« What Are Your Favorite Second Life Groups on Facebook? | Main | The Future Look of Second Life (Now If It Could Only Scale) »

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Mistletoe

It just gets more and more crazy, doesn't it?

Pattaya Girls

the idea of lawsuits over in game stuff is crazy.

Arcadia Codesmith

I'm bemused by Eric's bafflement. We're not talking virtual chicken feed -- there are substantial revenues at stake.

Lawsuits are, regrettably, one of the few recourses available to deter IP theft. For more people than you might think, virtual revenues are mortgage payments and food on the table.

That said, I don't think Ozimals has a leg to stand on. Had they patented their systems, they might have a case, but I doubt the copyright will hold water unless they prove that Amaretto lifted actual script rather than just recreating function.

It feels like a bigfoot suit designed to intimidate the opposition into compliance, and if that's the case, a nice fat countersuit is the perfect riposte.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

@Arcadia,

Ozimals has four fuzzy legs to hop around on.

I hope someone hires a Furry lawyer...a real Legal Eagle...to settle this case and fast.

Think of the children!

I love these updates, Hamlet. More please, sir.

Vivienne Daguerre

You cannot claim rights over an idea. The creators of the bunnies admitted in a "Designing Worlds" show interview that they got the idea from scion chickens, the first breedable animal in Second Life. I don't see how what Amaretto has done is any different.

They did not steal the sculpties nor the script. They made their own sculpties and made their own script to do what the bunnies do, and what the chickens did before that.

Arcadia Codesmith

Thanks, Ig. I'm now off to work on my million-dollar concept, breedable furry lawyers.

Don't anybody copy me. My legal team bites. Literally.

Lili

Just got an IM from God. He's kinda pissed about people stealing his Intellectual Property. Also, he thinks it's really lame how every other region seems to have at least one fake animal ranch lagging the bejeevus out of the rest of us.

So I'm with God on this one, stop with the fake animals in Second Life already, okay.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

See, the SL economy is not stalling, if people still have money for such lawsuits... :)

I used to think that there was no way to protect ideas from being copied and implemented in a similar way, but the recent assault of lawyers on what used to be meant by "copyright laws" (i.e. the right to copy something created by an artist) and "patents" (the right to a 10- or 15-year monopoly on an industrial process) still leaves me baffled at how judges currently interpret the law world-wide. I guess there is a shortage of good ideas and too much money at stake...

Still, I wonder what happens if, say, Zynga believes that "virtual animals" in SL compete with Farmville on Facebook on intellectual property grounds — then we'll see serious lawsuits popping up :)

Candy Cerveau

With all due respect, I would direct Vivienne and all others who still believe that we are trying to "copyright an idea" or "copyright a function" to the statement we put out on our blog -

"We've been asked about the injunction and lawsuit filed in California against Ozimals Inc. by Amaretto Ranch Breedables LLC. To clarify the most basic misconception about this issue in our first paragraph – we are *not* claiming and have never claimed to own the idea of a breedable virtual animal. That is not the issue at hand despite the response from Amaretto’s attorney. Ideas are not protected by copyright, but the particular expression of an idea most definitely is."
http://blog.ozimals.com/2010/12/regarding-lawsuit-against-ozimals-by.html

We have not yet been able to present the merits of our case because the suit filed against us was primarily only regarding the DMCA and so that is what we have been addressing. However, our case is not based on any assumption that we own copyright to the *idea* of a breedable animal.

Laetizia Coronet

Head 'em up, move 'em out is what I say. Bunnehs, horsies, protesters, lawyers, 'breeders', aficionados and creators alike. Instead of a continent for age-verified people we need a continent for all of them. With a fence around it.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

/me wants to visit that continent, Laetizia.

Drunk.

While driving a virtual steamroller, just like the final scenes of A Fish Called Wanda.

That's my idea. Mine all mine.

Appropriate it, and I'll sue you with the best hillbilly legal team from Enoch Holler, VA, led by the ace attorney Slewfoot Hadisson. He's never lost a case. Well, he's had only two cases but he won them both.

Darien Caldwell

It's good to see justice prevails. And profits or not, it's about time someone put their foot down at frivolous DMCAs.

