Second Life and the DMCA

As mentioned recently (reLink), the piracy of virtual goods has once again become an issue in the virtual world of Second Life. The current discussion surrounds the lucrative skin trade (I had to say that). As most people familiar with this topic know, textures for avatars (aka “skins”) generate quite a bit of real world profit for their creators; reportedly more than $50k/year for the more talented and enterprising among them. So the emergence of the OGLE videostream capture tool was bad news for quite a number of content creators. I’ve even been told by an acquaintance working in Hollywood computer-generated special effects that manufacturer NVidia is concerned about the development. For some background and some relevant comments having to do with OGLE and Second Life, you might want to read a previous entry (reLink).

In any event, given that the only apparent option is to submit a DMCA takedown notice, residents have asked if anyone had attempted to protect their content by going through official Linden Lab channels. Well, the answer is an unfortunate “Yes”. From the Second Life forum comes this comment from SL resident katykiwi Moonflower:

Yes. Jake and I, acting in the capacity of our real life identities as lawyers, have issued notice to LL of copyright infringement pursuant to the DMCA on behalf of a member who contacted us for legal assistance. LL ignored the DMCA notice and the content has not been removed even though the creator of the content is not disputed.

Considering Linden Lab’s dependence on user-created content, this doesn’t sound good. I’ll update this post as necessary since I’ve little doubt there’s more to be said.