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Wednesday, August 26, 2009


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Tammy Nowotny

I get copyright on my creations as soon as I put them in a fixed form. It has never seemed worth it to pay the cost of formally registering them.

I did register a book I wrote, but not till I publsihed it.

Honour McMillan

I did some research and found that if you "claim" the trademark that is half the battle. I plan to complete the process soon - slightly complicated by not living in the States. :)

Maggie Darwin (@MaggieL)

Software is protected by copyright without being registered as soon as it is "fixed in a tangible medium". Registering every version as bugs are fixed and features added would be burdensome.

Uccello Poultry

No, I haven't registered and I doubt I will. I'm lazy, have no money, and build for fun *then* try to sell the items to pay expenses (no, that doesn't work).


Can you even patent things made within SL? I thought LL expressly stated that you can't in the T&C's? Trademark and copyright issues are upheld but I always thought they prohibited anyone trying to patent SL creations.

Scarp Godenot

Living the the USA, things are copyrighted on creation. What registration gets you, is the right to attorneys fees and punitive damages should you be infringed and have to go to court.

The stakes are far too small to fight any infringement in court a this point. Maybe if things change I will register, but it just isn't worth the effort at present.

Dedric Mauriac

To get a registered copyright is very expensive. Look at the prices of patent attorneys. Really pricy. Copyright and patents are only for large corporations. They are not for the little people - especially those who just get micropayments. However, anyone who creates anything pretty much has copyright, just without the ability to enforce or sue others over infringement.

Skinkie Winkler

I answered "no". I looked into it a while back, but I'd need to register in the US and the UK and it's not financially beneficial for me to do so.

Hamlet Au

"To get a registered copyright is very expensive."

In the US it's $20, at least last I used it to copyright register a screenplay I wrote a few years ago.

Gary Bukowski

No, copyrights aren't just for large corporations (thankfully!) though patents are reputed to be a major pain in the arse, but not prohibitively expensive.

I answered "Yes" above because "The Wishfarmers" is trademarked, and while we've never before patented any systems, or specifically trademarked any names of systems or devices (like "Chessfarmer"), we put a compliant copyright notice on *every* thing we make - even if it's given out freely. Not only objects but graphics, scripts, everything: "Copyright 200x Wishfarmers LLC".

It's my understanding this is the procedure to ensure we're on the best footing /if/ we should ever need to bring a dispute (hopefully never).

Of course I'm no intellectual property lawyer.

Is there an intellectual property lawyer in the house? o.O :P

Dale Innis

Like Tammy said, the automatic Berne-convention copyright is plenty for me. I give away most of what I create anyway.

On patents: you aren't forbidden from patenting stuff (at least last time I looked), you just (according to the ToS) automatically license LL *and every resi* to use your invention (patented or not) within SL. Which, depending on the invention, might or might not be a problem, revenue-wise.

Ann Otoole

The vast majority of sl users don't respect artists anyway. Whats the point. Most users have at least one ripper client to use when they don't feel like paying. The economy is dying. Only 133,000 "accounts" represent 90% of the time online and a very large percentage of those accounts are bots.

Perhaps LL's board will jettison SL completely by selling it off to a real company. Whatever happens a massive change is required or this puppy is dead. No point in continuing when everything you make is stolen the instant you release it.

At this point SL is more like a cult psychosis than anything else. We just keep paying hoping something good will happen despite the best efforts of many to kill it. And they are winning.


At this point SL is more like a cult psychosis than anything else.

At which "point" was it anything else?

Nalates Urriah

Copyrighting costs you the first L$5,500 of your income. Until I make something popular enough to generate US$100 its not worth the cost and time.

Having proof of authorship for a court cases is your creation files. I keep those. My Blender model for each clothing item and the various PS files.

Gary Bukowski

Whoa hold on there Ann O'toole, I recognize the frustration in your words, but I don't think it's covering the whole spectrum here.

Firstly, you've inadvertandly illustrated that there sometimes appear to be two communities of "content creators" in Second Life - those who make 3D models and those who make "code" or "systems."

Though really for the purposes of in-world content, content and intellectual property they're only one group. Content is content, it doesn't matter if it's 3D models, graphics, code or just text.

In terms of enforcement, creators of content in (really, any) virtual world are hardly more exposed than those in any other medium. And I don't think that looking to the platform provider to protect you (with technology?) is going to achieve what you want, anyway.

What you want is for your content to somehow be immune from piracy, right? Well, sorry that's just not going to happen. Look at the music business, where *billions* of dollars are at stake, and armies of RIAA lawyers can't protect TooFool's latest rap CD. No, you're barking up the wrong tree here.

That's what the intellectual property laws are for. If you're concerned for the safety of your intellectual property, then observe copyright procedures and - if you have a grievance of sufficient legal merit, bring a suit! That's what our great litigious nation is all about. ;)

Pooky Amsterdam

I have copyrighted the Dating Casino.
I copyright the films Pookymedia produces.

Arcadia Codesmith

"if you have a grievance of sufficient legal merit, bring a suit!"

While registering a copyright in the US is not particularly onerous, launching a viable copyright suit is, especially against an anonymous defendant. Damages are likely to be minimal, meaning most attorneys just won't take the case.

If the Labs can do more to enforce permissions (and make the permission system more flexible and powerful), they should. I think everybody agrees on that, outside of the small proportion of users that are actively stealing content.

And there is a difference between creating for retail and creating for other creators. Scripts, sculpts and textures, because they have to be "full-perm" to be of use to builders, are uniquely vulnerable to theft. Preventing the proliferation of copies through technical means addresses the issue. "Call a lawyer" doesn't.

Unless you know a lawfirm that's implemented a microtransaction model...

Spaccio Moncler

If you wish to be the best man, you must suffer the bitterest of the bitter.

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