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Protecting Intellectual Property- Q&A session hosted by Cybergrrl Oh

January 8, 2008

This Q&A, hosted by Cybergrrl Oh with answers provided by RL lawyer AlanBehr Blackburn, covered the topic of protecting intellectual rights in Second Life. Please be sure to check out the SL Entrepreneur’s Club website for more info on this and other interesting tidbits on doing business in Second Life!

[12:14] Fleep Tuque: So under the ToS, what are our obligations to Linden Lab?
[12:14] AlanBehr Blackburn: Okay. If there is a run on a bank, that’s a good reason to go to the bank. We’ve all seen It’s a Wonderful Life, right?
[12:15] AlanBehr Blackburn: Pls take a seat.
[12:15] AlanBehr Blackburn: Writers? Go w/that 1st?
[12:15] IYan Writer: well, the Writers are in a majority here πŸ™‚
[12:15] dandellion Kimban nods
[12:15] AlanBehr Blackburn: Okay. I’m a writer as well. I write for the legal press, pop press & a “hight” culture website.
[12:16] AlanBehr Blackburn: Writing falls under copyright.
[12:16] AlanBehr Blackburn: You own your unique expression of an idea, not the idea itself.
[12:16] AlanBehr Blackburn: The idea of a son who comes home from college and finds his mom has married his uncle–not copyrightable.
[12:16] AlanBehr Blackburn: But the unique words in “Hamlet” are.
[12:16] Leslye Writer: how do we prove that the unique expression of the idea is ours.
[12:17] AlanBehr Blackburn: Your best proof is a copyright registration, at least in the USA.
[12:17] AlanBehr Blackburn: And they are cheap to get, $45 (real $), and you don’t need a lawyer, most times.
[12:17] LifeFactory Writer: What I would like most to know is if there is a standard format of Rights Release and contract that is popularly in use in SL right now? Or are most things still hinging on this ephermeral and risky notion of “trust?”
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: What about our international residents?
[12:18] AlanBehr Blackburn: In order:
[12:18] Cybergrrl Oh: Alan – I’m copying all questions if you need a cue. Just ask.
[12:18] Leslye Writer: So if we copyright and register our work in real life it is protected here? What of the notecard that is given out which must be coopyable to give out? Does that release the coopyright protection
[12:18] AlanBehr Blackburn: I’m not aware of a standard form. The TOS lets Linden use what it likes for most necessary purposes.
[12:18] AlanBehr Blackburn: As for other people: you can trust whom you like, but I like copyright registrations.
[12:18] AlanBehr Blackburn: International:
[12:19] Cybergrrl Oh: Let’s give Alan a moment to address the outstanding questions. We’re all excited about this, as you can see!
[12:19] AlanBehr Blackburn: Other nations generally do NOT register copyrights.
[12:19] Kay Levasseur: and what about the TOS? Do they or can they negate ‘copyright’ in any way?
[12:19] Leslye Writer: \mine is a followup to the first answer
[12:19] AlanBehr Blackburn: But they tend to be more pro-author. Germany is a good exmaple. (I’m German.)
[12:19] AlanBehr Blackburn: Trying to keep in order here, one sec.
[12:19] IYan Writer: do the modify/copy/transfer attributes automatically serve as some form of implied release?
[12:20] LifeFactory Writer: That is a great question, Iyan.
[12:20] AlanBehr Blackburn: TOS negating copyright:
[12:20] Leslye Writer: good question IYan
[12:20] AlanBehr Blackburn: Not really an issue right now.
[12:20] AlanBehr Blackburn: The TOS doc says that you keep your copyright.
[12:20] LifeFactory Writer: so sorry..phone….
[12:20] AlanBehr Blackburn: In theory, game TOS can state that anything in game belongs to the game publisher.
[12:20] AlanBehr Blackburn: And in fact, that’s how it is in most games.
[12:21] Cybergrrl Oh: But this one doesn’t? Why is that?
