Just read from TechCrunch (via Reuters) … Second Life Copyright Infringement Claim Heads To Court
Second Life entrepreneur Kevin Alderman filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on Tuesday against Second Life resident Volkov Catteneo, and Alderman’s lawyer said he plans to subpoena Linden Lab to force it to disclose Catteneo’s real-world identity.
Alderman (Second Life name: Stroker Serpentine) runs the adult-content company Eros LLC. One of the company’s most popular products is the SexGen bed, virtual furniture that contains more than 150 sex animations and retails for L$12,000 (US$45.11).
In “Eros LLC vs John Doe,” filed in the U.S. District Court in Tampa, Alderman accuses Catteneo of illicitly copying and selling the SexGen bed for as little as L$4,000, sharply cutting into Eros’ sales.
First note on my part here … I’m not quite sure why Linden Labs hasn’t worked something out in-house, as it were. I’m thinking that their TOS would have several mechanisms in place … but perhaps not.
Second note … the ensuing court case may or may not have wide-range impacts. It might begin the groundwork of legal precedent regarding the very nature of the “stuff” in virtual social worlds. (then again – it might not … only time will really tell)
What’s really fascinating to me is that this case will likely be argued by and adjudicated by a swath of digital immigrants which will have potential lasting effect (good or ill) on digital natives.