Troy McLuhan

In case you thought it's only breedable chickens, bunnies, and horses, check this out:

http://breedables.wordpress.com/

It's a blog that covers all the various breedables available in SL. Kittens, tulips, clams... oh my!

Cassidy

Frivolous DMCAs? Really? The creators of Amaretto approached those at Ozimals before they went live with their horse, with the knowledge that their horses may be too similar. They were told then that the product was far too similar. The discussion between Candy and the staff member of Amaretto is public knowledge and you can find it in the link Candy posted above. The entire conversation is right there in black and white.Though many people find it odd that Amaretto refuses to disclose which team member that was. It also certainly leads to the wary feeling many have now.
If you think your product is too similar to another creator's, then approach them with the idea anyway and get told "no, it's too similar", you are setting your own self up for exactly what Amaretto got. What ever happened to a little bit of originality? The horses have so much untapped potential. I fear it will always remain untapped. The bunnies also have a lot of untapped potential. Ozimals does however take suggestions from it's customers and utilize them when they can.
This entire case is far from over though. Horses nor bunnies have prevailed so far. Ozimals was simply stopped from filing further DMCAs. That is not a win on either side, unless of course you are on the side for Linden Labs. There is still a lot that has to happen before this will end. There are many people who own both products and love owning both products. There are many on either side who prefer one to the other. Amaretto cost their own selves quite a few customers by not being open and honest with what was going on. They instead waited and let things get heated, many rumors spread and even had to close down their own chat multiple times because of this issue alone. Ozimals on the other hand had no problems being open and honest with as much information as they were legally able to give people. They had no issues with people discussing in chat either. That chat doesn't get closed or shut down because they refuse to moderate it the way Amaretto refuses to. When things have gotten out of hand in that chat it has been put to a stop. I commend them for that much because it can be difficult when tempers flare. Shutting down a group chat is not the answer though. This is what happens anytime customers want to discuss this issue in Amaretto chat. I think it should be a public issue to some extent. It can be used as a learning experience but it will also speak highly of both parties when their customers are kept informed.
I have no interest in either side though I do own both products and love each one for different reasons. I have been watching this spiral out of control since it started. If anything Amaretto is only digging it's own grave quicker than people originally thought. Not because of this issue alone this issue just happens to compound all of the other issues they have. When you're already making huge mistakes even a little issue could push a potential customer or current one, away. It will likely be the straw that breaks the horses back. Heh, pun intended.
Ozimals was well established long before Amaretto came along. They may have a less obnoxious and much quieter audience but they do have a bigger fanbase at this time. Here is a clue for all those who think group member totals=total fanbase...you're wrong. Like with any other product people will come and go. It's the diehard fans these two companies need to keep. Those people will be the best advertisement either of these companies could ever have. They will be the ones to bring in new blood and new money. Amaretto is losing their diehard fans daily now. They weren't at first but they are now. Their lack of transparency when issues have come through, poor customer service and poor business choices overall will ultimately lead to their own demise. Ozimals has already been down the poor choices and pissed off customers road. They know what happens when you don't listen to your customers or make snap judgments. They too lost a great many customers because of it. They did however recover a lot too and gain more daily. I don't see Amaretto as being able to accomplish this. They haven't the manpower needed nor the good sense to push their business beyond the stagnate place it sits now.

I hope if nothing else everyone learns a few lessons from this entire experience. The main lesson would be, not to make poor business choices. It seems silly that it had to come to a lawsuit for a company to realize the poor choices they are making will in the end affect their wallets. If you follow Amaretto's blog at all you will see they just recently had to eat a great deal of crow because of their poor choices. They still didn't learn their lesson. Ozimals learned the first time what not to do. They haven't yet repeated any of those mistakes. I wonder how long it will take Amaretto?
Let this entire case be an example for future creators. If you have to ask someone else if your product is too similar to theirs, it probably is and you should employ that wonderful creativity you possess to make something new.

