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. icon
    Mike (profile), 28 Mar 2008 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: IP: socialist monopoly or capitalist prope

    Where did all the output come from? Did we go from buggy whips to iPhones in spite of IP laws?

    From competition. Competition drives innovation, as producers continually improve to have a fleeting advantage over their other competitors, who innovate to then get a fleeting advantage back and so on. Each time someone catches up to you (or leapfrogs you) it gives you more incentive to move forward yourself.

    IP slows down that process by making it much more difficult for someone else to catch up (or leapfrog).

    What does the world look like without copyrights & patents? (I am assuming you're more or less ok with trade secrets and trademarks.) Can you walk me through the IP-free landscape?

    The short version is that you use the infinite goods (the ideas, the content) to make other scarce goods more valuable and then you sell those scarce goods. What you're effectively doing is using the infinite goods as a freely available resource to pump up the market for many other products.

    Here's a quick summary:

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