    [5:09] Publication permission denied.

  181. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:09] Now, somebody earier, Frank, I think, made a very interesting point.

    [5:10] VidK: that is incoherent.

  182. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:10] ash, I wanted to know if every singe "state" will accept this superior law

  183. Traxx Hathor

    [5:10] He sees a bit of circularity in your argument

  184. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:10] Merely because our enforcement mechanisms, whilst providing some real disincentive, are not as effective as real-life enforcement, does not entail that what we are doing is mere pretense, for the reason s that I have given before.

    [5:10] Yes, Frank – that’s the interesting point.

    [5:11] Now, I am certainly hoping that we will be the first of a series of nations in SecondLife to have legal systems.

  185. Cara Fei

    [5:11] a law cant work as nobody here is as unique as in RL

  186. vidK Pro

    [5:11] ok… answer me this…. sans the legal mumbo jumbo…. if I lose money in SL… in an area that is governed by your system… how do I get my money back?

  187. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:11] VidK: we’ve moved on to a different topic now.

  188. Bernard Cooke

    [5:11] vidK, if you go to a casino, even under some kind of law, unless the script your using explictlly garentees that it’s free of bugs, it’s unlikely that anyone could help you.

  189. Resident A

    [5:11] Publication permission denied.

  190. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:12] The ability to have multiple legal systems within SecondLife is very interesting because of hte possibility that we can all learn from each other’s mistakes.

    [5:12] The question arises about cross-enforcement.

    [5:12] One solution to this is to have a commonwealth of virtual nations.

  191. Traxx Hathor

    [5:12] and competitive advantage

  192. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:12] ash, If a nation in SL rules itself with very bad laws, that superior organization (like the UN is Sl) will accept that?

  193. Something Something

    [5:13] vidk: according to LL’s TOS, you have no recourse if *they* cause you lose money or inventory, for any reason.

  194. Resident A

    [5:13] Publication permission denied.

  195. Cara Fei

    [5:13] it’s contraditive

  196. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:13] There could be an agreement between those nations that the judiciary of each will enforce all or some of the court orders of teh judiciary of each other.

    [5:13] Plus agreements on choice of law.

  197. vidK Pro

    [5:13] oy

    [5:13] sighs

  198. Cara Fei

    [5:13] the one who cheats must not accept a court decision as he can change avatar

  199. Michel Manen

    [5:13] hello Ashcroft – hello all

  200. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:13] hi

  201. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:13] Frank, the commonwealth would have rules prescribing who may be a member.

  202. Resident A

    [5:13] Publication permission denied.

  203. Poinky Malaprop

    [5:14] hi michel – have a seat

  204. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:14] THat would depend on things like sufficient democratic legitimacy and so forth of the nations.

  205. Michel Manen

    [5:14] thank you

  206. Traxx Hathor

    [5:14] Ashcroft, it seems to me that many people would like to create systems of governance, but few people want to be governed, therefore the systems are likely to be in competition.

  207. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:14] but here I see some territories that will be apart

  208. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:14] Cara: we dealt earlier with alts 🙂

  209. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:14] think of the BDSM areas…

  210. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:15] Traxx: that is not borne out by experience.

    [5:15] Certainly not of our system.

    [5:15] To get a good, working system takes a *huge* amount of effort.

  211. vidK Pro

    [5:15] I still don’t see how this difference from any other role play in SL… Ash, you might as well be dressed up as a furry, dungeon master, or Darth Vader.

  212. Traxx Hathor

    [5:15] I understand that Neuf has a collegial approach toward other groups

  213. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:15] I have spent months of intensive work on our judiciary, and it is still not all finalised.

    [5:16] VidK: please don’t make the same argument over and over again without engaging in the discussio.

    [5:16] n.

  214. Traxx Hathor

    [5:16] and I understand the tremendous amount of volunteer work that has gone into the evolving system

  215. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:16] And the point is that people are governed in a huge variety of groups that htey join.

    [5:16] Consider StarFleet, with its over 400 members.

  216. Resident A

    [5:16] Publication permission denied.