Eli Schlegal

When this first went down my opinion was that it was a frivolous DMCA and the court has confirmed that. All this other stuff about who provides better customer service and who has better group chats... it does not belong in this conversation.

whispers

Well said Cassidy! I am also amazed at all the returning and new customers that are showing up at Ozimals lately. The market seems to picking up as well as I see new stores with merchandise all the time. Ozimals is coming out of this looking way better than the horses.

Eli Schlegal

"Ozimals is coming out of this looking way better than the horses."
Not to me. I'd never spend a dime there because of they way they handled this.
"There are many people who own both products and love owning both products."
If this is true then I bet Ozimals ticked off a lot of their own customers by having content (horses) that people had spent money on taken down.

Arcadia Codesmith

Faunasphere has a better breeding system than either Ozimals or Amaretto, it's free to play (with subscription/microtransaction upgrades available), and while distinctly cartoonish, it's low-drama. Check it out.

SL's flaky implementation of a proprietary scripting language make it suboptimal for any sort of code-intensive application. That people persevere despite this is a testament to human stubborness.

Galatea Gynoid

@Candy: Reading the statement you referred us too, I find it says this:

"...develop their own concept for release."

"...they must develop their own concept so that any problems could be avoided..."

I'm not sure how you can claim you're not trying to assert copyright of an idea when the statement you point us to go read in full says pretty much exactly that. What am I missing?

Darien Caldwell

If you want to claim The horses stole their idea from the bunnies, cassidy, then you have to admit the bunnies stole their idea from the chickens.

And then you have to admit the chickens stole the idea from the Tamagotchi, and then of course they stole the idea from somewhere else.

It's never been an original idea, from the start. Ozimals can't just waltz in and suddenly claim they own the idea of a breedable pet. There is so much prior art, it's ludicrous.

I frankly don't care if they were both bunnies, it would still be frivolous.

Take a Toyota, and a Honda. Without the nameplates, you probably couldn't tell them apart. But you don't see Toyota trying to tell Honda it can't sell cars, because they are 'too similar'. Because their lawyers know better.

Laetizia Coronet

While we're heading them up and moving them out (see my first response), let's not forget to round up all the sockpuppets from both sides.
We could put them in cages, set them up against each other and bet on them.

I put 25 on the one in the bunneh outfit.

Cassidy

I didn't claim anything about anyone. I never said the horses "stole" their idea. The entire issue isn't just about an idea, though. Anyone with a little gray matter can see this by reading all of the public information about the entire case.
The creator of the horses made the claim about the similarities all on their own. The horse team went to Ozimals with the foreknowledge that their horses were too similar. That speaks volumes about the character of those in charge at Amaretto. I'll refer to my final statement once again..

Let this entire case be an example for future creators. If you have to ask someone else if your product is too similar to theirs, it probably is and you should employ that wonderful creativity you possess to make something new.

What ever happened to originality? In a platform, a world, as vast as Second Life why don't we insist our fabulous creators start to employ a bit of the god-given creativity we know they have? Why do we simply accept that which is inferior, by design, and not expect to be given more for our buck? We were under the impression a while ago when this first came about, that Amaretto would be changing things. They would adapt their product so that the similarities no longer existed. They have since yanked that idea right out of our heads and choose to pretend it never existed.
I do think it is good that the courts get to decide. It's quite obvious the crowd is split and we as residents of this great virtual world would make horrible judges.
I still think there is a lot to be learned from this entire experience. Also yes it is quite imperative to include all of the situations that have occurred due to this entire mess. It's important that people see what this sort of problem can do to a company, and by trickle down theory, to the customers of said company. A company that can hold it's head high, be transparent as they can with what they are able and continue business as usual is a strong company. A company that slowly crumbles when faced with adversity, slows down customer service to nearly a standstill, has to eat crow constantly to keep current customers, and makes strange "pinky promises" that they won't do it anymore, is not a strong company. If I were a betting woman I would put my money on the strong company not the weak one. But that's just a general observation from someone who has been with both companies and tries to look at this entire thing objectively. It's difficult to be objective but very important at the same time. I have seen both companies make terrible mistakes, yet have only seen one actually bounce back from those mistakes to never repeat them again. This entire mess has become more than a simple case of who came first.

