[sldev] My question about intellectual property and Second Life

Jan Ciger jan.ciger at gmail.com
Fri Aug 29 02:54:32 PDT 2008

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Hi Darien,

Darien Caldwell wrote:
| When people are talking IP, it's just used as a general term, and
| there's nothing worng with that. There are no lawyers here, so it
| doesn't have to be 'legally meaningful'.  It's a lot easier to say:
| "I want my IP protected." than to say "I want my
| Copyright/Patents/Textures/Music/Video/Animations/Desgin/Story/Whatever
| else protected."

I do not want to start a longish debate here, however what you are
proposing basically boils down to: "I am ignorant, take care of me".
What do you mean by "protected"? Sorry to sound rude, but enforcing a
copyright (assuming that someone actually says what is covered by it in
SL) is vastly different from e.g. a patent. Copyright "protection" (or
enforcement) in US can mean as little as filing a DMCA claim. Patent
enforcement means a multi-million lawsuit. Trademarks are enforced in a
yet different way.

Moreover, protecting rights of the authors is first and foremost the
authors' own job, with the company only being responsible for
facilitating that - e.g. by responding to the DMCA claims and/or
subpoenas or court orders - which Lindens are doing already. From this
point of view there is little difference between them and e.g. YouTube.
It is not YouTube (or Google) who will go after you when you illegally
post a copyrighted video there, it will be the right owners (e.g. a big
media corp). YouTube will only remove it after e.g. a DMCA notification
or as a result of a court ruling. Making it impossible to post a
copyrighted video to start with ranges from technically impractical to
outright impossible, not to mention the false positives and their
impact. In SL this would be even more complicated.

| It's shorthand, and for the purpose of debate perfectly fine. And when
| you own copyright on something, you do own it, so it is property. Just
| like when you own a dog or cat, it's property. Although I know some
| would debate that assertion too. :)

Well, this is like saying because my daughter is "mine", therefore I own
her, so she is property too. A stretch, but I hope it illustrates the


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