I do mostly try to keep argument in my Journal more on a Rational basis rather than involving untoward speculation as to Motives and Such, simply because I am considerably more confident with the former (not, I might add, that I have all that much confidence that my Rational Abilities are particularly keen, but they are certainly better than my abilities regarding evaluating Rumour and Motivation). On that basis, I would like to comment again on a specific part of the current Kerfuffle concerning OpenSpace Areas - namely, the relationship between increasing Price, and the Stated Reasons for doing so.
The stated reasons, in case it had been forgotten, are that those operating OpenSpace areas are overusing them and causing significant issues for others who happen to also be operating areas under the auspices of the same CPU. (Which is entirely believable and has in fact been commented on regularly in the Forums and elsewhere.)
Now, if such a problem is noted, the careful world-owner (the Lab, here) will reasonably wish to attempt to ameliorate the problem. Solutions might include:
(a) Increasing the efficiency of the simulators in question, by means of improvements to hardware or sofware or both, so that this overuse is no longer overuse;
(b) Discouraging owners of OpenSpace areas from said overuse.
Let us quickly look at (a). Increasing the price will not affect the rate of software development - this is one of those immutable laws of the universe, that throwing money at a project is of very little use when existing development is at full speed anyway, and in any case the amount of increased revenue is not that great. Extra revenue could, theoretically, help to add faster hardware, but I have not seen that even mentioned, and the effort required to change said hardware as well as the cost of it would go far beyond the revenue gained here. Thus I do not consider that a price increase could result in any of the solutions in (a) taking place, at least in the short term and almost certainly in the long term as well, given the limited amount of extra resources to be gained by the Laboratory.
So, on to (b) - discouraging folk from their current levels of use. Now, economic disincentives can work, of course. If it is clearly in someone's financial interest to restrict their usage to only what they need and no more, they may well do so. A tiered system of, er, tier would do this to an extent, though it would involve some sort of resource measurement and management - more on this later.
However, a flat increase is not an economic disincentive, as it has no relation to the level of use. In fact, if anything, it is an incentive to high usage - if one is paying more, one might as well use as many resources as one can, renting out extra parcels, adding in more temp rezzers and all that sort of thing. The only reduced level of use that would result from a flat increase is that some people might entirely abandon their OpenSpace areas, and so, certain folk might find that they were the only ones left sharing a CPU - at which point I suspect that they would be moved onto another more populated CPU and the old one used for some other purpose. A flat price increase will only ever reduce the overall number of areas.
The problem I am thus left with is that I cannot see any possible connection between raising prices and managing sim usage. The stated reasons cannot be the real ones. I am sure somebody will inform me if I have made some sort of gross and embarrassing logical error here, but I do not believe that to be the case. The relevance of sim usage to price increases is about the same as the relevance of, say, the number of cat ears to be found on OpenSpace sims to price increases. (In other words, an amount approaching zero.) Either there has been a sudden - and unusually virulent - outbreak of Irrational Business Decision Syndrome, or another reason must be to blame.
I mentioned the measurement of sim resources used above, and I have heard many folk say things along the lines of "well why don't they just crack down on the people overusing the areas then?" I am afraid that I cannot answer that, but I can certainly observe that the Blessed Laboratory have shown an intense unwillingness to go anywhere near this throughout all of the history that I have been privileged to observe.
Measuring prim usage is about as far as it goes, and even then, blatant abuses of the prim allowance via temp rezzers has been and continues to be ignored. Estate owners can view a few greater statistics but not in any huge detail, and on the Mainland one does not even have that option, and there are no limits in place as to who can use what resources fairly, unless those resources be prims. There have been complaints of overuse on the Mainland forever and apart from occasional personal attention by occasional Lindens, nothing has been done in terms of real regulation or real tools. Therefore I do not consider it likely that, in this instance, resource reporting and limit enforcement will emerge as solutions in practice - even if they would be a good idea, not just for OpenSpace areas, but everyone else sharing without an overall sim owner as well.