Petition to Linden Lab on the Policy of Trademark Enforcement

We would also request Linden to further clarify the potentially censurous policy towards residents implied in the guidelines in conjunction with the Terms of Service:

  1. Clarify that the rules and policies outlined in the brand guidelines under the heading of Proper Reference to Linden Lab’s Brand Names in Text do not apply to cases covered by rights of free speech, including but not limited to nominative use of trademarked terms under US law and equivalent rights conferred upon users of the Second Life® service by local legislation.
  2. Clarify that Linden Research does not intend to ban or threaten to ban users exerting the rights delineated above, independently of the contractual relationship created by their usage of the Second Life® service.

We feel that the above proposal, if correctly implemented, and duly promoted, will not only reinforce Linden’s claim to their registered trademarks, but positively encourage their further widespread in all media, without hurting the millions of hours spent in the past year by dozens of thousand of users to promote and disseminate Linden’s products and services world-wide.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the following residents, who helped fleshing out the above document, provided insight, comments, and rewriting of several sections, as well as some minor legal advice.

Cat Magellan and Ana Lutetia, for their encouragement in writing the petition
Rheta Shan, for the extensive revision and adding several sections and changes
SignpostMarv Martin for comments and more external links
Jamie Palisades, for comments on estoppel and genericide
iAlja Writer, Tateru Nino, and several others for taking a look at the document and making some private comments
PalUP Ling, for the T-shirt 🙂 (and his promotion)
Jacek Antonelli, for her uncannily good Mouth in Foot logo!
The unofficial community of Second Life® residents on Twitter, for a lot of comments, input, and ideas
An even larger group of bloggers that wrote about the issue, providing lots to think about, and including, but definitely not limited, to the following articles:
http://www.vintfalken.com/insl-your-world-your-imagination-our-trademark/
http://sl.governormarley.com/slpress/?p=27
http://codebastardredgrave.com/2008/03/26/so-they-owe-us-a-sl/
http://dedricmauriac.wordpress.com/2008/03/25/a-generic-post-to-avoid-copyright-infringement/
http://www.technovia.co.uk/2008/03/the-huge-kerfuffle-over-second-life-trademarks.html
http://harperganesvoort.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/sl-brand-center-followup/
http://laetizia.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/clarity-there-is-movement-there-is-not/
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