Second Life Wiki Receives Takedown Notice

The creator of Second Life in Education, a wiki designed to document the educational uses of the online world, has received notice from developer Linden Labs that the site infringes on their trademark.

The website has been in operation since 2006. While Jokay Wollongong wrote on her blog that the notice came as “a kick in the guts,” the site’s founder said that she would not fight the request and would move the resources of her wiki to another domain. She also wrote:

I also worry that this is a sign of things to come for many other residents who are creating fantastic content.

Massively notes that one of the infringements in question centered on Linden Lab’s SL trademark, which they only registered within the past two weeks.

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  1. 0
    Technogeek says:

    Actually, if it’s because of the two-weeks-registered trademark, it makes perfect sense.

    The thing is, under US law, a trademark must be actively defended in order for the registree to continue to claim it. This is actually at the root of a number of stories involving Disney suing people for painting Mickey Mouse on the walls of a daycare they run (or the like) — if a competitor can prove that Disney (or Linden Labs, in this case) knew about unauthorized usage of the trademark but did not act, they have legitimate grounds for the courts to rule the trademark abandoned, at which point they can start using said trademark with their own products without having to pay a dime.

    The Massively article did argue (and I would be inclined to agree, though of course it’s not like I’ve ever taken, let alone passed, any bar exam) that the usage of the trademark in this context would likely fall under fair use, so I’m thinking Neeneko was right about it being an overzealous lawyer more worried about "Second Life" becoming a legally generic term for virtual worlds than about not pissing off the community.

  2. 0
    Weatherlight says:

    The thing is, if she had the site for this long and Linden Labs knew about it and said nothing until now, I would think she would have a leg to stand on, so long as she is not charging or making money off of it.

    This just seems strange.


  3. 0
    Karsten Aaen says:

    I don’t understand this? Is just as if Linden Labs (Second Life) does not want a website documented how much can be learned from playing computergames online. Hopefully, this is a just a lawyer who tries to earn his keep…

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Massively had a good post on it pointing out that this is probably the result of a lawyer who was tasked with ‘protecting the trademark’ trying to rack up kills to prove their worth.

    It would not surprise me if LL management came back with an apology… I would be surpised if they even knew this was happening ahead of time.

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