The Aftermath of the New Second Life Trademark Policy

Branding, Business, News Announcements, Second Life, Virtual Worlds on April 19th, 2008 No Comments

Registered Trademark Symbol

Though I announced a few days ago that I would be bringing back my blog, I waited until today to start writing again. I did this out of respect for my fellow bloggers who write specifically about Second Life. These bloggers held a three day strike from April 15th-April 18th to protest the new Second Life® trademark policy. While I don’t completely agree with some of their arguments and I don’t think striking was the best way to protest, I am not one to go crossing even the virtual picket lines of those who I support in general.

It started when Linden Lab, under the pretext of introducing the new “Second Life® Brand Center,” announced their new trademark policy. In classic Linden fashion, their delivery was mismanaged and outraged the community. The policy was also not very clear. About a week later, Linden Lab offered a further explanation of the policy, but the explanation only reiterated what was already stated and did not further answer any additional concerns or questions. With no real response to their questions, the Second Life bloggers began to protest. SL blogger Gwyneth Llewelyn wrote a petition to Linden Labs and when it went unanswered the strike was organized.

The bloggers did receive a response this time. It addressed many of the issues that were raised, but most of the bloggers are still not satisfied with the answers. They wanted Linden Labs to hold to the old “fansite” policies and to grandfather in everyone.

My opinion is that obviously it would be impossible to grandfather that amount of people in and they are under no obligation to do so. I understand what Linden Lab is now saying contradicts some of the previous “fansite” policies, but Linden Labs is doing exactly what it should do and what they have to do to protect their brand. I think their delivery should have been better and they should have done it a long time ago, but not doing it at all is not an option. If they continue letting people take advantage of the Second Life brand they could lose it completely and it would be quite difficult to then stop others from using it inappropriately.

I suggest that the community stop fighting the inevitable, and make the necessary adjustments. But if you are still bitter, you can vent your resentments in response to Vint Falken’s call for the Best Trademark Parody. Your animosity might just earn you the $10,000L bounty.

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