[12:21] AlanBehr Blackburn: I’ve been at a couple State of Play conferences–real world.
[12:21] AlanBehr Blackburn: And the Linden CEO and others were there.
[12:21] AlanBehr Blackburn: Linden has always taken a very pro-player approach when it comes to copyiright.
[12:22] IYan Writer smiles at Alanagh
[12:22] Leslye Writer: so they won’t take the words. How about other people, players
[12:22] LifeFactory Writer: Hello Alanagh πŸ™‚
[12:22] Alanagh Recreant: / apologies for being late… had to look in on zebras
[12:22] Cybergrrl Oh: I think that is a good issue Leslye – I’ve been “ripped off” by other residnets, not LL
[12:22] AlanBehr Blackburn: Legally, the avatar is simply the real person going undre a nickname, at least for these purposes.
[12:22] AlanBehr Blackburn: So if someone takes your unique expression–words that you write, it may have been an avatar that did it.
[12:23] AlanBehr Blackburn: But a real person is behind it and is using the words you wrote.
[12:23] AlanBehr Blackburn: If you claim copyright in the words, you arguably have a claim.
[12:23] AlanBehr Blackburn: The quesion is what to do about it and where.
[12:23] Cybergrrl Oh: What is our recourse? Particularly since this is a global venue and someone may be in another country?
[12:23] AlanBehr Blackburn: At State of Play II, I argued in favor of ingame resolution.
[12:23] Cybergrrl Oh is not picking on her international friends.
[12:23] Cybergrrl Oh: πŸ˜‰
[12:24] AlanBehr Blackburn: Good question.
[12:24] Alanagh Recreant smiles… best not
[12:24] Cybergrrl Oh: ingame resolution – interesting
[12:24] Leslye Writer: and if there is some way for you to lose that protection by an action of yours here in sl such as making it copyable
[12:24] AlanBehr Blackburn: Most things are copyable, but if you make it clear that copying is not permitted without payment, that should be enough to preserve your rights.
[12:25] Fleep Tuque: Scenario: A group of people are sitting around talking about having an event, I say, “lets call the event Fleeps Great Event!” Everyone says great idea! I make up signs, register a website, we hold the event. A year later, a subset of that group wants to hold the same event and call it Fleep’s Great Event 2. Is that name copyrightable?
[12:25] Cybergrrl Oh: Good question again Leslye – here in SL, we tend to create things that are we give permissions to copy – even with payment. If we do that, do we lose rights?
[12:25] AlanBehr Blackburn: The interntional issue also relates to ingame reolution.
[12:25] AlanBehr Blackburn: You can’t copyright names.
[12:25] Fleep Tuque: Ok
[12:25] AlanBehr Blackburn: Book titles are not copyrightable.
[12:25] AlanBehr Blackburn: However, a videogame title can be a trademark–because it brands a product.
[12:25] AlanBehr Blackburn: That’s different from a copyright.
[12:25] Fleep Tuque: Ahh traddemark.
[12:25] Cybergrrl Oh: But can you trademark logos and names of an event series?
[12:25] Fleep Tuque: Right.
[12:25] AlanBehr Blackburn: You can have several books with the same title.
[12:26] Cybergrrl Oh: like the Dummies series
[12:26] Alanagh Recreant: AlanBehr… but you can ‘namemark’ them, right?
[12:26] AlanBehr Blackburn: And Cybergirl is right: you can make a series of books and get a trademark in that title.
[12:26] Alanagh Recreant: / that is common practice here at least
[12:26] AlanBehr Blackburn: I wrote an article about that a long time ago.
[12:27] AlanBehr Blackburn: Copyright: a Haiku is enough expression to copyright.
[12:27] AlanBehr Blackburn: Not the title, but the poetry within it.
[12:27] Cybergrrl Oh: What about a series of events? Seems much more intangible, however, aren’t events like the Superbowl and other recurring events trademarkable?
[12:27] Alanagh Recreant: / so ‘Fleep Tuque’ can be trademarked right?
