Do Virtual Aeron Chairs Violate The Rights Of Herman Miller?

from the getting-ridiculous dept

Apparently the maker of the famed Aeron chair, Herman Miller, has joined Second Life… and discovered that there were virtual Aeron chairs created by others. To its credit, the company didn’t go sue crazy… yet. Instead, it offered those who had a “fake” a free trade-in program to get official virtual Aeron chairs (yes, official virtual chairs… what is this world coming to?). However, it has started sending cease-and-desist notes to the makers of the unofficial virtual Aeron chairs, which they note are “firm, but polite.” The company claims that these virtual Aeron chairs violate both copyrights and trademarks, but it’s an open question whether or not that’s necessarily true. The trademark claims may be somewhat stronger, but there’s a point at which you need to take a step back and simply ask what’s the harm being done here? It’s a virtual world. The fact that people are making fake Aeron chairs should simply be seen as flattery and a sign of just how iconic the chairs have become.

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Companies: herman miller

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Comments on “Do Virtual Aeron Chairs Violate The Rights Of Herman Miller?”

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14 Comments
GeneralEmergency (profile) says:

Second(No)Life needs a better TOS agreement...

…that has stuff like:

…No claims of “Real World” intellectual property infringement (Patent, Copyright or Trademark) will be permitted between members. Such assertions will be grounds for termination of your account.

…You agree that all images, entities, objects, concepts, methods, situations and dialogs within SecondLife are ficticious and any similarities to any analalogs in the “Real World” are purely coincidental.

…And on and on…

Bob Sadler (user link) says:

The real question is

How was he logged into Second Life long enough to notice there were fake chairs?

Second Life has become so unstable in recent months, you find yourself crashing every 10 minutes for no other reason then standing still.

Perhaps Herman was out at Linden Lab where things are run from and able to use Philip Rosedale’s machine, that apparently never has a problem with Second Life, as explained by his silence over the past 6 months while the rest of the Second Life Community has been screaming for changes and a Stable World.

Lisae Boucher (in SL) says:

I disagree...

There is some sort of copyright violtion here. In Second Life, the members own the copyright of anything they create in the game. Thus if I build a house and someone else copies it without my permission, that person violates the rules as set by Linden Labs.
Of course, there’s another issue here. We’re talking about some brand here which will be associated with anything else that it’s linked to in SL. Since sex plays a major factor in SL it is likely that such a chair would be used in some sexroom for all kinds of weird sexual fetishes. Thus the brand gets associated with these too. There are people who think it’s fun to play a child avatar or a furry avatar. It would not be good if there would be a room in SL full Aeron chairs where those furries can sit down while children provide them with lapdances… ๐Ÿ™‚ “Look! With this Aeron chair your child can goive a lapdance for your lapdog!”

But basically, I think brands should only be introduced to SL by those who own the brand name. Not by fans of their products. At least, not without the permission of the brand owner and in this case, the brand owner doesn’t give any.

Peter Davis says:

The issue here is that people are making real money, each ‘fake’ object is sold for L$ which can be exchanged for real US dollars. Therefore, this is a thorny issue indeed.

With Second Life economy churning over 1.2 millionUSD daily, this is not play money!

I also understand, that the ‘brand violators’ have been making up to $30,000 a year.

Serious gaming indeed.

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