  217. Cara Fei

    [5:16] these are people who WANT to be governed

    [5:16] and foolow common rules

  218. vidK Pro

    [5:16] I am engaging in the discussion, I’m just not using the same high brow legal speak you are… I’ve just given you two real life examples of how this system of yours could help.. and you’ve not give me or anyone here any compelling reason to this this…

  219. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:17] The difference with us is that our governance structures are more sophistcated and democratic.

    [5:17] VidK: you are just making the same point over and over again without engaging in reasoning. Please do not continue to be disruptive in that way.

  220. vidK Pro

    [5:17] … is anything other than roleplay… why would I want to even consider such a venture as anything other than role play if your only punishment is the same punishment power that I and every other citizen of SL has at their disposal???

  221. Resident A

    [5:17] Publication permission denied.

  222. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:18] Perhaps we could let Ashcroft finish?

  223. Resident A

    [5:18] Publication permission denied.

  224. vidK Pro

    [5:18] Margot… THANK YOU

  225. Cara Fei

    [5:18] i think, vkd is asking a good question

  226. Resident A

    [5:18] Publication permission denied.

  227. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:18] People don’t join communities that have governance structures because they like the idea of being governed themselves: they join them because they like the idea of the other people in the communities being governed and think being governed themselves…

    [5:18] …is a price worth paying to achieve that 🙂

  228. Resident A

    [5:18] Publication permission denied.

  229. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:18] VidK: I’ve answered that question twice.

  230. Poinky Malaprop

    [5:19] let’s hear the answer again, since many ppl seem to want to know

  231. Traxx Hathor

    [5:19] Ashcroft, the group of people in a democratic experiment interested in the rule of law are NOT the people I’d be worried about : )

  232. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:19] We are not merely a roleplaying group because we are not merely making pretend laws about pretend things: our laws have a real effect on real people.

    [5:19] Traxx: indeed 😉

  233. vidK Pro

    [5:19] no … ya havent’ answered once. you’ve given me a Legal Studies class which I’ve already been privilaged to have taken in college… my question was, "HOW DO I GET MY MONEY BACK?"

  234. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:19] Although our streets and houses and land are not real streets and houses and land, they’re real something (server capacity), with real economic and social value.

    [5:20] Rules that regulate their use are real rules, not pretend rules.

    [5:20] Look to H. L. A. Hart’s definition of law: it requires a set of rules, validated by a rule of recognition, that effectively applies to a distinct group.

  235. Grace McDunnough

    [5:21] I think your argument, Ashcroft, depends largely on the true *value*, legal value of the Linden dollar and attendant assets. Is there any legal precedence to this claim?

  236. Traxx Hathor

    [5:21] Well, you might get some consensus that peoples’ time is valuable too

  237. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:21] VidK: whether you can get your money back depends on whether you have lost your money in somewhere that’s governed by a legal system that recognises the circumstances in which you’ve lost that money as circumstances in which you may re-claim it.

    [5:22] Legal precedence to what claim, Grace?

    [5:22] Traxx: indeed.

  238. Grace McDunnough

    [5:22] That Lindens have any real value.

  239. Resident A

    [5:22] Publication permission denied.

    [5:22] Publication permission denied.

  240. Something Something

    [5:22] Grace: SL land and sims and Linden dollars can be sold to third parties for RL money, in practice, regardless of any technicalities

  241. Resident A

    [5:22] Publication permission denied.

  242. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:22] Grace: that doesn’t follow. Whetehr something has real value or not is an economic, not a legal question.

    [5:22] Something has value in so far as somebody values it.

  243. Ludo Merit

    [5:22] Agreed, Margot.

  244. Bernard Cooke

    [5:23] I think that the only way you could ‘get your money back’ would be if the legal system kept a fund for paying those sorts of things… after all there is no way in SL to force the other person to pay up.

  245. Grace McDunnough

    [5:23] And that perceived value has some legal merit?

  246. Poinky Malaprop

    [5:23] so, lets say Vidk’s Slingo game was in an area with a legal system

    [5:23] and he filed a lawsuit

    [5:23] and won

  247. Resident A

    [5:23] Publication permission denied.

