Commerce Commission Bill

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Beathan
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Re: Commerce Commission Bill

Post by Beathan »

Gwyn --

I would be fine with treating the Chamber of Commerce as another chartered NGO made of up shopowners -- if it has no governmental or regulatory authority, and is merely a shopowner service organization. If it is to have a regulatory portfolio, I want it under Chancellory control and supervision. If it has no such authority (which, the more I think about, the more I like), I would rather it be an NGO.

Also, I don't like the idea of "fines" -- that's why I used the term "rent surcharges". :wink: Perhaps I should have said, "Commercial land shall have rent set at twice the amount of residential land -- but commercial landowners shall be able to discount their rent up to 50% based on achievement of traffic goals." Then I could have used the term "rent discount" instead of "rent surcharge."

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Re: Commerce Commission Bill

Post by Patroklus Murakami »

There is legislation establishing a Chamber of Commerce in effect already, NL 4-14 Bill for the Registration and Incorporation of Companies in the Neualtenburg provides for this:

  • Article 1: Purpose
    Section 1: The purpose of this bill is as follows:
    - To allow companies to register for recognition as legal entities under Neualtenburg jurisdiction
    - To facilitate collective ownership of companies with respect to the above
    - To allow the incorporation of a company setting up requirements limiting the liability of ownership while providing a necessary degree of security for creditors
    Article 2: Definitions
    Section 1: The Neualtenburg Chamber of Commerce (Chamber of Commerce) is an institution under the auspices of the Guild, which is chartered with the responsibility of maintaining a public registry of companies, their securities and obligations (the Register). ... ...

There was a forum discussion that referred to this about a year ago, link here.

I'm grateful to Sleazy Writer for pointing this out.

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Re: Commerce Commission Bill

Post by Danton Sideways »

I'm surprised to see Gwyneth writing that "shops should not be ... used for anything but shops." What does the legislation currently say about the area around Colonia Nova square, and the use of shops? Can someone give me the links to the relevant texts? And who is to judge what is a shop or not?

I have two properties in Colonia Nova. One is my home. I moved in there in on purpose, because I found the area around Colonia Nova plaza to be lacking life and soul, and thought that if I took up residence that would give the neighborhood more warmth. Now it seems I moved into a property that can only be used for a shop?

And I plan to use my second property near the Colonia plaza to set up a Center for Convivial Tools, not to sell anything, but to promote certain ideas. Is that considered a shop? Michel Manen had a big property which was dressed up as nothing more than an outlet for his Craedo organisation. Was that any more of a shop than my storefront will be? There seems to be a double standard here: what was ok for Michel Manen, the mentor of ThePrincess, is no longer ok for Danton Sideways.

Sonya said on another thread something to the effect that we're all just here to have fun. But as I've already noted, there seems to be one crowd for whom having fun consists above all of trouncing the other crowd. And I still say that the spirit behind this bill seems very far from one of sharing fun, and much more one of exercising sinister control. Or should I just lie down and let the new BigBrother roll right over me?

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Re: Commerce Commission Bill

Post by cleopatraxigalia »

well, i wont get all technical .........ill let you do that but

basically i ssee it like this..

a person who buys commerical land in CDS agrees to a covenent..............the covenent on commerical land in CN at least says:

8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888

Zone S (Stalls)
Location: all plots named S.XX
Function: Commercial only
Appearance; strictly consistent with Classical Roman style as expressed in an urban environment (stall typology)
Executive approval needed: for all new structures and modifying of the exterior of the existing ones.

* All structures must be placed immediately adjacent to a street
* Structures are owned and placed by the city to give the centre a

dense Roman feel. Structures may not be replaced or moved regardless
of ownership without prior consent.

8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888

So, what is the deal? if you buy land that says commerical only.............then its commerical only..... we dont have to take the land, we simply enforce the covenent..........and if we say its commerical and the person who bought the land says: i dont wanna make it commerical, then tehy are simply in breach of the covenent and we take action. ( and i shoul d have read closer before i rebuilt mine, sorry) but ...........

We cannot acheive the goal of having a thriving community and economic centers if we dont enforce it...otherwise it is mainland.......

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Re: Commerce Commission Bill

Post by Beathan »

One key issue -- not fully captured by the definition of "commercial" -- is that commercial lots can be used for nonprofit uses iRL, and they should be so usable in the CDS.

