Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Linden Labs Sends "Permit-and-Proceed" Letter

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the as-you-were dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 140

linuxwrangler writes "In sharp contrast to the incidents chronicled at Chilling Effects, Second Life creators Linden Labs have sent the parody site Get a First Life a proceed-and-permit letter. From the letter: 'Linden Lab is well-known for having strict hiring standards, including a requirement for having a sense of humor, from which our lawyers receive no exception. In conclusion, your invitation to submit a cease-and-desist letter is hereby rejected.' The letter also grants permission to use the parody logos."

cancel ×

140 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

pun intended (5, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824516)

Second Life creators Linden Labs have sent the parody site Get a First Life a proceed-and-permit letter.

In other words, they're virtually going along with the joke.

Re:pun intended (1)

DemoFish (1051816) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825770)

In other words, they're virtually going along with the joke. In Soviet Russia... "Permit-and-Proceed" Letters sends YOU.

Re:pun intended (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17826916)

Worst. Soviet Russia joke. Ever.

Re:pun intended (3, Insightful)

scumdamn (82357) | more than 6 years ago | (#17827650)

Not to be a noodge, but they've enhanced the joke as far as I'm concerned. I would appreciate Get A First Life without the letter, but the wording in the letter is right on. I bet the legal dept. got with the marketing dept. for that one because the tone is just perfect. Dry, yet actually funny (you've seen companies try too hard I'm sure. This isn't the case.)

Its a great game. (5, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824542)

I've always said second life is like four times better then half-life.

Re:Its a great game. (5, Funny)

Pyrex5000 (1038438) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824556)

Or, according to Verizon math, Second Life is four hundred times better than half-life.

Re:Its a great game. (2, Funny)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824590)

Is that .5 or .05 of a life? and African or European lifes?

Re:Its a great game. (2, Funny)

Sanguis Mortuum (581999) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825720)

African or European lifes? Laden, or unladen?

Re:Its a great game. (1)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 6 years ago | (#17826412)

Laden, or unladen?
This is Slashdot. Do you have to ask?

Re:Its a great game. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#17826620)

Laden, or unladen?

Bin Laden.

Does Second Life have terrorist organizations?

Re:Its a great game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828090)

Don't you mean 'Linden' or 'unlinden'?

Re:Its a great game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17826644)

no no,

it's _UP TO_ four hundred times better.

Re:Its a great game. (1)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824592)

Is half-life 2 the first life that we are supposed to get?

Re:Its a great game. (4, Funny)

metlin (258108) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824602)

Wait a while, and it'll be eight times as good! ;-)

Re:Its a great game. (1)

savorymedia (938523) | more than 6 years ago | (#17826140)

Second Life is double plus good?

Re:Its a great game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17826366)

secondlife + red vines = crazy delicious

IP and Fair Use (5, Insightful)

DeadManCoding (961283) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824548)

In an age of the MAFIAA and other organizations dedicated to maintaining stupid IP laws and restrictive fair use laws, it's nice to see a company realize that a parody only helps them more. After all, this is free PR, and good PR at that.

Re:IP and Fair Use (5, Insightful)

lamasquerade (172547) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824674)

...it's nice to see a company realize that a parody only helps them more.

Indeed, or even that behaving socially (as opposed to the MPAA's sociopathic actions) is more important that whether or not GetAFirstLife's action helps them. Reading the letter I was struck by just how ridiculous the expected behaviour of companies is. We expect them to act ultra-selfishly - and of course this is covered by the focus of a corporation, profit above all else. But to see a company have some humour, and even grant something it doesn't need to (possibly for a long term profit motive as suggested by parent, but also possibly just because it can and it's nice) shows that the all-profiting, knee jerk bullshit that we are used to is not at all necessary.

Re:IP and Fair Use (5, Informative)

GuyWithLag (621929) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824736)

Actually, Linden Labs had to permit or deny use of their logo, or risk losing the trademark. This is a clever move by them both from the legal side and the PR it generates.

Re:IP and Fair Use (5, Funny)

Sique (173459) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825304)

This is a clever move by them both from the legal side and the PR it generates.
There is nothing wrong with being clever and funny at the same time (even though the /. [slashdot.org] moderation system seems to think otherwise).