  248. Michel Manen

    [5:23] Well….. if I may

  249. Ludo Merit

    [5:23] Yea Poinky!

  250. vidK Pro

    [5:23] omg… again with the seminar. All I asked was what would you do if I or someone lost money – and you give me another lecture. Look… I sincerely hope this works because I think SL DOES need a viable system for people to seek legal relief… but Ash…

  251. Poinky Malaprop

    [5:23] but

    [5:23] but the defendant refused to pay

    [5:23] and was banned

  252. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:23] As for compensation generally, incidentally, if a court recognised a claim for compensation, it would order the party in question to pay.

  253. Resident A

    [5:23] Publication permission denied.

  254. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:23] IF the person refused to pay, he or she would be banished.

  255. Poinky Malaprop

    [5:23] he still does not get his money back

  256. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:24] Like debtors who refused to pay their debts where, in times of old, sent to prison.

  257. Michel Manen

    [5:24] the question of enforcement depends very much on the assets of the person due to pay and how that person values these assets

  258. vidK Pro

    [5:24] … you might as well have Sith Lord or something over your head… this is just another ego fulfillment role play… thanks for nothing… take care.

  259. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:24] Even real-life legal systems, it must be noted, do not do away with the problem of bad debts entirely.

  260. Resident A

    [5:24] Publication permission denied.

  261. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:25] this legal system imo will be strictly related to politics, that’s right? Will he have politicians in SL?

  262. Michel Manen

    [5:25] if. for example, after a fair legal procedure, a person is faced with the laternative to either pay up or be expelled from a sim he really values, he will think twice before refusing to pay

  263. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:25] We already have politicians in SL.

  264. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:25] Frank: I don’t know what you mean by "strictly realted to politics" here.

    [5:25] We do indeed have politicans who make the laws of our legal system.

  265. Bernard Cooke

    [5:25] Yes, if enough states belonged to the same system… a ban in one could mean a significant ban system wide, thus detering the criminal.

  266. Resident A

    [5:25] Publication permission denied.

  267. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:25] What you mean by "strictly realted to" is less clear.

  268. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:25] I do not believe that the politicians make law.

  269. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:25] I mean, a government in Sl implies elections, politicians…

  270. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:26] Michel makes a good point above, incidentally.

  271. Resident A

    [5:26] Publication permission denied.

  272. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:26] And so does Bernard 🙂

  273. Resident A

    [5:26] Publication permission denied.

  274. Michel Manen

    [5:26] not in the sense of the word you seem to give politicians

  275. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:26] Frank: we have had a number of elections here already 🙂

    [5:26] The next set are due in January.

  276. Michel Manen

    [5:26] the very word derives from the greek polis, inhabitant of a city

  277. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:26] sorry, didn’t know

  278. Michel Manen

    [5:27] all citizens can participate in the decision making process affecting their governance

  279. Something Something

    [5:27] In practice banishment does have effect because of forfeting an avatar with an established reputation. You can create a newbie alt, but might find it hard to establish business relationships as a complete unknown, for instance…

  280. Cara Fei

    [5:27] polis = city, not inhabitant

  281. Michel Manen

    [5:27] their all are involved in the polis – the city

  282. Traxx Hathor

    [5:27] They need an akropolis here too : )

  283. Resident A

    [5:27] Publication permission denied.

    [5:27] Publication permission denied.

  284. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:27] The way that our legislature works is that any citizen may propose a bill, but only the members of the legislature, who are elected, may vote on it.

    [5:27] Something Something has a good point 🙂

  285. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:28] Effectively, Ashrcroft, you do not have a participative democracy then?

  286. Bernard Cooke

    [5:28] Every bill goes to a full vote?

  287. Michel Manen

    [5:28] some will volunteer mor time than others – and, if democratically elected, will have for a period of time, a greater influence

  288. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:28] What do you mean by "participatory" here?

