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Want to know how you can protect your ideas in SL.


Krush Landar
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Hello, I wrote on the question forum or where it says answers and one of the answers I received was to post here.

 

I have an idea and so far, I have not seen this product listed for sell anywhere. I will need a scriptwriter to write the script. Since I can not build or write a script, I will have to share the profit with someone. My question is, how would I protect myself from having this idea from being claimed by the scriptwriter as his/her own? Would this still fall under getting a patent through a game or is there another venue to consider? Also, since this would be my idea and the scriptwriter would be doing the work, who would have the ownership of the end product? Is it advisable to contact a lawyer or get legal contracts filled out on copyright, trademarks, or patents?

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You don't protect your ideas. Unless you have a million USD to pursue someone across borders - and even then it won't work out probably.

I would advise you modularise your scripts between different scripters so they don't have all the pieces of the puzzle. Either that or strike up a relationship with a scripter and build a give-take relationship that works ;)

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RL or SL, there is no protection for any idea unless you go the full legal route and are prepared to defend it in the courts. The Internet did not invent deceit or mistrust, it just spread it farther and wider than before. Having grown up in the tech field, albeit during the age before the Internet and world-wide communications, I can personally attest to seeing ideas stolen and utilized with zero remuneration to the true inventor. Heck, my father told me stories of ideas and inventions that he witnessed purloined with nothing repaid to the creator of the idea. (And that was way before the transistor was born.)

The real secret is to build trust first. Find someone that has a good reputation .. ask around .. ask for references and do your homework. Document your idea with as much detail as you can. Not only will it help you work out the full requirements of your idea, but can serve as proof should things go sour.

And finally be prepared to either pay real-world money to get your product developed .. or find someone willing to trust you enough AND that believes in your idea enough to share the risk. By real-world money, I mean amounts that any professional programmer would charge per hour. Here in the USA, that's on the order of $100 and up per hour .. and a lot of projects can run to 100+ hours. So yes, it can be quite expensive.

Looking for someone willing to charge less? The risk goes up. Want someone to share the profits? The risk goes up. It's a balance and a gamble .. and you're never 100% protected.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained" was a saying invented long before the 20th Century began .. and for very good reason.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

RL or SL, there is no protection for any idea unless you go the full legal route and are prepared to defend it in the courts.

Actually, there is no protection of ideas at all. You can only copyright your particular implementation of an idea, but you can't copyright the idea itself. The courts come in when someone copies your particular implementation. If ideas were copyrightable, we'd only have one brand of car and one brand of toilet tissue.

Which actually might make life a little easier when shopping.

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No compete contract, and/or NDA (non disclusure agreement) might help.

I know non compete contracts would be for a location, not sure of a virtual world.

TOS says you can patent BUT not keep othes in world from your patented methods. So, they can use it as a resident here, even if you own a patent. BUT, this is a TOS and may not be legal. Maybe it is not even in TOS anymore, but I rememebr reading something about it.

IF the scripter comes up with the method...uh, he patents it and you get to use the scirts royalty free? This is what happens, I think. I mean, I am nto a lawyer but have recently read up on stuff to do with legal stuff in SL.

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The truth is, you can protect your idea under a patent if you file the idea as process that is repeatable, has never been used before and that you can claim first use of.  Long story short is that you probably wont go that route and given that the idea utilizes the SL platform that is already covered with patents, you have little chance in getting one passed.

If you hire someone to write code for you, any code they create for you is owned by you however, that does not negate their ability to also use that code in many cases as they often retain the IP rights and allow you a license to use their code.

In the end, I recommend an attorney to do this and in that no one will do this as pro-bono or on a contingency, you need to use a back up plan.  Get in fast, make as much as you can then when everyone steals your idea, you move on and create another great idea.  Sort of how the world works these days in SL.

Simple rule on rights to remember. Anything you upload into the system that you created outside of SL is all yours. Anything that had to be created within SL using the SL tools, belongs to LL.

 

 

 

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