Mai 19, 2007

Blame Europe?

The Second Life Herald is running an article named "Blame Europe" about the "virtual child pornography" by Carl Metropolitan (who dislikes it clearly) reported by German reporters.

The main thesis is this:

Sexual "ageplay" in Second Life–as repulsive as it is–would almost
certainly be legal under current US law. In the United States, only
virtual child pornography that is "indistinguishable from" real child
pornography is illegal. [1] However, many European jurisdictions are
far more restrictive. In Germany–source of the recent ARD "Report
Mainz" news reports–laws against "virtual child pornography" are even
stricter, [2] making little distinction between real and virtual child


The First Amendment has led to United States having some of the least
restrictive laws on freedom of speech in the world. But as Second
Life’s real life users become less and less American, and its servers
cease to be wholly US-based, Linden Lab will inevitably be forced into
more limits on what it can and cannot allow its users to do.

No, I disagree. This is not about enforcing laws here in the first line, or the constitution of whatever country at all. The main reason why Lindenlabs reacted promptly is: this could hurt their image great lengths and decrease their income great lenghts.

Face it, corporate plays a more and more important role in Second Life, it is making big bucks with Lindenlabs and is a thriving force and income for profit. But when Second Life’s image becomes equal in the public as some kind of wonderland, where child pornography is being tolerated by the company running it, then the first part to leave SL quickly is going to be the companies, because this broken image could hurt themself, too. Later also many residents would leave Second Life, too.

So it is either satisfying the needs of Lindenlabs to grow more or tolerating this behaviour of a small part of the community, which is illegal in many countries of the world and for sure would hurt the business great lengths, but not where the HQ of LL is situated.

Either way there would be complaints, but since a company wants and needs to make profit and tolerating this behaviour would hurt profit great lengths, the solution of it is without no doubt: making Second Life cleaner for all (age verficiation) and making it very clear, that they don’t tolerate such behaviour at all, even if it complies with the US law.

And while some are now complaining (what for?), I welcome this necessary step towards a cleaner Second Life and since it enables Lindenlabs the opportunity to stay much longer in business.