End of Life

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End of Life

Policy effective February 20th, 2015. This policy only applies to K.R. Engineering products that were originally released prior to 2011.

Summary

In an effort to combat the rampant piracy in Second Life as a result of numerous bugs in the Second Life server code, we have implemented a policy of only supporting very old K.R. Engineering products that have a verifiable provenance. This does NOT apply to newer K.R. Engineering products that have a "Gaming.SL" logo on them (games purchased since 2011). This only applies to games that were released in 2010 or older. What this means is that we must be able to trace the purchase of your game back to us originally, or it is considered unsupported.

Ways we can verify your table is not pirated:

  • An original purchase transaction for you. We keep all of our transaction history, so even if you can only look back 32 days on the website in your history, we can look back years in ours!
  • If the table was gifted to you, telling us who gave you the table will let us look up the original purchase transaction for the buyer, even if you didn't buy it yourself.
  • If your account was around during the original release date of the game you have AND your account is older than our oldest recorded transaction history, then we will probably update you.

If we are unable to verify that your table was originally purchased from us, it will be considered unsupported. This means you will not be able to update to a newer version, and if you break it then there's nothing we can do about it.

If you purchased your game off of Marketplace any time since 2010, and it does not have a Gaming.SL logo on the table, then it was most likely pirated and you were scammed by the seller. The only legitimate seller of K.R. Engineering products on the Marketplace or anywhere else is Karsten Rutledge. If the item you bought was from any other seller, they are not officially endorsed or supported in any way. If you bought your game from Marketplace and are not sure who you bought it from, you can see all orders you have ever made on Marketplace by going to your order history on the Marketplace.

We apologize if you have been scammed by a thief on the Marketplace, but unfortunately we cannot reasonably take it upon ourselves to monetarily compensate people out of our own pocket for other people's actions that are outside of our ability to control or prevent. Your transaction, be it good or bad, is between you and the person who sold you the product. If the product was not purchased directly from us, we cannot verify its authenticity.

Ultimately, the responsibility for this rests with Linden Lab. Linden Lab has failed to prevent the illegal duplication of transfer-only products. There's no way to know whether a used table is a duplicate or a real used table. I have personally shut down many counterfeit rings and reported dozens of accounts for using loopholes to clone old tables. And then they make new accounts and start over doing the same thing, because Linden Lab never fixes the actual exploits.

More importantly, Linden Lab has failed to make the Marketplace a trustworthy place for customers and creators to conduct business. The only method they have given us for dealing with people mislabeling and misappropriating our products and brands on the Marketplace is the utterly inept and clunky DMCA process. While they are fairly reliable about taking down offending products (because the government mandates it), these products return quickly, sometimes mere minutes later, when the offender creates a new listing, and repeated offenders are never handled. Because of unethical resellers on the Marketplace selling counterfeit used tables, a grotesque amount of my time is wasted with customers who think they're buying from me because of vague or outright misleading listings, when in reality they bought a very, very old table from a third party. Linden Lab needs to accept that there is absolutely no legitimate reason for the Marketplace to be used to sell items by people who did not create them, and take action accordingly. At the very least, the Marketplace needs to have a very large, very prominent warning on items being sold by people who did not create them. This is especially needed when they're sold as limited stock items, meaning the seller does not have full permissions on the item.

Known Scammers

The people on this list are sellers on Marketplace who use deceptive practices in their listings in an attempt to commit fraud on consumers. Deceptive practices often include things such as unauthorized use of stolen K.R. Engineering vendor images or logos in order to appear to be affiliated with K.R. Engineering. Scammers may also use images of much newer, supported tables to sell you tables that are old and unsupported, and they do this knowingly. Often they will use deceptive titles to trick people into thinking they are officially endorsed by K.R. Engineering or that their lower prices are merely reflective of a "sale" that is going on.

These scammers have been notified personally by K.R. Engineering staff that what they're doing is fraud, and that their tables are not supported, but they refuse to modify their listings to inform their customers that they are selling unsupported products.

