Wednesday 25 July 2018

GoFundMe Wont Save InWorldz But New Grid Might Emerge

Talla @ InWorldz
The GoFundMe to save InWorldz has been a spectacular success, reaching near its $17,000 goal in just two days. But we are now told the money wont be available in time to pay off the demand from RackSpace where InWorldz servers are maintained. Merchants and residents are being told to save everything they can and the technical staff are working to provide OAR's and opening sandboxes for those who don't have land to package inventory. The activity has been frantic as the Friday deadline approaches when the servers will be shut down and everything left will be lost. It appears now that this will be the outcome regardless of the success of the GoFundMe appeal and it has lead to calls for a new grid to be set up on the proceeds of the fund. In an update to the GoFundMe appeal, Beth Reischl (Elenia), wrote, "Wow! Everyone has been amazing! So here's where things stand. I asked in discord this afternoon, once we hit our goal, then what? What about next month? After much agonizing and upset, it was suggested by the residents that we use these monies to start a new grid. We'll be able to move OARS, profiles, groups. Inventory can only be taken that can be put in a box to be OAR filed. We'll be opening the sandbox for people who have no region to place their items and can get them back."

Kings Landing - Game of Thrones by Beth Tyrell
She went on, "If you are NOT ok with this, I urge you to please withdraw your support on the page. I do not want to take anyone's money who is not ok with this!" Reading Discord and other comments, it is clear now not everyone is happy with the change of plan. There is a sizable group close to Reischl that want a "new" InWorldz but there are also many voices raised against it and some of those are questioning the ethics of changing the GoFundMe aims. Moreover, some residents are openly hostile to the plan. On the GoFundMe comments, someone wrote:

"I am sorry to hear of the troubles InWorldz is having. However, I will not give my permission for the Full Perm items which I have sold on IW to be exported to any other grid. They were sold on InWorldz for the sole purpose of being used on InWorldz and NOT to be exported to another grid. Such an action would be in total infringement of my Intellectual Property Rights and the intellectual property rights of all other Full Perm Creators who uploaded their work to InWorldz in good faith and according to the assurances of InWorldz management that our intellectual property would be protected: "LICENSE TERMS AND OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY TERMS You retain copyright and other intellectual property rights with respect to content you create InWorldz to the extent that you have such rights under applicable law. InWorldz retains ownership of the account and related data, regardless of intellectual property rights you may have in content you create or otherwise own. Even though InWorldz retains this right, your intellectual property will not be used without prior permission and or licensing to InWorldz."

Steampunk Isle Calia Estates

Another said, "Ok STOP! the fund raising was to save IW not to make a new grid!" And yet another was outright hostile, "It was not 'suggested by the residents' that you start a new grid, it was decided by a small clique of people who rudely refuse to listen to the views of others. Most residents don't even know about this yet. I think you have taken money under false pretences. The initial 'cause' has been replaced by totally different one. You should refund all donations and start again clearly stating exactly what you are raising the money for. As it stands this could be viewed as fraud."

I have kept the names back of those commenting but they can be read on the GoFundMe page so there are arguments for and against and there is no clear idea if a new grid is possible. For one thing it would need to be a Halcyon server because all the OARS are Halcyon code and none are going to work in other grids so it appears. Anyone hoping that a new InWorldz will run on Opensim I am sure will be very disappointed and I have yet to find out if any that have left and gone to other grids have been able to move their content. Likely they will be able to if they have the original inventory before it was ever uploaded to InWorldz but for many, those that have been in InWorldz for years and created there, I suspect they have no choice but to go with whatever is setup to replace the InWorldz grid.

Castle at Inland waterway IW scenic by Yadni Monde

Presently, everything is in the air and in the days and weeks to come a new InWorldz will emerge from the ashes of the old one - probably. I think one thing is for sure though, if Beth Reischl manages to pull it off and keep as many on board with the new plan then I doubt the grid will run as a  business in the same sense that it was. What I mean is that it is quite likely those that held faith and voted with their money will want more say in the running of the grid and that may well be a challenge for Beth Reischl who has held a firm hand on the helm at InWorldz since she and others founded it ten years ago. 

Update: InWorldz cofounder and former CTO David Daeschler has posted a statement on Hypergrid Business expressing doubts about a new grid and making it clear he has not been involved with InWorld management since 2016 so has no knowledge of the current affair. He said "InWorldz will always hold a special place in my heart."

There has also been heated comments on G+ Opensim Virtual community about all this.