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Mylar

Was the IP tutorial really worth it?

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I just did a search on the market place for mesh avatars, and found a whole gob of avatars that are blatant IP violations. And only the IP owner can flag these items (anyone should be able to flag them, since it violates the TOS as well as IP rights). So when you get right down to it, why did LL even bother. I actually had to take the test twice (for agni AND aditi). Mesh hasn't even been fully rolled out, and the attempt at IP protection is already out the window.

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The test exists not to educate us, but to protect Linden Lab. So they can say, in the face of massive violations, that they informed their users to the intricacies of IP law, and hopefully avoid becoming a party to the inevitable wave of lawsuits.

I agree with you that if residents could flag content, we could clear up a lot of the IP trouble in SL. But when LL is offering a line of vehicle avatars obviously based on known cars, I don't think they have their eyes on this particular prize.

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Do you mind providing a link to the gobs of blatant IP violations? This is the second time someone has said something like this and I don't know if something is wrong with my search but I can find barely a handful of anything that is mesh. I was thinking people were being very good and not putting mesh up for sale yet as LL is asking us to do, until the full rollout. I would like to see what people are talking about. As far as the vehitars provided by LL in the library I am not going to comment as I do not know what rights LL holds to stuff or how much they have made sure the precentage of change from original is enough to not warrent IP infringement.

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guY Ralior wrote:

Do you mind providing a link to the gobs of blatant IP violations? This is the second time someone has said something like this and I don't know if something is wrong with my search but I can find barely a handful of anything that is mesh. I was thinking people were being very good and not putting mesh up for sale yet as LL is asking us to do, until the full rollout. I would like to see what people are talking about. As far as the vehitars provided by LL in the library I am not going to comment as I do not know what rights LL holds to stuff or how much they have made sure the precentage of change from original is enough to not warrent IP infringement.

I can't point out the actual violations, since that's against the TOS for this board. I would be happy to point out designers that are making legitimate mesh avatars if you like.

@jennylongview: IP violation is selling something you don't own the rights to, such as stuff from final fantasy or pokemon.

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You aren't able to provide links to avatars that are for sale on the marketplace? How is that a violations of the TOS? I am asking you to provide links for mesh avatars, I can only find one, which hardly accounts for gobs of stuff. Supposingly they would be the ones violationg the TOS as you have stated not you for simply providing links to avatars that are available for sale on the marketplace.

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IP in this case means Intellectual Property rights. These are things like copyright and patents. 3D models fail in the catagory of copyrightable materials.

If you create something, called an orignal work it is protected by copyright automatically. However, if it actually has significant worth, one needs to formally copyright it by filing a copyright. The point of that is to prove date of creation and to name the author of the work. It is not uncommon to have someone try to copyright antohers creation. You can Google for all the in's and out's of copyright drama and law suites.

Processes and ways of doing things fall in the area of patents.

Trademarks are names and logos like Second Life that brand/identify a product or service. They are their own thing.

Use of copyrighted, patented, or trademarked materials requires express permision from the holder of the copyright, patent, or trademark. They usually charge for the priveldge, but not always. Many of us have released copyrightable, patentable, or trademarkable materials under varous licenses that allow poeple to use the items without payment and only minor restrictions.

Some of us use Creative Commons, which is a liberal license that most often only requires one acknowledge the oringal creator of the item (usually called a WORK).

These licenses can get quite complex. Often similar apparing objects and objects from the same source (think Flickr) have very different licensing requirements. Depending on who you got your license for a model of the HULK from and what it says, you may or may not be able to use it in SL. It may even become a matter of how you use the model in SL that determines if it is legal or not.

So, just seeing a model in SL does not make it an illegal use. One has to know the licening agreement the person using the model has with the creator. In many cases the chances are very good that it is an illegal use because the author/creator is know to not license their material or does so only at a high cost. If you see a Superman model, Batman, Hulk, or other popular media icon it is about 99% certain it is being miss used.

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IP is short for "Intellectual Property", which includes Copyright, Trademark, Trade Secrets, and Invention and Design Patents.  Those rights are all different from each other, but share being intangible and being capable of being sold and infringed upon.  The latter makes it possible to go to court over Intellectual Property Rights.

A given item may have multiple rights attached.  For example, the ingredients in Coca Cola are a trade secret, the machines in the bottling plant may be invention patented, the shape of the bottle may be a design patent, the brand name is a trademark, and the bottle label may be copyrighted.

The general way IP rights work is they allow the owner to do certain things, and everyone else may not do those things without permission.  If you do those things anyway, without permission, that is called an "infringement" or "violation" of the rights the owner has.  For example, copyright gives the owner exclusive right to make copies of a creative work.  There are limited exceptions, but in general you may not make copies unless you are given permission to.

The specific details of what rights apply go by country.  Almost every country is party to treaties that respect rights granted in other countries.  How strongly rights are enforced varies, and there is a dichotomy between IP rights which say you may not make copies, and computers and the internet which have making copies as a fundamental feature.

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I'm confused here.

