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Reader Comments (26)

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 9:20AM (Unverified) said

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Could you elaborate more on the point of "Copyright/trademark usage and infringement should be tested in court, to dispel erroneous notions that intellectual property rights are not medium-agnostic." please, Tat ?

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 9:20AM (Unverified) said

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Sure. Assume for a moment that we invented some entirely new medium. Holograms, say. There's no question that holographic Mickey Mouse is an infringement of Disney's IP-rights. The law, as it is written, does not distinguish whether IP rights are violated based on the medium that is used.

However, some folks argue that because a judge has not yet ruled on virtual environments, holograms, fan-fiction, animated quantum foam action figures, or superstring topiary that somehow these constitute some sort of 'gray area' where the IP rights of a content creator may not be as fully applicable as they are in other forms of media.

To settle that rather strange notion requires a judge to actually make a finding that it does.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 9:35AM (Unverified) said

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Well, that's certainly unfortunate. As we covered early last week, the lawsuit by Eros seems slim, but every misstep like this lends it more credibility in the eyes of litigators. This really is inexplicable on Linden Lab's part.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 9:42AM (Unverified) said

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I thought the case was a bit weak too, at first glance -- until I read through the complaint in detail. It's stronger than I initially thought, since there's really only one key point to prove and the plaintiffs would have the evidentiary documentation for that.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:33AM (Unverified) said

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Do you know what I hate most? Lawyers. They are destroying this world. Patent and copyright lawsuits are complete bullshit, neither does what it's suppose to do, the complete system is broken.

So when this stuff seeps over into gaming, it makes me want to scream. We're seeing lawsuits now from companies who do nothing, who make nothing, claiming they came up with the idea of online gaming, or multiplayer gaming, or whatever their bullshit claim may be.

Seeing crap like this just makes me sick. I'm so fed up with copyright and patents and those damn lawyers. There needs to be some serious reform. Show me one time where copyright or a patent has actually helped creativity or invention. There is none. They do the opposite. They destroy it.

So damn fed up with this crap. Someone shoot all the lawyers already. Please.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 11:03AM (Unverified) said

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My sentiments exactly... and while we're at it can we get rid of the Health & Safety brigade too?
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 1:07PM Wisdomandlore said

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Did you read the article at all? This has nothing to do with what you're talking about (which, btw, I also hate). In this case, someone made something in Second Life. Someone else ripped it off. According to the lawsuit, LL is just dragging the process out because they make money off of both original and stolen content.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 1:33PM (Unverified) said

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Ya, I read it. It just all relates though back to copyright. The original creator is claiming that their design was stolen, and blah, blah, blah.

The issue is the same. People who don't want competition in the market, but want monopolies and full control. If someone copies you, then guess what, make a better product. I know it's hard in SL, things are limited, but that's what competition in business is about.

There is no free market, it's just an illusion.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:33PM (Unverified) said

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I disagree. If someone takes the time to create something original, and invests a large amount of time and money in creating it, they do have a right to a certain period of exclusivity of sales to recoup the costs of the creation. Without copyright laws, it would be entirely feasible for someone to take a newly-printed book, which took the author several years to create, and print off copies of it at a lower price without paying the original author a dime. That's not competition, that's theft.

The issue with copyright is not its existence, per se, but rather its abuse by various people against genuinely new content as opposed to cheap knockoffs or straight-up ripoffs. So it isn't that the Copyright Act is a bad idea, but rather a poorly executed one.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:52PM (Unverified) said

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Mickey Mouse ruined copyright.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 7:33PM sevens said

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Dumb.

You argue that content creators are essentially whiners for wanting to maintain their ownership of the content they created, and that they're unreasonable for seeking to prevent others from blatantly copying that work for their own profit.

You simultaneously defend those who are incapable of creating their own worthwhile content by insinuating that if something is stolen, the victim should simply create something better without addressing what would prevent someone from then also stealing that new, better content.