Re:IP and Fair Use (5, Informative)

miyako (632510) | more than 6 years ago | (#17826268)

I see this complaint all the time, but if something is already modded funny (which doesn't give karma) can't you just mod it underrated- which will give karma and not change the label? That's what I generally do if something is funny enough to be worth karma, or largely funny but also insightful.

Re:IP and Fair Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17825468)

Oh yes; absolutely true, just as long as it isn't a parody site we're talking about. If this whole article (and even the article summary) had mentioned that 1st life is a parody site, then your post would have been totally off topic. But of course they didn't as "we who don't need to read the artice to know what it says" can tell immediately.

BTW, my captcha for this post was "buffoons"; freudian? psychic?

Re:IP and Fair Use (1)

GuyWithLag (621929) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828162)

Actually, I have visited the site, both now and the first time it was mentioned, and I've read the letter too. While the site is parody, the stuff sold on cafepress with the 'get a first life' logo is in a quasi-grey area, and Linden Labs, by law, has to either defend their trademark or lose it.

Re:IP and Fair Use (2, Interesting)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824792)

In fact you are very correct. (I was honestly blown away).
I've written about this on my site below in my sig, or specifically in the editorial section: http://www.farmersreallysucks.com/editorialgetafir stlife.shtml [farmersreallysucks.com]

While the response from Linden Labs was permissive, in another editorial (the one why Arent Fox sucks) I pick apart the inherent error in judgment sending a stern C&D letter up-front. You can always send a nice letter and follow up with threats if necessary. In the meantime, anyone who would shut down their site upon utterance of lawyers will still do so, and you'll get a feel for those of us who know our rights before you stick you foot in it, like Farmers lawyers did.
-nB

Re:IP and Fair Use (3, Insightful)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825372)

it always amazes me to read/hear about corporations that operate with the "profit first" motive. as opposed to some other companies, such as this one, who do something good/funny/charitable in lieu of heavy handing it right away. sure, they could have sent a c&d letter right away, but as other posters have already said, this is a neat way for them to retain their hold without being asshats. in the longterm, it now endears the company name to people (who also have a sense of humor) who know nothing about them other than this story. when i hear the name again, i'll think of this story. which puts the company miles ahead of others whose names i associate with overbearing drm, rootkits, etc... in effect, by taking this (non)action, they've potentially made more customers, who are happy with their products for more than just the product's sake. a smart move on several levels, methinks.

Re:IP and Fair Use (1)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825576)

Wait, so... you're saying... people might like companies whose first action ISN'T to legally rape anyone who even remotely steps into questionable copyright territory? ...I just don't see it.

Re:IP and Fair Use (2, Insightful)

arodland (127775) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828474)

Acting in the "community" way is the selfish thing to do most of the time -- it's just a sort of long-term selfishness that many businesses can't seem to appreciate. It's guaranteeing that there will be an ecosystem for you to be part of down the road, instead of alienating/bankrupting/killing all of your potential customers and partners.

depressing (5, Funny)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824554)

How depressing is it that this type of thing would only happen in an online world? I think if someone did this to Disney they would send Mickey to come eat you or something.

Re:depressing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17824670)

I think if someone did this to Disney they would send Mickey to come eat you or something.
Make that the little mermaid. She can eat me any time!

Re:depressing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17827534)

In the words of Harlan Ellison: "Hey, Kiddies, what a kick, let's do a Disney porno flick"

Micky: I always knew that Minnie was f*cking Goofy, but I didn't know she was f*cking Goofy!!!

Re:depressing (1)

b4stard (893180) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828074)

Dude, the little mermaid is like 12 years old...

Re:depressing (1)

JerBear0 (456762) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828502)

Sure, she's 12 years old in MERMAID years, but how old is that in HUMAN years?!?!

Re: Little Known Facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17824948)

Mickey stopped eating children in the late forties, when he stopped gaining weight.
That's why they got the dog.

Re: Little Known Facts (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 6 years ago | (#17826044)

Wait, which dog? Goofy or Pluto?

