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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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.