Recently I was again thinking about the issue with last-names. And it was pointed out to me that CNET was actually reporting about this issue yesterday with information of an internal source. So the result seems to be that individuals who want to get a special last name need to pay a $100 setup see and a $50-a-year maintenance fee. For companies this will be a $1,000 setup fee and $500 per year.
So to me that sounds like bad news as the freedom I would have hoped for will not become a reality. This also means probably that other people cannnot use that last name anymore when it’s bought by somebody (I guess so for companies, for individuals it might be different). The other issue is that getting an individual name is not for the average Second Life user. This also seems to mean that all the discussion with the community some months back does not to play any role anymore. So no word thus about name changes. And in fact one of the points raised in that special community meeting held by Linden Lab on that topic was that buying a name is not a good idea.
So Linden Lab seems to have decided that their limitation in a free last name choice is an asset which can be sold.
I personally am very disappointed by that move. I’d rather have the freedom to choose my own name. And regarding the corporate names such as SunMicrosystems they even look strange. I’d rather habe use them their real names like “John Gage” and have the company as group title. Would make more sense to me.
All in all this decision seems very much pointed towards businesses and not the community. I might be wrong of course as it’s not an official final statement of Linden Lab so I will report back when there is one.
UPDATE: According to Linden Lab the information reported by CNET is the official version. It’s said that it’s maybe not the final version for all times but for now it’s what’s in place.