Re:depressing (5, Funny)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824986)

I think if someone did this to Disney they would send Mickey to come eat you or something.
I can see the cartoon now: Minnie laying on the bed with the speech bubble: "Mickey, come eat me". ;-)

Re:depressing (4, Funny)

Baloo Ursidae (29355) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825220)

You must be new, or you would have known The Internet's motto: "Yes, there's porn of that."

Re:depressing (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825362)

Dude!

That is so wrong. I could say something about mice and pussycats, but that would just be wrong.

Re:depressing (1)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 6 years ago | (#17826750)

I think if someone did this to Disney they would send Mickey to come eat you or something.
I can see the cartoon now: Minnie laying on the bed with the speech bubble: "Mickey, come eat me". ;-)
Well come on then, seed the torrent for the rest of us...

Yay linden labs (5, Interesting)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824580)

Now if only other people could be so lenient towards copyright [livejournal.com] ...

Re:Yay linden labs (1)

Kelz (611260) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824654)

One does wonder how one may patent a series of movements set to music :P (how many monkeys...)

Oh and that WAS a really good show.

Re:Yay linden labs (1)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824726)

Hey, furries bring the funk...unfortunately, some fanboys bring more than their fair share ;3. Plus, that dance may not even be copyrightable. As it was created prior to 1978, the rules on copyright are a lot different, and it seems that Mr. Silver doesn't really have a legal leg to stand on.

Re:Yay linden labs (5, Informative)

Boogaroo (604901) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824758)

Copyright and trademark are different situations. To protect your trademark(logo, company name, etc) you MUST take action to protect it. If you ignore it, you may lose your trademark protection. If you license/permit the usage to a group, this is seen as a way to protect your trademark since you've considered the usage and allowed the parties to use the trademark.

If they did nothing at all, that would cause potential problems. Their response is both classy, and covers their ass.

Re:Yay linden labs (1)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824856)

I'd disagree. A tip of the hat without a license would serve just as much purpose. Hell, saying nothing at all wouldn't cause any problems, all things considered. Obvious parody is something that weighs heavy in trademark rulings, so it is doubtful that any sort of acknowledgment is needed in this situation.

Re:Yay linden labs (4, Informative)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824990)

Trademark law (at least, the case law) doesn't work like that.

If you do not take steps to protect your trademark by either threatening to sue or---apparently, because I've never seen it done like this until now---granting permission, then if someone does end up violating your trademark, no matter how flagrantly, they can argue (and successfully at that) that the mark has been diluted and is therefore invalid. You snooze, you lose.

Interestingly, a recent instance of this happening was when Sega Europe fired off a nastygram [ytmnd.com] to YTMND [ytmnd.com] regarding an instance of [ahem] unsavory treatment [link NSFW] [ytmnd.com] of a certain trademarked character. Sega can't do anything right these days. If you read the C&D, you can tell it's pure BS, but it's this aspect of trademark law (i.e., needing to defend marks in such an asshatterous manner) that gets it put on my personal proscription list, along with copyright and patent.

Re:Yay linden labs (1)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825154)

I'm not so certain in cases like this. There are plenty of situations of comedic movies where a trademark is parodied and no such mention of licensing is made. Perhaps certain litigious parties would like people to believe that one has to file claims against every usage, regardless of how small, but precedent seems to suggest otherwise.

Re:Yay linden labs (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825226)

I'm not so certain in cases like this. There are plenty of situations of comedic movies where a trademark is parodied and no such mention of licensing is made. Perhaps certain litigious parties would like people to believe that one has to file claims against every usage, regardless of how small, but precedent seems to suggest otherwise.
One need not sue everyone; one need not even threaten everyone. [chillingeffects.org] When in doubt, threaten now, ask questions later. All that matters is that you can demonstrate a history of enforcing the rights granted by the mark.

