Second Life Sued in Real Life for Virtual Stealing of Virtual Sex Toys
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Linden Labs, creator of the popular virtual reality portal Second Life, has been sued in first life (in other words, real life) for “allowing” Second Life players to counterfeit the SexGen brand of virtual sex toys sold in Second Life by Stroker Serpentine (a/k/a in real life as Kevin Alderman) and his company Eros. Alderman is joined in his suit by Second Lifer Munchflower Zaius (known in real life as Shannon Grei), who sells virtual clothing in Second Life under the label “Nomine”. Apparently nowhere has it been suggested that any of these players Getta Life.

The two have positioned themselves as sort of superhero sexpreneurs, seeking class action status for others similarly situated, who have had their virtual wares ripped off but who lack the financial wherewithal to go after Second Life purveyor Linden Labs, whom allegedly does nothing to stop the violations.


Indeed, Alderman and Grei’s lawsuit goes so far as to state that Linden Lab is “materially contributing to and supervising” the alleged infringement, although this argument seems to be primarily predicated on the assertion that because they are doing nothing to stop it, they are therefore contributing and supervising it.

Of course, it’s also true that Linden Lab stands to profit from the additional selling of additional items, even if they are rip-offs of someone else’s intellectual property. This is especially true where the infringing items are sold through the Second Life marketplace.

And while it’s true that items are sold for virtual dollars – known as “Linden Dollars” – it’s also true that Linden Dollars can be converted to real dollars through the official Second Life currency exchange. And, of course, Linden skims a hefty 3.5% off the top of all virtual-to-real currency conversion.

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Michael Aschenbrener, the attorney for Alderman and Grei, explains that “This is not a hands-off approach that Linden Lab takes.”

To make the issue a bit less abstract, and more easily understood, the lawsuit explains that “Eros’s virtual erotic SexGen products sold for use in Second Life have been counterfeited, cloned, and ripped off countless times by a multitude of Second Life Residents. The manner in which this has occurred is akin to the knockoff handbags and purses sold near Canal Street in New York City. Some of the bags are stolen, but actual brand-name handbags sold at deep discounts, while many others are knockoffs that merely use the brand-name makers’ designs and trademarks. The same is true of the knockoff SexGen products sold within Second Life. In either case, Linden Lab and merchants in Second Life are infringing Eros’s registered trademark.”

Bottom line? “Linden Lab has the technical means to simply and easily halt the alleged conduct, but refuses to do so because it makes too much money from all the infringement,” says the lawsuit.

 

Of course, if Linden Lab didn’t exist, neither would SexGen, or Grei’s Nomine.

Kevin Alderman in Real Life, Stroker Serpentine in Second Life

Shannon Grei in Real Life, Munchflower Zaius in Second Life

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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