Friday, March 28, 2008

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Two Lawyers Puzzle Over Second Life®'s Trademark Policies

Benjamin_noble_headKit_meredith Under Second Life's new branding and trademark rules, do I now need to put an ® symbol on this blog's top banner?  I don't know, Gwyneth Llewellyn doesn't know, and curiously, two intellectual property lawyers who are active commentators and Residents of Second Life don't quite agree on that question's answer, either.  This comes out in a fascinating Comment thread in my post on the subject, with Benjamin Noble, author of an upcoming book on virtual law published by the American Bar Association, and Kit Meredith, in real life an IP rights lawyer with a perspective of her own.  (Click their respective images, to read their Comments, or extended posts on their own blogs, Benjamin's here, Kit's here.)  The conversation revolves around "nominative fair use" and what rights the Linden's Terms of Service agreement entail.  In other words, manna for men and women in the burgeoning field of metaverse jurisprudence-- and vertigo for me.

Meanwhile, the Lindens' PR representative tells me a clarification statement is coming today or Monday.

Update, 3/31: Actually, no announcement has come.  "Due to a high volume of inquiries on the topic,"  Lewis PR's Peter Gray tells me instead, "Linden Lab plans to address these questions in another blog post which should be up soon."

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