By that logic, if you came home to find that a stranger had moved in while you were at work, and was sitting on your couch watching your TV - your best recourse would be to leave and start over and just build a nicer house and buy a bigger TV rather than going through proper channels (either legal or physical) to regain ownership of your rightful belongings. Makes perfect sense to me.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:43AM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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Identity Confirmation is a prime pointer of a fake AR. This reeks of revenge.

It is simple, proven time and time again and is trivially easy to get someone banned. Just tip off the lab that Tateru Nino is actually a child in real life and she will be banned without question until she provides proof.

Been on the end of one of those myself and it's not easy to get out of, especially if you are not a native of the USA.

I don't know who to hold in more contempt here, the content thief or the Gestapo who dole out bans.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 11:58AM (Unverified) said

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Linden Lab had occasion to verify my identity in the past. Actually, though, I remember writing about a fellow who had to do it on no less than three separate occasions: http://www.massively.com/2008/03/11/how-many-times-do-you-have-to-prove-it/
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 11:00AM (Unverified) said

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Linden Lab is not put into a hard place with a boulder on it's chest.

Part of the complaint (Eros suit) if I recall correctly is how it is difficult to file a DMCA 'takedown' notice through Linden Lab, because a "counter" notice can (and "is") often filed, causing the lab to replace the taken-down assets.

Thus, could it be that Linden Lab is automatically forcing both: complainant and alleged to provide verifiable first life contact and identity information for purposes of legal "discovery" - as an "ass-covering' move?

Just my own mild (and likely wrong) "devil's advocate" observation.

-I- most certainly am happy that I am not in Linden Lab's shoes right now with regard to this whole scenario.

Posted: Sep 24th 2009 3:04AM (Unverified) said

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LL is definitely in the a**-covering mode. My original textures were stolen and I was losing sales to the thief. I reported it to LL, was directed to the web page to file DCMA, etc. In talking to LL support, it was made clear that the thief would simply file a counterclaim and then LL would reinstate the stolen content. It would be up to me to file a lawsuit against the other guy. I don't make material RL $ from my content in-world, but I resent having my work stolen and passed off as original by somebody else. I'm not going to hire lawyers for an expensive lawsuit. The cost/benefit is just not there. So the guy who stole my content continues on his merry way. He even threatened to sue me for stealing "his" content!!

My point: Realistically, unless you are wealthy and want to prove your point, there is nothing you can do to protect your original work in SL. LL will not help you because they open themselves up to all sorts of liability if they don't stay neutral.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 1:13PM (Unverified) said

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Interesting in light of this: http://shoppingcartdisco.com/?p=4734

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 10:14AM (Unverified) said

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Tateru mentions the Disney lawyers. I have a feeling if they showed up with subpoenas in hand, Linden Lab would become a subdivision of the Disney Corp. so fast our heads would spin.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:09PM (Unverified) said

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I dunno much about this particular case... but the point being is that karma does come to bite you in the ass....

This news however only strengthens the Stroker & Eros vs Linden Lab case.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:19PM (Unverified) said

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Scythe, you're still not getting it. This isn't about 'competition' at all- this isn't the equivalent of someone handcrafting a car identical to a Ford Mustang and Ford being upset. This is the exact equivalent of someone buying a paperback, digitally scanning it, printing out copies, and then distributing them all via some magical method that lets them do it all at NO COST, and then selling these absolutely indistinguishable-from-the-original and free-to-produce imitations for half the price of the official version, no matter how low the original publisher sets the price, or even give them away for free because they think publishers are douchebags.

It's not 'creating an identical product,' it's actually illegitimately creating an exact duplicate, right down to any watermarks the creator may have on a texture or whatnot, and then being able to set the permissions to whatever they want, and distribute at will- and now, with the newest issues suffered by SL, they don't even need to own the original product, they can point and click any avatar within X metres of them and copy any or all of the things said avatar is wearing.

Yeah, that's really lawyers abusing the system, alright.

Know the facts before you tirade.

Posted: Sep 24th 2009 1:26PM airmikee said

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It's a sad day in our society when pointless crap in a pointless "game" is lawsuit worthy.
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