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Intelligent Copyright in a City!


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Dear reader, 

 

I run a city and in that city there are shops. 

The question is....If a shop uses...

 

"....for example, a trademarked logo or brand name, a distinctive product appearance (known as "trade dress"), characters or material from a movie, book, or other copyrighted work, or a celebrity image or name (protected as a "right of publicity").....

 

...then who is responsible for not breaching any intelligent property? Me as a city owner or the vendor?

 

Kind regards,

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It's not even clear that's a copyright violation. See AM General LLC v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. et al, recently decided in New York. Blizzard can put Humvees in their games without paying the company that makes them in the real world. The court framed this as "is there any likelihood that anyone would confuse a real-world Humvee with a video game Humvee?" No way, so it's OK. Ducati, the motorcycle maker, lost a case on this in Europe. There have been decisions the other way. But mostly where the copyright holder is in the entertainment business. It's complicated.

It's an interesting area. You can't copyright a functional object under US law. That's why you can buy third party auto parts. (The auto industry has lobbied Congress to give them copyright in body sheet metal so they could shut down the third party body part business. Congress didn't go for that.) Trade dress is a distinctive look for marketing reasons, which doesn't apply to a Humvee but might apply to a Harley. Design patents could apply, but they only have a term of 15 years; then the design is public domain. Despite this, Herman Miller has been suing makers of furniture who copy the Eames chair from the 1950s, with some success.

Incidental appearance of a branded product in a movie comes up all the time. See here for a lawyer's take on it. It's usually OK, but there are cautions. There are useful Nolo Press books on intellectual property if you want to read up on this.

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All that considered (animats info was interesting and LL traditionally does nothing about these type of cases) ----

 

YOU can have rules (and many events do) since it is your region and your shopping center.  So if you do not want that kind of thing happening in YOUR PLACE (and I certainly wouldn't) then add that to your rental agreement.  You can inform the folks breaking the rules that they will need to remove the offending merchandise or leave when there rental time is up. OR you could offer a refund on time not used.  IMO it wouldn't be fair to kick them out IF you had not made the rules clear when they rented.  That of course would be up to you. 

 

 

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On 4/6/2020 at 9:04 AM, Bold Burner said:

Dear reader, 

 

I run a city and in that city there are shops. 

The question is....If a shop uses...

 

"....for example, a trademarked logo or brand name, a distinctive product appearance (known as "trade dress"), characters or material from a movie, book, or other copyrighted work, or a celebrity image or name (protected as a "right of publicity").....

 

...then who is responsible for not breaching any intelligent property? Me as a city owner or the vendor?

 

Kind regards,

It would not be your responsibility, as it is not LL' s responsibility to enforce such a thing. Simply put, they CAN'T.
None of us can truly know if this person is licensed to use a brand, logo, trademark or 'trade dress', but it's not hard to understand they probably don't.
For that reason you really can't do anything about it, at least with LL.

Most licensed sellers will simply tell you "Yes, I am licensed" and are encouraged by the companies to display this fact, and tell people this fact - to create trust in buyers that they are buying from a licensed person.

If you politely approach the person and ask them, and the response is "**** off, mind your own business", as has happened to me many times in SL and more recently on Sansar - it's probably a scumbag up to nefarious purposes. On Sansar in particular, one will not find much support for copyrighted goods - as it appear that the general consensus over there is that it's okay to upload and sell content that is not yours or are unlicensed to - and anyone with a problem with that should shove off or "File a DMCA then". This kind of thing will be a constant problem that will most likely not get solved, because people just can't do the right thing.

Many companies do have pages you can report possible infringement, inquire about licensed users, and general contact that that is something that can be done.

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