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Posted: Oct 1st 2009 9:03AM (Unverified) said

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My experience is that LL's trademark peeps don't have a lot of common sense- I was advised to rename one of mine, but didn't need to after I pointed out a flaw in their logic ^_^

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 9:09AM (Unverified) said

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Yeah, the legal beagles seem to be both disconnected from the Lab as a whole, and pretty clueless. But they also seem to work from a pretty mechanical playbook. As I recall, their rule is "SL [word]" bad, "SL [word] [word]" good. So maybe all Jokay has to do is change her official name and logo to "SL Education Resources" or something...

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 9:19AM mysecretid said

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I don't think it's Linden Labs, as such, pulling this idiotic move.

Based on my previous experience with this sort of thing, I'm guessing that LL has a lawyer, or lawyers, who've recently been memo'd or tasked with defending their new trademark.

This new "attack dog" is eager to prove its worth (so as to be able to earn a raise when the time comes) and is blindly trying to rack up legal "kills" wherever possible so as to build up credentials for that eventual raise I mentioned.

Problem is, some attack dog lawyers, like pit bulls, are prone to stupidity and attack indiscriminately in their eagerness to prove their value.

Here, they've quite literally "bitten the hand which feeds them" by going after a longtime LL supporter and valued community member.

I'm sure the LL illuminati knew nothing of this, and would probably never have sanctioned it. They delegated the task of trademark protection to their attack dog, without knowing that their dog was a dumb-ass pitbull instead of, say, a clever german shepherd.

If the Linden Labs people are smart, they'll make every effort to patch this up with the owner of the fansite as quickly as possible -- and they'll put a new lawyer in charge of their trademark protection -- one smart enough to know friend from foe.

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 9:25AM (Unverified) said

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It's hard for me to believe that a "Take-down Notice" would be the first communication LL would have with an alleged Trademark "violator" of this caliber and influence. It makes it seem like LL's legal department is completely out of touch with their marketing department and executive leadership!

Handled properly, the Wiki's control (ownership) would be transparently migrated to the LL Education Channel Marketing Team (Does that exist?), with Mr. Wollongong hired as a consultant, to help smooth the transition of the "sleducation" sub-brand to LL control as smooth as possible. As you have pointed out Tateru, thee potential negative fall-out from this in the educational community will likely cost LL far more in good will, than control of the sub-brand is worth.

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 9:40AM (Unverified) said

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ditto.

LL's first move with me was to sit down and discuss options, no legal demands were made, just me poking holes in logic :-P
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Posted: Oct 1st 2009 9:28AM (Unverified) said

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There may not be such thing as bad publicity, but there is such a thing as bad blood.

It'll be interesting to see how long a memory people have when the next generation of virtualization and collaboration tools become available.

-ls/cm

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 10:38AM (Unverified) said

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I think Linden Lab should give up the pretense of being a social media company for the greater good and acknowledge that it is a conferencing platform tools company. When the CEO talks about "monetizing community" and the legal department is detached from the community liaisons, then we are really in a new world. Under that guise, then JoKay is simply receiving poor customer support. With the strong growth of OpenSim, bull-in-chinashop community moves like this don't make much sense strategically. The education community needs to look very closely at the benefits of maintaining close ties with a corporate concern when the core capabilities are available elsewhere.

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 10:51AM (Unverified) said

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Is Linden Labs really as dysfunctional as these types of articles on Massively make it seem? If so, why are you supporting this nonsense with media coverage and not one of the other up-and-coming virtual environments?

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 10:58AM (Unverified) said

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Their complete lack of consideration for years of effort people has spent building up brands of their own - not to mention search engine rankings - is really inconsiderate. They fully and officially endorsed the use of SL* domain names years ago, going so far as to issue a "fan site" pack including logos. I really wish they would reconsider this practice... they're just shooting themselves in the feet but alienating some of their biggest supporters and promoters.

Regards,

-Tim

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 11:23AM (Unverified) said

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Ya know, the industry just needs more real alternatives. I love Second Life and have promoted to educators and others for years. I still do. There really is nothing that has the stability (yes, I really said that), scripting power, community and content resources, and geographical presence that SL has. OpenSim sure is getting better all the time also, which had project management issues last year, but this deliberate move to work against paying customers in the education community--from my chair, the fastest and most sustained group of users--makes the regrettable OpenSim April Fool's day joke last year look almost tame by comparison.