[12:27] AlanBehr Blackburn: Events: hard to get any protection.
[12:27] Alanagh Recreant: hehe
[12:28] AlanBehr Blackburn: Superbowl: you’ve probably got a trademark in that term as a mark for a football game.
[12:28] AlanBehr Blackburn: The NFL has its own trademarks, as does each team.
[12:28] Fleep Tuque: Hehe
[12:28] Cybergrrl Oh: So some of the other questions we haven’t addressed…
[12:28] Kay Levasseur: yes Superbowl is trademarked, as are the team names
[12:28] Cybergrrl Oh: Patents
[12:28] AlanBehr Blackburn: And the players, represented by their uniion, have their own rights.
[12:28] Cybergrrl Oh: Contracts with other residents
[12:28] Cybergrrl Oh: just a reminder – keep going where you’re going
[12:28] AlanBehr Blackburn: Patents: not a likely concern in game at least for the present.
[12:29] Cybergrrl Oh: What about inventions of new technologies that can be used inworld?
[12:29] AlanBehr Blackburn: It’s about invention. And most of what people do here is content.
[12:29] Cybergrrl Oh: the tools, for example?
[12:29] Cybergrrl Oh: Actually, many of them build, script, program, invent
[12:29] Cybergrrl Oh: as well
[12:29] AlanBehr Blackburn: If you invent something that can be used in the real world and debut it here, that’s a bad idea.
[12:29] Fleep Tuque: Oh??
[12:29] Fleep Tuque: Why?
[12:29] AlanBehr Blackburn: You might accidentally compromise your ability to get a patent on it.
[12:29] Fleep Tuque: Doh.
[12:29] Cybergrrl Oh: really??
[12:29] Fleep Tuque: Really???
[12:29] Leslye Writer: interesting
[12:29] Alanagh Recreant smiles
[12:29] IYan Writer: extremely interesting
[12:30] Fleep Tuque: I know many companies interested in epxloring SL as a prototyping platform
[12:30] Fleep Tuque: that would be pretty chilling on that front.
[12:30] AlanBehr Blackburn: The rultes are less stricted now, but basically, for patent: don’t tell anyone who doesn’t need to know until you have something to register.
[12:30] AlanBehr Blackburn: You can’t really prototype many real world things in a game. A game could be used for test marketing–but that’s branding, not invention.
[12:30] Fleep Tuque: Ahh, you mean if you talk about demo and show it here. What it you just develop it in world, your own private island for example
[12:30] Cybergrrl Oh: what about prototyping in SL?
[12:31] AlanBehr Blackburn: In theory, you could show the effect of a real world invention in a game without disclosing the tech that does it.
[12:31] AlanBehr Blackburn: That could workd.
[12:31] Fleep Tuque: Er, no there are actually many manufacturing companies looking to prototype models here
[12:31] Fleep Tuque: Cars shoes manufacturing processes
[12:31] LifeFactory Writer: May I add a Q to the list….what is the protocol for filmming in SL. Does one need a release from teh creator of every single skin,object, prop, etc…or just the big builds? What about shooting Linden builds? Sorry this is not in context of the current chat.
[12:31] AlanBehr Blackburn: But you won’t see the real gizmos that make the thins work, I presume, just the expected effect–such as the teleporter that has our friend flying over us. High. Love the outfit.
[12:32] Fleep Tuque: Well, I don’t know. We are writing conversion software at UC that would take industrial design models and convert them to Sl prims
[12:32] Cybergrrl Oh: LifeFactory added a new question.
[12:32] Fleep Tuque: so, yes, it would be models of the specific parts.
[12:32] AlanBehr Blackburn: Software:
[12:33] AlanBehr Blackburn: The unique code is protectable by copyirght.
[12:33] Fleep Tuque: But that’s an interesting point, thanks for the info.
[12:33] Cybergrrl Oh: and we’re still curious about contracts with residents – needed? possible? enforceable?
[12:33] AlanBehr Blackburn: Some software is also utility, and therefore can be involved in patents.