  • SCAMMER: LORD Muliaina
  • SCAMMER: xXxOVERLORDxXx Exon
  • SCAMMER: LuLzZz
  • SCAMMER: Sacha Quartz
  • SCAMMER: Trouble Riddler

If you are not sure whether you have purchased from a scammer, known or otherwise, you can check your order history on the Marketplace. If the invoice for your order does not say "Sold by Karsten Rutledge", then you were likely scammed.

Amnesty Program

The Amnesty Program has ended.

More Information

What is End of Life?

End of Life is an industry standard term used to indicate that specific versions of a product (NOT THE ENTIRE PRODUCT, only really old versions!) have exceeded the time they were expected to remain functional and in use. In practical terms, this means there may be little or no support available for really old versions of a product that have reached the end of their expected life-cycles.

What products are effected by End of Life?

See the table below for a list of products and services that have an End of Life policy effecting them. The version adjacent to the product below indicates the minimum supported version of that product.

If your version is equal to or newer than the minimum supported version, then this End of Life policy does not apply to you. Any product older than the listed version is considered to have exceeded its lifespan.

If your product is not listed, then all versions of that product are supported. The table below only lists products which have one or more unsupported versions.

Game Minimum Supported Version Release Date
Greedy Greedy v2.0 Feb 2011

This is bullshit, the notecard says lifetime updates!

Yes it does, and if you have a legitimately purchased product it should still apply, you will just need to contact us about it. You do not need to be the original purchaser of the product, as long as we can trace its heritage back to us. If we have no proof that your table was legitimately purchased, then this clause should not and does not apply. Unfortunately, we cannot take responsibility for the actions of those who conduct unethical business practices in Second Life by pirating our games.

I've been screwed by buying an old table, what do I do?

You should report the person you bought it from to Linden Lab.

If you don't want your tables resold, why not make them no-transfer?

This is a question I get often, and unfortunately there simply isn't a good solution to preventing resale of bad or old products. There are two possible permissions I could sell game tables under, copyable OR transferable. Transferable is the current situation. At the time that I originally made many of my games, making them copyable meant that one person could buy a game table, and rez copies of it on 2, 10, 20, 100, or more sims for their friends, however many they wanted, there was no limit. Second Life has advanced considerably since then, and I intend to migrate my games to a copy/no-trans system in the near future, but this will not be retro-active to old games. Pirates can still duplicate and sell transferable copies of old games, I do not have the ability to eliminate all transferable versions of my games from Second Life even after I switch to a new permission system.

Creators have been begging Linden Lab for a separate "Sale" permission from the "Transfer" permission for the last decade, to control whether an item can be given away or sold away separately, but they're obviously not inclined to make this change. More discrete permissions would give us more control over exactly how we want our products distributed, but this is a shortfall that Second Life will probably have for its entire existence.

If these are bad people, why are all their reviews positive?

Because they delete all the bad ones. A lot of their reviews are from people who don't know they got scammed yet because they've never tried to update their tables, or from people who bought a table and updated it before our policy changed at the beginning of 2015 to drop support for pirated tables. The countless bad reviews that have been left on their product listings since then simply get deleted by them. Stupid, right? The review system on the Marketplace is nearly useless because of this.

If you're wondering how they manage to delete the reviews, it's very simple. To delete a review, a seller can simply "flag" the review (there's a link on every review) and mark it as being inappropriate, spam or off-topic. Shortly after, Linden Lab removes it. Sometimes this is a few hours later, sometimes it's a few days later, but they will remove it. In theory, Linden Lab should be verifying the validity of flagged reviews and removing or not removing them as they see fit. This does not appear to actually be happening and hasn't been for a very long time, maybe ever. Most likely, the staff behind the Marketplace are overworked and don't have time to check whether every flagged review deserved to be flagged or had legitimate complaints, so all flagged reviews simply get deleted without question.

Why don't you just file a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown against them?

There's a lot of misunderstanding about what a DMCA takedown request is and what it can do. Companies that host content, such as Linden Lab, are legally required to receive and act upon DMCA takedown notices, but that is all. They don't get to judge the validity of a takedown request, because they're not a court of law. As long as the DMCA takedown notice is properly filed and contains the necessary information, Linden Lab is required to simply obey it and remove the offending content.

