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  eBay Spares ‘Second Life’ Auctions:  Why?  
 
 
Posted 2007-01-29 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
What bad luck: eBay de-lists auctions of virtual items. What good luck: Second Life virtual items are spared.

Why the exemption for Second Life? It might be worth considering that two eBay board members are also indirect investors in Linden Lab, the virtual world's maker and maintainer. Benchmark Capital lead $8M in financing of Linden Lab in 2004, with the participation of Omidyar Network and others. eBay board member Robert Kagle is a member of Benchmark Capital. Pierre Omidyar is eBay's founder, a current eBay board member, and leads Omidyar Network.
 
     
 
   
 
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  6 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by Giff-Forseti
January 30, 2007 @ 2:07 am
     
 
The original article I saw on this (Slashdot) said that the root of eBay's concern was IP ownership... i.e. they didn't want people buying and selling things that the IP owner (say, Blizzard) had not approved. In Second Life's case, IP rights belong to the creators and participants of the world.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
January 30, 2007 @ 9:57 am
     
 
Oh, I know what eBay's official position is, I just find it awfully convenient for Second Life, and awfully inconvenient for all other worlds. I think it's worth considering that IP ownership is only one factor in eBay's position.

Could it be that eBay board members whose companies invested in Linden Lab are interested in locking out competing virtual worlds and game worlds?
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ace Albion
January 30, 2007 @ 12:14 pm
     
 
Do you think that eBay is throwing away their percentage on "illegitimate" RMT from a million WoW gold farmers in order to crush Blizzard under SL's mighty prim shoes?

This is eBay, not eSheep. I think a sense of scale might be needed.

I mean if eBay wanted to get into the Slex/slb type business, what other systems than SL *can* they do that for- If they made an actual system for trading WoW gold/swords/night elf bikinis, Blizzard would be stamping feet and rattling sabres all day long. long words like "facilitating" and "contractual breaches" and "intellectual property" would be bandied around.

I have a stainless steel colander spare- it's more sturdy than foil and it'll let your head breath :D
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
February 2, 2007 @ 12:55 am
     
 
It doesn't make sense to sell anything but islands on ebay. I mean, think about it. If you want to sell a dress or a house or a motorcycle from Second Life, why, you just have people come in SL to buy it, where they will use it. Why go outside to ebay, and pay ebay surcharges??? Makes no sense whatsoever.

The only thing that makes sense is a) accounts, which the Lindens seem ambivalent about selling and discourage (by making it illegal to share passwords) and b) used islands.

Selling the grandfathered used islands is very attractive now, because you have many people who want to buy them, not wishing to pay this new higher tier and purchase price. But how can you trust them? they may take your money and never turn over the island. It's very risky, not like buying with the UI ingame.

So what better thing than ebay, which has some ID check, rules, preventions of chargebacks, etc.

I think ebay just figured it was worth keeping a piece of that action.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
February 2, 2007 @ 9:48 am
     
 
I agree island sales via eBay are probably the most lucrative option, although most eBay SL sales I've seen are for blocks of L$.

I believe There.com sells most of its user-created items through an auction system already -- there's still room for eBay to facilitate item sales from SL, I think. Maybe not so much in its current operations, but in the future. Although that depends on how long the servers will remain exclusively within the Linden universe.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Brace Coral
February 3, 2007 @ 11:27 am
     
 
*snorts*
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
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