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Mieville in Trouble Due To Missing Landowner

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:08 am
by Lyubov
A story posted today in Second Life Newser, "Mieville in Trouble Due To Missing Landowner", see ... ssing.html

This concerns Mieville, a steampunk community. The owner was sick for several weeks preceding his last appearance in SL on 28 December, with no communication from him since that time. The community has no RL information to contact him. Mieville is now trying to create a backup plan and work with LL in the event that the owner does not return before funds sufficient to pay tier are exhausted.

The topic of an orderly transition of the CDS Estate Owner is a recurring theme. General plans are in place to manage a planned or unplanned EO event in CDS. This has been most recently discussed in this forum at "Proposed Text, NL 4-6 Financial Reserves Act", and "Notes on the administration of money in the CDS",

If Mieville's owner does not return before funds are exhausted, I would be very interested to know how LL chooses to accommodate the community.

Re: Mieville in Trouble Due To Missing Landowner

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:14 am
by Sudane Erato
Agreed! But let's resolve to ourselves avoid this issue by developing and putting in place our own succession process which does not depend on LL.


Re: Mieville in Trouble Due To Missing Landowner

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:29 pm
by Tanoujin Milestone
After pondering quite a while how a succession process could be implemented, I reached a point where I think we need a Vice Treasurer/EO-Typist.

Re: Mieville in Trouble Due To Missing Landowner

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:15 am
by Rosie Gray
Tanoujin Milestone wrote: Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:29 pm After pondering quite a while how a succession process could be implemented, I reached a point where I think we need a Vice Treasurer/EO-Typist.
I agree with Tan.

Re: Mieville in Trouble Due To Missing Landowner

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:05 pm
by Lyubov
Yes. I like it.

Without attempting to answer the question right now of who exactly this "Vice Treasurer/EO-Typist" is, does this adequately address the issue of succession in CDS? Separately, USD 3000 of CDS reserve funds must also be made available to pay the LL region transfer fees.

For a planned succession, the Treasurer/EO and Vice Treasurer/EO may communicate directly and coordinate the region transfers.

In the event of an unplanned circumstance, the Vice Treasurer/EO would be able to attempt communication and determine if the transfer process should be initiated and if necessary take control of relevant accounts to complete the process.

Solution found? How does the Treasurer/EO feel about this?

Re: Mieville -- the EO has reappeared, ... ville.html

Re: Mieville in Trouble Due To Missing Landowner

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:37 am
by Sudane Erato
I'm perfectly fine with this concept. But.... there are issues that ought to be thought about, before we claim, Solution Found.

1) Do we really want to maintain the EO and Treasurer in the same person forever? The fact that both functions are with me was a quirk of history in April 2005... there were only three of us, Ulrika, Gwyn and myself. I think Ulrika would have been happy to take on the EO role (and bitterly regretted not doing so later on), but she said that her husband refused to agree that they should take on the $980 setup fee and the $195/month tier fee. Gwyn diplomatically removed herself from consideration. So I took on both roles since they were routinely similar to what I did (and still do) in RL. There's certainly no structural reason the two roles need to be in one person... the Treasurer really does need to understand basic bookkeeping. The EO simply needs to be a calm and responsive person who has some understanding of Land in SL. Either one could be the "Bank Account". I fear that the likelihood of finding another qualified person to provide both functions might be difficult.

2) Shouldn't we consider an "Archie account" for the EO? Lyubov is right.... an ownership transfer is going to cost us US$3000, a very substantial part of our reserves (at the moment, at the current exchange rate, our reserves are about US$10,000). Our reserves were collected during past years of prosperity, when SL had a stronger economic underpinning, and when LL was not doing everything it could to undermine private estates. We are unlikely to rebuild them (unless conditions change very dramatically) if we experience one or more $3000 transfers. LL may not approve of an "Archie" ownership structure... but I think it ought to be considered.

3) And finally, of course, the problem of the "unplanned circumstance". For better or worse, I guess, I am privacy-oriented, so either we look forward to a planned succession (which would be TOTALLY fine with me!), or we solve the problem of conveying Rudeen's credentials in the event of my disappearance. (I currently maintain the reserves in a different avie, LadyJane Rhys, but I'm considering moving everything to Rudeen to make issues such as this simpler).

