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linden-lab-logoThe talk of the day was #berryCopyright, a (erroneously named, as the dispute was about trademarks and not copyrights) hashtag encompassing a trademark complaint Linden Research Inc. filed with YouTube against a tutorial video by blogger/vlogger Strawberry Singh, who shared on her blog what had happened to her. Thankfully, sanity prevailed and Linden Research Inc., after considerable outcry by community members, bloggers, and commentators, reversed the ill-advised takedown notice and publicly apologised to Ms Singh. The trademark complaint which was filed with YouTube by the company’s IP specialist, who goes by the “Tia Linden” name in-world, was revoked, and an encouragingly-worded post was made on the company’s official blog. This trademark complaint honestly made no sense whatsoever, as the appearance of LL’s trademarks (most notably, the “eye-in-hand” logo) in the “offending” video had every hallmark of fair, informational use, as one can easily understand by reading the International Trademark Association’s material on the subject, and the material provided by Nolo (the latter was contributed to Strawberry Singh’s original post as a comment by Alana Onyett).

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UPDATE: The situation described herein has been resolved; please read the follow-up post here.


You had one job. How could you fuck it up so badly?

Perhaps thinking we had missed its worst, Linden Research Inc. decided to file a trademark complaint with YouTube against one of the biggest promoters, supporters, and advocates of Second Life, blogger/vlogger Strawberry Singh. The “offending” video is a tutorial, included in her “Introduction to Second Life” blog post, in which she explains to new users how to create an account, download the official viewer, and move around in their 3D surroundings. Since she unavoidably screen-captured her web browser to show people around the official website, the video obviously displayed SL’s eye-in-hand logo. The logo was also featured prominently in the 3D walkaround, as the in-world welcome area itself includes it.

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Maxwell Graf's shop on the Rustica sim.

Maxwell Graf’s shop on the Rustica sim. Click on the image for its full-size version.

Way back in late September, I blogged about the #ForMax initiative instigated by Charlotte Bartlett (of Scarlet Creative fame), Sophia Harlow, and Blazin Aubret to help out esteemed SL content creator, tinkerer, and all-around great guy Maxwell Graf (proprietor of Rustica – marketplace storein-world landmarkblog), who, along with his wife (her SL name is Lyyric Fei), found himself looking for a place to stay. The initiative took the form of a week-long shopping event on a sim graciously provided by award-winning SL architect Apple Fall, and raised more than L$1,000,000. Max and Lyyric have since found a new place to call home, an old building that used to be a cafeteria of sorts. It still needs a lot of work, as it had remained unused for quite some time. Winter is coming, and the snow is piling up. Max and Lyyric’s new residence still lacks central heating, as they haven’t been able to afford to have it checked, serviced and connected. As he mentioned in the comments of this plurk, they do have a couple of space heaters, but honestly, I don’t consider them to be a match for the sub-zero temperatures expected.

ForMax - 3 October through 10 October

ForMax – 3 October through 10 October

I know from personal experience very well what it’s like to try to put up with harsh winters and a shortage of funds caused by external factors over which you had absolutely no control. Being Greek and living through the recession and the sadistic EU-imposed austerity, I’ve gotten sadly accustomed to seeing main streets littered with homeless, impoverished people who once belonged to the middle class and have now been utterly destroyed; what’s happened here makes me angry at our “civilised” world which demonises the less fortunate with disgusting, misanthropic notions like “moral hazard”. The suffering so gleefully dished out at innocent people who were scapegoated for the white-collar crime that’s so lucrative for certain fiscal disciplinarians makes me ashamed of our species. I wouldn’t want anyone to be put through such an ordeal, and I try to help those in need as best I can in RL, with my limited resources and means.

I know we’ve already done something rather big, by SL standards, for Max. But, as I said, he’s got a winter ahead, and there’s no central heating in his residence at the moment. I would like to call upon all of my readers and fellow SLers to continue shopping at his store. He’s got some seriously good stuff in there that’ll grace any medieval-, rustic-, retro-, or steampunk-themed build – in fact, I’m sure many other build styles can be served very well by his products. Please note that Max himself hasn’t requested anything. I’m doing this simply because I want to help him out and because I’ve faced similarly hard circumstances in RL. So, please continue supporting him with your patronage. It’s going to be money well-spent: You’ll be getting some excellent products for your SL homes, and you’ll be helping a great person.



ForMax - 3 October through 10 October

ForMax – 3 October through 10 October; over L$1,000,000 raised to assist Max and Lyyric

Tuesday was the final day of the #ForMax event, which was organised in an amazingly short time by Charlotte Bartlett, Sophia Harlow, and Blazin Aubret to raise as much money as possible to help Maxwell Graf, one of the most highly-respected SL content creator, and his RL wife, Lyyric Fei. Max and Lyyric found themselves suddenly in an appalling, heart-breaking situation that rendered them homeless through the callous and selfish behaviour of other parties. Award-winning SL architect Apple Fall and the organisers of the Shiny Shabby event also offered generous assistance; Apple Fall donated his sim, and Shiny Shabby offered the booths for the event.

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The updated Bentley, by Luna Fatale. I had the pleasure of contributing to its improvement. Click on any image to go to its full-size version. Links always open in new tabs.

The updated Bentley, by Luna Fatale. I had the pleasure of contributing to its improvement. Click on any image to go to its full-size version. Links always open in new tabs.

I’d stated before that I don’t drive in Second Life, and I usually don’t even incorporate cars as props in my builds and photoshoots. There are many reasons why I typically avoid them like the plague, and I’ll get – once again – into some detail below.

For starters, the vast majority of cars in SL handle like a drunken pig on ice skates. They steer in a completely unrealistic, twitchy and vague manner, not least because of the lack of integration with simulator-style controllers, such as steering wheels or analogue joysticks, that would make in-world cars steer progressively and with the precision and fluidity we’ve come to expect from a real-world vehicle. Also, in-world vehicles are – and will continue to be – plagued by the vagaries of region crossings, which can cause all sorts of trouble, from camera issues to the vehicle continuing its course without its occupants, or even crashes. These issues take much of the enjoyment of going for a ride on an automobile, a motorcycle, a boat, an aeroplane out of the experience. Read Full Article