I personally hated the garish and baroque building Michel Manen erected whereever he owned land (indeed, one of the goals of the Architectural review process in my private development proposal is to prevent such architectural monstrosities in the future) -- but his uses of his commercial property are well in line with what I consider to be normal commercial uses. MM's land was a meeting place for his political cronies and was used as a civic activity center. In my hometown, the Democratic Party occupies a storefront on the main street -- and we also have private recreation centers run by nonprofits in the main commercial area.

That said, I think that the traffic measure would accommodate these kinds of uses.

What I object to is the process of forfeiting citizen land -- and possibly forfeiting citizenship in a community where membership is based on land ownership. If there were another mechanism to police commercial land and enforce commercial uses, I would have far less heartburn. However, I will not, under any circumstances, support or vote for a measure that allows (or even opens a conceptual door to) forfeiture of citizen land for any reason other than nonpayment of rent.

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Re: Commerce Commission Bill

Post by Gwyneth Llewelyn »

It would be nice to know if this was approved at yesterday's RA meeting or not.

Note that I agree with ThePrincess' reading on the Covenants. If it says "commercial only", it should be exactly that, and nothing else, unless the RA wishes to clarify the semantics of "commercial". If not, it remains in the hands of the Chancellor to oversee and enforce the Covenants according to the Chancellor's own reading of them.

Obviously I have nothing against a "Chamber of Commerce" (as Pat pointed it out, we already have one on the legislation; I wish that the RA would also vote on abolishing outdated laws when they supersede it with new ones — it makes matters a lot more confusing when we have duplicate laws covering exactly the same topic — which one should be used?) run by the shop owners and that provides advice to the Chancellor. It makes all sense having all the merchants represented into a "lobby" or "pressure group" that not only defends their own interests, promotes them (eg. sponsoring advertising and promotional events to attract new customers), but also has the ear of the Chancellor to have him enforce the Covenants where they are being violated.

I'm just not comfortable with the idea of "more government" when its need is not only unclear, but the roles of the members are uncheckable. On your counter-proposal, Beathan, you tend to suggest that the Chamber of Commerce will/should not have regulatory powers, with which I fully agree. The issue seems to be only the point about seizure and confiscation of citizen's private property by government (or any other group) without a trial and without compensation. I'm afraid I have to oppose that very strongly, no matter how the rewording is done.

Keeping the seizure of property outside of the scope of the Chamber of Commerce is enough for me, although it would be nice to understand how members are appointed/elected/nominated/chosen to the Chamber of Commerce. Does anyone who buys a plot in a "commercial area" get automatically to be part of the Chamber of Commerce? If not, how do they apply?

Ah — please forgive me if the RA already has made a decision on this. I'm waiting for the announcements...

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Re: Commerce Commission Bill

Post by Sonja Strom »

This bill is still under debate in the RA.

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Re: Commerce Commission Bill

Post by cleopatraxigalia »

No one but the CSDF members, as far as I know, has ever talked about just taking citizens land away from them!!!

They have said it in an effort to vilanize others who want to make sure that land is used appropriately.

Many options are available.. and ideas are welcome!

If the chancellor talks to a citizen about land use and they wont change it to adhere to the covenent. Then perhaps a land swap is offered? Or higher tiers... fees for misuse? idk? many options have been tossed around. And since current ownership of land isnt a requirement for citizenship then that's not an issue either. This is something that i think a referendum would be good for................What do we do when a person doesnt adhere to the covenent? in regards to commerical/ residental or the builds being inappropriate, etc? what are the remedys and what should they be. This should/ could come from an idea of the citizens or maybe left for the next election? Just throwing out ideas. Nonetheless, dont listen to doom and gloomers or villianists.............its not happening.

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Re: Commerce Commission Bill revised recommendations

Post by mtlundquist »

Commerce Commission Bill – Recommendations (amended following discussion in RA)

1. This Act establishes a Commerce Commission (CC) in accordance with NL 5-12, the Citizen Involvement Act.

2. The CC will be chaired by MT Lundquist. The CC is charged with gathering input with the aim of revitalising the shopping areas of our sims and making the CDS a vibrant centre of commerce in Second Life with a reputation for innovation and quality.

