Back in November 2013 I blogged that Linden Lab should be asking new Marketplace merchants to fill in a W8-BEN or W9 form as part of the registration process. At that time Linden Lab had announced that new marketplace merchants would require a status of payment info on file.
My thinking behind this was based on the fact that this was a requirement to sell on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Therefore Linden Lab would be killing two birds with one stone, they would be gathering required information that may later be required for tax and account purposes and asking for information to try and discourage people from selling dodgy content on the marketplace.
I have been reminded of these issues this evening because security orb creator Psyke Phaeton has announced : HSOrb now Open Source. Psyke Phaeton acct terminated Aug 28th by LL. Psyke is not American and does not want to fill in the required documentation. The orb will now be open sourced and released with a Creative Commons 4.0 licence. The Orb is available now on the SL Marketplace.
Now of course, were new marketplace merchants required to fill in a W8-BEN, that would make no difference to Psyke’s position. However it may well have meant more people were familiar with the processes and more people were in a position to offer advice and assistance to those who are receiving these requests.