[12:33] AlanBehr Blackburn: Contracts with residents:
[12:33] AlanBehr Blackburn: Possibly enforceable.
[12:33] AlanBehr Blackburn: You would need to have a written record, I’d suggest, which is possible.
[12:34] AlanBehr Blackburn: YOu need offer and acceptance and a recitation of the terms.
[12:34] Alanagh Recreant: / lets have a possibly enforcable contract CG πŸ˜›
[12:34] IYan Writer: written in RL, I presume?
[12:34] Cybergrrl Oh: lol
[12:34] Alanagh Recreant: hehe
[12:34] Fleep Tuque: Safer to do through email or some external source, according to others I’ve consulted.
[12:34] Alanagh Recreant: / sorry… its late here
[12:34] Cybergrrl Oh: and is it better to email versus transfering a notecard inworld?
[12:34] AlanBehr Blackburn: There has to be something of value going in both directions, which is usually easy to show.
[12:34] Fleep Tuque: Not an inworld only noitecards.
[12:34] Cybergrrl Oh and Fleep – mind meld
[12:34] Fleep Tuque: grin
[12:34] AlanBehr Blackburn: A fixed record is what is best. However you do it, as long as it shows agreement.
[12:35] AlanBehr Blackburn: It is theorically possible for the avatar to sign for the human.
[12:35] Cybergrrl Oh: What if you have mostly one-sided communications? My emails to the other party defining things?
[12:35] Fleep Tuque: Hm, interesting@!
[12:35] AlanBehr Blackburn: Because the avatar is a nickname, as noted before.
[12:35] Cybergrrl Oh: aha
[12:35] AlanBehr Blackburn: Of course, how do you enforce, if you’re not entirely sure whom you are contracting with–who is behind the avatar?
[12:36] Cybergrrl Oh: meaning they sign their avatar name and do NOT have to sign their human name?
[12:36] dandellion Kimban: does that mean that let’s say, dandellion Kimban is a name valid as my human’s name? in legal sense?
[12:36] AlanBehr Blackburn: I’d suggest that the confirmation is done witih a human name/address.
[12:36] AlanBehr Blackburn: You can sign contracts with an “x,” but it isn’t a good idea.
[12:37] Cybergrrl Oh: segwaying from contracts to releases
[12:37] Cybergrrl Oh: from LifeFactory
[12:37] Cybergrrl Oh: what is the protocol for filmming in SL. Does one need a release from teh creator of every single skin,object, prop, etc…or just the big builds? What about shooting Linden builds? Sorry this is not in context of the current chat.
[12:37] AlanBehr Blackburn: Spending money on lawyers is the result of doing things less than optimally. I won’t frighten you with the cost of that!
[12:37] Cybergrrl Oh: lol
[12:37] Cybergrrl Oh: $$$$$$$$
[12:37] AlanBehr Blackburn: in game filming.
[12:37] Alanagh Recreant: personally… I think it is as simple as signing both names πŸ™‚
[12:37] AlanBehr Blackburn: Again, it’s a TOS question.
[12:37] AlanBehr Blackburn: both names, okay.
[12:38] AlanBehr Blackburn: In game filming: what would film be used for?
[12:38] Alanagh Recreant: leaves no scope for 2nd guessing that way
[12:38] Ana Herzog: machinima is big! same uses as all filming
[12:38] Cybergrrl Oh: Some of the films are being entered into contests
[12:38] Cybergrrl Oh: Some are being shown as TV shows on web sites or YouTube
[12:38] Fleep Tuque: Some for educational purposes, some for marketing purposes
[12:39] Cybergrrl Oh: Some are going to be revenue generators – selling advertising
[12:39] AlanBehr Blackburn: Okay, the Machinima question. YouTube, etc.
[12:39] AlanBehr Blackburn: Answer:
[12:39] Ana Herzog: they are being contracted for for standard commercial us.