3. The CC will
a) consider how to empower a public servant (or group of citizens) to promote commerce in the CDS —

Recommendation

Propose that the RA form a Chamber of Commerce for CDS. That this Chamber be made up of volunteer members from those holding and using for commercial purposes commercial land in CDS. That the leader of the Chamber of Commerce be elected by the members of the Chamber of Commerce every six months. That the Chamber of Commerce:

1) Supports the business community and advocates for its members by creating a strong local economy that benefits both commercial and noncommercial activities in the CDS. Supporting the existing shop owners (by having the CDS launch promotional events and do some advertising);
2) Promotes the community. Attracting new content creators willing to open a shop in the CDS; sponsoring events to attract customers; weekly social event shop promotion/events
3) Promotes the community by attracting new content creators willing to open a shop in the CDS; by sponsoring events to attract customers; by holding weekly shop promotion/events; and by funding rebate or discount options from revenues from the surcharge on commercial land.
4) Represents the interests of business with government;
5) Provides networking opportunities by financing a promotional campaign grid-wide to let the SL residents know that the CDS is a shopping destination for high quality products (and services).

b) consider how non-functioning or empty offices and shops in commercial areas can be prevented from continually occupying space where new commercial initiatives could prosper instead (Pursuant of the existing NFS covenant zone P rule (2) ).

It was noted that as at 23rd February 2008:

in NFS there are 13 commercial lots with 2 not used and 1 provided for all citizens
in CN there are 24 commercial lots with 3 empty, 1 museum, 1 info centre, 1 embassy

Recommendation

It was felt important that a definition of commercial activity be established before judging whether land is in commercial use. The following definition is suggested for adoption by the RA.
Commerce is a division of trade or production which deals with the exchange of goods and services from producer to final consumer. It comprises the trading of something of economic value such as goods, services, information or money between two or more entities.

That commerce, as defined, must occur on the commercial lots on a weekly basis and be demonstrable on request to the Chancellor.

That if commercial activity as defined does not occur to the satisfaction of the Chancellor that the following remedies can be applied

That following one month of non commercial activity that , commercial “rents” paid to the CDS should have a rent surcharge of 100% beyond the otherwise applicable rent
Thereafter in each subsequent month the rents be doubled until such time as the land is returned to commercial use at which point it reverts to the standard land rental for the plot.
That the increase in rental be added CDS Tier for the land use and collected by the CDS Treasurer.

misc recommendations

1. That renting commercial lots to another for subsequent trade be considered trade so long as the tenant satisfies the commercial use rules. For avoidance of doubt the tenant is not made a citizen of CDS merely as a result of being a tenant.
2. That the Chamber of Commerce be allowed to advise the Chancellor on the appropriateness of trade i.e. if they receive complaints about the type of commercial activity. For instance it might be considered inappropriate for full nudity skin shops to operate in CDS.
3. That logos for CDS commerce be developed.
4. Direct tp to assist trade (recognised this now exists in CN but not yet in NFS)
5. More actively recruit more offerings from local creators
6. Add a set of LMs or product sample pictures and perhaps a MAP of all known CDS shops.
7. Take that same shopping-in-CDS content and put it on a CDS web site page.

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Re: Commerce Commission Bill

Post by mtlundquist »

Above is the current proposal for commerce in CDS.

It , hopefully,takes into account the comments made in RA and in the forum.

Note that the Chamber of Commerce is now an NGO and at the most advises the Chancellor.

The Chancellor makes decisions about covenant use and if the commercial covenant is not being followed can require that an increasing rent surcharge be placed on the land.

Any forced purchase of the land has been removed from the recommendations.

That traffic consideration for use of land has been dropped.

MT

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"It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting" Stoppard
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CDS Chamber of Commerce

Post by mtlundquist »

Following the recent adoption of the commerce bill by the RA a charter for the CDS Chamber of Commerce has been established. I have formed a SL group called CDS Chamber of Commerce as the focalpoint for the new organisation. Please IM me MT Lundquist if you wish to join the membership of the Chamber. Please note that if you wish to be a full voting member you need to give evidence of your commercial activity in CDS otherwise you will be added as an associate member.

I will in the next couple of weeks call the inaugural meeting where there will be an opportunity to put forward nominations for leader of the Chamber. Full commercial members will be able to vote for the leaders selection.

I'm hopeful that the Chamber will provide a new imputus into the commercial life of CDS and will positively improve the community.

MT Lundquist

Chamber of Commerce for CDS. That this Chamber be made up of volunteer members from those holding and using for commercial purposes commercial land in CDS. That the leader of the Chamber of Commerce be elected by the members of the Chamber of Commerce every six months.