Dangerous precedent being set (-1, Flamebait)

toupsie (88295) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824582)

The parody site operator of getafirstlife.com should reject this letter immediately. How many companies in the future will start referring to this action as a basis to stop "fair use"? i.e., "Hey, we didn't provide you with a proceed-and-permit letter. It's now time for some of that sweet, sweet DMCA action until you capitulate!" The appropriate response should be, "FU and the virtual horse you rode in on" to Linden Labs in regards to this letter -- especially the final sentence This license may be modified, addended, or revoked at any time by Linden Lab in its sole discretion.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (5, Funny)

deft (253558) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824604)

something tells me you wouldnt be hired where they require the sense of humor.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (1, Funny)

toupsie (88295) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824652)

something tells me you wouldnt be hired where they require the sense of humor.

I have a better sense of humor than this feeble attempt at attracting attention.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (2, Interesting)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824746)

I have a better sense of humor than this feeble attempt at attracting attention.
I don't understand. Are you grumpy because:
(a) They are succeeding at attracting attention;
(b) You are not succeeding at attracting attention, despite your grumpiest attempts;
(c) You discovered that www.getafirstlife.com is not actually functional

- RG>

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824828)

I pick C, but as I read the authors blog I kinda understand why he only made one page.

As to the license (GP post) that was just a touch of the real lawyers CYA coming through.
-nB

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (3, Funny)

Thexare Blademoon (1010891) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824938)

RealGrouchy is commenting on someone being grumpy. Let's think about that for a moment.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (5, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824812)

I have a better sense of humor than this feeble attempt at attracting attention.

Not according to todays Slashdot moderators you don't.

Around here, a sense of humor seems to be defined as answering the question,

"What do you call 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean ?"

with "A good start !", not "Evidence !".

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (1)

Lemmeoutada Collecti (588075) | more than 6 years ago | (#17826194)

Pollution. Global Cooling. Artificial Reef. Shark Repellent. Recycling.

Anything but useless.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (5, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824756)

Maybe so, but he's got a point. The law doesn't have a sense of humor, so lawyers can't really afford to have on either.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (1)

sineltor (312152) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825464)

The law doesn't have a sense of humor, so lawyers can't really afford to have on either.
Following that logic, maybe computer programmers can't afford to have a sense of humor either?

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825954)

If you think computers (and compilers) don't have a sense of humor, you've never programmed. I can't count the number of times I've been coding and random nonsense errors start happening, and rebooting was the solution to the problem, not bad code. I just -know- it's laughing at me every time that happens. (Granted, it's only ever happened to me on Windows, but I haven't done much Linux programming in C.)

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (4, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#17826242)

The law does have quite a bit of humour, you just have to be a lawyer or someone with legal training to appreciate it.

For example, a workers law here in Germany requires the top boss to talk to the elected workers' council at least once a month. Let me skip the why and boring details. One company persistently rejected to even acknowledge that elected body even existed, much less deal with them.

So one court case later, the judgement was to take the offenders into custody. It's called "Beugehaft" in Germany, the idea being that for minor crimes where fines aren't the proper punishment because what you want is someone to do something, you take him into custody until he says "ok, ok". Now here's the joke: The judgement called for this punishment to be levied on the entire board of directors, and immediately due to the danger of them fleeing. The people who thought they were above it all were in immediate danger of being put behind bars within the hour. And sure, they could call for revision, but they'd still be taken from their office by police and spend at least one night in jail.
A bunch of frentic phonecalls later, the CEO had binding instructions to cooperate fully with the workers council.

Lawyers laugh as much as anyone. It's just that most of their jokes are as puzzling to us as C++ jokes are to your grandmother.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#17827494)

The law does definitely have a sense of humour.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17824952)

It may look like a jone but the letter is from a lawyer and the letter says REVOCABLE! WTF more do you need? It says REVOCABLE at ANY TIME.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (3, Informative)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824628)

"FU and the virtual horse you rode in on" to Linden Labs in regards to this letter -- especially the final sentence This license may be modified, addended, or revoked at any time by Linden Lab in its sole discretion.

Lighten up, it's a joke!

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (-1)

toupsie (88295) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824648)

Lighten up, it's a joke!

Not a very funny one. If I want lawyer jokes, I will look elsewhere [lawlaughs.com] ...

