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Old 01-17-2011, 09:22 PM   #80 (permalink)
Melanie Milland
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OpenSim Core
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 19
Normally, I don't appear in Forums. I don't appear in blogs, unless someone writes about me there.

I don't tweet. I don't Facebook.

My business is, normally, well, my business. I keep it that way to save myself from drama.

Well, there goes that, out the door. But I guess by starting Avination, I have put myself into a position where I have become a public personage and the public wants to know.

So, to shed some light on the things lost in the murk of time, where I would rather they'd stay...

In the beginning, there was Central Grid. It was run by Frank Corsi at that time.

I was doing business with Frank, providing a payment system (hosted on my servers) for his grid to give him a trusted platform to trade currency on.

Lala Legend (RL name on file) bought the grid from Frank and then contacted me. She had the name from Frank's contracts and originally it was about continuing the payment services for her instead of Frank.

When she found out that I was a well known OpenSim developer, she asked me to support her staff in setting up Legend City, which was to use the user data from Central Grid, but not much else.

In the course of these negotiations, she found out that I was also starting a grid, Xumeo, and I came up with the idea to link the two.
I had just added clustering support to OpenSim and it appeared to be a perfect way to test it. So, Xumeo and Legend City were linked, Xumeo with 76 regions to Legend City with 128.

We also found out that Lala and I shared some places and times in our lives, in particular our time in the L.A. of the 1980s, and it seemed like the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

When Lala managed to get Simone into Legend, User count jumped by 5000 within two days, it was incredible and nearly blew the lid off the servers. It was 24/7 work by yours truly to keep it all together. The future looked bright.

Then things turned bad. With a fair portion of the original contract still unpaid and no further monies having been paid to me, I was already in a bad position. Lala had the grand idea to make Xumeo a "Men's World." Read as "she wanted to keep the profitable female avatar business in her part of the world." Additionally, although we were peers and supposedly equal, she began to talk down to me and to treat me like a subordinate. I didn't like it, but I tried to make the business work as well as I was able to.

Then, she threw out Simone. Today I can lift the veil of silence that dropped over all this a little; I couldn't do that at the time for fear of reprisals. Yes, from Lala.

Even so, all I will say is that Simone was right and Lala was beginning to show her true colors.

In short order and after numerous arguments, I separated the grids and offered Simone a presence in my grid, now independent of Legend City. Simone, however, was fed up with it all and had lost interest in other worlds and their risks.

Lala would not leave me alone, with threats and insinuations going as far as to physically threaten my children.

I used the services of a spanish law firm to divest myself of the entire thing and closed down Xumeo. The grand total of cash I got burned for on this venture was us$16800. Total loss without insurance, and in addition I didn't deem it safe to start another grid or to continue Xumeo. Being bound into the server contract amounted to an additional 7000 that I had to pay over the following two years.

As far as Legend City is concerned, I am a victim, and actually I took the largest single loss of all involved. The true extent of Lala's duplicity wasn't apparent until after I researched her with the help of some appropriately placed friends in the US government. It also turned out that her threats were baseless and that freed me to start developing Avination. It was created over the past two years and, yes, there is a technology partnership with Meta7. It is limited to the exchange of technology, no one from Avination has any operational role in Meta7 and no one from Meta7 has any operational role in Avination. We merely pool development resources.

Avination focuses on the content creator and aims to prevent the things that have blighted content creators in SL. These things include, but are not limited to, copybotting, bots, freebies and adfarms.

Looking at SL freebies, one has to admit that nearly 90% of them are copybotted content, mostly items made by creators no longer in SL, and of a quality approriate for the time at which they were made. It is often not possible to find the true pedigree of these works, and we therefore decided to prohibit their import into Avination.

In a prior post I was quoted out of context and the freebie policy was misquoted.
The Freebie policy states that it is not allowed to import SL freebies unless you are their original creator. It also states that you can not give away more items than you sell, this, however, was represented as unit count, where it is, in fact, the number of items offered. You can not have one kind of shirt you sell and five different freebie shirts, but you can have five pairs of pants you sell and one pair in a freebie box.
Also, we believe freebies have the purpose of raising awareness of a creator's products, rather than allowing people to live inworld without partaking in commerce. Therefore, we believe freebies should be no transfer, so that anyone who wants them has to pick them up at the creator's store, creating traffic and sales.

Finally, we are very transparent. Melanie Thielker is my RL name, and I never kept is secret, not even in SL. Yes, I am an OpenSim core developer and yes, I am the director of Careminster Limited. All this is a matter of public record, it being a duly registered company. That is pretty transparent, in my humble opinion. There is other staff and we will also add more people in management positions soon, who will appear on the website as they officially join the firm.

And, to confirm, I work pretty closely with Diva Canto, who I will meet up with on February 24th. That will be our second real life meeting. The first time we put our heads together, Hypergrid 1.5 was the result, this time, I'm hoping for a push towards HG 2.0.
I do promote the secure Hypergrid; Avination is not a walled garden by choice. However, to keep the work of our creators safe, we can't, with the curent state of HG security, safely enable hypergridding in Avination. Rest assured that, once it can be done without inviting wholesale permission exploits, it will come to Avination.

I hope this has cleared up some of the confusion about me and Avination.

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