[12:39] Ana Herzog: use
[12:39] AlanBehr Blackburn: Under the TOS, the creator has the rights.
[12:39] Kay Levasseur: filming could be educational, commercial, in-world, mass-marketed, etc.
[12:39] AlanBehr Blackburn: So you need consent, to the extent that what was created was indeed protectible.
[12:39] AlanBehr Blackburn: Many people think that they’ve created something unique, only to find later that they haven’t, but it’s expensive to learn that.
[12:40] Kay Levasseur: so what I’m hearing is that it’s best to create your own sets
[12:40] AlanBehr Blackburn: Basically, the rule is: if you make it in SL, Linden says you own it, and in theory you can protect it against real world infringement.
[12:40] AlanBehr Blackburn: Then again, NBC, CBS, etc., are constantly infringed on YouTube.
[12:40] Cybergrrl Oh: So if you feature other people’s avatars or clothing, skins, builds, etc. in your film, do you need releases?
[12:41] Fleep Tuque: That would be impossible to obtain in any public setting.
[12:41] AlanBehr Blackburn: In theory, yes, assuming that the owners created something protectible.
[12:41] Fleep Tuque: No way I could know what all of you are wearing and who created it all.
[12:41] Ana Herzog: Acceptable risk is a significant topic as everything here is created unlike in the realworld.
[12:41] Alanagh Recreant: / question for the que……. what about using creative commons licensing?
[12:41] Cybergrrl Oh: another in cue: IYan Writer: please don’t forget the copy/modify/transfer => automatic waiver of certain rights question – i’d really like a definite answer.
[12:41] Cybergrrl Oh: que
[12:41] dandellion Kimban: speaking of avatars…. avatar is intelectual property of the human behind it, right?
[12:41] AlanBehr Blackburn: Keep in mind that not everything is protectible. You’d have to show that the avatar is protectible as a character–like Superman.
[12:42] dandellion Kimban: what does that mean?
[12:42] Kay Levasseur: how do you show that?
[12:42] Fleep Tuque: Hm.
[12:42] AlanBehr Blackburn: You do that by creating something unique, and if you are a US citizen, you need to file your copyright application and get a registration if you want to collect enough reall $ to make it worth your while in most instances.
[12:42] Ana Herzog: Ana is part of me. It is an identity.
[12:43] IYan Writer: as LL=USA, in all cases US law applies?
[12:43] AlanBehr Blackburn: Okay, let’s use Ana as a case study. Tell us.
[12:43] Fleep Tuque: Aimee Weber trademarked her avatar’s image, if I recall correctly, and there were quips that then she could never remove her wings.
[12:43] AlanBehr Blackburn: One at a time, pls.
[12:43] AlanBehr Blackburn: Ana?
[12:43] Ana Herzog: I’m not a TM. I’m an element of an identity
[12:44] AlanBehr Blackburn: Ana, if you believe that your avatar looks like you in real life–is that the case?
[12:44] Ana Herzog: Ana is an extension of my personality. N. F. Hill in rl Ana Herzog in SL.
[12:44] Ana Herzog: no.
[12:44] Ana Herzog: this is about “being”
[12:44] Cybergrrl Oh: In some cases, however, the avatar IS the person. I see it as an extension of my BRAND
[12:44] AlanBehr Blackburn: If so, you have rights of publicity and privacy, but only as to the real you. Tennessee started that trend to protect Elvis in the afterlife.
[12:45] AlanBehr Blackburn: Brand is different: that’s trademark.
[12:45] Ana Herzog: my avatar is an extension of my representation of my self
[12:45] AlanBehr Blackburn: For real people, the person can be the brand, in effect.
[12:45] Ana Herzog: yes i’m a brand for commerical purposes
[12:45] AlanBehr Blackburn: It is possible that an avatar can be a part of that.
[12:45] AlanBehr Blackburn: I’d suggest that you would need to show that the avatar has a commercial use.
[12:46] AlanBehr Blackburn: Again, we’re talking trademark, which is about commerce, and not copyright, which is about creativity/arts.