    [5:28] We are a representative democracy, like every democratic nation on Earth apart from Switzerland…

  289. Cara Fei

    [5:29] and the lindens become true gods…

  290. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:29] if the focus is on elected officials making choices, then the elected officials can quite easily make choices contradictory to the will of the people – which is the inherent flaw of present ‘democracy’

  291. Resident A

    [5:29] Publication permission denied.

  292. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:29] Bernard: whether bills are voted on is determined by the leader of the Representative Assembly.

  293. Resident A

    [5:29] Publication permission denied.

  294. Cara Fei

    [5:29] but if we have a palriament, they will become

  295. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:29] Although, in practice, most bills are voted on eventually.

  296. Cara Fei

    [5:29] or do the lindens than have to follow avatar law?

  297. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:30] Nobody: the idea of democracy being a good idea because what government ought to do is uphold the will of the people is flawed.

  298. Resident A

    [5:30] Publication permission denied.

  299. Cara Fei

    [5:30] democracy means that the people govern

  300. Resident A

    [5:30] Publication permission denied.

    [5:30] Publication permission denied.

  301. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:30] So democracy, the rule of majority, is flawed? Is that what you mean?

  302. Cara Fei

    [5:30] who then governs the lindens and what will their role be?

  303. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:30] Democracy is good, not because it is good to uphold the will of the people, or even because there is such a thing as the will of the people, but because it is an important check on what would otherwise be dangerous exectuive and legislative power.

  304. Resident A

    [5:30] Publication permission denied.

  305. Bernard Cooke

    [5:31] Margot, surely the Lindens are not true gods, as if in the end we choose not to live by their rules… we leave, and that has a significant and direct impact on their business.

  306. Cara Fei

    [5:31] so they will become true gods

  307. Tommy Oz

    [5:31] I know I’m quite new here, but is there any place where I can read about WHY yu al think we need a government?

  308. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:31] we have democracy and we still have dangerous executive and legislative power.

  309. Resident A

    [5:31] Publication permission denied.

  310. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:31] Indeed, Margot, but the Lindens don’t govern the residents of SL very much

  311. Michel Manen

    [5:31] i think that the key issue about democracy is that it is a legitimate system of government

  312. Cara Fei

    [5:31] i dont need to be governed

  313. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:31] Tommy: ask Poinky for a transcript of the earlier part of this meeting 🙂

  314. Resident A

    [5:31] Publication permission denied.

  315. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:31] Cara: do you think that other people in SL need to be governed?

  316. Resident A

    [5:31] Publication permission denied.

    [5:31] Publication permission denied.

  317. Traxx Hathor

    [5:31] Hey Tommy — this place has a website if you want something to read.

  318. Cara Fei

    [5:31] i dont care

  319. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:32] The legitimacy of democracy is only apparent in that it hasn’t been improved upon. And that is a failure of democracy.

  320. Cara Fei

    [5:32] i am having my second life here and it does not be a copy of my first life

  321. Michel Manen

    [5:32] because we all take part in shaping it, we accept its results, even if wwe do not always agree

    [5:32] Well winston churchill once said that democracy is the worst system of government in the world.. except for all others

  322. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:32] Nobody: one of our own residents, Rudy Ruml, is a retired real-life professor of political sceince. He has devoted his life to research that shows quite conclusively that representative democracies are far, far less dangerous in their executive…

  323. Resident A

    [5:32] Publication permission denied.

  324. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:32] …and legislative power than non-democracies.

    [5:33] Michel makes another good point above 🙂

  325. Resident A

    [5:33] Publication permission denied.

  326. Cara Fei

    [5:33] governments are necessary for sates

    [5:33] states

  327. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:33] Actually, two good points…

  328. Cara Fei

    [5:33] Sl doesnt show any indicator of what is a state

    [5:33] no common economy

  329. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:33] Cara, the CDS is a state.

    [5:33] 🙂

  330. Cara Fei

    [5:34] what is CDS?

  331. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:34] The Confederation of Democratic Simulators.

    [5:34] The nation of which this sim is a part.

