It’s a Fake World After All…

25 03 2008

Sometimes it pays to be snarky and mildly offending… at least I don’t have to change my blog title in light of “Fake World” makers Linden Lab’s new mandate reported by Tateru Nino of Massively regarding usuage of Second Life names and logos in conjunction with third party products and websites.

Flip/Tim and I have been entrepreneurs in Second Life for the better part of the past four years, in which the use of “Second Life”, “Linden”, “SL” etc. as part of a business name or url has been widely accepted and endorsed by Linden Lab. This is evident in the numerous Second Life related websites that have cropped up over this time.

I believe the process for naming the Second Life Community Convention and for using the SL name and logo within our own only involved an email expressing permission, a direction to download said logos from the website and eventually this was put into writing in mid-2007 as part of the formal contract between the convention and Linden Lab.

Beyond the SLCC, Flip/Tim has worked extensively on SLBoutique (now OnRez), SLTrivia and SLPTO. The later two I suppose fall into the trouble zone and will need some appropriate attention whether it is filing for use of the url or changing the name entirely. I know that we are not alone in our contempt for this new decision.

Granted some of the language is vague with no indication of how strict or lax the enforcement will be. The change seems sudden and on the heals of the recent announcement that Philip Rosedale will step down as Linden Lab’s CEO, one can easily wager to guess what may be next coming down the virtual pipelines.

For now, I view this action as a slap in the face to all of the enterprising individuals who helped to build Second Life into what it is today. Linden Lab developed the product and platform, but without the countless enterprising residents engaged in forging the vision for virtual worlds far and wide since late 2002… Second Life never have grown to its current size and popularity.

Read more about changes to trademarks and Linden Lab:

Second Life Corporate FAQ regarding Trademark UseĀ 

Second Life Brand Center

Linden Lab Asserts Control of Name and Image @ Massively.comĀ 

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7 responses

25 03 2008
Maegen Parvenu

“Read these guidelines if you’d like to use any of our trademarks on your website, in a URL, in advertising, in an article or book, in a film or television show, in a software product, or anywhere else. You likely need our permission. Read more here.” (from the page on branding).

The first rule of Second Life club is you need permission to talk about Second Life club?

25 03 2008
kesseret

amen. I said I feel violated/mugged, but slap in the face is a better way to express it.

25 03 2008
jennyfurperegrine

Anyone who has invested time and capital into developing products, content and services surrounding Second Life has made a significant investment on all fronts. The whole thing just smacks of Linden Lab backpedaling over poor policy to try to make the company more saleable. Sadly, one of Second Life’s key selling points early on was its approach to IP rights for user created content and that the early resident developers felt part of the larger SL community with the Lindens. Those days are long gone.

26 03 2008
T_S_Kimball

I read about this last night, and am also annoyed.

Though my site does not specifically have problems with the TM et al, I *am* in the formative stages of creating a ‘migration guide’ for those Myst Online members like myself (faced with a Second Shutdown) who have decided to move to this ‘world.’ This has delayed my research segment somewhat, as I now need to re-write the request-for-inclusion notecards that I’m preparing for Residents who have web sites or land sites.

Figures, eh?

–Timothy Kimball
aka Alan Kiesler

28 03 2008
Archer

I’m sorry. But anyone who’s spent time and capitol in developing products, content or services surrounding someone else’s piece of bug-infested, unreliable, and insecure software should never anticipate they’ll be able to operate a successful business based upon such work.
Understand this…the only goal for Linden Lab was to develop a viable “virtual world” protocol for deployment on the internet. Everything you, or any member of their “community” has ever done, has only been allowed as a method of beta-testing their product. I am in awe of how Linden Lab convinced thousands of people to pay them for the privilege of testing software, that came with implicit warnings in its TOS about how Linden Lab wasn’t responsible for a single, thin dime that anyone invested in its platform – one which has no guarantee whatsoever of being here tomorrow.
That last point is perhaps the most telling, and is one that I believe will slowly come to make creeping, horrific sense to most people. It’s insane to invest in this platform…and even moreso to “expect” ANY return on your investment.

28 03 2008
jennyfurperegrine

Its the risk anyone takes when signing on to burgeoning technologies. I’m sure many of the same arguments were had during the initial stages of the internet becoming more and more popular through the 1990s. Granted Second Life is not the internet nor will it ever be, but it is a new technology as the internet once was. Paths have been forged in many new territories since virtual worlds have become more and more prominent in the mainstream media.

Many of us who have been involved with Second LIfe for 4-5 years now have seen the client develop over time and many of us are sad to say that Second Life has only become more unstable over the years. The stability issues of 2008 compared year by year since the end of their official beta period in 2003 have grown, but so has the population and features.

30 03 2008
Plot Tracer

The SLLU open letter to the Lindens about these further curbs to freedom can be viewed on http://www.slleftunity.com

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