There's really a bunch of stuff here. I think we should have discussions about all this before arriving at a succession procedure.


Re: Mieville in Trouble Due To Missing Landowner

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:21 am
by Lyubov
Thank you Sudane!

I agree, I don't see a technical reason why the Treasurer and EO must be the same person, and indeed the competencies required for each may not always be found within any one individual. However, as a practical matter, it is certainly convenient if they are the same individual. Additionally, the Treasurer does require access to the EO's financial statements in order to perform their work.

Perhaps an intermediate transition step that we can take in the short term is for the designated "Vice Treasurer/EO-Typist" to perform some of the Treasurer's duties as an understudy-mentee. This could be a way to gain confidence in the required information-sharing and financial reporting processes.

Important considerations,
NL 5-5 Treasurer Act states, "The position of Treasurer shall be understood as a “civil service” type position. The citizen holding this role will not occupy any other elected or administrative position in the governed entity which he/she serves, unless a waiver might be granted, on a case by case basis, by the SC.".

NL 5-6 Estate Owner Act states, "In addition, the EO will be prohibited from holding any elected or appointed office in the sim government, unless a waiver might be granted, on a case by case basis, by the SC."
A similar exception would be required for a "Vice Treasurer/EO-Typist", especially in the likely scenario that any such candidate is already an active member of government.

I am very much in favor of using an Archie-like account for EO. I would not want to absorb the substantial LL transfer cost more than once. Also recall, that the entire Casper tierbox system also needs to be transferred or more accurately stated, replaced.

Understanding that an Archie-like EO would require a "Payment Info Used" status, as a test I was able to create an Archie-like Marketplace account, which also requires "Payment Info Used". I did this without revealing any (accurate) Personally Identifiable Information. I believe that this system could continue to work, including transferring L$ to USD to make Tier payments, until USD are actually withdrawn out of SL because at that point Tilia requires more extensive identity authentication.

That said, using an Archie-like EO still presents risks. I would want to at least talk directly to LL, explain our long history and governance, and ask for their advice on how to best manage a future EO succession and what the best ownership structure may be. I suspect that they may suggest some form of entity such as a non-profit or not-for-profit. This entity may then have more flexibility to change its internal ownership and use an Archie-like EO. Of course, there would be costs to both establish and maintain this entity. Would these costs be offset to any degree though reduced LL transfer fees or ongoing Tier costs for this entity? I would like to at least hear LL's recommendation and investigate what it would take to pursue this option.

An Archie-like EO, with a potential entity as RL owner, has the further advantage that in an orderly planned succession, the current individual controlling the Treasurer/EO accounts, Sudane, may continue to serve in this role until the controlling individual is actually seamlessly transferred to another person.

Re: Mieville in Trouble Due To Missing Landowner

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:55 am
by Tanoujin Milestone
I do not trust the Lindens and would not approach them unprepared... they may find our practices already out of TOS and give us a hard time. Second life is a capitalistic environment, and capitalism kills off any alternatives.

To get information how non profits or not for profits handle their estate management we could reach out to Rockcliffe University. I am sure they will be happy to share their knowledge, since they are in virtual education and we are pretty much educational.

In case we establish a RL entity to handle our succession and ownership issues, we must make sure this entity can never take control by performing a coup. It should be limited to executive functions under control of the Chancellor.

We already had a long and intensive discussion about that here on the forums.

Re: Mieville in Trouble Due To Missing Landowner

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:41 pm
by Kyoko
Briefly, I agree with Tan. If we were to approach LL at any juncture we better be more than well prepared.

Re: Mieville in Trouble Due To Missing Landowner

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:18 pm
by Lilith Ivory
Before starting to discuss this problem once again we all might want to read the transcript of the SC meeting at july 27 2019 where Sudane gave a detailed report on that topic.
(I am not adding a link with purpose as idk if a link makes this sensitive topic visible again for those without forum account)