That the Chamber of Commerce:

Role

1) Supports the business community and advocates for its members by creating a strong local economy that benefits both commercial and noncommercial activities in the CDS. Supporting the existing shop owners (by having the CDS launch promotional events and do some advertising);
2) Promotes the community. Attracting new content creators willing to open a shop in the CDS; sponsoring events to attract customers; weekly social event shop promotion/events
3) Promotes the community by attracting new content creators willing to open a shop in the CDS; by sponsoring events to attract customers; by holding weekly shop promotion/events; and by funding rebate or discount options from revenues from the surcharge on commercial land.
4) Represents the interests of business with government;
5) Provides networking opportunities by financing a promotional campaign grid-wide to let the SL residents know that the CDS is a shopping destination for high quality products (and services).
6) That the Chamber of Commerce be allowed to advise the Chancellor on the appropriateness of trade i.e. if they receive complaints about the type of commercial activity. For instance it might be considered inappropriate for full nudity skin shops to operate in CDS.
7) Design and keep up to date logos for CDS commerce
8) Provide shopping-in-CDS content and arrange for it to be placed on the CDS web site page.
9) Arrange for an up to date map of CDS shops to be provided

Membership

That commercial vendors in CDS be offered full commercial member status of the Chamber
That other interested individuals be offered associate membership
Any full member who fails to maintain commercial activity for two consecutive months, following notice by the leader, shall be deemed to have become an associate member of the Chamber.

Voting rights

Full commercial members have voting rights on the activities and constitution of the Chamber and in the election of the leader
Associate members have no voting rights (by dint of their non commercial status)

The leader

That the leader be elected from the body of full members every 6 months.

Meetings

Meetings shall be held on a regular basis on a frequency decided by the Chambers full members and convened by the leader or the leaders representative. That the frequency shall be no less than one meeting every month.

"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." Joseph Stalin
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Final text (tentative) of approved June 2008 Commerce Act

Post by Jamie Palisades »

The following is proposed tentative final text of the Commerce Bill approved by the RA on 28 June 2008.
Having this test in final form will make amendment and implementation easier, obviously, so having been LRA aty that time I have taken the first cut at editing it. The adopted act was based on the 31 May revised draft bill posted at: http://forums.slcds.info//viewtopic.php ... =15#p11378
It was amended, and approved as amended, as noted in the 28 June meeting transcript here:
http://forums.slcds.info//viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1935
Three edits have been made to the text.
1. This final text omits the duplicative text carried over from the previously-enacted Commerce Commission Bill, NL 8-1. That first bill created the commission and ordered the study; this second one is the Commission's output, as amended and adopted by the RA.
2. The RA's amendments have been inserted.
3. Section numbers have been added for convenience, and clause transition words (like "that") have been edited in various places in order to convert the bill from resolution into law. All of those edits are shown in [brackets].

Regards JP
---
[TENTATIVE] FINAL TEXT

Commerce Act

[1] [Chamber of Commerce.] [The] RA [shall] form a Chamber of Commerce for CDS. [This] Chamber [shall] be made up of volunteer members from those holding and using for commercial purposes commercial land in CDS. [The] leader of the Chamber of Commerce be elected by the members of the Chamber of Commerce every six months. [The] Chamber of Commerce:

[1.1] Supports the business community and advocates for its members by creating a strong local economy that benefits both commercial and noncommercial activities in the CDS. Supporting the existing shop owners (by having the CDS launch promotional events and do some advertising);
[1.2] Promotes the community. Attracting new content creators willing to open a shop in the CDS; sponsoring events to attract customers; weekly social event shop promotion/events;
[1.3] Promotes the community by attracting new content creators willing to open a shop in the CDS; by sponsoring events to attract customers; by holding weekly shop promotion/events; and by funding rebate or discount options from revenues from the surcharge on commercial land.
[1.4] Represents the interests of business with government;
[1.5] Provides networking opportunities by financing a promotional campaign grid-wide to let the SL residents know that the CDS is a shopping destination for high quality products (and services).
[1.6] It is the intent of this bill that the Chamber of Commerce will replace and inherit the role of all prior similar CDS NGOs (chamber of commerce, merchants' guild, etc.) in any CDS legislation in force, once the new group is constituted.

[2] [Commercial land.] "Commerce" is a division of trade or production which deals with the exchange of goods and services from producer to final consumer. It comprises the trading of something of economic value such as goods, services, information or money between two or more entities.

[2.1] Commerce, as defined, must occur [on] commercial lots on a weekly basis and be demonstrable on request to the Chancellor.
[2.2] [If] Commercial activity as defined does not occur to the satisfaction of the Chancellor [,] the following remedies can be applied:
[2.2.1] [Following] one month of non commercial activity [,] commercial "rents" paid to the CDS should have a rent surcharge of 100% beyond the otherwise applicable rent.
[2.2.2] Thereafter in each subsequent month [,] the rents [shall] be doubled until such time as the land is returned to commercial use [,] at which point it reverts to the standard land rental for the plot.
[2.2.3] [The] increase in rental [shall be] be added CDS Tier for the land use and collected by the CDS Treasurer.
[2.2.4] The above penalty rent changes shall not take place prior to 1 August 2008 in any case, and shall not apply to any land parcel unless the government marks it as "commercial" land directly in the land's metadata, as a notice to the owner.
[2.2.5] The CDS government is directly to mark all currently-designated commercial parcels by 1 August.
.
[3] Miscellaneous [provisions].