That all sounds well and good, but here's the problem. Once the offending content has been removed, their obligation ends. The person who had their content removed can simply turn around and file a Counter DMCA. In the Counter DMCA, all they have to do is say "Nope, the original DMCA was wrong." and Linden Lab will put their content back up. The end. Neither party is required to prove their assertions, and even if they submitted "proof" it doesn't matter, because Linden Lab is not a court and cannot pass legal judgement on who is right. In the end, it's a big game of "He said, she said." From Linden Lab's perspective, it goes something like this:

  • Me: That's mine! <take content down>
  • Thief: Nuh uh! <put content back up>
  • Me: Uh huh! <take content down>
  • Thief: Nuh uh! <put content back up>
  • Me: Uh huh! <take content down>
  • Thief: Nuh uh! <put content back up>
  • Me: Uh huh! <take content down>
  • ...repeat forever.

One person is obviously wrong, whether they're lying or merely misinformed, but because Linden Lab does not have the authority to judge which one is right then they can't "punish" anybody or take any more definitive action. Sometimes this whole process can be completed in less than 5 minutes. Listing goes down, 2 minutes later, listing comes back up. It's an enormous waste of time and resources and accomplishes nothing.

Why is it like this? Well, a DMCA takedown is supposed to be an immediate response mechanism to intellectual property infringement. A thief who refuses to heed a DMCA takedown should rightfully expect to be sued the next time they put the stolen content back up. A DMCA is a warning shot across the bow, nothing more. The problem is that it is outrageously expensive to pursue such a lawsuit in an actual court of law, and can often take years to see through. It also requires getting Linden Lab themselves involved in the lawsuit, because the first action of any such lawsuit would be to force Linden Lab to turn over any and all information they have on the actual person behind the avatar that you want to sue, as well as any documentation Linden Lab has on the methods of illegal object duplication in use, how long they've known about it, whether and when they've been fixed, whether they can verify or not that a particular account is using any of these exploits, etc.

In addition to all of this, Second Life is an international platform. The person behind a given avatar might be in Brazil while I'm in the USA. At that point, the most that you could hope to get is to force Linden Lab to lock that person's account. And then they just make a new account.

In the end, it's simply not worth it. Even assuming you won, it doesn't mean you would get anything out of it unless for some reason a petty internet thief happens to have a lot of assets and they're in a country that will work with yours on enforcing it. You might be out years of effort and expenses and get nothing except a potentially worthless injunction out of it.

But it has your name as Creator, surely that means it is legitimate?

Unfortunately, no it does not. There are two basic methods for pirating things in Second Life.

The first is known as "copybotting." Copybotting is a generic term for duplicating the precise appearance of an object without making a real copy. It's called Copybotting because it is often done with "bots", or software that is running an avatar in an automated fashion rather than being controlled by a person. Copybotting works because in order for you to see anything on your screen, it has to be downloaded to your computer. All of the shapes, textures, sounds, animations, etc that you see are all stored on your computer once you've seen them. Copybots abuse this fact to recreate whatever you've seen because it already knows the precise shape, size, textures, etc of the object. There will likely never be a way to prevent this sort of theft. When an object is copybotted, it USUALLY changes "Creator" to whoever did the copying, but it doesn't HAVE to. However, copybotting cannot copy scripts. If someone were to copybot my tables, they would end up with something that looked exactly like my games, but didn't work at all because there are no scripts in it.

The second type of piracy comes from permission exploits. My games are all transfer/no-copy, but there are bugs in Second Life that let people copy them anyway, as if they were really transfer/copy. When copied in this fashion, the copies retain the original creator (me) as well as all of the scripts that they contain. They are indistinguishable from a "legitimate" game because they tricked Second Life into making a copy of it, instead of recreating it themselves. This is what is happening to my games. I personally know of 2 "bugs" that can make this happen, both of them can done by accident as well as deliberately. There may also be other methods that I'm not aware of as well.