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More of The Same on Trademarks | VintFalken.com
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VintFalken.com

More of The Same on Trademarks

April 19, 2008 12:50 am

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Second Life... a 3D online digital world imaged, created, & owned by it's residents no more.Did the blog strike get noticed? Or after Robin Linden cancelled her office hours because she was scared to be flooded with questions and Gwyneth called for a protest at the Gouvernor’s Office this Sunday they did get a little concerned? Or - as voices say - they want to distract our attention from this week’s grid problems? Regardless what the reason is, LauraP Linden just posted ‘More on Trademarks’. Although it may clarify some things, I will reference to this official Linden blogpost as More of The Same on Trademarks. I suggest we still march on Sunday and my 10000L$ bounty for best Linden Trademark Parody still stands.

Lindens sold us a brave new virtual world. Remember ‘Second Life is a 3D online digital world imaged, created, & owned by it’s residents‘? The virtual world era when we could still buy virtual land? First, Linden took ‘owned by it’s residents’ away. We could create and imagine for them, but it was not our world any more. But they still sold us a virtual world. And now? Now they are just selling us a piece of - lately rather crappy - software and some - lately rather crappy - services. If we have ever been, well, we are not residents to them any more. See. I am Belgian, not Belgian™. I live in Belgium, not Belgium®. Yet, I’m not a Second Lifer, I have a Second Life®. That means I own a ‘good’, not that I’m part of a world.

Philip Linden™Don’t get me wrong. Most of the time I like being a part of the Second Life® brand experience. I really love some of the friends I got through Linden Lab™’s services. But ever since this ‘use of Linden’s trademarks rollback’ decision was made, I had a hard time to see Second Life as a virtual world we can still all help build.

When the Second Life community was much smaller and generally unknown to the public at large, our policy allowed Residents to use certain trademarks on their websites (which the policy called “fansites”) to show their connection to the Second Life community. At that time, for example, a disclaimer on a Resident website that showed the Second Life Eye-in-Hand logo could be enough to protect against confusion. That was because the early group of Residents was incredibly familiar with Linden Lab and could easily distinguish Linden Lab’s website from Resident sites. With the growth of the Second Life community and a greater awareness of Second Life by those outside the community, it was increasingly important to take precautions to ensure that when people saw our trademarks (particularly people less familiar with Linden Lab), they knew it was a product or service of Linden Lab.

I _know_ I am not the only one that feels used right now.

However, we want to work with Residents who need time and help making adjustments. If you need extra time or help, please write us at tm-questions@lindenlab.com.

I suggest the following questions:

  1. Dear Sir/Madam Linden, I have an url that says mysecondlife.blogspot.com. How do I change that URL without loosing my blog’s content?
  2. Dear Sir/Madam Linden, I currently have the Second Life Eye-in-hand™ Logo on all my in-world textures. Of course, I do not own all of those anymore, lots of them were sold. Could you please replace these UUID’s with these (long list!) to make sure I comply with your usage of trademark laws?
  3. Dear Sir/Madam Linden, I now need to move my website to another domain. How do I do that without loosing my ranking in Google?
  4. Dear Sir/Madam Linden, do you consider ‘xxx’ and ‘pr0n’ to be nouns, and is my community xxx-pron-SL.org complying with your trademark policy?
  5. Dear Sir/Madam Linden, I have www.building.sl and English mine is no good. I am construction company. You pay me for domain?

Which ‘Dear Sir/Madam Linden, I need help’ questions springs to your mind?

7 Responses to “More of The Same on Trademarks”

Tao Takashi wrote a comment on April 19, 2008
MyAvatars 0.2

“With the growth of the Second Life community and a greater awareness of Second Life by those outside the community, it was increasingly important to take precautions to ensure that when people saw our trademarks (particularly people less familiar with Linden Lab), they knew it was a product or service of Linden Lab.”

So this apparently depends on what “Second Life” means. So it does not mean a world we all created but it’s Linden Lab’s thing alone. I would liked to have known this before ;-)

Vint Falken wrote a comment on April 19, 2008
MyAvatars 0.2

‘Always look on the bright side of virtual life….’ Well, as then continue to screw up in the same direction, I can easily recycle my old graphic of me cuddling my precious brave new virtual world. Trying to hold on to the promises they once made… .

