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Monday, August 04, 2008


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Seven Shikami

I'd say the vast majority of user made work is original. The problem is a considerable amount is not -- blatantly copyright infringing items for sale. Jimi Hendrix posters. Bleach avatars. Full songs chopped up into 10 second bits and playable. Everywhere you turn there's people recreating bits of their fandom and then turning a tidy profit on it.

I used to do the same thing with arcade games, making recreations, until I wised up and realized that the copyright cops are not gonna ignore SL forever, and it's not like my 'meager fandom offerings' were somehow legal just because they were small potatoes. The fact of the matter is copyright is copyright, virtually violated or otherwise.

Content creators, do yourself a favor... take a hint from the best selling creators out there and go original. If your work can't stand up on its own two feet without someone going "Hey, I recognize that and therefore I'll buy it" you may be in the wrong business. And if someone goes "Hello, I represent the copyright owner, here is your C&D and $5000 fine or 10% of your profits, whichever is higher" then you're in deep doodoo.

Guitar Edman

Could not agree more!

Like you tube, I do not think it is in the majority of the number of objects uploaded. However, I also feel the research should take a closer look at, of that available content how much is actually being used / viewed / linked to verses that of truly original content. Those numbers would have much more meaning and would probably reflect the general public's intellectual property respect in SL as well.

I feel when we allow people to pretend to be celebrities in SL , imposter's complete with name, and likeness, (Bands for example that even pretend to play the artists songs while actually streaming ripped copies) and we allow them to profit from the act, we are not only allowing an illegal act to take place but we as a community are proving both our ignorance and sense of immunity to a real problem that will someday cost us dearly. My greatest fear is that somehow real performing musicians who are legit will be the first to pay the price.

Benjamin Duranske

I suspect it's even less than that, but isn't a finding that somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of the content on Second Life servers is derived from unlicensed copyrighted works rather less something to celebrate than this makes it sound?

Ann Otoole

If some companies that claim to be real forceful about enforcing IP rights were aggressive then there would be a few less content creators in SL because LL, SLX, and other such services would be proactive about banning those accounts for life to avoid lawsuits. But these companies that claim to be aggressive are not and actually make it a challenge to report IP theft.

So if the companies make it next to impossible to report IP theft then they must not want to hear about it right? They obviously do not care and have abandoned their rights because they have chosen not to defend their rights.

When in doubt don't stick something like a Converse All Star logo on your pornstar shoes and you should be fine. lmao... Say something about such blatant IP theft and the people that spout grandiose speeches about how bad it is to steal IP will attack you for pointing out their favorite shoe maker.

SL is a joke when it comes to IP rights. But I think it is better to be original for ethical reasons.

Criminals do not care and anyone that supports criminal operations is a criminal themselves.

Choose your side.

Vlad Bjornson

I would guess that the ratios of wholly original works and pirated/regurgitated works in SL is similar to the numbers you mention for YouTube. Of course there is also the additional problem of people stealing other user's content and reselling it - downright dirty and disgusting.

I think that IP rights infringements may be more widespread than copyright violations such as using unlicensed textures/videos/etc. There seems to be an endless stream of SL products that are direct copies - or thinly disguised copies - of RL branded products.

Cartoon, movie, and video game characters seem to be especially popular. There is a thin line between celebrating a character that you love, and infringing on the creator's rights. I think that line is crossed when $L are exchanged. As SL grows we will start to see more RL companies defending their copyright and IP rights in this virtual world.

Vivienne Graves

This is something that I'd say is seriously open to question. My own estimate would be that it's probably more like 60%; but then you have a number of SL content creators whose work consists largely of virtual simulacra of real-world items--any idea how many different content creators sell replicas of Converse All-Star sneakers, for instance? Or how many SL vehicle makers sell virtual Rolls-Royces and BMWs and Porsches? Even if certain key elements such as registered trademarks are omitted from these works, the 'look and feel' and 'confusingly similar' stipulations of trademark law seem to be applicable. Can such items, even if the work involved is all that of the content creator, be considered 'original' and not infringing?

And what of SL builders who create and sell, for instance, replicas of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater (the Wright name and the design of the house are both copyrighted to the Frank Lloyd Wright foundation; 'Fallingwater' is a trademark of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which owns the house).

These are just a few examples, and I'm sure this is probably rather more widespread than most realise.

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