Saturday, March 1, 2014

Landbots Now Illegal!

OK, this may be old news to some people, but I just found out about it today.

For years, people have complained about landbots in Second Life.  You don't know what it is, this "landbot?"  Let me explain.

A "bot" (Linden Lab calls them "scripted agents") is an avatar account that is controlled by a computer program, rather than directly by a person.  Bots are used for many different things, some of them useful, and some of them...well, not so friendly.

A landbot is a bot that is programmed to look for Mainland that is set for sale at a price below its trigger threshold.  In other words, it is always looking for a bargain.  Land flippers use these bots to find and snap up land that is priced below market value.  This has provided a very useful service -- it means that a person who wants to get rid of her land right away can do so easily, and can get at least SOMEthing for it, rather than simply Abandoning it to Governor Linden.

However, a lot of careless people complained about landbots "ripping them off."  Even though it's very easy to set your land to sell to a specific, named person, they forgot, and set the land to sell to "Anyone" and then set a very low price, like $L1 intending to transfer it to a friend or an alt.

Whoosh!  In pops the landbot, and buys the land before its intended buyer can blink.

But in a recent update to their Bot Policy, Linden Lab has made using landbots illegal.  So now, if you are careless and stupid and a landbot buys your land unexpectedly, you can Abuse Report the owner of the landbot.

I'm sorry, but I really can't agree with this policy change, no matter how many idiots need to be protected from their own idiocy.  It's just another example of the Death of Personal Responsibility.  In the name of protecting a few fools from their foolishness, LL has put the final nail in the coffin for the few remaining Mainland land merchants.

(And no, I have never been a land flipper, and never owned or used a landbot.)

For those who don't care to read the whole thing, here's the relevant section of the new policy.
Using bots to purchase Mainland parcels is not allowed
The use of bots, autonomous software, scripting (manual or automated), scripted agents, or any systems or software internal or external to the Second Life service that circumvent, automate and/or remove the human interaction required to purchase a Land parcel within Second Life on the Linden Lab owned Mainland is prohibited.   

EDITED TO ADD: If I were someone willing to push the boundaries of things, I might consider using a landbot to FIND land for sale and then going and buying it in person. Arguably, this would fall within LL's definition of "human interaction required to purchase."  If you try it, let me know how it comes out.  In writing, not in person.


  1. I am with you, next they will be disallowing toys in our happy meals and telling us what size sodas to drink.

    1. Woot! There's a voice from the past! Hi CX, hope you're doing well! And thanks for the comment.

  2. Lindal,

    Agreed! I'd have thought that LL has more pressing issues to deal with than this one!