Ananda

It occurred to me that Candy Cerveau and Ozimals should not have been so quick to dismiss the notion that they are pursuing this suit out of a mistaken notion that you can copyright ideas or similarities. Because that removes naivete as a defense, and leaves only two reasonable possibilities:

1. It is found that Amaretto, despite their prior due diligence, went ahead and used an *identical* copy of the Ozimals scripts. This is important. Copyright does not protect from competition by *similar* products but by ones that are substantially *the same*.

2. That Ozimals didn't actually have evidence that the scripts were the same, so they are in fact deliberately trying to sue their competition out of existence.

People protesting at the stores and commenting here about how much "better and more popular" Ozimals is, by the way, just gives the impression that more harassment and bullying is going on.

IntLibber Brautigan

I have four letters that totally discredit Ozimals entire claims: S...I...O....N

This litigation is like GM suing Chrysler for violating their patent of the automobile while Henry Ford laughs at them both.

IntLibber Brautigan

Ananda,
Your post is self contradictory. Any idiot who knows anything about scripting knows that if you use the same script in two devices, you will get the exact same lag and features and performance, so either Ozimals is lying in claiming their scripts were stolen BUT their products are better, or else their scripts were not, in fact, stolen and their scripts are in fact better. You can't have it both ways.

whispers

As far as I know, no horses were ever taken down or removed. The only drama I have heard about can be read about here. http://amarettocheats.wordpress.com/

At Ozimals its business as usual as far as I know. New elites, products and all sorts of fun and hunts coming up.

It would be nice if those posting would actually have some first hand knowledge. :)

Ananda

@Intlibber: I haven't seen either of the scripts, or seen how they perform, so that's the only area of uncertainty I have in whether this case has even the slightest merit. That's why I left the possibility.

If this scripts aren't at all the same, Ozimals has NO case, no justification for this action at all.

Cassidy

The horses and bunnies function the same, as do their genetics. That's the reason Amaretto went to Ozimals with their idea in the first place. They knew before they went live that they would have an issue if they went forward with it. Reap what you sow, indeed. It's not a matter of who owns the idea of virtual animals. It's a matter of how they function.

Ferd Frederix

I think the lawyer likes his fees.

According to Candy, "Candy Cerveau: We have a copyright on the way our game is set up".

That's simply not copyrightable. A patent could cover it. Not a copyright.

According to USCFR Title 17, the Copyright Act, a copyright would only protect a rabbit that is "distinctive in appearance". It does not protect a rabbit in which "the designer's creative endeavor ... provides a distinguishable variation over prior work". A horse is distinctive from a rabbit. The movements, actions, operation, would not be covered under copyright.

No chance this would prevail.

Some random SL user

LOL this is horribly silly. the guy is having a fit over virtual animals? if they were real then I would understand but over pixels? ._. its just a way of entertainment. I do fully feel that people in RL would NOT do this with there pets. so yeah...just a other loony.

Nelson Jenkins

I am touched that you would include our protest; however, the credit goes to aaps59 Aeon, who thought up the whole idea. If Amaretto feels it necessary to bring up a defamation lawsuit, please contact him. Thank you.

On a related note, I call the idea for breedable prims. Just so everyone knows. Come sue me, Ozimals!

WallyWorld

Not withstanding the loudmouthed dumbass nutjob in the video above........

These breedable horses should be banned from the grid purely on technological and harassment grounds . They are prim heavy, self-replicating scripted objects which multiply until the sim they are in becomes useless. That makes them griefer tools, like it or not.

Also, many breeders are rude asshats who will not confine the sounds to their own parcels and thus harass their neighbors with loud repeating sounds. Perhaps they are so rude because they are hated pretty much everywhere they go, and know it.

There is a grassroots movement to have these damned things banned. And before you laugh at the idea, consider what happened to RedZone and Emerald.... No, breedables do not disclose info and such but they DO ruin others Second Life in many ways.

They should be banned and removed.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Wagner James Au VR MMO blog New World Notes
Sinespace Unity MMO
Ample Avi  SL avatars
SL fashion blog Cajsa Gidge
6a00d8341bf74053ef01b7c8d83a87970b
my site ... ... ...