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Reader Comments (25)

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 10:29AM Lateris said

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I don't really see what the big deal is here. Is there anyway they are making a profit from it?

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 10:33AM Snow Leopard said

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Possibly, yeah. A lot of these locations are often filled with virtual stores where people can pay $300 and up for skin sets and costumes.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 10:36AM (Unverified) said

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Some could be, but most of them are paying thousands a year to operate, and may be recouping some or all of that. I'm not aware of any that are run for-profit.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 7:01PM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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Believe me, having been involved with Dune RP in SL right back to the start of LemonYellow, the original sim, there was no money in it. The number of Dune RPers in SL is terribly low, certainly (unllike Gor) never enough to turn a profit.

As for the comments of $300 skin sets and clothes... unless you meant L$300 I seriously think you should lay off smoking what you are.

Well good luck to Vooper and lets hope that the Herbert estate lay off you now.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 10:48AM (Unverified) said

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Now, why couldn't this have happened with the Gor junk?

"Designed for the twenty first century". That's a laugh and a half.


Posted: Apr 9th 2009 11:03AM MikeBIndy said

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Uhh... $300? How about L$300. That's three hundred Linden dollars, which is worth US$1.16. Nothing costs the equivalent of hundreds of US dollars in SL; otherwise, noone could afford to play. You can rent a whole island for a few hundred dollars a month.

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 11:04AM Lateris said

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If anything I am interested in downloading second life and take a look at it all before Lucas Arts jumps on the band wagon. I think it is very interesting that gamers can make these worlds themselves. One thing I don't understand is how it costs thousands a year. I will have to read up on it. I suppose a solution for the Herbert Estate is to make a MMORPG?

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 11:07AM (Unverified) said

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It's the land that really costs. Some role-players can play anywhere, via IM if need be. The majority, however, want places to build space-stations, towns, cities, homes and battlefields. Paying the monthly upkeep on the land is what adds up.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 11:23AM Temploiter said

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So, as an example... if I built, by hand, a giant Death Star using various model pieces, wood, metal, w/e. And me and my friends had a ton of Star Wars action figures. And my friends and I, without charging each other, decided to RP in my giant Death Star with our action figures... I could be shut down?

Where does the concept of "fair use" come in?

Because my buddy Todd had a pretty badass Jaba's Palace his dad built him when I was 8 and I'm thinking of turning him in.

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 11:27AM (Unverified) said

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That's an excellent question, actually. I believe the traditional answer is that the line is drawn when it is no longer private, but public. Which is actually a bit of a tricky distinction anyway, as "public" can include invited guests under some circumstances.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 11:57AM Grok said

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While there's no arguing that the Herbert estate is well within their rights to shut it down, I think they're doing themselves a disservice.

What these people are doing is celebrating the novels through role play and creativity. How can that be anything but positive?

This is just another example of an organization acting out of fear and ignorance rather than embracing change and using it to their advantage.

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 12:15PM (Unverified) said

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Maybe someone paid them for an MMOG license somewhere down the line...
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 12:25PM Temploiter said

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There's no arguing that the Herbert estate is well within their rights to shut it down?

I'd say there is quite a bit of argument to be made that this was within the "fair use" of the copyright IF they were not charging anything for the use of this environment.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 1:04PM Evy said

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Tateru: That was my first thought. Someone else paid a fee to obtain a license to market Dune as an MMORPG and now the estate people are freaking out.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 1:16PM (Unverified) said

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Makes me wonder about World of Darkness. White Wolf has merged with CCP who are doing a World of Darkness MMOG - however there are dozens... hundreds of role-playing communities already playing WoD online, both in Second Life and elsewhere. What happens to them?
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 5:11PM Seraphina Brennan said

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To respond to you, Tateru, I don't think CCP is going to go after people who are playing by the WoD rules on SL.

WoD and the LARP version of Mind's Eye Theater are made to be played amongst friends and in settings such as these. As long as no one is charging others and making an unfair profit on the game, I don't think we're going to see CCP/White Wolf step in with an angry fist.

The WoD MMO is going to be based on the WoD system, but I doubt we're going to see an exact recreation of the WoD rules in the MMO. It will probably be more along the lines of Hunter: The Reckoning for Xbox, where you can enter their world and play their stories but not really "play" the roleplaying game. This is against people in SL who literally do play the roleplaying game and can do all the things the book includes because they have GMs guiding the whole thing.

In short, the WoD RPG and WoD MMO are two different products that operate under two very different sets of legal rules. White Wolf would shoot themselves in the foot if they stepped into SL and demanded all WoD areas shut down, because they're basically demanding for people to stop playing the game in the way that the game was intended to be played.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 1:03PM (Unverified) said

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It's probably easier for them to do this then chase after the illegal downloading of films.

They certainly know how to really piss off their fans.

I myself make replica of real life items in SL, but this sort of thing really makes me worried. Don't feel like getting sued for a handful of pixels.

I'm thinking of pulling them and just making salt and pepper pots. Or has someone got a patent on them?

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 1:39PM (Unverified) said

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URL from a commenter on Hamlet's site:

http://www.chillingeffects.org/fanfic/faq.cgi

@Seedcake: /me yawns as there's one of you in every crowd.

There are role players doing Star Trek who hate the Star Wars crowd and vice-versa and all that nonsense. They seem to be able to live and let live.

@Tateru and everyone else: I think a big difference is the Dune frnachise is all but forgotten. The Star Wars and Star Trek are more or less perceived as public domain "subjects" (though I know that with Paramount: Star Trek logos and actual works are vigorously defended; but Lucas is considerably more lenient).

As for the Gor thing; it's based on the books and I see that "city names" are used in SL that were described in the books ( yes, I actually read some of them so I actually know what I'm talking about here) - but beyond that - it is pretty basic medieval role play with no real other direct references to anything copyrighted that I can tell. I mean, you can't copyright an idea.

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 2:00PM (Unverified) said

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I've got to disabuse you on that last point. "Copyright applies to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and discrete."

Technically, no, an idea cannot be copyrighted. But once it is expressed in words, song, images, print, sound, blahblahblah, it's a copyrightable expression of an idea.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 2:12PM (Unverified) said

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So, you're a Gorean afficionado then? :)
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