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (5, Informative)

creysoft (856713) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824662)

They acknowledge First Life's inherent right to parody several times, even jokingly stated that they were insulted by the idea that their lawyers WOULDN'T recognize such a right. The only "license" here is a license for the derivative trademark, which they note "may require a license." Notice they didn't say "does require a license." It's more, "Hey, we think this probably falls under fair use. But just in case it doesn't, and anyone ever hassles you about it, here's a license saying you can use it anyway."

The final clause is standard CYA language. If, for example, First Life started using their derivative logo to do something damaging to Second Life's reputation, Second Life's lawyers may look into it, and if, in fact, the logo is infringing, they may revoke the license. Surely you can't reasonably expect them to grant them a perpetual, non-revokable license to do anything they want with a very slightly modified logo?

The whole thing's basically a joke anyway, to let everyone know that they know about First Life, and are 100% OK with it. It's also a cheap jab at companies with less sense of humor.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825040)

It's a joke, written by lawyers. My head's about to explode - don't we hate lawyers anymore?

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (3, Funny)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825182)

It's also a cheap jab at companies with less sense of humor.
So, like all of them?

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (1)

Darby (84953) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825206)

It's also a cheap jab at companies with less sense of humor.

I agree with your whole post except for this bit. "Cheap" inexpensive, sure. Usually "cheap" has negative connotations though, which I don't think apply to this. I think it's a pretty classy jab at companies with less sense of humor.

Anyhow, pedantry doesn't work so well at work or home so there's /. ;-)

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824720)

The parody site operator of getafirstlife.com should reject this letter immediately. How many companies in the future will start referring to this action as a basis to stop "fair use"? i.e., "Hey, we didn't provide you with a proceed-and-permit letter.

You should get to know Jack Thompson. My gut tells me you'll do incredible things together.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (2, Insightful)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824740)

"companies in the future will start referring to this action"

I'm no lawyer, but I aren't precedents set by courts? The actions of a company's legal team have no effect on the status quo.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (2, Informative)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824800)

Actually they'd be right to ignore it. If they accept it or reject or respond in any way they legitimise it. In any case being granted permission does not set a precedent that you MUST be granted permission. If my boss tells me I can go to the doctor if I'm seriously ill and need urgent medical attention it does not mean that if he doesn't give permission the next time I'm ill that I can't go. No license needed to be granted here. I believe parody is protected under US laws, though I'm not a US citizen and I honestly don't know the detail.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (5, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824838)

The parody site operator of getafirstlife.com should reject this letter immediately. How many companies in the future will start referring to this action as a basis to stop "fair use"?
Wow. Layoff the paranoia pipe a bit. Everyone knows that parody is OK. It has been for years. Companies have been parodied on Saturday Night Live since the stoner age. If they were gonna get the fair use provisions relating to parody changed, they would have done it already.

Secondly, if we want companies to be good citizens and respectful of individual's rights, should not also individuals respect companies when the company does something right? I do. I went to second life from the first life page and signed up for an account. Who woulda thought they actually have a linux version (alpha) for the game?

What I see is a company that is not full of pricks, plus they supply a linux version of the game. Isn't that what (we linux users at least) have been saying would be great? I say that's worthy of my support so I flipped them a few bucks.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#17826372)

Yes, a parody of a parody in reply to a public challenge to defend thier trademark tells me someone with a bit of class and dignity is on the ball at that company.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 6 years ago | (#17827134)

Unfortunately, the Linux client sucks and is often broken. They put one guy on it, and they don't accept source patches from outside.

Their GPLing of the source is a joke, because you can't use a modified client on the main grid.

Re:Dangerous precedent being set (3, Informative)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828452)

Bullshit.

1. It works. Everything but video works fine. Sure, it crashes once in a while, but so does the Windows one, so I don't think that's specific to the Linux version.

2. I have modified the source, and connected to the main grid using the compiled client.

Regarding whether they accept patches, not 100% sure there, but the latest version compiles on GCC 4.1 when the first releases didn't. It looks like they integrated fixes people made for that.

Re:Taken out of context (4, Informative)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824972)

This license may be modified, addended, or revoked at any time by Linden Lab in its sole discretion.