[12:46] Ana Herzog: I have several sl companies and am creating a rl sl company and will claim my “profits” from sl.
[12:46] Alanagh Recreant: …this is fascinating
[12:46] AlanBehr Blackburn: If you show a brand in the avatar and use the image as a brand, you have a trademark. Think of the mouse and Disneyland.
[12:46] AlanBehr Blackburn: Companies:
[12:46] Fleep Tuque: Ok, that makes sense. “Fleep Tuque” is known as one who consults on education in Second Life. It is my in-world brand for my professional services.
[12:47] AlanBehr Blackburn: You would need to use the Ana avatar as part of the branding–you would see that image and associate it with the business.
[12:47] Alanagh Recreant: that’s what I meant Fleep… trademark the name!
[12:47] AlanBehr Blackburn: That could be a mark.
[12:47] Ana Herzog: I am a writer in rl and will begin publishing in sl soon.
[12:47] Alanagh Recreant: πŸ˜‰
[12:47] Fleep Tuque: I see, that’s pretty neat.
[12:47] AlanBehr Blackburn: You can get a trademark in an avatar’s name.
[12:47] Cybergrrl Oh: Did we cover the questions about Creative Commons and this one:
[12:47] Cybergrrl Oh: IYan Writer: please don’t forget the copy/modify/transfer => automatic waiver of certain rights question – i’d really like a definite answer.
[12:47] dandellion Kimban: for example…. I can recreate the avatar of philip linden and show up publicly on the grid. Is that legal?
[12:47] AlanBehr Blackburn: want to switch to copyright/creative commons now?
[12:47] dandellion Kimban: (nope… we’re yet to grab CC and GPL)
[12:47] Cybergrrl Oh: IYan would like specificity on that one
[12:47] Ana Herzog: So I can TM Ana Herzog?
[12:48] Ana Herzog: Fantastic if so!
[12:48] Cybergrrl Oh: catch those last few and then we can move on
[12:48] AlanBehr Blackburn: Finish with Ana 1st:
[12:48] AlanBehr Blackburn: Maybe.
[12:48] Alanagh Recreant: / real example…. Nelson Mandela was trademarked and protected worldwide by a philatropist when he was still in prison… it was given to him – his name – when he was released!
[12:48] AlanBehr Blackburn: You would have to show a use of the avatar’s image in a consistent pose, I’d suggest, for branding.
[12:48] Ana Herzog: k.
[12:49] AlanBehr Blackburn: Example: the sign on an a virtual store has the avatar in a standard pose, as a logo, and stuff is sold within.
[12:49] AlanBehr Blackburn: That might work.
[12:49] Ana Herzog: with green hair and shoes.
[12:49] Ana Herzog: thanks so much.
[12:49] AlanBehr Blackburn: Green hair, that’s unqiue. Switch to copyright?
[12:49] Alanagh Recreant: ummm… surely,,, question again… you can protect a phrase…without the avie?
[12:50] AlanBehr Blackburn: Protect a phrase in what sense? as expression or as a trademark?
[12:50] AlanBehr Blackburn: the former is art, the latter is commerce.
[12:50] Alanagh Recreant: as a trademark
[12:50] AlanBehr Blackburn: Yes.
[12:50] Alanagh Recreant: Ana Herzog
[12:50] AlanBehr Blackburn: “Just do it,” is a trademark that is a phrase.
[12:50] Alanagh Recreant: period… and she can change whatever way she wants…
[12:51] Alanagh Recreant: but the name sticks
[12:51] Alanagh Recreant: :)) woman want to change!
[12:51] Ana Herzog: ol
[12:51] Ana Herzog: lol
[12:51] Cybergrrl Oh: we have about 10 minutes left – how about creative commons questions?
[12:51] AlanBehr Blackburn: Creative commons:
[12:51] Alanagh Recreant: …it needs to be unique and not in public domain though
[12:51] Alanagh Recreant listens
[12:52] AlanBehr Blackburn: That’s a movement out of Stamford, Lawrence lessig & his team.