  332. Cara Fei

    [5:34] let them do so

    [5:34] but there is no reason for all the grid doing the same

  333. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:34] Cara: I never said that there was 🙂

  334. Bernard Cooke

    [5:34] I think that’s precisly what ash has been saying

  335. Tommy Oz

    [5:35] Could someone direct me to the website address?

  336. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:35] There’ll always be a place for anarchy in SecondLife, and that’s to be cherished. But anarchy alone cannot unleash the full potential of SecondLife.

    [5:35] Tommy:

  337. Michel Manen

    [5:35] The very point of the system is to accomodate diversity, but also provide some common ground for all

  338. Cara Fei

    [5:35] anarchy is self organised small communities

  339. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:35] Cara Fei: anarchy is a society without a government.

  340. Cara Fei

    [5:35] without an upper government

  341. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:36] No, without any government.

  342. Cara Fei

    [5:36] but there are still rules

  343. Something Something

    [5:36] Regarding unleashing the full potential, there’s an interesting anecdote with regard to unleashing the economic potential…

  344. Resident A

    [5:36] Publication permission denied.

  345. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:36] Yes, indeed.

  346. Bernard Cooke

    [5:36] Ash, is there a danger of this becoming like the communities modeled in various sci-fi works. Where the ‘above ground’ is governed by laws and governements, and the ‘undergound’ is a complete death trap?

  347. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:36] A legal system with enforcable contracts has the potential to make a huge difference to the economy of SL.

  348. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:36] ash, do you think Sl is, or could be an utopian land?

  349. Something Something

    [5:36] There are auctions of land parcels all the time, and there was recently an auction in Brown which concluded with a final price of about L$40 per square meter, far above average. The reason is likely because…

  350. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:36] Bernard, I’m not familliar with those particular Sci-Fi works…

  351. Something Something

    [5:37] Brown is one of the very few zoned sims in the mainland

  352. Michel Manen

    [5:37] anarchy is,simply, a dog eat dog environment… anything goes..

  353. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:37] Frank: I don’t think that any community consisting of humans ever can be 🙂 But we can make workable systems that serve generally good soceities.

  354. Cara Fei

    [5:37] nonsense

  355. Michel Manen

    [5:37] even small communities have rules…

  356. Decka Mah

    [5:37] Interestingly in some sci-fi, the underground is the caring people and the above gorund is the evil death trap

  357. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:37] Democracy could be called a wolf eat sheep environment – to be fair to Anarchy.

  358. Tommy Oz

    [5:37] Ashcroft: any contract enforcement ultimates depends on physical force

  359. Cara Fei

    [5:37] 🙂

  360. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:37] Cara: just saying "nonsense" is not an argument.

  361. Something Something

    [5:37] So a version of SL (perhaps run by a competitor) with zoning or contract enforcement as a value-add, could have a much larger economy by that fact alone

  362. Michel Manen

    [5:38] but thw sheep allow the wolf to eat them because the wolf was once a sheep

  363. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:38] Tommy: our "physical force" is the ability to ban people from the whole of the CDS, which is growing.

  364. Bernard Cooke

    [5:38] Fair enough, the point being that the anarchic areas degrade rapidly, and it’s difficult for people in them to move through into the ‘clean, law abiding’ section of society. Particularly as we’ve discussed AV reputation so much.

  365. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:38] the wolf was never a sheep. It was always a wolf in sheep’s clothing. 🙂

  366. Resident A

    [5:38] Publication permission denied.

  367. Poinky Malaprop

    [5:38] isn’t there a limit to the number of people you can ban from a sim?

  368. Grace McDunnough

    [5:38] Yes

  369. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:38] the point I am trying to make is that any system can be gamed.

  370. Resident A

    [5:38] Publication permission denied.

  371. Cara Fei

    [5:39] unfortunately gotta go

  372. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:39] Back to the contract economy, if there are enforcable contracts, things like the services sector could be opened up in a way that it hasn’t been beforre.

  373. Resident A

    [5:39] Publication permission denied.

  374. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:39] Nobody: that applies to RL legal systems, too.

    [5:39] That’s not a reason for not having htem.

