Second Life Lawsuit Over Copied Goods Settled

from the just-like-that dept

Just after we discussed yet another bad situation involving bringing real world laws into virtual worlds involving World of Warcraft, it looks like there's an update on another such case we discussed last year. In this case, it was a dispute between two members of Second Life, one of whom had "copied" items made by another and started selling them. This seemed perfectly ridiculous, since being a virtual world where there is no scarcity, nothing was being stolen. Indeed, it looks like the participants in the lawsuit more or less came to the same conclusion. They've "settled" the case, but by settling, it sounds like they really meant giving up the case. No money is exchanging hands and no one is admitting to any guilt. That sounds a lot more like they're just dropping the case.

Filed Under: copyright, lawsuits, second life, virtual worlds


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  1. identicon
    -publius, 27 Mar 2008 @ 7:35pm

    IP: socialist monopoly or capitalist property rig

    I am truly not trying to argue semantics. The exclusive right to copy and deal in a work of authorship or invention is a property right. It does not forestall competition, it prevents a form of trespass, thereby encouraging competition through innovation! You can't farm your cabbages on my land if I elect to kick you off'n it or charge you a rent -- otherwise go find your own land, socialist varmint!

    Ascribing the epithet "monopoly" to the basic right of exclusion enjoyed by a property owner is, in this context, a needlessly incendiary phenomenon.

    The Framers coded a limited period of exclusive ownership of writings and discoveries into the supreme law of the land because they figured it would promote progress. Because we have all consented to be governed by that document and its progeny, IP laws are no less legitimate than any others that grant exclusionary rights. (And while we're on the subject, look around; note the abundance of progress. Those Framers...)

    Forcing me to permit you to use my constitutionally granted property as a resource for your own profit is a redistribution of wealth that is most assuredly anti-capitalist. And if you copy from me unlawfully, I lose nothing less than the per-copy market price, the price I would have charged you, even if you wouldn't have paid it, because that's the price I have the exclusive right to set.

    I'm the decider.

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