[12:52] Alanagh Recreant nods
[12:52] AlanBehr Blackburn: The idea is to push back on copyright claims, which have made big gains in the past decades.
[12:52] AlanBehr Blackburn: There is a funny film made by them entirely out of Disney clips.
[12:53] AlanBehr Blackburn: It explains coyright law, and the point is, that fair use still exists. Only Disney clips are involved, but it is legal.
[12:53] AlanBehr Blackburn: Creative commons and the rights of copyright holders are in a tug of war.
[12:53] AlanBehr Blackburn: I spoke to NGOs at the UN last year.
[12:53] AlanBehr Blackburn: Half argued for the rights of authors and publishers.
[12:53] Fleep Tuque: Fair use for education, for example, is such a grey area that everyone is paranoid.
[12:53] Alanagh Recreant: / declaring interest: possibly working with iCommons in SA
[12:54] AlanBehr Blackburn: And half argued for expression to be available to all because it represents the spirit of the community.
[12:54] AlanBehr Blackburn: Here, in SL.
[12:54] Alanagh Recreant: / derivative of CC
[12:54] AlanBehr Blackburn: Sorry, I’m typing over other contributions. I’m tyring to take them in and integrate w/answers.
[12:54] AlanBehr Blackburn: In SL:
[12:54] AlanBehr Blackburn: Those TOS.
[12:54] Cybergrrl Oh: you’re doing great Alan!
[12:54] AlanBehr Blackburn: Contractual relations are key.
[12:54] AlanBehr Blackburn: Thanks. Thank goodness I type really fast.
[12:55] AlanBehr Blackburn: TOS control.
[12:55] Cybergrrl Oh smiles and nods
[12:55] AlanBehr Blackburn: Note that the Bragg lawsuit in PA has challenged a part of the TOS, and that the doc continues to change.
[12:55] AlanBehr Blackburn: But let’s assume for the present that they are valid.
[12:55] Cybergrrl Oh: what lawsuite?
[12:55] Fleep Tuque: (The sex bed lawsuit)
[12:56] AlanBehr Blackburn: That means that people who create avatars, even out of SL skins/texturres, could potentially create something unique.,
[12:56] AlanBehr Blackburn: Marvel Comics, which sues too often in my view, recently lost a case on that point, in effect.
[12:56] Ana Herzog: artists use paint
[12:56] AlanBehr Blackburn: right.
[12:56] AlanBehr Blackburn: But textures involve more creativity than paint.
[12:57] AlanBehr Blackburn: There is arguably enough creativity in some skins/textures that they are protectible.
[12:57] Cybergrrl Oh: we have about 5 minutes left. IYan had a question:
[12:57] Ana Herzog: paints are patented though
[12:57] Cybergrrl Oh: do the modify/copy/transfer attributes automatically serve as some form of implied release?
[12:57] Cybergrrl Oh: release of rights, I think he means, yes?
[12:57] IYan Writer: yes
[12:57] Alanagh Recreant: yes!
[12:57] AlanBehr Blackburn: If there is a patent on paint, it would be on the formula, not the color.
[12:57] Cybergrrl Oh: we can elect to allow others to modify our creations, copy them and transfer them – even if they pay
[12:58] Alanagh Recreant: UNLESS specified … and all content belongs to LL ! actually
[12:58] AlanBehr Blackburn: correct.
[12:58] Cybergrrl Oh: we may charge more for thse abilities but this is something we can elect to do
[12:58] AlanBehr Blackburn: You own your content.
[12:58] Leslye Writer: nervous that you won’t get to Iyan Writer’s question
[12:58] AlanBehr Blackburn: That’s the TOS.
[12:58] Cybergrrl Oh: all content does not belong to LL, Alanagh
[12:58] Alanagh Recreant: ummm… what about the TOS on LL side?
[12:58] Cybergrrl Oh: or was I wrong?