    [5:39] Indeed, Margot 🙂

  375. Cara Fei

    [5:39] good bye everybody, take care

  376. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:39] No system is ever going to be infallible, but not infallible doesn’t entail not worth having.

  377. Poinky Malaprop

    [5:39] Maybe this is a good time to close the official portion of the meeting

  378. Resident A

    [5:39] Publication permission denied.

  379. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:39] bye

  380. Poinky Malaprop

    [5:39] and let people who need to leave, go

  381. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:39] Ashcroft, the only reason present legal systems are still here is because it would be illegal to remove them.

  382. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:39] Nobody: that doesn’t make any sense.

    [5:40] Legal systems serve a function.

  383. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:40] Yes, it does Ashcroft.

    [5:40] Think of this.

  384. Traxx Hathor

    [5:40] I appreciate that, Ashcroft — been up all night working

    [5:40] Thanks for the presentation

  385. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:40] It is illegal to walk backwards and eat peanuts in some part of California.

  386. Traxx Hathor

    [5:40] bye all

  387. Grace McDunnough

    [5:40] Good bye all. Thanks very much Ashcroft – interesting discussion.

  388. Poinky Malaprop

    [5:40] thanks Ashcroft for an interestin g discussion

  389. Bernard Cooke

    [5:40] Noboby, isn’t that called an ‘uprising’ , ‘mutiny’ or ‘civil war’?

  390. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:40] I hope that you all found it interesting 🙂

  391. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:40] As a citizen, one cannot change that law. That would be illegal.

  392. Resident A

    [5:40] Publication permission denied.

    [5:40] Publication permission denied.

  393. Michel Manen

    [5:40] and to throw live moose from a flying plane in Alsaka

  394. Resident A

    [5:40] Publication permission denied.

    [5:40] Publication permission denied.

  395. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:40] So the law remains until someone within the legal system makes it ‘legal’

  396. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:40] Nobody: the legislature can change the law.

  397. Resident A

    [5:40] Publication permission denied.

  398. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:41] Cheerio! 🙂

  399. Resident A

    [5:41] Publication permission denied.

  400. Bernard Cooke

    [5:41] if enough people chose to overthrow the system… the system would not work.

  401. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:41] but the legislature hasn’t. 🙂

  402. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:41] If anybody is interested in the law of virtual worlds, be sure to join my "Jurists" group. There’s no signup fee.

  403. Michel Manen

    [5:41] thats where the notion of legitimacy comes in

  404. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:41] Nobody: that doesn’t prove your arugment.

  405. Michel Manen

    [5:41] and only democratic systems are truly legitimate

  406. Bernard Cooke

    [5:41] but in SL, that would result in the landowner banning a load of people, and becoming a dictator

  407. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:41] Ashcroft, saying ‘it doesn’t prove your argument’ doesn’t make it so.

  408. Bernard Cooke

    [5:42] which unfortunately, in SL, no-one can prevent, as all land is owned by a person whose paying RL money to LL.

  409. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:42] As to the earlier question about ban limits, that’s true of banning using the LL tools, but it’s possible to have a scripted ban device withotu such limits.

  410. Bernard Cooke

    [5:42] (sorry for intervecting so much random stuff just then :S )

  411. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:42] Nobody: what you are claiming is a non-sequitor.

  412. Michel Manen

    [5:42] in Ancient greece, when a citizen commited a crime, he was banned outside the city limits – that did not make the city a dictatorship

  413. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:42] A basis of law has to be drawn from the community for the average person to not be a criminal.

  414. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:43] Merely because one odd law in California has not been repealed does not mean that the only reason that any law exists at all is that it would be "illegal" to remove it.

  415. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:43] Ashcroft, consider real world DRM

    [5:43] Consider the lack of public domain, enforced by the Sonny Bono Copyright Act but subverted by file sharers.

    [5:43] there are many things like that.

  416. Decka Mah

    [5:44] hhmmmm in some countries you are guilty ntil proven innocent..what is the tables were turned and you had to earn getting oof the banned list rather than start out that way?

