Sep 20

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

Second Life's stand on Intellectual Property

Phil Torrone writes in email:

this is an interesting story, someone made a game called "tringo" in second life (an online multiplayer game) - tringo is like bingo and tetris all in one. in the virtual world it was a huge hit, and now cell phone companies and gameboy game publishers are licensing it from the creator in the virtual world.

we might see the virtual worlds become a focus group of sorts for developers of games.

the "big" story here (i think) is second life allows players own everything they make and create. it's creating businesses.

"Linden Lab Preserves Real World Intellectual Property Rights of Users of its Second Life Online Service Linden Lab, creator of online world Second Life , today announced a significant breakthrough in digital property rights for its customers and for users of online worlds. Changes to Second Life's Terms of Service now recognize the ownership of in-world content by the subscribers who make it. The revised TOS allows subscribers to retain full intellectual property protection for the digital content they create, including characters, clothing, scripts, textures, objects and designs."
if you look at all the other multiplayer games as well as other online sites where users create content, their approach is the opposite and you don't own anything.

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Comments: 3

  John Dowdell [09.20.05 11:55 AM]

"the 'big' story here (i think) is second life allows players own everything they make and create. it's creating businesses."

Is there an anti-DRM movement within those gaming circles too?

  csven [09.27.05 07:03 AM]

more interesting to me is how news is recycled, since this is now the third entry on this topic i've come across in the last few days. this actually isn't new and iirc even the WSJ carried the Tringo story in early Spring. as for an "anti-DRM movement", i'd suggest signing up for Second Life (free) and following discussions in the forums. some of the most heated - and interesting - debates are on copyright and trademark issues. Linden Lab follows the DMCA to the letter (meaning that copyright violations abound); however, trademark violations are a different animal. and while LL is apparently obligated to enforce the law in those cases, the ambivalence of the virtual residents is sometimes telling.

  Brian Standifer [08.29.06 07:19 PM]


I have a couple of idea's that I am hoping to obtain a patent on. The information you gave made it unclear whether or not digital items, retained their intellectual property rights when made in real world form.

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