What is Intellectual Property (IP)?
IP is intangible creations of the mind, such as inventions, designs, names, logos and much more of the like. If you thought of it then it is your Intellectual Property one might think, but in the eyes of the law Intellectual Property rights require Copyrights, Patents & Trademarks.
Copyright: Owning the rights to something material, so that others can not sell or make the same thing without permission from the rights holder. Excluding Fair Use.
Patent: Owning the rights to an Idea this can be a business idea, new kind of engine technology, or anything that does not exist yet and is new that technologically improves existing methods.
Trademark: Owning the rights to a Brand, Logo or Slogan where others cannot use or even make anything that is to similar.
How the Permissions system helps to protect/open IP?
So when we create an Object in the Virtual World of Second Life we become the Creator and the initial Owner, we can then setup the permissions as outline in my previous blog post to not allow anyone to Copy, Modify or Transfer it making it completely secured most importantly from being copied, illegally shared or sold without permission,protecting their creation of the mind, Intellectual Property. They can also open it up if desired by enabling such permissions like transfer to provide the object to a new owner along with the right to sell the original or possibly copies of it with the creator and original owners permission.
What is CopyBot and how it can/should be used?
After reading an write up about Copy Bot I have to say im disappointed to see that someone has created this for Second Life, it is certainly a great concern for residents Intellectual Property rights.
Copy Bot allows the owner to instruct it to do many things that you usually cant and should not be doing in second life, such as copy protected prims, complex linked structures, residents avatar profiles or all the outfits of nearby residents and much more which is an infringement of Intellectual Property by theft and sadly Linden Labs cant do anything to stop it.
For more details see here:
So when should/can Copy Bot be used?
Well that is a tricky things, really it should not. But sadly Copyright allows for Fair Use of up to 10% of Intellectual property so long as it is not infringing of the owners rights, so i guess Copy Bot could be used to Copy up to 10% of a Profile, or outfit, prim etc, without really breaking any law, and then could use those small parts towards creating something completely unrelated.
Further Information about Intellectual Property in SL:
Second Life breaks Intellectual Property into 3 main categories being Copyrighted, Trademarked and Celebrity Material, and Strictly follows the Real life laws surrounding these as Second Life is still very much apart of Real Life, so all the same Intellectual Property concerns exist and infringements possible to be prosecuted in a court of law, Linden Labs do not make up their own laws the Virtual World.
Intellectual Property in Second Life described perfectly:
Intellectual Property more detailed by Linden Labs:
These descriptions by Linden Labs are only for general information and may vary slightly from any actual descriptions of the real laws as they are written across the world, or by the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). And I have noticed Linden Labs does not seem to really talk about Patents which are also a a part of Intellectual Property. For more information on what DMCA covers visit here.
Basically everything in Second Life would be considered Digital as it is all Virtual, and Complaints regarding infringement of Intellectual Property can be made to the DMCA directly whether it be in Second Life or Real Life digitally on a website for example, and the DMCA will send a infringement notice to whoever has breached it demanding it be removed immediately or face further prosecution, and prosecution can also happen where breaches occur again and again, alternatively Intellectual Property complaints in Second Life can be filed in writing by sending the concern to Linden Labs directly as they take it very seriously.
Details of your Intellectual Property Complaints process, or the process to fight an incorrect Infringement Notice are illustrated more clearly here:
Second Life has a program in place for handling IP Infringements which instead of just removing the content, it is instead replaced and locked down, with a note card attached informing the resident of the IP Infringement.
- “Textures, bodyparts, and clothing will be replaced with monochrome items that are the average color of the items they replace.”
- “Animations will be replaced with a special rotating animation by Blue Linden.”
- “Sounds will be replaced with a new sound recording from Torley Linden.”
- “Objects will be replaced with a plywood ball that displays an IP notice when you click on it.”
Linden Labs has a Question and Answers section specifically about Intellectual Property ad Complaints that has a lot of useful information that might answers most peoples general questions that can be found here:
They also have details about using their own Trademarked logos such as the Hand holding an Eye, which basically says there are exemptions they allow for but that as usual any use of a Trademark should be with permission from its rightful owner.
We must be very careful when building and creating things in Second Life and be very aware of Intellectual Property in all that we imagine to create, for just like the Real World it is punishable by law, so to is it for Virtual Worlds. While setting our permissions to our own Intellectual Property is always important to consider and get right to prevent infringement of your IP.