Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER Lawsuit

April 21, 2009 -

TASER International, which manufactures the controversial electric stun guns that bear its name, has given a jolt to Linden Lab and a number of its corporate executives with a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Arizona.

TASER, which faces numerous lawsuits of its own filed by individuals who have been tased (or, in some cases, their survivors) is concerned that virtual TASER replica items are being sold in Second Life as gear for SL avatars (see pic at left).

TASER also alleges that its brand will be damaged via association with virtual sex and virtual drug use occuring within Second Life. From the 102-page complaint:

All of the defendants that sell virtual property like Plaintiff's real ones, under the mark TASER for use in Second Life programs and grids, also sell adult-only explicit images and scenes... thus attaching such content to the TASER mark... and also sell unlawful drug materials... thus attaching such content to the TASER mark...

TASER 's claims are primarily based on trademark considerations. The company seeks damages in excess of $75,000.

Via: Massively

UPDATE: New World Notes has more...

UPDATE 2: GamesLaw offers a legal analysis of the TASER suit.

UPDATE 3: New World Notes reports that Linden Lab, owner of SL, contacted an in-world vendor of virtual items and requested that "Taser" be replaced with "stun gun."


Comments

Re: Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER ...

does postal 2 call them tasers or stun guns?

taser doesn't own the right to stun guns but they are trying to protect their brand here

Re: Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER ...

Been a while since I played it last, but I think they were just called Stun Guns.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER Lawsuit

True, but what I was getting at is this is the first I heard about them not wanting their product assciated with a certain something, yet not attacking forms of media that might do it worse. Almost no one knows about SL or cares when something happens there, yet other things get a free ride.

Re: Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER Lawsuit

People outside of the gaming 'loop' always seem to think SL is a far, far bigger deal than it is. Just look at politicians who keep trying to use it to 'connect with the youth of today'.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER ...

It's rather funny really... I never even knew about SL until I started coming to this site.

Re: Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER Lawsuit

Did they or did they not give permission for their brand to be in the game? Surely it's that simple?

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER ...

Assuming they are suing the right people, that is exactly what it will come down to.

But since they are suing Linden Labs instead, it will get rather murkey since LL is not the content producer nor the content owner.  This really gets into the whole topic of who is legally responsible for user created content, esp when one expclititly does NOT claim ownership of what is producted.

Re: Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER ...

It depends; Linden Labs is selling the currency used to puchase the virtual TASERS; it could be argued that they profit off the sales of any virtual content they allow on their servers and are therefore responsible for that content.

Re: Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER ...

I can honestly say that I agree with Taser's lawsuit on this one. If I were trying to run a reputible company, I'd hate to have my image associated with pornography and drug use, even to such a small audience. Generally speaking, I usually am biased towards the little person, with regards to corporations suing individuals, but in this case, I can see Taser's point.

Re: Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER ...

We at Taser, would hate to see our reputation get ruined by people doing dastardly deeds, so were also looking to pull out of the "Earth" market. Due to people being people.

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