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Monday, May 04, 2009

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qarl

hm - but doesn't lucasfilm use trademarks to enforce protection of "Luke Skywalker"?

or, even if it's some bizzare twisting of copyright, i suspect Herbert's estate will use the tactic... as it seems to work.

Ran Garrigus

With respect, I think Mr. Stallman's suggestion wrt to Taser shows that he's not really aware of the facts of the matter, since he seems to indicate that LL is the using misappropriating the Taser trademark ("Commercial sale of a 'virtual' product by Linden...")

The idea that LL can monitor SL enough to act as a gatekeeper in regards to what RL trademarks are allowed onto the grid (for a fee) is just not feasible. Users create the content, and it's users who are misappropriating trademarks. The number of shoes I see from high-end creators with Nike swooshes, Adidas stripes, and Converse stars alone is just ridiculous. LL can't manage it all, but for Mr. Stallman's suggestion to work, they would have to be able to do so.

Hamlet Au

@qarl: Yeah, I had wondered if "Paul Atreides", "Fremen", etc. were also trademarked, but couldn't determine that. However, even more key, perhaps, the Linden takedown notice doesn't determine that either.

Arcadia Codesmith

"I suggest that Linden approach the Taser company and its competitors, and ask each one how much it is willing to pay to get its product's name used in Second Life."

It seems like just last week that I was musing:

"But maybe we're looking at it from the wrong angle. Perhaps the machinima makers ought to be soliciting product placement deals instead..."

This has been an issue with corporate presence in SL - they contract with some firm to build them an island, throw out a few virtual goodies, and then sit there and wonder why customers aren't thronging there.

Take another tact. Make available a free limited license for utilizing your trademarks/copyrights in Second Life, publicize it, provide source materials to creators, and watch people make and distribute a bewildering array of stuff with your brand plastered all over it.

Coke did something like this. So why aren't Pepsi's marketers all over it?

frank dellario

It may seem silly for companies to stop people from using their trademarked brands but they do need to prove use and avoid their trademark from becomming a general use term, therefore voiding their trademark (silly but true).

Google attemping to stop use of the noun google as a verb ("google it") or same with Xerox ("Xerox that for me") are meant to prevent their trademarks from becoming a common, general use term, which are not trademarkable. Call me crazy but sounds like a sign of darn good marketing and a great service/product. They should be rewarded. All I can say is, "Don't tase me bro."

radar

His whole premise is wrong, as LL is not using the trademark "Taser" and has nothing to do with it other than some of the residents in the virtual world owned by LL are in fact doing so.

He's confused.

qarl

@radar - i think the issue is that LL bought xstreet, which did indeed use "taser" in some product descriptions.

radar

Did XStreet use it, or did SL residents listing products on XStreet use it?

Foobar Merlin

As far as I know the Taser company was concerned about their reputation when a connection to sl is present. That's just laughable to me. As if their reputation wouldn't be totally ruined almost. Every video I saw or headline I read about tasers ruins it more.
I'd say the Taser company is confused. Hope them bro's won't tase me now... XD

Schmo

@radar - Given that LL owns Xstreet, LL is making money each time one of the virtual Tasers is sold (Xstreet's 5% commission). According to the EFF's summary on trademark infringement, LL could be liable for contributory infringement if they "continued to produce or distribute a product knowing or having reason to know the recipient is engaging in trademark infringement." See http://ilt.eff.org/index.php/Trademark:_Liability.

radar

@Schmo Understood, but it could also reasonably be argued that LL hasn't owned XStreet for long, and has not finished scouring for DMCA violations yet also.

Tateru Nino

It's hard to argue that Linden Lab is not acting as a retailer via Xstreet. The way it's doing things makes it tough to argue that it is just a host or a mediator.

Generally if there's potential violations and liability, you'd sort that out during the acquisition phase before you, yourself, become liable for anything.

Ann Otoole

Lawyers will always win rofl. Armchair wanna bee legal expertise is epic fail.

Get it in court and we will see what the actionable results are. Till then all talk and little substance.

I really want to see LL be taken to court over the widespread trademark infringement in Second Life such as Adidas, Converse, Warner Brothers, and The Walt Disney Company trademarks and copyrights. I really do. Only then will we know which side gets the right to say stfu.

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