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Creations that resemble RL things OK to sell, be it under a different name?


Dwenah
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You can have trouble with both trademarks and copyright depending how the RL shoemaker has protected their product. A shoe is a shoe though, so as long as you stay away from clear 'signature' items you should be ok. 

Adidas' three stripes for example are trademarked and that is enforced quite well https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_stripes & http://www.trademarkandcopyrightlawblog.com/2016/03/adidas-to-trademark-competitors-two-stripes-youre-out/

Fonts are also important for any branding, if you use similar typography you could be in trouble. 

Use https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database to check.

 

 

The biggest mistake of course was covered in the mesh tutorial. Don't call your shoes 'N1ke' ;)

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Most everything in SL "resembles" a real life product except for fantasy items :D.

 

If you remember your mesh upload test, you are not allowed to name things in a similar manner so N1ke for example or "Looks like a Mercedes" == things like that. There are apparently a few styles of furniture that are copyrighted (someone mentioned the Barcelona Chair). 

 

So far as shoes go, one very prominent shoe maker had some "Crocks" that they didn't CALL Crocks that are still in the database and the store is still there. BUT that being said, it is likely that there were different patterns of holes in the similar shoes.

 

So "inspired by" and "copies" are different things. Realistically it is unlikely that the company you might be inspired by would care as we have seen copies of RL items often with similar names on the marketplace. No one is minding the store there (I personally think they should be). BUT I always think it is good to follow the rules -- especially ones that you agreed to in the Terms of Service. 

 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...


Pamela Galli wrote:

You cannot copyright a design, just the functional elements of a design. 

Huh? I had to read this statement multiple times, because it doesn't make sense.

My understanding is that it is the opposite. You CAN copyright the DESIGN (the blueprints), but NOT the functional elements.

For example, 2 parties can design a guitar amp. Both have different designs, and those blueprints dictating their dimensions, electronic schematics, form, etc are presumable patented.

The fact that the amp uses a volume knob (functional), tone knob (functional), channel select switch (functional) would NOT be able to be patented.

The same statement could be made to IDEAS. Ideas cannot be copyrighted, but only the tangible form on paper, in the form of a document (or blueprint) that materializes it.

I can have an idea for a kitchen water faucet, but must define its functionality and design on paper, and will probably differ greatly from YOUR design, in taste, skill, etc.

 

And in response to the OP, yes apparently it IS Okay to sell things that resemble products and brand names from real life, as the practice is quite rampant.

As Chin Rey states, 'most designs are influenced from RL designs' and that can be true. I don't mind 'influenced' products, as long as they're not just replicating the objects and pretending to not be. Unfortunately, that is probably what most of the SL base wants - they want that furniture brand they can't afford in RL - most customers won't care if it's a Marshall guitar amp replicated in SL...

Do you think they willl buy your "Herschel"-amp before a "Marshall" -amp, even though they may look the same or sold under a 'different brand name'?

Do what you like, but please... I beg you.. Try to be original and interesting in your designs. You wll already have that NIKE, ADIDAS, etc influence in your original creations anyway...

Make me some cool original design shoes you conceptualized and sketched up yourself. If they're good designs (influenced by popular brands or not), people will appreciate it and word will get around.

Or not. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about and people want the NIKE shoes. :D

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No one here is a copyright lawyer.  You must make your own mind up.  If you can't then consult a copyright lawyer.  To help you:

Here is the informatoin on this page from the copyright office concerning designs. 

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap13.html#1302

Here is the official LL policy about all this that is incorporated in the TOS by reference:

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Intellectual_Property

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One doesn't need to be a copyright lawyer.

Just upload your own creations, and try not to just be one of those artists that is barely skirting the TOS, by replicating a real-life product, and calling it a different name, when from all appearances, everyone knows what the product is.

It's really not that hard.



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Read the second link Amethyst provided, that is clearly and explicitly forbidden by LL's tos.  The example they give is making a sneaker and calling it Njke when it's a clear copy of a Nike.  Your 'Harshall' amp clearly falls into this category.  So, you know, don't be telling people to break the tos.  That's a violation too!

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  • 3 weeks later...

There are lots of creators, elite and otherwise that clearly copyright infringe, but it seems usually it's only the small stores that don't make a lot of Marketplace Commissions that get popped for it because the elite even if flagged just keep right on selling them with no punishment at all.  It's actually really sad.

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This happens across the internet, on a variety of marketplaces.. Unless the copyright holder discovers and files a claim, the perpetrator can get away with it indefinitely.

Also, if they upload Mickey Mouse avatar, there is no way for you or I to know if they have a valid license for it or not, so we have to assume they do - unless once again a copyright holder says otherwise.

Selling copyrighted stuff works, popular art is more in demand than original creations, but what can you do.

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