[3.1] [Renting] commercial lots to another for subsequent trade [shall] be considered trade so long as the tenant satisfies the commercial use rules. For avoidance of doubt the tenant is not made a citizen of CDS merely as a result of being a tenant.
[3.2] [The] Chamber of Commerce [shall] be allowed to advise the Chancellor on the appropriateness of trade i.e. if they receive complaints about the type of commercial activity. For instance it might be considered inappropriate for full nudity skin shops to operate in CDS.
[3.3] Logos for CDS commerce [should] be developed.
[3.4] [CDS government should consider] direct [teleport] to assist trade [in sims where it does not occur today].
[3.5] [CDS government should] more actively recruit more offerings from local creators.
[3.6] [CDS government should] add a set of LMs or product sample pictures and perhaps a Map of all known CDS shops.
[3.7] [CDS government should] take that same shopping-in-CDS content and put it on a CDS web site page.

[end]

== My Second Life home is CDS. Retired after three terms
== as chancellor of the oldest self-governing sims in SL.
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Delay in implementation (cross-post)

Post by Jamie Palisades »

FYI, we are delaying the implementation of some aspects of this bill. See: http://forums.slcds.info/viewtopic.php? ... 021#p12021

Regards JP

Last edited by Jamie Palisades on Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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== as chancellor of the oldest self-governing sims in SL.
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Re: Commerce Commission Bill

Post by Jon Seattle »

Rereading the bill in this form, I am even more convinced it does end up serving its stated goals. It may not be the intention, but law is likely to scare many business owners or developers from operating in the CDS. It says to business people that CDS property will come with risks that would not exist in other settings governed by RL contractual agreements:

1. As the bill is written there is no process and no appeal to decisions of the executive. The Chancellor (with advice from a private organization) decides if the level of sales is sufficient to allow a citizen to own commercial property and if an owner should be fined.

[2.2] [If] Commercial activity as defined does not occur to the satisfaction of the Chancellor [,] the following remedies can be applied:

2. By doubling tier payments each month (x2 first month, x4, x8, x16) without warning, the bill's penalties are likley to make the owner abandon his land, suffering a huge loss. The CDS gets to re-sell the land at full price.

[2.2.1] [Following] one month of non commercial activity [,] commercial "rents" paid to the CDS should have a rent surcharge of 100% beyond the otherwise applicable rent. [2.2.2] Thereafter in each subsequent month [,] the rents [shall] be doubled until such time as the land is returned to commercial use [,] at which point it reverts to the standard land rental for the plot.

3. The bill, as written, depends on actual sales. This means that it will discourage citizens from starting new businesses which may require some time to build up a client base. If their business does not do as well, or does not get off the ground in a month or less, they may loose their capital.

[2.1] Commerce, as defined, must occur [on] commercial lots on a weekly basis and be demonstrable on request to the Chancellor

4. Not every business has week-to-week transactions. Many very significant SL businesses do not work this way, but instead involve larger and longer term projects. Any such business would not be allowed to own CDS commercial land. For example an architecture firm developing entire islands might not have a new contract every week or even every month. But their revenue may be large overall.

5. The bill allows the Chancellor to demand private information on business transactions from a business owner and does not insure the privacy of either the business or it's clients. Since the Chamber of Commerce is supposed to advise the Chancellor, it seems likely that a Chancellor might well provide such information to the Chamber of Commerce.

We can do much much better than this: drawing up concrete plans for business development, engaging the New Guild in designing new spaces that businesses will want to relocate to, and working to provide start-up financing and training for existing citizens who want to start new businesses. Government need not work only, or event mainly, through penalties.

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Re: Commerce Commission Bill

Post by Claude Desmoulins »

Another important question is exactly what the definition of commercial land is. There are a couple of areas (CN stalls and NFS Platz) specifically designated for commerce. There are others (NFS intramuros, and CN skybox zone for example) where commerce is permitted, but so is residence . If we apply fine provisions to all of the land where commerce is allowed, many people will either pay fines or throw vendors on their front porches to try to keep up .

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