This is an odd tv segment. I found it interesting and just really weird (even odder – I was absolutely certain I’d blogged about the case – but apparently not, must be getting confused with my del.icio.us’ing).
So for those out of the loop:
- Stroker Alderman (aka Stroker Serpentine) designed a bed where avatars could have sex in in Second Life
- Selling these became a profitable business for Alderman(yes, in real life)
- Someone else comes along and steals the design and starts selling the ‘copy’ (authenticity is really difficult in virtual matters isn’t it? I mean – it’s exactly the same thing)for less
- Stroker Alderman ends up actually suing the avatar of the ‘thief’ (this is possible thanks to the recording industry’s efforts on suing online personalities – yup! it has a name in the American court of law: John Doe lawsuit)
There are so many interesting things to discuss here. Let’s just start off with this news segment from CNBC. The reporter, Bill Griffeth, is actually impressively to the point, kudos to him! As for the two lawyers actually litigating the case, I’m personally on a fence. Andrew S. Langsam is very adamant on defining all of this as fantasy – which I completely disagree with. But then he makes some absolutely excellent points. He points out that the defendant may be from a different country and that it’s unfair to bring him into the American judicial system – too right. I can’t agree with him more. It’s an excellent point. He also says that this should be something legislated in a virtual court of law – yup! I agree, we just need to establish one – which is going to be a pain in the ass. But then again I also agree with the plaintiff’s lawyer – Francis X. Taney, Jr, who says that this is actual commerce. Of course it is! Second Life trading cannot be waved off as ‘fantasy’ – definitely not!
Either way – it’s a troublesome case because Second Life grants intellectual property rights to it’s citizens – which I whole heartedly applaud them for, don’t get me wrong, I adore them for that. But there’s a whole lotta hoopla that comes with it, unfortunately. And no! I have no concluding thought!
Video (urgh – why don’t these networks allow embedding scripts?)