[12:58] Cybergrrl Oh: not according to the TOS
[12:58] LifeFactory Writer: Was that a yes….perms transfer rights? Does this also mean such things can be filmmed without a written release? TY!
[12:58] AlanBehr Blackburn: Okay, Iyan–your question again, and let’s try to help out.
[12:58] IYan Writer: ty πŸ™‚
[12:58] AlanBehr Blackburn: let’s give IYan the floor.
[12:59] Alanagh Recreant thinks she needs to spend some real time with the LL TOS again
[12:59] IYan Writer: so, again:if I set the attributes, does tha tautomatically imply some waiver of my rights?
[12:59] Leslye Writer: cyber, ask the question again
[12:59] AlanBehr Blackburn: No, when you say you set attributes–example?
[12:59] Cybergrrl Oh: we can elect to allow others to modify our creations, copy them and transfer them – even if they pay
[12:59] IYan Writer: all content in SL has three flags: copy or no, transfer or no, modify or no
[13:00] Cybergrrl Oh: we may charge more for thse abilities but this is something we can elect to do [12:58] AlanBe
[13:00] AlanBehr Blackburn: okay
[13:00] IYan Writer: do we have to set the flags to NO if we want to retain rights?
[13:00] Leslye Writer: we allow our notecard of our writing to be copied onto other cards to distribute during a reading. Does that mean the poem is give away and copyright no longer is valid?
[13:00] AlanBehr Blackburn: That’s the better approach. When in doubt, don’t let someone copy unless you give express permission.
[13:01] dandellion Kimban: that is very bad approach
[13:01] Cybergrrl Oh: in a way, it seems like policing your trademark. if you let people just copy it and use it without some kind of agreement, you dilute your rights to it
[13:01] AlanBehr Blackburn: But if you let people copy and you notify them that they have to follow certain rules, such as no real world use, that would help your position too.
[13:01] Leslye Writer: giving permission means yu give you your rights of copyright?
[13:01] AlanBehr Blackburn: Right about trademarks, from Cybergirl.
[13:01] LifeFactory Writer: The Free Culture adherents and the Intel Prop devotees are going to have a very hard time co-exisiting here, I fear.
[13:01] IYan Writer: aha, so include a mini-TOS, set modify to NO and copy yo YES would work?
[13:02] AlanBehr Blackburn: Giving permission for specific use is not a permanent waiver of rights.
[13:02] Cybergrrl Oh: I think specificity is good, IYan – spelling out the acceptable uses
[13:02] Leslye Writer: I thank HUGELY your answer AlanB.
[13:02] AlanBehr Blackburn: Specificity!! Lawyers save their clients money with it, and clients save themselves grief with it.
[13:02] Alanagh Recreant thinks that is where CC is handy… you can specific rights in the description box πŸ™‚ and still make it copy/mod/transfer…
[13:02] IYan Writer: thank you Alan
[13:02] AlanBehr Blackburn: You’re welcom.
[13:02] Cybergrrl Oh: I think we are wrapping up now
[13:02] dandellion Kimban: ther is a set of GPL’d scripts that run around the world as freebies….. but, too often they are found to be closed and sold…. that is not legal, tight? but how to fight that?
[13:02] Cybergrrl Oh: Alan is a lawyer after all and his time is money
[13:02] Cybergrrl Oh: πŸ˜‰
[13:02] IYan Writer: another question, probably answerable by a single word: does US law apply in all cases for in-SL matters?
[13:03] Cybergrrl Oh: is everyone feeling like they had a question answered? got some actionable info?
[13:03] Alanagh Recreant: nice iYan
[13:03] AlanBehr Blackburn: SL governed by Calif law.
[13:03] AlanBehr Blackburn: I’ve got to go, folks. thank you and I hope I was helpful.
[13:04] Cybergrrl Oh: I’ll have a transcript of this chat on the Second Life Entrepreneurs Club blog soon
[13:04] Cybergrrl Oh: http://slentrepreneursclub.blogspot.com/

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