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 11:58AM (Unverified) said

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Tateru thanks for posting this. This speaks volumes about the degree and quality of the communication within Linden Lab (and it doesn't matter if the legal firm is a hire). On the one hand, you have a few Linden employers who were tasked for the last few years to support and help develop the non-profit and education use of SL, now being completely at odds with the legal arm in the same company. It really doesn't bode well for the future of an organization when its own internal directions are not aligned.

Crap, Jeremy, Flipper, I couldn't agree more. Valiant, companies these days look for mutual branding, not one having to swallow up another. And from my perspective, JoKay's brand has a lot more trust and mutual respect wrapped into it by far.

I do feel for Pathfinder, Claudia and others who helped nourish these communities early on, only now to see these relationships getting trampled by a company that needs to be honest with itself about what it is, judging from its actions.

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 12:02PM (Unverified) said

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If the Lab would only put this much energy into protecting content creators.
Now that I am running all intel macs, making the jump to OpenSim, Metaplace and Blue Mars will be so much easier. Especially since all my friends will be there soon, based on the actions and non actions of LL.

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 1:05PM (Unverified) said

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Blue Mars dies not support Mac.
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Posted: Oct 1st 2009 1:03PM (Unverified) said

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Actually the Blue Mars CEO runs it on a Mac (albeit, with Bootcamp). We did an interview with him just recently: http://www.massively.com/2009/09/10/blue-mars-an-interview-with-avatar-realitys-ceo-jim-sink/
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Posted: Oct 1st 2009 2:25PM (Unverified) said

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Intel Macs run Window's applications.
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Posted: Oct 1st 2009 12:03PM (Unverified) said

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As one who also went through this trademark thing a few months ago with my core program in SL, I'll throw in just a couple of thoughts.

First, it's not a surprise to see this, and I'm sure it's not the last in the series. The trademark guidelines have been on the website for quite some time and do explain that the "SL" in a title is considered to be an infringement.

Ok, with that said...the Lab has not been consistent in enforcing that trademark, but there hasn't been a lot of consistency anywhere in things for quite a while. That is not a slam, but a reality in a company that is still transitioning from "experiment" to "business". And please...I am NOT defending the Lab...as I said, I just went through this dance with them myself not long ago.

But my main point is to disagree with the comment in the article that this action will "significantly reduce the visibility of the resources to educators". This can actually be a tremendous opportunity for the 'former' SLed community to re-brand itself and make a lot of positive noise about itself in the process. To me, the best approach is to join in some conversation about the tremendous accomplishments that have come from this group, and envision a new name and brand that represents where they see themselves going in the next step.

Grumbling and blaming will waste good energy that could be moving things forward, and will waste a lot of 'free press' that is going to appear over the next few weeks. Seeing this as a rare marketing opportunity gives the community the ability to become even MORE visible.

I also chose to not fight the system when I was asked to rename our core program. Instead we took that opportunity to revision ourselves...re-brand and move forward. Instead of losing visibility, we have actually grown in ways that I don't believe would have been possible before.

Yes, the Lab is inconsistent..but no...this is not a "slap in the face of the educational community". It's lawyers...doing what lawyers do...in an organization that is still trying to learn how to do what they need to do to support this platform.

Thanks,

John

http://futureoflearning.ning.com/

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 12:27PM (Unverified) said

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Once the trademark problem started to come out, I started to blog more often about content not related to thier platform.

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 2:05PM (Unverified) said

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I'm with Mo, here. My first reaction was, "Maybe we should start looking more seriously at OpenSim" as an alternative. Our school district plans to do just that in the coming year.

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 4:14PM (Unverified) said

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Surely it would not have been very hard to _license_ the trademark for use to the SL Education wiki, for free but with conditions about how it could be used. It would have done just as much to protect their trademark, and sure would have saved LL from a lot of bad will from the community.

That said, I suspect LL wasn't directly involved in this decision. They probably hired a legal group to "set the hounds loose" to find and kill sites that were using their trademark.

If LL's higher-ups have any sense, they'll apologize for the gaff, explicitly permit the SL Education wiki to continue, and reconsider their legal strategy. A company doesn't have to become evil and heartless to protect its trademarks.

Posted: Oct 1st 2009 4:23PM (Unverified) said

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I am actually contemplating the registration of the domain "SL-ass-hat.com" and make the site all about how to finger spell that word in Sign Language.

muahahahah!

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