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
    Frost, 17 Apr 2008 @ 7:07pm

    Re: Re: IP: socialist monopoly or capitalist prope

    Not really going to get too into this, but a couple of quickies for all the kids out there.

    First, Mike, your article on the difference between Trademark, Copyright and Patent; technically you have no remedy at all for a copyright violation until you register it. You have rights upon fixation, but no remedy.

    Next, innovation from competition in the way that you sight it is an inaccurate use. It should be innovation arises from the incentive that competition spurs. If competition no longer provides an incentive to innovate, innovation will not arise from competition.

    Also, you quote Jefferson and Madison's worries but overlook the fact that they eventually did believe that some sort of protective measure must be implemented. This is no small overstatement.

    Finally; "because all of the research shows that they, in fact, do not promote the progress." This argument is posed over and over again and is consistently rejected and countered through congressional findings. Your statement is not wholly false; there is "some" research that shows that these protections do not promote progress, but "all" is a misstatement. And could you find more sources than Levine's book and Bessen's book, they are only a small portion of the community involved in this discussion and they are not exactly objective.

    In closing, there is (and always has been) a debate about the limited monopolies that have been provided to copyrights and patents. In generally the statement that competition will solve all is not a very wise one. This is not to say that our current system is perfect, or that competition is not beneficial; it is, but a statement that if you are not incentivising (sic.) people to spend vasts amounts of resources in creating these innovations, you should not be surprised when progression ceases.

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