And this is a real :mrgreen: comment (I like Torley, don’t get me wrong) but besides being - despite the circumstances - hilarious, there’s a whole lot of truth in this one:

‘BTW everyone, next video tutoral coming from Torley Linden:

“How to put Copyright and Trademark Keyboard Controls (aha!) In Your Second Life Literature!”

“Hi, this is your favoriet watermelon connoseur, TORLEY LINDEN (copyright tradmark). Since the recent LL announcement of trademark policies, a lot of you have been wondering how you can conduct everyday speech, since you don’t know how to place TM and (c) symbols in your writing (such as I just did.. AHA!). Well, I’m here to tell you how…”’

Anonymous on the Official Linden Lab Blog (I think the person posting this must be Dutch or Flemish, ‘favoriet’ is our word for ‘favorite’. Probably Dutch. A Flemish person would know ‘connoseur’ is connaisseur. :)

Soraya Elcar wrote a comment on April 19, 2008
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It’s a trademark, Vint. Companies have trademarks. Second Life is owned by a company. Always has been. We’re lucky Linden Lab has been so generous with the licensing thereof so far.

Read, please: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark

I dont see why this is such a big thing. All LL is basically saying is “Hey, from now on, when you mention our stuff, make sure you tell people that it’s a trademark, ‘K?”

Tao Takashi wrote a comment on April 19, 2008
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My issue is not the TM-sign, it’s all those rules to use SL or Second Life (or soon Grid) in domain names. If I want to express my excitement about this platform I want to use names like people use these days. This worked perfectly fine IMHO with the old policy. I don’t see any benefit in the new one.

What does it bring as an advantage? I know it’s what everybody is doing and I know it’s all what the law says. But first of all I think this law probably needs some adjustments for being ready in an internet world (see also T-Mobile sueing engadget mobile for using the magenta color) with social media and all that. And the other things is that even then it makes sense to run a relaxed policy on that.

I agree that you should fight people using it for virtual worlds other than yours but I don’t see it useful in fighting you fansites. So for me it’s mostly about using it in domain names and such and of course it’s an issue of trust as they now change the rules and who knows if they are not going to do it again. This costs a lot of mones and time to some and that obviously sucks.

Besides that we were asked to put a notice of who own the copyright on these terms on our fansites before.

Magan wrote a comment on November 18, 2008
MyAvatars 0.2

In the U.S. you are allowed to Parody a trademark/logo under the Fair Use Doctrine. http://www.jamesshuggins.com/h/oth1/parody.htm LInden is regulated by U.S. and state laws. It doesn’t matter what is in their policy or what kind of threatening letters they write you, if their policy goes against law. Corporations are famous for bluffing in their policies because people don’t know any better. This bluffing is of course mostly at the instigation of the attorneys writing the documents. The company owners believe their attorneys without question.
Study up on domain name law for the U.S. and internationally and you will find that you can buy any name you want, however, if the owner of the company asks you for it, you have to sell it to them. There is no price mandated, so what the heck, jack the price up to your heart’s desire! DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney so you should not accept my statements hook, line and sinker. Do your own Googling using my words as inspiration. :) :) :)

Vint Falken wrote a comment on November 18, 2008
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Interesting, Magan. I think the biggest problem - larger than lawsuits here - is that LL does not need a reason to terminate your in-world (avatar) account, according to their ToS. So they could easily punish one by doing that, or just restricting access to his/her account until they dropped the domain? Being refrained from accessing your account keeps you away from your asset, land, payments you need to make (or receive), etc.

That’s probably near to illegal & blackmail, but then you’ll be the one suing over this and risking spending a lot of money on that.

Magan wrote a comment on November 21, 2008
MyAvatars 0.2

Yes, you are right, they can play dirty and force you to accept their demands even though you are sacrificing your time to help create content for them and giving them free publicity. Obviously they have more customers than they can shake a stick at or else they wouldn’t be playing hard ball. Such is life… or at least second life! :)

Care to comment?