This was taken out of context. It simply is in refrence to the online store selling items with the modified logo. If the site creator got out of line with the products with the modified logo, they simply reserve the right to revoke the license to use the logo. The fact they granted a license to use the mofified logo is without fees or royalty payments is very gracious.

Try using the Mickey Mouse logo in a modified form on your website in a paradoy and sell products with the logo. I doubt the Disney lawyers have a sense of humor regarding selling products with a Mickey logo.

The Obvious Response... (4, Funny)

darkonc (47285) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824666)

The Get A First Life people need to find a lawyer to slam Linden Labs for denying him work, and suggesting that he could get an injunction against the 'proceed and permit' letter under `restraint of trade` laws.

Re:The Obvious Response... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824718)

Oh, I can think of others. Is the sense of humour strict? If not, then the letter is false advertising. Is the act of rejecting an invitation a cease and desist of the parody (for once rejected, it is no longer parody but being parodied)? Is it even lawful for a lawyer to have a sense of humour?

Isn't it sad ... (5, Insightful)

gone_bush (578354) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824672)

that we are commenting on the application of common sense.

Re:Isn't it sad ... (1)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824924)

What are you talking about? This is slashdot! Land of the geeks and nerds who spend hours formulating arguments to debate trivial things that can be pages long; anything from the difference between geeks and nerds, the proper use of a semicolon (is this sentence correct?) to Java vs. C++ (apples and oranges, there I finished it, don't bother debating).

In all seriousness, that is why I love slashdot, you get to see all sorts of opinions and as long as the arguments aren't inflammatory and make a bit of sense, its almost certain to get modded up regardless of whether it adheres to the norm or not.

Re:Isn't it sad ... (1)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 6 years ago | (#17827944)

you forgot to mention emacs and vi!

Lighten up people, it's a joke (5, Funny)

melikamp (631205) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824802)

What's with all the lawyer bashing and paranoia? These guys are clearly making fun of him. Just because the person is a lawyer, doesn't mean he is out to rip you off. There are plenty of good lawyers around. In fact, most lawyers wouldn't do something unethical just because it pays so handsomely well.

Because most lawyers are dead.

Ah, haha, I just couldn't resist...

Re:Lighten up people, it's a joke (1)

98jonesd (633833) | more than 6 years ago | (#17826264)

Because most lawyers are dead.

Has Netcraft confirmed this?

brilliant (2, Insightful)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824806)

Trademarks need to be fought for, otherwise they are useless. This is actually IMHO a very brilliant move by Linden to maintain their hold on their trademarks without being a complete asshole about it.

Re:brilliant (2, Insightful)

supersat (639745) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825006)

Agreed. If you read the letter, at the very bottom, they grant a license to use the parody logo on products sold at the CafePress store, just in case one is needed. For example, someone wanting to use the proper trademark could convince the court that such commercial activity wasn't fair use, and that a license was needed, and since Linden Labs didn't enforce or license the mark, it should be invalidated. This covers their ass while still allowing the parody.

Great PR (1)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824830)

How ever came up with the respons at Linden Labs should get a bonus, turing something that would have been negative news into something both funny, positive and yet still manage to defened their tradmark.

About the adds on the site (1, Informative)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824862)

Did any one else see the google adds for Second Life on the First Life web site?
Did that happen before or after the letter?

Re:About the adds on the site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17825032)

Did any one else see the google adds for Second Life on the First Life web site?
Did they have to run two banners side by side for that to work?

Re:About the adds on the site (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#17827272)

I believe the Google ads were there the first time I saw that page, which was before the letter from Linden. It makes sense that Google would cough up Second-Life-related ads for that page, since it doesn't have any subject matter beyond a Second Life spoof to base AdSense on.

Good law, not just good humour (5, Insightful)

john-da-luthrun (876866) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824880)

This is actually quite smart from a legal point of view. Once Second Life had decided not to go down the road of trying to sue the parody site into oblivion - a wise decision given the PR meltdown such cases tend to cause - it then had a choice.