  417. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:44] Nobody: how is that an argument that is capable of establishing the abstract proposition that the *only* reason that *any* law exists at all is that it would be "illegal" to change it?

  418. Fim Fischer

    [5:44] bye everyone

  419. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:44] Cheeoi!

  420. Michel Manen

    [5:44] well societies and technologies consantly evolve.. there is a lag time until legislation cathces up… but eventually it does..

  421. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:44] Hello!!!!

  422. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:44] because that is the basis of law. That if everyone accepts the law, breaking the law is illegal.

  423. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:44] Incidentally, if anybody wants to participate in our democratic soceity here, we have a number of plots of available land in this lovely Roman themed sim 🙂

    [5:45] See for details 🙂

  424. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:45] And in a system where the only people who can change the law are people with more power than the average citizen, changing a law by the average citizen is illegal.

  425. Decka Mah

    [5:45] The lag is good…having no policy is a policy that allows innovators room to experiment

  426. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:45] Have a look around for the land for sale.

  427. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:45] ash, could you tell me where to go to know more about elections in SL?

  428. Ashcroft Burnham


    [5:45] And

  429. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:45] ty

  430. Nobody Fugazi

    [5:45] Law is a figment of our common imagination. 🙂

  431. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:45] Also, you can become a citizen here, get to know our other citizens, and vote in an election yoruself 🙂

  432. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:46] how can become a citizen?

  433. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:46] Nobody: anything that has real effect on real people in the way that it purports to have an effect is not imaginary.

  434. Michel Manen

    [5:46] well there always is a tension between innovation and stability….. its a dynamic process

  435. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:46] Frank: you need to buy/rent some land here.

  436. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:46] ok, ty

  437. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:46] tells you how to do that.

    [5:46] 🙂

  438. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:46] 😉

  439. Bernard Cooke

    [5:46] Sorry, but I’m still intrigued by what happens to the system if the RL legal owner of a region decides to cull an uprising against their system. What recupussions does this have? Do other nations accept the ‘refugees’ from the reclaimed land?

  440. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:47] There’s lots of available land, some small, cheap plots, and some larger, slightly less cheap plots 🙂

    [5:47] Bernard: what do you mean, exactly?

  441. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:47] sorry but I have to say that: this is the BEST conference I ever attended

  442. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:47] Excellent! I’m very glad that you think so.

  443. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:47] 🙂

  444. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:47] 🙂

  445. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:47] sure

    [5:47] with pleasure

  446. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:47] I hope that you will become a citizen here…

  447. Bernard Cooke

    [5:48] If the people in a sim, refuse to follow the rules laid down in the democrasy… there is still an overall owner of the region… the legal sim owner…

  448. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:48] Incidentally, I’m about to hand out CDS flags if anybody wants a souvanier… 🙂

  449. Frank Koolhaas

    [5:48] ty

  450. Bernard Cooke

    [5:48] … I assume that they would take action to remove the uprising from their region, rather than let it continue…

  451. Tommy Oz

    [5:48] Would not the sim owner have a special privilaged position?

  452. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:48] Bernard, what do you mean by an uprising here?

  453. Michel Manen

    [5:49] well, if they refuse to follow the rules, they will have the chance to elect representatives who will change those rules

    [5:49] democratically

  454. Bernard Cooke

    [5:49] … in which case, there could be a number of people who ‘lived’ in that sim, who now have nowhere to go, after all, you carn’t overthrow the leader, in a true sense.

  455. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:49] The sim owner in our case is an individual who owns *all* the CDS land, and who follows the instructions of our government.

    [5:49] Our particular sim owner is a very trustworthy person. However, placing reliance in an individual is not ideal for the long term.

    [5:50] We’re looking into sophisticated ways of ensuring that we no longer have to do that 🙂

  456. Tommy Oz

    [5:50] Ashcroft: you mean that they volunerily folloow the governement

  457. Ashcroft Burnham

    [5:50] For the time being, however, we can trust our estate owner just as much as the residents of Caledon can trust Desmond Shang.

  458. Bernard Cooke

    [5:50] Yes, I think you got my jist without me falling all over my words… thanks 🙂

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