I am not familiar with SL violations and the like and I always thought that flagging an item means reporting it. However, after I checked the FAQ specifically for the flag option, I saw various options you can choose from. However, I could not find the IP infringement option besides IP infringment on your own rights. 

So what I'm wondering is, lets say I want to report a merchant to LL because he/she is selling stuff from which I'm 99% sure he/she doesn't own the proper rights.

Can I do this, or will LL only take action when the person who actually has the IP rights takes action?

edit:

Nevermind, found my answer "To submit a notification, you must be the intellectual property owner or an authorized agent of the intellectual property owner. Do not submit an abuse report. Requests to remove allegedly infringing content are not handled through the abuse process. "

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

 

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Although LL asked people not to sell mesh while it is in beta, they haven't barred the activity. So, there are some people already selling mesh. But, I have only personally seen one mesh avatar on the marketplace.

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I believe I found the same avatar you are speaking of and I only found the one myself as well, which I know for sure is not an IP violation as we saw the person making it through posts on this forum.

I also found a handful of things offered in mesh some of which including the avatar we are speaking about that had excellent descriptions of what the person is buying so they can make an informed decision. So I was just wondering where these gobs of IP infringements are?

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I think the problem is that people only think things are IP infringements. If you did not make the creation, then you can not know at all, for sure, that it is an infringement. Only the original creator can know for sure, which is why only they can report the item. Too many people are making assumptions that they have no business making. If you feel something infringes on some1 elses IP, then don't buy the product. If you feel strongly about it, then contact the original creator.

Don't get me wrong here, I've actually had people come to me and say they have seen some1 else selling my stuff, and I greatly appreciate that. IP tho, is not straight forward, and has many grey areas. If you went totally by the tutorial that LL has, then many things would be considered IP infringements. LL has to cover their backsides and is always going to use the broadest interpretation of IP. Again tho, only the IP holder can know for sure if something is an infringement, hence why LL can only take action when the actual IP holder contacts them.

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Medhue Simoni wrote:

I think the problem is that people only think things are IP infringements. If you did not make the creation, then you can not know at all, for sure, that it is an infringement. Only the original creator can know for sure, which is why only they can report the item. Too many people are making assumptions that they have no business making.


Well said Medhue.

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Go look at the new vehicle avatars provided by LL. You'll see a Beetle, an F-40, a Warthog, etc., which violate the copyrights of Volkswagen, Ferrari, Fairchild, etc.

That is why I do not think LL is that bothered by IP violations. They're doing it themselves.

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Actually I don't think car designs CAN be copyrighted.  Logos, slogans and other trademarks are protected, but car designs, fashion designs, shoe designs, food designs etc aren't necessarily subject to copyright.  Art like Mickey Mouse, the Simpsons, Sailor Moon, etc, those can be, as can be music and film.

For example, if I make a shoe with a certain design element, I can't claim copyright over that idea.  I CAN claim copyright over the artwork I have created using that idea, in this case, the 3D model that represents that idea in SL.  But I can't say that no one else can ever use that style of heel because it was my idea.  Anyone else is welcome to use that idea in their OWN DESIGN.  And car designs fall under the same category.

This here is a very interesting talk on this subject - worth watching.    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/johanna_blakley_lessons_from_fashion_s_free_culture.html

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Ferrari cracks down on their own fanclubs if they use the Ferrari name with the long top-bar "F." That is for corporate use only. I'm just guessing they would be unhappy to see their F40 in SL.

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Siddean Munro wrote:

Actually I don't think car designs CAN be copyrighted.  Logos, slogans and other trademarks are protected, but car designs, fashion designs, shoe designs, food designs etc aren't necessarily subject to copyright.  Art like Mickey Mouse, the Simpsons, Sailor Moon, etc, those can be, as can be music and film.

For example, if I make a shoe with a certain design element, I can't claim copyright over that idea.  I CAN claim copyright over the artwork I have created using that idea, in this case, the 3D model that represents that idea in SL.  But I can't say that no one else can ever use that style of heel because it was my idea.  Anyone else is welcome to use that idea in their OWN DESIGN.  And car designs fall under the same category.

This here is a very interesting talk on this subject - worth watching.    


Right, the only car "shape" that is actually protected is the shape of a Porsche Boxter. And a oldtimer Morgan, if I remember right. If all shapes were be protected, the evolution of cars would be way to difficult. So you normally don't get any protection on those. Just look at these chinese cars: http://gemssty.com/2006/10/29/top-10-copycat-cars/

And they can't make anything about it, except the to similar Logo was sued and won by Toyota.

And these Avatars aren't Ferraris, Volkswagen, or what ever, as long as LL doesn't name them so, or put a black horse logo on it.

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Well said Siddean and Arton. And thanks for that link Arton, more people should see it so they get a better understanding of how copyright actually works. (versus trademark and patents)

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I am a graphic designer with 25 years experience, starting out in video games. Bottom line, I know copyright inside out. HOWEVER, you guys needs to take on board that your little quiz is based around U.S. copyright, and there are subtle differences with other countries copyright laws, and your quiz assumes knowledge or access to the U.S. version. Please update it.

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