Real lawsuit over virtual Second Life

Kevin Alderman, the creator of Second Life's highly popular SexGen program sued the virtual character for breaking his program's copy protection and selling unauthorized copies of the SexGen Platinum, a US$ 45 program that equips Second Life avatars with genitalia and lets them perform various sexual acts.

The civil lawsuit was filed in Tampa, Florida as a fitting response to Volkov Catteneo, when the latter said, "What are you going to do? Sue me?" when he was finally confronted about the copyright infringement issue. Alderman of Eros LLC gave his own analysis of Catteneo's behavior.

Catteneo has claimed that he provided fake personal information upon joining Linden Lab's Second Life. However, Alderman's lawyer Francis X. Taney said that they already know Catteneo's real identity and are verifying it through PayPal account records. "There is a whole lot less anonymity online than people think," Electronic Frontier Foundation's Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann said. He also mentioned that 20,000 people getting sued for downloading music is proof enough that people are not as anonymous as they think they are over the Internet.

Taney has admitted that the involvement of virtual sex made the lawsuit garner a lot of attention, but he explains that Alderman's case holds legal ground, saying that as a software, the SexGen is copyrightable and is grounds for a lawsuit. He also added that, "There is some sizzle. People like to say it's really far out there, but at the end of the day I equate it to basic intellectual property principles."

IF it is software, then it should be subject to copyright laws. I think I'll keep my second life in Paragon City. Of course, I'm not a people person. I'd rather blow stuff up. :)

No comments: