More on the Trademark Policy

Thank you for all your feedback over the last week. I’ve read your comments, seen your blog posts, gotten lots of emails and hear your frustration with the new trademark policy. I know many of you feel it’s confusing and I’d like to spend some time talking about the policy and why it matters to both Linden Lab and to you.

So, why are trademarks important?
When Linden Lab puts the Second Life or Linden Lab name on a product, we are standing behind it. Our reputation rides on that product. We want you to use “SL” and “inSL” and to wave your affiliation proudly, but we need to make sure the context is clear that you’re not Linden Lab.

Why did Linden Lab decide to update the trademark policy now?
We were getting lots of questions from Residents about use of our trademarks and we realized it was time to do a better job of communicating. In the new policy, we’re much more specific about the ways to show your affiliation, and we hope that helps answer the questions we’ve received.

Does the policy affect copyrights in the content I create?
No, you still retain copyrights in the content you create. That hasn’t changed. The trademark policy isn’t about that. For the difference between copyrighs and trademarks, see the explanation here and here. And, if you’re a content creator, stay tuned. We’re taking steps to improve our copyright claim process and will saying more about that soon.

I also wanted to address your top questions about the new policy.

1. Can I use the Second Life Eye-in-Hand logo in a press story?
Yes! If the story is about the Second Life world, you can use the logo in the body of the story. You can’t, however, use the logo to identify your blog — why? Because it looks like you’re a Second Life or Linden Lab vetted project. You can read more about this here.

2. Can I discuss the Second Life world on my website?
Of course! You can — and should — call our products and services by their names. For instance, it’s ok to say you’re “running a business in the Second Life world” or that you bought “Linden dollars through the LindeX exchange.” You can read more about that here.

3. Can I use SL with my product, domain or organization name?
Yes, under our special license to use “SL.” You can use “SL” with your own trademark. So, if you own the “Dell” trademark, you could call your presence in the Second Life world “Dell SL.”Or, you can use two common nouns with “SL.” For instance, SL Ballet is not ok (only one common noun) but SL Ballet Troup works. And SL China Portal is not ok (“China” is a proper noun), but SL Chinese Residents Association works. You need at least two common nouns so others don’t think you’re an “official” Second Life organization or website. Read more about this license.

4. What if I have a domain name that uses “SL” with only one common noun?
We’ve given you 90 days to transition to a new domain name that works with our special license. If you need additional time, please write us at tm-licensing@lindenlab.com and we’ll consider giving you permission to extend the 90 days or to forward the old domain name to your new one. For more on submitting a licensing request check out the FAQ.

5. I’ve got more questions, who can I ask?
We’ll be glad to help you. You can email us at tm-questions@lindenlab.com with specific questions. Keep in mind there are MANY of you and only a few of us, so please be patient.

We’ve given you 90 days to make changes. Please use that time to read our policy and ask any questions. If we see after 90 days that you’re not in compliance, we’ll let you know.

Finally, in an earlier post Robin introduced our new Communications Manager – Katt Linden – who started yesterday. Katt will be focusing on our Resident communication channels including this blog and the forums to make sure we’re using the right tools to communicate clearly and frequently with the community. She’s going to need some ramp up time so please be gentle. 🙂

Thank you again everyone for your feedback! I hope you find this helpful.

This entry was posted in Announcements & News, Community, Marketing. Bookmark the permalink.

152 Responses to More on the Trademark Policy

  1. Shai Khalifa says:

    So transitioning a web domain name – does that mean LL will compensate those who have to fork out real money for registration of a new name – and paying web developers and graphic designers to re-do work??

    This after-the-horse-has-bolted approach is going to have a detrimental effect on a number of active and useful sites I’m sure.

  2. Shug Maitland says:

    I understand you position on the trademark, What I do not understand is you “allowing” us to use a cheap, second rate scrap of graphics. You should be ashamed!
    You have a world full of talented people at your fingertips! If you can not provide something of quality, allow us to choose our logo! Or must we do it without you?

  3. Hmmm… I still have major issues with the “SL” part of it. I use two: “SL Review” and “SL Attitude” I’ve decided my “SL” doesn’t stand for “Second Life”. The other trademarks and logos I understand.

    My issue is with the initials “SL”.

    Hmmm… I’m just a nobody with a couple blogs nobody reads. So I guess I’ll just wait for the cease and desist letter and weigh my options from there.

    Honestly – I really do understand what you are trying to do and support you in it. But I also figure in the case of “SL” – you’ll look at things on a case-by-case bases. I figure you’re all human, too. LOL

  4. Kit Meredith says:

    This is thoroughly unhelpful. It simply does not clarify anything. You say we can discuss the “Second Life world” on our blogs. Why do we have to add “world” after what, under US trademark law, is nominative fair use?

    Does Linden Lab intend for the Terms of Service to apply to Resident actions taken out-of-world, on third party websites? Will you be enforcing the ToS for speech that is permitted under nominative use? These are the kinds of questions that must be answered, and this “clarification” does nothing to move us toward greater understanding.

  5. Kit Meredith says:

    This is thoroughly unhelpful. It simply does not clarify anything. You say we can discuss the “Second Life world” on our blogs. Why do we have to add “world” after what, under US trademark law, is nominative fair use?

    Does Linden Lab intend for the Terms of Service to apply to Resident actions taken out-of-world, on third party websites? Will you be enforcing the ToS for speech that is permitted under nominative use? These are the kinds of questions that must be answered, and this “clarification” does nothing to move us toward greater understanding.

  6. Eva Ryan says:

    To me, SL is only an acronym for SecondLife that arose from the residents. To further that, The Sims Online hasn’t trademarked TSO. World of Warcraft hasn’t trademarked WoW. To me, this skirts the very fine line of common use….hold on, let me get a coke.

    Now, supposing my name was Shelly Long, and I am a public figure, and I have a blog called SLblog..what then. Are you to slam a lawsuit on me for that?

    For the above reasons, I don’t think that will hold up in court.

    Oh, what’s to happen to SLExchange, Second Life Herald, SL Universe, TalkSecondLife? Seems to me that they were well established long before Linden Lab took thier stance now.

    /me goes to change her name to Shelly Longstocking.

  7. Kit Meredith says:

    This is thoroughly unhelpful. It simply does not clarify anything. You say we can discuss the “Second Life world” on our blogs. Why do we have to add “world” after what, under US trademark law, is nominative fair use?

    Does Linden Lab intend for the Terms of Service to apply to Resident actions taken out-of-world, on third party websites? Will you be enforcing the ToS for speech that is permitted under nominative use? These are the kinds of questions that must be answered, and this “clarification” does nothing to move us toward greater understanding.

    I support Linden Lab enforcing its trademarks. I really do. But I don’t support overreaching. The policy and its application are so vague that right now it appears to prohibit fair use or mandate speech in a particular format. I had hoped that this promised “clarification” would tell us that the policy was never intended this way. It appears I was wrong.

  8. Pingback: SL is a trademarked term. Refrain from using it for things like… « SL Review™

  9. Kira says:

    Trade marks , copyrights, intelectual property rights all this stuff makes my head spin Second life has become real life. I am with Ari becuse i use two tiny letters an s and a l at the end of my blog url am i suppose to change that now? I just want to make my things sell them at a reasonable price to make money to buy other peoples things.Is that ok or do i need to regeister with someone to do that now. do i need to copyright my “buisness” name.
    Not that any of this matters becuse for the last week 2 times a day you have put the cabash on inworld transactions and now i cant even upload textures to finsh my current project!

  10. Mad One! says:

    You take time do deal with all this load of poo spend all money we pay and YET “sl” was performing horrible this week people who pay you monthly to log in can’t log in!! I all of us just don’t log in one day!!! to show you that residents and the ”sl” blogs made you!!
    may be that will let us have our “sl” in our blogs!!

  11. nimrod yaffle says:

    At question #3’s answer: OMG WUT? That was insane.

  12. Lena Lei says:

    So if I understand this, for some reason lawyers believe that the SL Ballet would be interpreted by the average person as being something that is operated by Linden Lab, but not the SL Ballet Troup. Wow. Maybe that’s pretty standard in trademark law or something, but it makes no logical sense to me.

  13. Musicteacher Rampal says:

    I’d really like to hear the answer to this one. Doesn’t seem quite fair that someone would have to pay to change their current domain name because all of a sudden you decided to Tradmark “SL” I definitely think compensation is in order if you expect people to comply with this.

    “So transitioning a web domain name – does that mean LL will compensate those who have to fork out real money for registration of a new name – and paying web developers and graphic designers to re-do work??

    This after-the-horse-has-bolted approach is going to have a detrimental effect on a number of active and useful sites I’m sure.”

  14. What have you all got against ballet, anyway? 😛

    This policy doesn’t clarify a few things, like must people put those pesky TMs and (C)s and (R)s all over their blog, their website, and their avatar?

  15. nina says:

    “When Linden Lab puts the Second Life or Linden Lab name on a product, we are standing behind it. Our reputation rides on that product. We want you to use “SL” and “inSL” and to wave your affiliation proudly, but we need to make sure the context is clear that you’re not Linden Lab.”

    seriously, ll have done far more than any resident to tarnish their own reputation.

  16. Khamon says:

    Thank You for the clarifications Catherine.

  17. wuvme karuna says:

    i think you have more important issues to worry about, like fixing bugs and making the grid stable instead of worrying about blogs that use your hand logo.

  18. Digital Digital says:

    Thank you for this information! 🙂

  19. Nelle says:

    I say Fire your lawyers!! Go get your self a new Porsche (TM or R) after that one?
    Oh and you can sue my avatas a$$ off!!

  20. CheerGirl Allen says:

    again I say it is amazing how Staunch Linden Labs is to Protect thier own Name, Logo, Trademark and Copywrite yet does NOTHING to Protect thier Residents from IP theft, Copy Bots, Texture Stealing applications. Further more, Protect thier Residents Company Names, Logos, Designs, DMCA & Trademarks. I for wone will be taking the Linden Labs Hands off aproach to inSL!

  21. I’m going to make a new blog and call it “Third Life Minus One” – is that okay? LOL

    Oh this is even becoming funny. 🙂

  22. richard says:

    i’m glad we are keeping the real world out of second life !!!!

  23. Where do we stand with ‘Hippo’ or ‘Grid’ ?

  24. Pingback: LL to enforce brand name - Page 9 - SLUniverse Forums

  25. Bato Brendel says:

    LOL @ #23 dont forget (waiting)…

  26. “Our reputation rides on that product. ”
    LAGs, CRASHes, BUGs, CHAOS – thats the current reputation…

    I AM LUCKY to not have any SL “policy issues” lol

  27. Medibot says:

    That’s a lot of words just to say “screw you” to the people who love SL (this stands for Seriously Laggy, so don’t sue me) enough to create a site devoted to it.

  28. Cocoanut Koala says:

    You know what, I’m just going to call it Second Life. I’m not going to start calling it “the Second Life world.”

    coco

  29. Carter Giacobini says:

    What concerns me is that it seems that you’re getting ready to float an IPO, however, your interface is forever borked. I know… Instead of using the ridiculous amount of tier fees I pay you every single month, how about you hire at least one troubleshooter to review the viewers before they’re released. Or, maybe pay some overtime to the code poets who are writing the code for the viewer so that they have enough time to finish the job before releasing it. Or, maybe… just maybe… you should concentrate on creating a reliable product and even a halfway decent customer service team, demonstrating that you care about the residents of your world. Your slogan says that it’s our world and our imagination… But, these latest rules clearly show that’s false advertising. So, if you come after me for using your name, I’ll come after you for false advertising. Then you can use my tiers for paying lawyers to answer the same type of frivolous lawsuit I would bring against you that you would bring against me. So there! *turns in a huff, stomps out of the room and slams the door*

  30. There are A LOT of “SL” brands (hundrets in Germany alone) what do Linden Lags expect? That communities and companies surrender and change all their names?

    I STRONGLY SUGGEST A “CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT” against Linden Lags by those who are concerned.

    Nota bene: IF NECESSARY

  31. Alicia Sautereau says:

    look at the last couple dozen blog entries and see what reputation LL has…

    if klsl.net ain`t good, feel free to refund $99USD hosting costs + $9.995 domain registration costs + $1USD paypal transfer fee to my account, if not, cya in dutch court…

  32. zoey says:

    Hmm…..so how long can we use “2L” before you decide to change the rules? ………I’m sure trademarking that will be next..I do agree that this whole after the fact approach is a bit unprofessional and LL needs to compensate the members who will have to pay out of pocket to change their domains….but the odds of that happening are about as slim as them paying us back for lost time in SL doing business due to hmm lets say asset server issues and crashing and stale money transactions and well the list goes on but Im sure we all get the idea…lets make a deal LL you guys give us hard working individuals who actually support SL a nice smooth grid to do business and interact on…drop the teen grid and give us a business grid for paying members….((possible?)) and we agree not to use your “trademark” which more than likely we created…> ((rocks back and forth in her chair waiting to rez))

  33. Sometimes people get carried away and forget about common sense. What you fail to realize is that all these people who created websites and Blogs with SL in front of them gave Linden Labs a huge boost of free advertizing as well as “good community feel”. They are FANS AND LOVE YOU. If I was in charge of Linden Labs I’d fire the moron who thought that there would be a huge benefit to “Branding the SL Name”. You’re wasting a great deal of money trying to establish something that for the most part that is already established. All these SL websites can’t function unless SecondLife exists.. period. Its not like someone is going to get confused and sign up or subscribe to another game. If that WAS the case, yes I’d understand. Remember users groups? IBM user groups, Apple User Groups. All these people joined online forums to support a product they loved. The forums helped FUEL INTEREST IN A PRODUCT. Take it from me, a person who has been online before most of those in charge of Linden Labs… you are way off base.

  34. Ambergris says:

    CheerGirl Allen Says:
    April 1st, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    “again I say it is amazing how Staunch Linden Labs is to Protect thier own Name, Logo, Trademark and Copywrite yet does NOTHING to Protect thier Residents from IP theft, Copy Bots, Texture Stealing applications. Further more, Protect thier Residents Company Names, Logos, Designs, DMCA & Trademarks.”

    Yes, exactly.

    And also, I agree this “clarification post” did absolutely nothing to help clear things up. And yes I agree. Redo that “inSL” logo if you have any hope of anyone wanting to even use it.

    Mind you, the logo itself is the least of the “inSL” problems – but that is a good place to start.

  35. Crystal Jimenez says:

    I can think of a couple of pitiful websites/forums that use “SL” to boost their own personal agenda and I for one am glad to see LL enforcing their trademark. Get rid of the rif raf that plagues the SL community once and for all.

  36. Razrcut Brooks says:

    Thank you Catherine for this follow-up. Please ignore all the uneducated neagativity by the minority of residents who do not “get it”.

    LL is simply protecting their image by making sure their intellectual property is not used improperly. Stop complaining and either gain LL’s permission to use their name or be creative and change names. Many business/website/blog creators are upset because they cannot get away with capitalizing on LL’s success any longer.

    Also, if you cannot see the difference in SL Ballet and SL Ballet Troupe then please use a lifeline and ask a buddy to explain it to you. …. kthksbye.

  37. Does it also apply to Lindened? eg I took my car in to the shop and they Lindened it, meaning made it worse than before…

  38. Soledad Rosado says:

    I have a blog titled:

    The Second Life of Soledad Rosado

    I have absolutely no intention of altering it in any way. Referring to a Latina woman’s existence in an alternate country is a recognized and very common use, and is obviously very common among Latin@ expatriates, many of whom have never even heard of the Second Life (R) virtual world.

    This is a clear case of prior use, and is quite culturally specific. The fact that my second life actually happens in the virtual world with the same name is, IMHO, quite incidental. So, other than a disclaimer stating these facts, and commenting on SL status as a trademark, I believe myself within the letter and spirit of the law.

    My product blog will of course be fully compliant with the terms as described here, since I have no reason to do otherwise.

    Shame on you for trampling on common culture!

  39. So it is legal for SL to ban the world from creating websites that begin with SL and a noun? How is that possible? So huge businesses such as SLExchange, and every other business and project that begins with SL has to uproot and change now?

    I understand Second Life(R) and even most of the others, but I dont think it is legal to say that no one in the world can now register SL followed by a common noun. I will be contacting my lawyer about this tomorrow as I have had huge projects in the works (SLfamily.com and SLvendor.com) for over a year.

    There is a lot of time and trouble involved in this.

    Do you realize how much business will be lost over this. Who is going to pay for allof this rebranding?

    This is a hell of a business. Perhaps we should all go out and trademark every 2 letter combination out there and tell the world they cant use it. Chrysler owns the “PT” Cruiser but my company, Pixeltrix uses the prefix PT all the itme.. Is this illegal too?

    I’m not sure a company can force everyone in the world to not use a 2 letter combination followed by a noun. Thats an awefully pompous move on Linden Labs part and could possibily lead to many law suits. Especially considering that all content created in SL can ONLY be used in SL .. we can’t export our creations, so they are owned by Linden Labs, yet we cant use “SL” when refering to our projects??? How does that make any sense?

  40. Derek Ristow says:

    Well, we have to give LL one thing, no one can enrage the public quite like they can.

  41. Jaca C says:

    The majority of these post I agree with. I do not agree that I am “rif raf” because I have a blog (second life snippets) that I bought the domain for, paid for hosting, designed, and wrote each and every entry, took each picture and video to promote Second Life. The blog does not make money. It was created because I was a newbie ‘once’ and wanted to help others. I also wanted to show some of the great places out there – as well as showing my progress in Second Life. So how on earth is this hurting SL or how on earth can I be called “rif raf’.

    I strongly believe that Linden Labs MUST look at each of these type’s of sites, blogs, before tossing us out if we do not destroy all our work. As others are saying, we have been helping, not hurting.

    Jaca

  42. I forgot to include this…

  43. hey has anyone else noticed money keeps breaking!!!!!!! it might just be me but I’m not sure. I notice things keep breaking everyday. Dont want to confuse Sh@tLife with Secondlife

  44. Wiggy says:

    3. Can I use SL with my product, domain or organization name?
    Yes, under our special license to use “SL.” You can use “SL” with your own trademark. So, if you own the “Dell” trademark, you could call your presence in the Second Life world “Dell SL.”Or, you can use two common nouns with “SL.” For instance, SL Ballet is not ok (only one common noun) but SL Ballet Troup works. And SL China Portal is not ok (”China” is a proper noun), but SL Chinese Residents Association works. You need at least two common nouns so others don’t think you’re an “official” Second Life organization or website. Read more about this license.

    4. What if I have a domain name that uses “SL” with only one common noun?
    We’ve given you 90 days to transition to a new domain name that works with our special license. If you need additional time, please write us at tm-licensing@lindenlab.com and we’ll consider giving you permission to extend the 90 days or to forward the old domain name to your new one.

    ———————-

    Is this some sort of april fools joke?

  45. I’ll have to agree with the majority of those who’ve commented on this post, how can you prohibit people from using a term that residents created? That’s like those who use the term RL; these are terms residents created to make it easier when typing, much like brb, or tyt.

    I think it’s insane for you to be enforcing this AFTER the fact, if you were going to enforce this for new blogs/websites, I’d at least try to understand a bit more, but to make everyone change their domains because you feel you own rights to a term that residents themselves created, is a bit crazy.

    Are you saying SLexchange, SLherald will have get rid of their domains? Are you going to reimburse us all for making these changes?

    I do see a class action lawsuit headed your way, sad but true. 😐

  46. Istephanija Munro says:

    People can’t read,

    QUOTE: We want you to use “SL” and “inSL” and to wave your affiliation proudly, but we need to make sure the context is clear that you’re not Linden Lab.

    Not sure what the fuzz is about, people!

    However the timing is as always amazing, ROFL
    Sorry LL you can’t be beaten when it comes to unlucky timing, especially when everyone is already upset with the asset servers and the whole content theft thing where we are totally left alone and trying to fight dirty playing criminals without the support we need!

    It is totally understandable that LL wants to make sure that John Doe is blogging as John Doe and not as part of SL (the company)

    However since you got your deal straight, how about a statement an official statement that gives us an idea how you will deal with the whole IP Theft thing?

  47. In reality I believe there isn’t really any legal grounds if you actually formed a company that had S and L in the main name. Second Life does not have the trademark of SL otherwise they could tell companies who own sites on sllight or slsales which have no affiliation with Second Life to move. There is a site called hpcomputer they are not a HP dealer, they sell Dell.

  48. Shai Khalifa says:

    Couple of other questions:

    1)has SL only been trademarked in US or is it global

    2)can Catherine please follow Sidewinder Linden’s example and ANSWER SOME OF THESE QUESTIONS from the people you INVITED COMMENT FROM!

  49. Nunya Biznez says:

    Um… I own three domains with the full “secondlife” term in them. I will NOT be changing domains, thank you. And I have an attorney willing to back me up – already phoned him. And all three pertain to Second Life by Linden Lab. I was very clearly told you guys have NO leg to stand on, virtual or otherwise, especially since I’ve owned these domains for some time now and they are considered well-established. Sorry, LL, too little too lte guys. You cannot lay claim to “Second Life” now after several years have done by with zero defense.

  50. Clang Bailey says:

    Not even sure why you’d want to include any part of the SL logo in your product’s brand, anyway. Come on…. Come up with your own brand.

  51. Tomas Gandini says:

    I suppose that there many others out there like this one that use the letters SL in some form or another.

    SL CORPORATION and SL-GMS are registered trademarks of SL in the United States. SL’s graphics, logos, page headers, button icons, scripts, product names, and service names are trademarks and trade dress of SL or its affiliates. SL’s trademarks and trade dress may not be used in connection with any other party’s product or service, in any manner that is likely to cause confusion among consumers, or in any manner that disparages, dilutes, or is harmful to SL. All other marks not owned by SL or its affiliates are the property of their respective owners.

    Oh and their web URL is sl.com

    What about the .sl top level domain for Sierra Leone. I don’t see ANY nouns after it.

    Wonder if there is anytime limit for a company that doesn’t actively protect their trade and service marks before they lose them.

  52. Tristin Mikazuki says:

    I always thought sl stood for Susan Lucci 😉

  53. Josh Panther says:

    For all the years I have been around in SL™, I have to say, this was lowest point.. by forcing a community, that brought the ‘SL’ the initials to life, when you where merely ‘Second Life”, then now telling that very same community that it is wrong to use the term..

    Well in short it is about as bad as Washington trademarking the initials ‘United Sates of America’ “USA” then making it so that only ‘pre-approved people’ (i.e.: special interests groups) could use the initials, with the “Presidents” or Congress’s” permission… It is just down right Corporate Tyrannical at its peak.. Shame on you Linden Labs.

    I hope the “Chairman” of the board realizes this, and refines the ‘clarification’ to be something little more kind hearted to the community that keeps him sitting comfortably in that nice (Leather?) chair.
    -Josh Panther/Tony Holiday/Dylin Voom

    Enough Said.
    -Josh

  54. Vryl Valkyrie says:

    I am curious if Linden Labs is actually able to legally own a trademark called “Second Life” due to the common words of it.

  55. Hazno Bazno says:

    In January I registered a domain name with the words “second life” in it and have been using it very actively since then. I paid several years in advance for it – meaning it will be registered under my name, address and telephone number until January 2018. So what now? Who do I contact at Linden Lab in order to receive a reimbursement check for my domain and who do I sign the domain name over to at Linden Lab? Because if I wind up getting a cease and desist order after 90 days there’s gonna be a heck of a lot of sparks flying…

  56. Hazno Bazno says:

    BTW, it’s Linden Lab, NOT Linden Labs!!! Be careful… They have the right to sue you now for misappropriation of consonants.

  57. Arcane Clawtooth says:

    “4. What if I have a domain name that uses “SL” with only one common noun?
    We’ve given you 90 days to transition to a new domain name that works with our special license.”

    Oh, gee, thank you oh kind one. We are truly not worthy of such generosity.

    So, do I submit the domain registration bill to LL or you directly?

    BTW, try responding, it’s unacceptable to post and run.

  58. Allen Kerensky says:

    Dear $VIRTUALWORLDCO, you can’t *own* two of the letters of the alphabet, or any abbreviation made from them.

    Repeat after me: the “brand” has NO VALUE without the very people you are most seriously smacking with this legal stupidity.

    You want a real “brand” policy that respects the community that signs your checks? Simply ask everyone using a “mark” for community building, awareness, and free advertising to simply add “This site, blog, whatever, not owned or operated by $VRITUALWORLDCO or $VIRTUALWORLD.”

    Done. Cancel the unnecessary. check to the lawyers and lets all get back to world-building, shall we?

    @1 Not likely. After all, a lawyer would say you were “paying” for a name you didn’t “legally” own. Even if the “name” isn’t a noun at all, but an abbreviation, in the case of EssEll.

    @6 A mark is only within a given “trade”, so unless Shelly Long also runs a webhosting company that serves 3D content instead of regular pages, we can assume she’s in a different trade, and can use the S and L mark within that trade without fear of molestation from $VIRTUALLAWYERS

    You know, since a blog is not a 3D “virtual reality”, do trademark enforcement even count, anyway? Is blogging a different “trade” that $VIRTUALWORLDCO’s? I bet any half-awake lawyer could make that case, without smacking the $VIRTUALWORLDCOLAWYERS with unpleasantness like first amendment issues and the like.

    @9 if you change anything just because they ask, you saved them the legal fees. That also helps them make their case stronger against anyone else. Why not change it to EssEll(tm ), or SLife(tm), 2ndLife(tm), SecondLives(tm), SeconfLiving(tm), SecondLifestyle(tm), SecondLoaf(tm), SecondLyfe(tm), SecondLyphe(tm), etc etc etc or any number of other combinations that explicitly show what you mean while thumbing your nose and legal ninnyhammers who can’t script, push pixels, or build, and have nothing better to do than charge everyone for doing all the real work. And if they get on your case, change it to SecondLeave(tm) or SecondLife(tm).

    @12 Lawyers love to make stupidity like this seem to have merit. Just say no. L:et lawyers speak gibberish to themselves and let the rest of us stick to old-fashioned common sense. That 2 noun business is a nonsensical smokescreen. Why not ask the $VIRTUALLAW exactly what statute or precedent they are citing as a basis for that crack-addled theory. Name the statute and jurisdiction, or precedent in some form of legal venue other than “cuz we said so” and maybe the rest of us would care.

    @13 there’s a reason you can’t point to a legal definition for “fair” – there isn’t one.

    @14 if you add those visually trashy symbols everywhere, you only legitimize the insanity. Just say no. Law is a construct of the people, and the people together CAN decide for themselves what law should be. Lawyers only get away with this sort of garbage because we, the people, let them.

    @28 good for you! My response: stop using their marks entirely. Substituting silliness like $VIRTUALWORLDCO detracts from their market, stops the word of mouth, and decreases their mindshare. Let’s see how long it takes for the vast wave of media indifference to get noticed once so many thousands of people stop giving them free viral and guerilla marketing promotion. I pay to play on the service, but they will now have to PAY me to advertise it for them Tiger Woods doesn’t wear logos for free, and neither will I, now. Enough of that and they will relent.

    @29 You won’t be the only one.

    @33 Lawyers routinely ignore common sense in favor of ‘pushing the theory’ or ‘setting the precendent’ or just plain ‘what can we get free through intimidation.’ – that’s all the Bluster Center is about: intimidation. Pay the “license fee” or be _____ . What do I get for the fee? Use of the letters L and S.. And? *crickets* A license isn’t a product, or a service, why pay for one?

    @35 how much did you get paid for that shill? And exactly how is the Brand Center supposed to get rid of griefers? Where, oh where, can I ship you a freebie box of clues?

    @36 – their “image” only exists because we paid L$10 a pop to upload it and US$10/mo or more to fund it. And that “success” is whose? Exactly?

    I think this issue clearly shows the dividing line between the 5% minority who invest hours, weeks, months, or years on top of significant amounts of cash in order to BUILD THE WORLD that $VIRTUALWORLDCO is claiming as theirs, and 95% majority who just login to be distracted, and thus have nothing to lose, because they have nothing invested.

    Maybe its time to demand that $VIRTUALWORLD be acknowledged as Resident-Owned, and that the $VIRTUALWORLDCO is a service operator with a vested interest in keeping their supporters happy. Otherwise, we could just delete the content and pull out., and otherwise stop growing the “brand” for them, rather than ourselves.

  59. Vryl Valkyrie says:

    I am curious what country Linden Lab has registered Second Life as a trademark because it is certainly not registered in the USA. If it is not registered, you have no authority to ask the public to not use these words. Is this Linden Labs attempt to try and make second life unique enough so that a court of law would make it a trademark? It per chance it is made a trademark, the use of generic words in can be contested. Now.. you could trademark “Linden Labs Second Life” but I seriously doubt that you can trademark “Second Life” and if you or have been able to, it can be contested easily.

  60. Josh Panther says:

    I personally prefer the term Linden Laboratories, kinda makes me think that there are a bunch of Mad Scientists running around the halls of that ‘hallowed’ ground, they call HQ..

    But Honestly Second Life started out so small and has grown over the years to be extremely complex. However with that in mind, sometimes a company does need to value the feed back the community around it gives back. Now many of you may notice that SL is pandering to Educational Institutions and Large Companies, focusing less on the ‘individual’ user base that once supported it. With Non for profit companies and other like minded targets, SL™ has been working hard to pull in those larger name brands and notable names to bolster itself (and its server sales/income).

    Could it all be so that it can protect itself in the larger corporate world? Of course..
    However people such as Blog users and tutorial websites shouldn’t be swept under the ‘Big Business’ carpet, simply because it suits Linden Lab’s new policy. SOME considerable leeway should be granted to these very same people that helped bring this very company to where it is today…Because with out their support, Linden labs would be just another failed project. Their money helped build the company up to where it is. Unless Linden Labs now thinks its it own sovereign country where it’s Tender has any actual weight without the community behind it?

  61. S.L. says:

    What i can’t use my initials? 😮

    (don’t bother asking for full name but those are my initials )

  62. Jay Townsend says:

    Great you guys are protecting you brands, I am all for it, but “SL”? Come on, that is a little…no, alot…far reaching, and I as well wonder if it would actually hold up in court as long as it was 1. Obvious someone using was not part of Linden Labs or 2. Someone using it was very clear in stating that they were not part of Linden Labs. I guess http://www.slingman.com and the likes are now ON NOTICE.

    Please fix the memory leak…pretty please.

  63. Vryl Valkyrie says:

    Ok I found Second Life as a trademark but it seems that it belongs to more than one registrant. Linden Research, Inc was not the first to own it. Others can also register it for their own goods due to the common words, if I am not mistaken.

  64. Vryl Valkyrie says:

    Typed Drawing

    ——————————————————————————–
    Word Mark SECOND LIFE
    Goods and Services IC 037. US 100 103 106. G & S: Furniture finishing and restoration. FIRST USE: 19930200. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19940200
    IC 040. US 100 103 106. G & S: custom manufacture of furniture. FIRST USE: 19930200. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19940200

    Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
    Serial Number 75591886
    Filing Date November 19, 1998
    Current Filing Basis 1A
    Original Filing Basis 1B
    Published for Opposition November 2, 1999
    Registration Number 2311403
    Registration Date January 25, 2000
    Owner (REGISTRANT) Vallone, Joseph J. DBA Second Life Furniture Restoration-Custom Building INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 50 Terminal Street Building #1, 4th Floor Charlestown MASSACHUSETTS 02129
    Attorney of Record STEVEN K. MARTIN
    Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
    Register PRINCIPAL
    Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
    Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

  65. Broccoli Curry says:

    Remember. Second Life wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for us residents who create the content for it.

    Whilst we do indeed need the “SL” product to create the content which has made it a success, this move by LL is like Micro$oft wanting 10% of all the profits of a book that you’ve written, because you used Word to type it up.

    Whilst I haven’t used “SL” in any domain name, blog or whatever in any capacity that could confuse people that it is ‘officially endorsed’ in any way so this doesn’t really affect me personally, I very much look forward to the first ‘test cases’ appearing in court – which will most likely have as much success as the other cases.

    I think LL need to take a long, hard look at itself and realise what dangerous ground it’s on. SL is Linden Lab’s ONLY product – and when either competition comes along, or there’s a major exodus due to a petty issue like this being enforced badly, then it could find itself on the verge of bankruptcy. It doesn’t make a lot of difference whether the ‘vulture capitalists’ keep throwing money at it or not – its residents, paying tier, upload fees and Lindex fees that *really* keep LL going.

    Whilst there are some things I can understand you wanting to distance yourself from, perhaps you should be dealing with them on a case by case basis rather than a draconian blanket ruling that uarms far more people than it could ever benefit.

  66. la le lu says:

    haha,

    bad luck for slexchange, sluniverse, slcn and alot more major and minor communties with diverse orientations hooked on SL or Secondlife.

    another kick in the guts of _the community_

    pulling the mace of law, very destructive and distracting.

    lindens will never learn.

  67. Doug Trommler says:

    I am still waiting for someone to shout, “April Fools”!

  68. Lawyer inSL says:

    Dear Linden Lab,

    If you do not back down on enforcing your abuse and barely legal policy against the use of “SL” and remotely try to come after all those who previously and currently use the term SL in their business entity name and or domain, I am afraid there will be repercussions in the form of an inevitable class action lawsuit against Linden Research Inc. I would regrettably take part in such a lawsuit myself.

    You would be about to wage an unnecessary war with the core people who are the active force behind Second Life and made your company what it is today.

    Half of creative SL residents have “SL” in their business names which was previously permitted by Linden Lab so long as non-affiliation with Linden Lab disclaimer was displayed. Such reversal on the term “SL” specifically shuts the door to the expansion of your brand rather than protect it. Your brand is Second Life, Linden Lab and the Second Life Grid, not SL. “SL” as many pointed out is a product of the residents themselves for naming Second Life.
    The inSL program is fine but please don’t overstep your boundaries.

    Not so long ago, Philip Rosedale Second Life talked about how he wanted to open source second life and make it available to third parties to host their own simulator and be the future virtual web. If this is the goal please explain to me how registering “SL” would leave any open door for SL to expand in a world wide scope. What are we to call the next web if not “SL”, just as we say the “web” or the “net” today.
    I ask you Philip Rosedale and Members of the Board, what would we call it from here?

    Please accept that it is in your best interest to keep your hands off the “SL” very seriously and please amend your trademark policy accordingly. You can still avoid a war with your customers and prevent yoursef from tarnishing your image any further under court proceedings.

    Sincerely,
    Anonymous Lawyer inSL

  69. Shnurui Troughton says:

    Trademarking 2/26ths of the English alphabet? How did you manage to swing that one past the lawyers? It’s illegal, and unconstititional. All 26 letters of the English language are fair game. Most of the letters are used in context. As long as “S” And “L” are not being used in the context of or referring to Second Life, it Can Not be trade marked as ING found out. Only the symbol and references to the company may be trade marked.

  70. Mistie Hax says:

    Not long ago there was a Rock group that encouraged people to bring tape recorders to their concerts and then share the tapes with other fans. Then this same rock group decided to sue the pants off of people because they were sharing their music as mp3’s. This was all made possible by lobby groups representing large labels and the DMCIA.

    It seems to me that LL is trying to do the same thing.

    When you bite the hand that feeds you then what? If I dropped my Sl account back to free what would happen? Probley nothing in the short run or even in the long run perhaps. Because I don’t pay that much a month and really don’t even register on our account books (Unless my credit card does not clear) But Let assume that 500 people dropped their accounts would you take notice then. Again probably not. How about 5000? Or 50000. Then things would start to hurt a bit. How many people are you going to lose this month just because you can’t seem to get the servers working right or making them change a Web domain name? If all you have is large corporations footing the bill and no one around to see what they off in world then they are not going to stick around for long. it is me the little guy that in the end that really pays your bills it is because of me and others like me that make large companies want to buy in to SL.

    With out us they go away.

    Now you want to take away the Peoples use of the letters “SL” or the word “Second Life” How does that help you keep the little guy coming back and continuing to use the service? From my read of your policy And use of SL or Second Life not only in domain name but in any form or media is not to me used unless I am encouraging people to come and see what it is all about.

    So keep on taking away from the usability of the game and its name and see how quickly you no linger have a company because the people that have come here to play a game will go away and find a different game to play. Heck thy might just start watching TV again!!! LOL

  71. Espresso Saarinen says:

    so i guess it’s lawyer time, eh? what a stupid waste this is gonna be. great job linden labs.

  72. Wyald Woolley says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that I have applied for a trademark on the letters RL®™ and the word Wyald®™.

    Use of either of these protected terms will result in very grumpy letters from my lawyers who will threaten to do all sorts of nasty things and think bad thoughts about you. Now, go away, you bother me.

  73. Rheta Shan says:

    Dear Catherine Linden,

    this post does not address even one of the issues raised by bloggers concerning the new trademark policy in the past days. Especially, as Kit Meredith (see her recent posts on the issue on http://kitmeredith.blogspot.com) pointed out, it does not address your censor office-like demand that we all use uncommon and stilted constructions with generic nouns appended to your brand names whenever we write about them, and the fact you try to very heavy handedly enforce these through clause 4.4 of the ToS against residents even when US law would not cover your demands (nominative use), or local legislation would make it moot (most of the rest of the world as far as I can judge).

    It is, in short, useless drivel only designed to raise a smokescreen, providing a simulacrum of care while in essence openly declaring your complete and utter contempt for the people that have been your most supportive community and most successful evangelists.

    Dear Catherine Linden, and dear Linden Lab all, please take not that you are driving open eyed into major PR disaster. LL is headed for the kind of fame that struck so many other companies when they abrogated themselves abusive rights on their products and terms of services. If you want to make sure your best (and may I add : unpaid) publicists and supporters turn to alternatives and declare your product unsuitable and untenable, just do go on as you do.

  74. Dear Linden Research, Inc. (TM)

    After reading the entire Blog here, I am getting the same feeling that I got, after Linden Research, Inc. (TM) released the V.A.T. against EU European based residents. All hasty, nothing really thought through, very unprofessional.

    I can recall that calibers like Phil Linden as well as Robin Linden announced everywhere they could how proud they are on the residents, as THEY create / created Second Life (R). So we become part of Second Life (R) an unpaid and non employed and not contracted workers of Linden Research, Inc. (TM).

    No a big U-turn, rowing back, we are a part that is allowed to be there and can be happy to use the letter “S” and “L”. What I find very doubtful, if it is really possible to trademark letters or a two letter combination of an alphabet.

    Also very doubtful is who has actually the right on the letters “S” and “L”, as it seems that the residents itself abbreviated Second Life (R) to SL.

    I have a business running in Second Life (R), but feel constantly let down. What I foresee is that Linden Research, Inc. (TM) is preparing the ground for some business activities that will not beneficial for the end-user, the residence.

    I am fully aware that Linden Reserach, Inc. (TM) is very much under pressure and has outgrown its own capacities to control Second Life (R) as a business. The move of Philip Linden is only confirming my theory.

    I only hope that Linden Researc, Inc. (TM) is coming to its senses and begins to re-think its activities.

  75. Jaszon Maynard says:

    Everyone knows that SL means “Simulated Lands” so I really don’t see where there’s going to be any problem here.

    For instance, SLExchange is for buying/selling stuff for Simulated Lands…though I do notice that their listings do seem to be rather heavy in items intended for use in the Linden Lab® Second Life®™© virtual world, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence and shouldn’t be a problem at all.

  76. Pingback: Second Life | Detalles sobre política de marcas | DiarioSL

  77. Sonja Felisimo says:

    Sonny laughs at LL……………like to see this hold up in a european court…………:) 🙂

    oh and BTW take a leaf out of SIDEWINDERS book…………….and post blog responses………;)

    Unbelievable how you treat the community.

    Sonny goes off to find sidewinder and give him a big kiss for being the only decent employee of Linden Labs

  78. Isadora Fiddlesticks says:

    We’re taking steps to improve our copyright claim process and will saying more about that soon.”

    This is the best part of your post, but please be fast in your improvements before things turn for the worst.

    As for implementing this new scheme, please consider something that is WIN-WIN. We understand your need to protect your brand and reputation, and I applaud you in taking steps to do so, but the new set of policies need some more tweaking.

  79. Conversation goes like this –

    Mr Google: So Phil there’s all this talk of us buying you out. What exactly do we get if we do that?

    Phil Rosedale: Well dude you get all our hardware, software, our brilliant employees and this well established brand including distinctive eye-in-hand-logo.

    Mr Google: You know Phil I read some resident websites and they made out like your hardware keeps failing, your employees only work on stuff that gives them a feel good factor and things like asset servers and money transactions keep breaking, thereby hurting the SL™ business community.

    Phil Rosedale: Ummm yeah but the server code, the viewer.

    Mr Google: I get what your saying but thats already all open source, I happen to have fields of servers and some of the best developers in the world at my disposal.

    Pjil Rosedale: Ummm we have this distinctive eye-in-hand log ™

    Mr Google: Would fifty bucks do?

    It reads like a seen from Monkey Island™ at the Scumm Bar™

  80. Sonja Felisimo says:

    @ 80 Tamasin…………….ROFLMAO…………. 🙂

    Now that Lindens is what i call putting it in a nutshell……….thats why we have no blog responses………to bad tamasin overheard the conversation………..

    hahahahahahahah

    🙂

  81. RC Paderborn says:

    Yes, this is all part of their build up to an IPO hoping to sell stock to people who’ve never actually tried to spend time in Second Life (insert all appropriate trademarks and legal disclaimers as needed) or to make their company more attractive to a potential buy out (“see we have this wonderful virtual world that’s unstable as hell and can’t be fixed without a total rebuild from the ground up. However, we have this intellectual property including a lock on the initials SL… that’s where our REAL value is.”)

    You’re really concerned that someone might fool people into thinking they were you? HAH! The way the grid has been lately, the LAST company I’d want my company to be associated with is Linden Labs.

    I love Second Life (insert all appropriate, blah blah blah) and in my Pollyannic mental state, keep HOPING that some day the grid will be stable.

    Then again, I keep hoping that the New Orleans Saints will win a Super Bowl and that the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series.

  82. Pingback: Linden Lab further clarify trademark policy : The Metaverse Journal - Australia’s Virtual World News Service

  83. cat magellan says:

    I run on the first and foremost SL blog in my country. Althought its name is GETA, at the time when i choose its domain name only a few Portuguese people were in SL, so I made clear that it was a blog about SL, choosing that domain, since its was allowed as a fan site. This is a blog *in portuguese* that helps a lot of people that can’t get things translated, it has been mentioned on a lot of places, including the main media in my country. I will not change domain, or I will loose pagerank, links, etc. Blogging is about fun and enjoying writting. When it becomes a bother and a pain, its time to close. So I guess, either you start thinking about allowing official fan sites, or I will wait for the letter.

  84. Happi Homewood says:

    @59 Allen Kerensky: Good points, couldn’t have said it better 😉

    @Linden Lab(tm)(r)(wtf)(cya): Good luck with your witch hunt

    @Catherine Linden(tm)(r)(wtf)(cya): You can’t post and run, without destroying your image. Answer the questions.

    I’m sure you can all relax. LL(tm)(r)(wtf)(cya) lawyers has no case here. Let them take this battle to court, and make themselves look like april fools 😀

  85. catherine, no chance to get a
    “hey bloggers, nobody will SUE you for blog headers containing SecondLife or your SLanything.net-domain, this is just some helpful thing for us to deal with REAL fraud”
    ?

    friendly greetings from the SLbus,
    Nuschi —- err: Ruth

  86. Happi Homewood says:

    80 Tamasin Demina … 😀 ROFL 😀

    I’m guessing most LL employees are in there early 20’thies. Not that I have anything against young ppl. They just don’t perceive the reality the same way as us older guys. They usually think they know everything and can do what they want, without consequences. LMAO 😀

    I could understand the gambling ban, the age verification and the VAT (even though I pay 25% on top of overpriced tier fees, making it difficult for me to run my business in SL). All those restrictions hurt Second Life economy, but were demanded by US and EU law.

    But this is probably the most stupid move Linden Lags could make. Not considering they probably have no case, they also push away the very community that make Second Life worthy of attention.

    Incrdible and extremely amusing to watch as LL make an ass of themselves 😀 ROFLMAO 😀

    LL, you better wake up and smell the coffee, competition is on it’s way (HiPiHi, OpenSim etc.)

  87. Hmmm… I will have to go back and see whether I saved the response I got from a Linden to the question of whether I could name my blog “Livin’ La Vida Segunda”, which would seem under the new rules to be a “foreign language equivalent”. (I did some googling, and based on that, Spanish appears to use “la vida segunda” to refer to the Christian afterlife.)

    Ah, well… I look forward to seeing whether the DVD of the pertinent CSI:NY episodes will be edited so that all the instances of “Second Life” get turned into “the Second Life world.”

  88. (Sorry for using another comment slot, but…)

    Found it. October 10, 2006, from Pathfinder Linden:

    “Hi Melissa,

    No worries about the title. I’ve added it to the list of resident blogs.

    Nice raccoon avatar! 🙂

    -Pathfinder”

  89. Pingback: SLFaces » Blog Archive » Update on SL trademark policy!

  90. Matthew Dowd says:

    I can understand wanting to protect “Second Life” and the hand logo but “SL”?

    It looks as if LL has applied for (but not yet been granted) SL as a registered trademark in the US for the following areas:

    * Software that is used for providing multi-user access to an on-line 3D virtual environment; computer software used to create, manipulate and participate in 3D virtual environments

    * Communication services in the nature of text messaging and electronic mail services used in an online virtual environment

    * Multimedia and 3D virtual enviroment software production services

    * Computer services, namely, providing an on-line 3D virtual environment and providing an on-line 3D virtual environment that may be accessed by means of communications networks

    i) if you are running say an OpenSim grid call SL World, then you are providing a service in those areas. However, if you are providing a service for selling and buying virtual goods for a 3D world (e.g. SL Exchange) then it isn’t clear that you are working in *any* of those areas, so would not necessarily be infringing a trademark. LL might argue that the use of SL misleads people into thinking that the service is provided by LL. However, this would require a court to decide, and LL has weakened their case by permitting SL in products and services in their guidelines (why would SL Exchange be misleading if SL Exchange Market is not).

    ii) the application appears to be only made in the US. There isn’t anu application in the UK (and I’ve not checked other EU). So someone in the UK running slexchange.co.uk or even someone running an OpenSim service at slworlds.co.uk would not be infringing any trademark laws

    iii) given that LL have little legal redress should anyone violate their excessive branding policies (which go beyond what is enforceable by trademark law even in the US and even if the application is accepted), their only redress would be to ban accounts on the basis of ToS violations. The Bragg case last year has already proved that the ToS are not incontestable – if LL did ban accounts on the basis of its branding guidelines it will result in bad PR and possible court cases that LL is not guaranteed to win.

    iv) the SL economy is very fragile – most in world businesses (as opposed to RL businesses using SL just as a meeting place etc.) are run as hobbies. That isn’t to say that the people running them do not run them professionally, just that the revenue is small with many running at a loss, but they continue to run because the owner enjoys it. A rebranding exercise which may involve abandoning an already paid for domain name, and paying for a new one, may just not be worth the effort for many. Particular after nearly 2 weeks of daily transaction failures.

    v) LL keep claiming that SL is a business platform – it is far too high risk to be a platform for any serious business. It is not only too unreliable, but business ventures may be wiped out overnight by arbitrary policy changes – even your own brand may be outlawed now!

    This does seem like yet another PR and legal disaster waiting to happen which isn’t going to help the image of SL and LL, isn’t going to help convince people of SL’s long term future, and may harm any future IPO rather than help.

  91. Just for clarification, SL is a US registered trademark by Linden (since June 7, 2007) and so is SL grid (June 22, 2007), Second Life Grid (also June 22, 2007), and Grid” (June 22, 2007 again). Ironically, “The Grid” is a registered trademark by a building company… in Linden Street, Massapequa, New York!!

    In Europe, the logo is a registered trademark. The words “Second Life” are registered, but there was opposition filed against its usage.

  92. Gigs Taggart says:

    You guys should really ask your lawyers about estoppel by laches. Many people relied on the fact that Linden Lab thought “SLNoun” type constructs were fine.

    Linden Lab can’t just damage thousands of parties by changing the rules this late in the game.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laches_(equity)

  93. Pingback: Second Life® Bloggers Require Clarification | Ana Lutetia

  94. So, I don’t have to sign by name with ™ and not even need to use ® after Second Life whenever I refer to the SL…?
    GREAT!!

  95. Happi Homewood says:

    I have accounts on most of the OpenSim worlds. It is much cheaper to own land on those worlds than in SL.

    As soon as OpenSim worlds gets an econmy implemented, and if you haven’t shaped up before then, you can kiss my ass goodbye 😉

    A shame, really, because you have done a wonderful job of making this alternate reality. If you could just grow up, and start running your business like adults, and not like some children playing in the sandbox, I would be a devoted, loyal costumer.

    As costumer relations are now, if you had any real competition, you would probably be out of business in no time.

    This looks a lot like Amiga vs. IBM PC in the old days. Commodore had a wonderful product, way ahead of the competition, but the marketing department screwed it all up.
    The difference here is, it don’t seem like LL has a marketing department at all, or they hired techies to do a job that requires ppl-skills.

    It’s sad, but true… 😦

  96. … but you still have the right to review resident’s blogs? How can I know if my blog is alright? How can I know, before the end of the 90 days, if I need to change things? And if this policy is recent, do I need to change stuff I wrote before the new trademark policy?

  97. Razor says:

    You should really write a blog about OUR trademarks and copyrights instead of ONLY caring about your own and ignoring to help us.

    Everyone who is against CONTENT THEFT LOOK HERE!

    http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SVC-1446

  98. @87 Happi Homewood

    At spritely 25 I can still call as I see it, as it is. Rushing around to get the house in order it would be prudent to make the existing customer base happy. So we have Havok™ 4 rolled out, Windlight™ Is about to go main viewer. Then we have Mono and Dazzle in the works.

    So how about a road map to credibility? Secure the brand, secure the infrastructure. Lets have a 1.20 viewer that encompasses Windlight™, the script changes required for that like glow. That covers some new features that Havok™4 has to offer. Then leave it alone until there are no gaping holes in their service.

    Their world, our imagination.

  99. Happi Homewood says:

    @98 Tamasin Demina

    I was laughing because I found your post funny and to the point. I agree with you 😉

  100. Cru says:

    CheerGirl Allen Says:
    April 1st, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    “again I say it is amazing how Staunch Linden Labs is to Protect thier own Name, Logo, Trademark and Copywrite yet does NOTHING to Protect thier Residents from IP theft, Copy Bots, Texture Stealing applications. Further more, Protect thier Residents Company Names, Logos, Designs, DMCA & Trademarks.”

    Amazing indeed.

  101. Cruel says:

    Its is very simple: don’t write about secondlife™ anymore in your blogs.

  102. Lolo says:

    Where is Sidewinder? Can’t he become the new boss?

  103. razor says:

    CheerGirl Allen Says:
    April 1st, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    “again I say it is amazing how Staunch Linden Labs is to Protect thier own Name, Logo, Trademark and Copywrite yet does NOTHING to Protect thier Residents from IP theft, Copy Bots, Texture Stealing applications. Further more, Protect thier Residents Company Names, Logos, Designs, DMCA & Trademarks.”

    They ignored our requests for help on this topic for over half a year:

    look on: http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SVC-676

    930 votes and not a single Linden assigned

  104. Captain Gemini says:

    Could I suggest a sensible compromise to Linden Lab. Make this a ruling for all residents joining from NOW and domain names not already registered. Any future resident who wishes to apply to use SL branding must comply with the rule.

    Any existing user of the SL name keeps the right to use it and even adds a clear disclaimer on their sites that it is not an Official SL site (wording is easily added.).

    Post 92 about “Laches (equity)” seems to sum up the legal implications for LL in that they have left it too late to lay claim to SL usage. They have by not acting in a resonable timescale, allowed you to use and apparently encouraged you to use SL in your marketing and have failed to act against MANY users quite clearly using SL which they know about. As such LL should be liable for any costs to change that now if they continue with this stance.

    So anyone affected by this, send an email to LL stating your rights to use the name and pointing them to that link. They then need to contact you personally to say you cannot use the name, then it is down to an affected resident to start a group to co-ordinate a class action.

    This is my opinion and not a legal statement, so would be interested in anyone with legal background to clarify this.

  105. Lolo says:

    Their crap™, our imagination

  106. Ann Otoole says:

    @103 – SVC-676 is a meta issue. there will never be anyone assigned to it. If you have a feasible technical solution recommendation then that could be a new pjira issue and maybe it would be assigned.

    I’m not discounting the issue or the mass of concern over the problem. just pointing out thats not how the pjira works nor does the pjira have anything to do with setting priorities of work at LL as per comments made by Robin Linden elsewhere. It would be nice if a real full takedown was a “commercially reasonable effort”. But apparently it isn’t “commercially reasonable effort” to completely delete all instances of a stolen work.

  107. Happi Homewood says:

    @104 Captain Gemini:

    You are wrong about 1 thing: It is not up to the residents to do anything with this. It is up to Linden Lags to take it to court. We, the people of Second Life, can sit back and relax while LL step in the pooh. They have no case!

    @Catherine, learn from Sidewinders example. The only negative posts on his blogs about Havok4, are from the morons crying ‘fix things before making new shiny stuff’, not realizing that the Havok4 project is all about fixing things.

    Catherine, you still haven’t made even 1 reply to all these legitimate questions!

  108. Lyselle Munro says:

    Okay, I’m taking the bait…can’t stand it anymore 🙂

    First, I fully agree, the inSL logo is truly awful; please, y’all can do better & the good Lord knows we have enough residents in world who are adept with Photoshop who’d probably be happy to redo the logo for free just to have something nice out there. Rather than have someone slap something together in a hurry or pay someone for something so lame, why didn’t y’all hold a contest amongst the residents? Seriously, something of that nature might have actually helped this whole thing go down a bit easier.

    As for the legalities, we certainly have lawyers among our residents. People need to chat up their friends & we need a copyright lawyer to weigh in on this whole issue…not just someone saying they’ve spoken to their lawyer, but a copyright lawyer who can lay it out point by point for us on what is & is not allowed. The main reason I mention this is because I seem to remember in college reading a great deal about “grandfathering” when it came to copyright laws…seems to me that this is the sort of thing that would fully apply in this situation however I am, of course, NOT a copyright lawyer so I couldn’t begin to give the full specifics.

    Additionally, it seems to me that enforcing use of the disclaimer, displayed prominently on a person’s main page of their website should certainly be more than enough in most every situation. I mean this is, after all, common practice to begin with; having coded more than one website for an international organization, I can speak with some confidence on this point. It would seem to me that something like the following should be more than enough to exhibit the fact that nothing within the website or blog is attempting to portray itself as an official Linden Labs entity:

    ” is a fan oriented site which discusses the Second Life TM/R world. The views & opinions expressed within this blog/website are those of the site creator, , site/blog staff & assorted visitors to . , is, in no way, an official site of Linden Labs TM/R (whatever!) &, infringement upon an Linden Lab TM/R trademarks is entirely unintentional.”

    Has some basic rule of citing changed such that the above or something similar would not suffice?

    Now, of course, the whole eye in hand logo as well as Linden Labs & Second Life…all of that makes perfect sense to me from a copyright standpoint. The logo is their pictoral representation of their company which they do not want used in an inappropriate manner, while the two names are what their main branding is centered around. I will agree, however, that where Second Life is concerned, they might run into problems with other businesses, etc.

    Anyway, I’d truly appreciate the expertise of a copyright lawyer on this whole thing…as I’m sure everyone else would 🙂

    Lys

  109. Medesever Criss says:

    @ 91) LL keep claiming that SL is a business platform – it is far too high risk to be a platform for any serious business. It is not only too unreliable, but business ventures may be wiped out overnight by arbitrary policy changes – even your own brand may be outlawed now!

    Secondlife business is a joke. They can wipe out your business overnight by a policy change. Crashes, not working search, IP theft, copy bots and texture stealing make shops more risky than gambling.

  110. Lyselle Munro says:

    Ggggrrrrr…that teaches me to NOT let my mind wander to code when writing a post! So sorry! Everywhere there is a break in that disclaimer should be the name of the site/blog in question…

    /me stumbles away from the computer for more caffeine…

  111. Razor says:

    @106 wasn’t a meta issue for long, and the subtopics never got a reply either.

  112. Raul Crimson says:

    If we consider ToS as a contract, then it is a really non reliable one. One of the parts of the contract can change it whenever he wants and the other part have to accept it of lose all HIS assets. Interesting.

  113. Ann Otoole says:

    @111 – It is still a meta issue. Perhaps someone changed it?

    Anyway I would love to find something in world. However there seems to be “Problems accessing search on gsa4 (status 500) Please try your query later.”

    I guess this will be another day of database problems. Today your Database Outage dujour will be… Search!

  114. Winter Ventura says:

    Hey guys, we’re thinking about this all wrong….

    We ONLY have to append TWO WORDS to “SL” or “Second Life” or “Linden Research” or whatever, in our blogs and urls and the like.

    I dunno about anyone else… but this post brought two words to mind right away.

    One starts with an F.

  115. nomoresecrets says:

    @101, its simpler, IM inworld the bigger companies like sony etc. and ask them , why they will not have customers anymore through $VL

  116. Toad Mougin says:

    SL appears to be the registered trademark of the Sherrill-Lubinski Corporation (if you believe what’s at the bottom of sl.com)

  117. Winter Ventura says:

    “Frequently Broken” perhaps?

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  119. Toad Mougin says:

    @ my 116 – oops ignore that – already been covered above

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  121. Well said Matthew in comment #91 on part iv:

    Matthew Dowd Says:

    … iv) the SL economy is very fragile – most in world businesses (as opposed to RL businesses using SL just as a meeting place etc.) are run as hobbies. That isn’t to say that the people running them do not run them professionally, just that the revenue is small with many running at a loss, but they continue to run because the owner enjoys it. A rebranding exercise which may involve abandoning an already paid for domain name, and paying for a new one, may just not be worth the effort for many. Particular after nearly 2 weeks of daily transaction failures….

  122. Hern Worsley says:

    I think the users of SL percieve it as a kinda sovereign state with its own culture, language, history and general attitude this should be encouraged and nurtured. So in relation to this, branding “SL” is like branding “UK” or “USA” it just doesnt work SL belongs to all of us!

    Instead of this why not create a LL endorsed section with a list of Links to sites that uphold and promote the values of SL instead of kicking some of your biggest supporters in the teeth?

  123. PJ Gibbs says:

    Oh, I’m so going to love hearing what LL are going to try to do to

    http://www.sl.com

    This is going to be a hoot!

  124. Neural says:

    Being that LL now sees the ToS as a contract, acceptance of the terms when you log on is acceptance of that contract. LL doesn’t need to take anyone to court, they will simply terminate your account and it will be up to you to take legal action against them.
    This is a sick sick thing to do to the users and they are gloating about it. Few if any of us will have the money to take Linden Research to court if they axe our accounts for the slightest violation.

  125. Sonja Felisimo says:

    Hi everyone agin

    peeps lets relax……………lets just ignore LL like they ignore us……:)

    Nowadays we just cannot take this circus act serious……lets get on with enjoying second life ( oh sh.t i forgot the funny little signs i am supposed to put after the name)

    Like Happi Homewood said they are the ones treading in the big lump of pooh pooh 😉

    and CATHERINE where are you blog replies…….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    oh and once again BIG BIG KISS for SIDEWINDER ;)…….(sonny thinks she is in love)

    ciao ciao everyone

  126. For each and every one earlier unpopular decision (like gambling ban, VAT, age verification), at least there was some kind of necessity, or logical explanation to it.

    This is exactly the opposite. No need to harass the citizens of SL (Sierra Leone, Stupid Life, Sri Lanka, whatever you want it to stand for) with this burden. Why-o-why do you always do something with the right intentions completely the wrong way, dear Lindens?

    Please save face and at least make sure you ease up the use of ‘SL’ in your license, which will probably satisfy a lot of people. And it will probably also make your point a lot stronger in court.

    I certainly will not be buying any Linden shares when they decide to go public. Too many financial reservations in their books for those trademark lawsuits to make it a good investment. At least if they don’t change this branding policy. Too many businesses hurt by it, who will probably take this to court.

  127. Damien Walworth says:

    SL is already a registered trademark by a company called Sherrill-Lubinski Corporation. Their website is http://www.sl.com and looks like they’ve been existence for around 10 years.

    So the question is, will the Sherrill-Lubinski Corporation sue Linden Lab for stealing their trademark, or will Linden Lab demand that the Sherrill-Lubinski Corporation change their domain within 90 days.

    Did anyone bring popcorn? 🙂

  128. Neural says:

    Hey Linden Lab, since you are so fond of displaying all legal info and links to legal information. How about displaying information, including scanned documents, proving that your “lawyers” actually passed the bar? (the educational one, not the one down the street where you dream up this lunacy)

  129. Sonja Felisimo says:

    @ 127 Damien…………..i’ll bring the popcorn and a couple of bottles of wine.

    We can probably get others to bring beer and food 😉

    This is gonna be so funny to see SL, Second Life, bla bla get their asses kicked big time 🙂

    Catherine we are still waiting !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  130. Dylan says:

    ROFL! This whole thing is simply hilarious. Tell you what, I’m going to continue to talk about my Second Life and other people’s Second Lives, call myself a SLunkie and a SLaddict who’s constantly SLooking for SLove, and I’m going to continue writing and publishing without any Linden’s or Linden lawyer’s help in editing my texts. S(ue me) if you L(ike). S(o) L(ong).

  131. Happi Homewood says:

    @124 Neural:

    Should they (LL) terminate accounts, because a website has SL in the name, it would be no problem for the website owner to slash Linden Lab and Second Life on their website. This would be really bad publicity for LL, and they wouldn’t be able to do a thing about it. Don’t think you can’t do anything, just because you don’t have the big money. Stop being afraid of ‘The Big Bad Wolf’ 😉

    LL, I haven’t complained before, when you took actions that hurt my business, and god knows you have done that a few times in the past year, but this move is simply so stupid, and makes absolutely no sense at all.

    Okay, you want to play the Big Corp. game now? Remember your roots and be careful. A universal law says, you will receive 10-fold back, what you give out. If you dish out crap, you will soon find yourself in a world of shit!

    Please get your head out of your ass and start using your brains, for gods sake!

    This is my last post on this subject 🙂

  132. Mel says:

    Hooray for you! This is essentially a gag order on any casual written advertisement you might have had involving our participation in SL or sl or oh yeah “the Second Life world” as you put it. I am really angry about this. I understand your point but not all of us have the little tms and rs to just spit out at moments notice. So.. using SL is ok as an adjective is ok but not as a noun. Well.. that is just hunky dorey. Now my second LIFE has been reduced to an adjective. You guys keep forgetting what SL IS to a lot of us who don’t want to have to deal with a lot of legal mumbo jumbo… you are living in the business world. Fine. Geez.. even using the letters sl is off limits. When we talk to each other in-world do we have to have all the little alphabet soup and correct grammar or will you slap our hands there too?

  133. Gillian Waldman says:

    I’ve just simply stopped referring to SL or Second Life or any of the other “brands” in my blog. There seems to be no understanding of fair use…so no use it will be.

