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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5197/the-consensual-trading-of-knock-offs/

The consensual trading of knock-offs

June 19, 2006 by

Robert Scoble raises an interesting point regarding trademark violation in virtual games. Apparently some user-created content in an MMORPG called “Second Life” uses logos such as the “Apple Macintosh” which is currently trademarked. While no lawsuits have occured, it may be only a matter of time until suits are filed.

In fact, this is somewhat similar to the case between Cryptic Software, the creators of another popular MMORPG called “City of Heroes” and Marvel Comics. Stephan Kinsella analyzed that case (which was eventually settled outside of court) and rightly noted its absurdity in terms of any property rights violation.

Note: meat-space companies are opening up virtual shops in Second Life, so these lawsuits will probably happen sooner rather than later.

See also, The DMCA, The Most Creative Solution To Preventing Creativity and Without IP who will invent? How about everybody.

{ 1 comment }

Matt L. June 19, 2006 at 12:19 pm

I’m miffed over the City of Heroes thing — they have a truly creative game there. So what if users want to emulate their comic book heroes? To my knowledge, the users who possibly infringe on Marvel’s IP don’t stand to profit in City of Heroes except for an increase in personal enjoyment of the game. In Second Life users can directly profit: the Second Life online currency can be bought and sold for real USD. It’s just like selling unauthorized sports merchandise with the team’s logo or ripping off NBC/SNL with those MR. Pibb and Red vines t-shirts that were temporarily popular by techie beatniks after the Lazy Sunday digital short on SNL.

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