If it ignored the parody site, that could dilute or otherwise weaken its trade mark rights, making it harder to take action against truly problematic infringement in future. However, by sending a "permit-and-proceed" letter, it not only gets some positive PR for taking a pragmatic and humorous approach - it also transforms the parody site from a trademark-diluting independent endeavour into something that is, in effect, licensed by Second Life. This means they can still be seen to have asserted their trade mark rights rather than allowing the parody site to continue without any intervention at all.

A similar position can arise in relation to land, at least under English law. If someone encroaches on your land for a sufficiently long period of time (12+ years) and you do nothing about it one way or another, you can lose your rights in the land (many people living near railway lines have extended their gardens to the edge of the line by these means). However, if you say to the encroacher, "Oh, that's fine, carry on, I don't mind, you have my permission", then that turns it into a licence, and they cannot then claim "adverse possession" against you later.

I think... (-1, Flamebait)

jonfr (888673) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824906)

I think the creators of second live should get a first live. This is also a DMCA abuse at higest levels.

Lawyers and Sense of Humor? (5, Funny)

JRHelgeson (576325) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824912)

Corporations with a sense of humor, and lawyers with common sense? Wow: Second Life really is a fantasy world.

Anything is better... (2, Funny)

revolu7ion (994315) | more than 6 years ago | (#17824918)

...than /. stories about flying genitalia

I've always liked the lindens (2, Interesting)

OfficeSubmarine (1031930) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825234)

Despite never being able to quite get myself into a frame of mind where I'd enjoy second life, I've always liked the management. They've always seemed oddly sane, given not only the industry, but the fringe subset they've founded.

Smart lawyers and dim lawyers (1)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825290)

The letter (and some of the resulting comments) remind me that there are dim lawyers, smart lawyers, and truly smart lawyers. Linden Labs can obviously afford truly smart lawyers.

Remember, a lawyer is paid to advise you on your legal interests. A merely smart lawyer knows what plays well in court. A truly smart lawyer knows that public opinion is also a court, and that the best interests of the client involve playing well there as well. The RIAA merely has smart lawyers; they are trying to spread compliance through fear but generate reams of bad press in the process. At the other end of the scale, I once heard of a case in which another US industry body was trying to prevent a foreign firm gaining a foothold by bending a number of rules. A truly smart firm of lawyers reviewed the evidence and sent out a single letter (which I have seen) which caused the sudden collapse of the opposition. It spelled out the evidence, the laws they believed had been broken, the action they could take, and the resulting publicity. My belief is that where there is a real case, this is usually what happens.

Re:Smart lawyers and dim lawyers (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#17826656)

Second Life is run by geeks, and I bet they read Slashdot. They know full well what will turn their customers away. I bet they have explicit instructions for their legal team not to C&D anyone without express permission from the owners.

I would like to see more of this; (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17825594)

But of course, if everyone did it, it would be neither funny or refreshing.

Secondlife.com down?! (1)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 6 years ago | (#17825926)

Is it just me or is secondlife.com slashdotted or otherwise down? It's not even linked to from the article but we can't get to it from here.

Re:Secondlife.com down?! (1)

LoganTeamX (738778) | more than 6 years ago | (#17826384)

Having a meltdown are we? Just log into your FirstLife and go grab a latte.

Re:Secondlife.com down?! (1)

notthe9 (800486) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828160)

I can get there right now. They seem to be performing maintainance this morning, and that might have resulted in the website being down earlier.

An ancient historical precedent... (1)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 6 years ago | (#17827086)

Aristophanes wrote a play titled "The Clouds," in which he lambasted the state of education in ancient Athens. In the process, he also lampooned Socrates, who was depicted as one of the corrupters of youth... even though public opinion at the time considered him no such thing.

Socrates attended the production of the play... and laughed as uproariously as anyone else at his on-stage caricature.

Mind you, he might not have had the same remedies available as today had he been thoroughly offended by the play, but the big thing was that the concept of "grin and bear it" was known then. Too bad it seems to be unfashionable these days.

Am I the only one who suspects this is marketing? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#17827706)

The "offending" sight seems awfully slim. I get the sense that this whole exchange might be a bit of a publicity ploy to promote Second Life.

-Eric

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>