  134. Vryl Valkyrie says:

    They can’t own the words “second life” or “sl” .. these are generic. They can own the words associated with the image word mark but not the actual words. They have no right to tell anyone if they can use or not use “sl” or “second life” as long as people are not using their registered word mark. For the record, let’s just all move over to open life.. one mass move, won’t be too hard I think.. and if that’s not for you, try out worlds.com .. my friend tom kidrin is revamping it and just got a new partner sony.. watch out linden lab and by the way, you need to get some better legal advise and have people answer the phones in the corporate office because you’re gonna need it now.

  135. Dana Vanmoer says:

    The supposed ‘clarification’ of the new trademark rules are a huge let down to everyone, they in fact do nothing to clear up the questions of most residents or fan sites.
    These fan site, website, blogs, newspapers etc have spent the last 4 years boosting Second Life’s hits and promoting SL freely and enthusiastically, what are they to do now? Why would any company turn on the very people that love them and show it on a daily basis?
    We all know how much revenue gambling brought SL™ but it didn’t matter to Linden reasearch inc. ® This is a company that is determined to destroy itself by turning on the very people that have brought it the fame it now realises. Unfortunately they just do not seem to care, knowing that most will have to knuckle under or quit.

  136. Limpy Hax says:

    linened? I’ve also heard of “lindenized” to refer to something that breaks often, or only works occasionally! Let’s all hope that Second Life does not become Second Rate.

  137. honeydripper says:

    I have to say…i don’t know a thing about copyright law…but common sense would tell you that claiming the rights to “SL” is…well…not the brightest move you ever made.
    Your timing is horrendous, though….with all of the content theft going on and the uproar surrounding that…there seems to be nothing being done about it (I say seems because maybe you are, yet no one i know has heard about it). So basically the feeling we get from this blog is…what we, Linden Lab (can i say that here?) is important…what you do is not. Bad move

  138. You should be very clear on where you have registered the trademarks, it would appear to be only in the US, and therefore only affect people within the US.

    If you search the British trademark register for Linden, which also access all the EU databases, you find 40 companies using the word Linden, and not one of tgem is Linden Lab.

    http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tm/t-find/t-find-text/

    Or is this bully boy tactics to try and increase the scope of your marks without justification or legality?

  139. Klaatu Congrejo says:

    Can I say ‘SL Second Life’ ?
    Under your rules thats ‘SL’ followed by two common nouns!

  140. Vryl Valkyrie says:

    By the way Linden Lab, I think you owe my friend Thom Kidrin royaties for illegally using 3D world chat. Kidrin owns the patent. Oh wait.. a whisper in my ear tells me you know this. Don’t underestimate the power of the people Linden Lab, the very people who make it possible for you to eat and take holidays.. the very people who you have recently turned your backs on by turning a deaf ear to their own very real copyright protection needs, abuse needs, and other needs within the portal of “our” second lives. Umm you cannot trademark it without a wordmark and there is NO way you can possibly dictate to others usage of it as long as they do not use the registered word mark. Oh and by the way, you may want to update your word mark to the curent colored version for further protection. Use some of that money to get better legal service, better customer support and people who are generally wanting to provide support to the customer as if it is a pleasure and not a hardship because otherwise your metaverse may just become a virtual ghost town one day.. and I say this in love. bisous.

  141. R H says:

    Whaaaaa……

    >3. Can I use SL with my product, domain or organization name?
    >Yes, under our special license to use “SL.” You can use “SL” with >your own trademark. So, if you own the “Dell” trademark, you could >call your presence in the Second Life world “Dell SL.”Or, you can use >two common nouns with “SL.” For instance, SL Ballet is not ok (only >one common noun) but SL Ballet Troup works. And SL China Portal >is not ok (”China” is a proper noun), but SL Chinese Residents >Association works. You need at least two common nouns so others >don’t think you’re an “official” Second Life organization or website. >Read more about this license.

    I’m sorry IANAL [i am not a lawyer]
    Linden Lab is now [re]writing Rules of Grammar to be applied as Rules of Law?
    This does NOT “clear the air” it muddies the waters.

    Rana Harrop
    Avatar-at-large

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  143. Liliana Barrs says:

    Okies people, it’s April 2nd now – come on and give us a nice “april fools!!”, or do we have to wait some more days, so that you can laugh harder?

  144. Crap Mariner says:

    Thank you for trying to clarify that and offering up a route for feedback on the issue, because I think I’m not the only blogger/podcaster that’s still not entirely clear on all the issues regarding this change in policy.

    I’ve already gone ahead and changed my site’s subdomain name, but others

    One of the frustrations in such hot topics for some is that it’s not easy to discuss such things in a 150-comment blog post thread.

    Perhaps Katt ought to consider engaging the affected parts of the community by posting office hours, engaging the blogging community by joining the Second Life Bloggers group or Zoe Connolly’s ning.com community, working with the podcasters at one of the monthly meetups on Podcaster Island, etc.

    Discussing things openly is all a part of striving for the goal of transparency, right?

  145. Vryl Valkyrie says:

    Check out Patent no. 6219045 .. Also read this: http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS192197+17-Dec-2007+PRN20071217

    Worlds was the first 3D world and it seems that Thom Kidrin is breathing new life into it with Sony and not with all the same restrictions that Linden Lab has or the prices.

    Final word, get it together Linden Lab before it is too late and answer some of those support tickets.. answer your coporate lines, too!

    Linden Lab corporate number: (415) 243-9000

  146. Lina Pussycat says:

    Hi Catherine…… The main problem people are having is the logo design itself while its ok for poorly designed websites most sites that would be classified “web 2.0” or what have you and alot of websites now use heavily stylized graphics and the current guidelines in the trademark state we cannot alter the InSL logo so its increasingly hard for people to want to use that logo directly when they cant make it suit their needs….

    I’d rethink that policy as it actually hurts the design of quite alot of websites out there that may have future plans to use the web graphic. Adding a shaddow or a slight reflection of it with reflection of text as well and a glare effect on the logos (to make it look kind of shiny….) is quite common practice for web graphics and if you look at the logos as is they are poorly designed the Color scheme etc doesnt give people many options and the like.

    So we are either stuck with logos that somehow look out of place on our websites or we are stuck not using them is how it looks at the moment… And thats a good deal of why people are angry with the trademark thing. Its good to clarify on some things however but what i stated is the most obtrusive aspect of the current policy!

  147. Richard Singer says:

    To do so and to become SL as trademark will be fail, i guess. I only think to the german car manufacturer Mercedes. They have already a trademark onto SL for the SL 500 and so on.

    But one thing i dont understand. Are all involved to this or only comp. after the change of that policy?

    I mean, slexchange, slinfo or slhome.com, sl-ct.de or slwhatever will start to defend that. I’s a moral certainty that other companys which are not located to the USA will start to veto against that.

  148. Lina Pussycat says:

    @144 this is unlikely to succeed as a project again as to breathing new life into it. There have been countless things pop up project wise and Nothing and i mean nothing out there is being developed at least publicly that will compete with SL. Outback online from Yoick has gone under and their peer to peer network is going to VastPark which is a build your own world/3d game type of thing but isnt SL

    Worlds also appears to be similar to what vastpark and others are doing now an integrated server and client application. We’ll see where it goes… But they were never really mainstream aside from working with some companies. They do have a player and we’ll see what that ends up being…..

    However to keep one aspect in mind for social people…. Worlds might just be fine but…. If one aspect of SL is cut out you may not get the content developers to move over. Also what is their aspect on content development etc? Those are things that are going to come up for anything to compete with SL and so far SL is king of the hill when it comes to aspects they have in world and what they allow us to do.

  149. Vryl Valkyrie says:

    Richard, Linden Lab is good with double standards. First they remove gambling, which is not illegal in Europe, they make age verification retroactive even though when many of us joined, we were told that we were aged verified.. so we should be protected by a grandfather clause.. then they charge EU citizens VAT even though technically they did not have to yet since they did not make enough monies from EU people to charge VAT.. and now they want to attempt to impose a US trademark on the EU people but the reality is that they cannot dictate to any of us if we may or may not use SL or Second Life as part of our name as long as we are not professing to be part of Linden Lab and are not using their registered wordmark. They should have considered getting a name that was less generic. Ultimately, the name will be worthless for them if they continue to ignore the voice of the SL people who made Second Life what it is today despite the buggy client and server.

  150. Steffi Nolden says:

    Btw.

    Very funny for me is, that Second Life or SL becomes a trademark, see: Second Life mean as german translation zweites Leben.

    Very funny if i would write to a Resident from the USA:

    … and at my second life i work as a GoGo Dancer. *laughs*

    Do i have, if i would shorten it, to write

    a) … and at my second life ™ i work as a GoGo dancer
    b) … and at my sl ™ i work as a GoGo dancer

    To b) yes i shorten some long words 😉

    Sorry for my sarcasm but i think, Linden Lab has to rethink about that!

  151. Raudf Fox says:

    This is quite possibly the stupidest thing Linden Lab(s) has done. First, you force us to use 3rd party sites to discuss SL and then you tell them they can’t USE SL in their own domains?

    SLUniverse and SLExchange are two places with SL in their name. Are they going to have to change their well established names just to suit some lawyer’s whims?

    Speaking of, I guess I need to remove all references to Second Life and SL from my blog too.

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