Splitting Hairs Over Trademarks

Pirates ahoy!Laurap Linden thankfully replied on the Official Second Life® Blog to our plea for clarification on some of the more subtle issues of Linden Lab®’s policy on the trademark usage.

In fact, the most important question was not exactly about the trademark usage; after all, the complete guidelines for their usage are spelt out on their Second Life Brand Center. Amy Witherite of EW Lawyers has said that, any lawyer should be able to read through all of those and say what is allowed and what is not, it is not ambiguous or overbearing to combrehend. Similarly, graphical designers — such a large part of Second Life’s population — are by now used to similar guidelines for their other customers; as well as communication and marketing specialists. There is nothing new on the guidelines for anyone that is used to deal with them. For the rest of us, Linden Lab took pains to write a reasonably detailed FAQ, which should be enough for anyone wishing to use LL’s trademarks on their texts.

No, the two most important questions were about banning avatars from non-compliant users and “grandfathering” the existing use of the trademarks in the past four years thanks to a gentler policy.

Clarification did go a long way

Captain Jack Sparrow blows kiss to GwynLaurap Linden did go a long way to establish Linden Lab’s position regarding the use of their trademarks outside of Second Life — a service where, of course, the Terms of Service apply. Like Tateru Nino so well pointed out at Massively, what they said on the ToS, and what they publicly claimed were at odds. Laurap now makes it clear: yes, Linden Lab will ban you if ultimately you refuse to comply with their trademark usage guidelines.

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