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Linden Labs Sends "Permit-and-Proceed" Letter 140

linuxwrangler writes "In sharp contrast to the incidents chronicled at Chilling Effects, Second Life creators Linden Labs have sent the parody site Get a First Life a proceed-and-permit letter. From the letter: 'Linden Lab is well-known for having strict hiring standards, including a requirement for having a sense of humor, from which our lawyers receive no exception. In conclusion, your invitation to submit a cease-and-desist letter is hereby rejected.' The letter also grants permission to use the parody logos."
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Linden Labs Sends "Permit-and-Proceed" Letter

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  • by delirium of disorder ( 701392 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @02:09AM (#17824628) Homepage Journal
    "FU and the virtual horse you rode in on" to Linden Labs in regards to this letter -- especially the final sentence This license may be modified, addended, or revoked at any time by Linden Lab in its sole discretion.

    Lighten up, it's a joke!
  • by creysoft ( 856713 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @02:18AM (#17824662)
    They acknowledge First Life's inherent right to parody several times, even jokingly stated that they were insulted by the idea that their lawyers WOULDN'T recognize such a right. The only "license" here is a license for the derivative trademark, which they note "may require a license." Notice they didn't say "does require a license." It's more, "Hey, we think this probably falls under fair use. But just in case it doesn't, and anyone ever hassles you about it, here's a license saying you can use it anyway."

    The final clause is standard CYA language. If, for example, First Life started using their derivative logo to do something damaging to Second Life's reputation, Second Life's lawyers may look into it, and if, in fact, the logo is infringing, they may revoke the license. Surely you can't reasonably expect them to grant them a perpetual, non-revokable license to do anything they want with a very slightly modified logo?

    The whole thing's basically a joke anyway, to let everyone know that they know about First Life, and are 100% OK with it. It's also a cheap jab at companies with less sense of humor.
  • Re:IP and Fair Use (Score:5, Informative)

    by GuyWithLag ( 621929 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @02:31AM (#17824736)
    Actually, Linden Labs had to permit or deny use of their logo, or risk losing the trademark. This is a clever move by them both from the legal side and the PR it generates.
  • Re:Yay linden labs (Score:5, Informative)

    by Boogaroo ( 604901 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @02:35AM (#17824758) Homepage
    Copyright and trademark are different situations. To protect your trademark(logo, company name, etc) you MUST take action to protect it. If you ignore it, you may lose your trademark protection. If you license/permit the usage to a group, this is seen as a way to protect your trademark since you've considered the usage and allowed the parties to use the trademark.

    If they did nothing at all, that would cause potential problems. Their response is both classy, and covers their ass.
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @02:43AM (#17824800) Journal
    Actually they'd be right to ignore it. If they accept it or reject or respond in any way they legitimise it. In any case being granted permission does not set a precedent that you MUST be granted permission. If my boss tells me I can go to the doctor if I'm seriously ill and need urgent medical attention it does not mean that if he doesn't give permission the next time I'm ill that I can't go. No license needed to be granted here. I believe parody is protected under US laws, though I'm not a US citizen and I honestly don't know the detail.

  • by wellingj ( 1030460 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @02:58AM (#17824862)
    Did any one else see the google adds for Second Life on the First Life web site?
    Did that happen before or after the letter?
  • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @03:26AM (#17824972)
    This license may be modified, addended, or revoked at any time by Linden Lab in its sole discretion.

    This was taken out of context. It simply is in refrence to the online store selling items with the modified logo. If the site creator got out of line with the products with the modified logo, they simply reserve the right to revoke the license to use the logo. The fact they granted a license to use the mofified logo is without fees or royalty payments is very gracious.

    Try using the Mickey Mouse logo in a modified form on your website in a paradoy and sell products with the logo. I doubt the Disney lawyers have a sense of humor regarding selling products with a Mickey logo.
  • Re:Yay linden labs (Score:5, Informative)

    by bersl2 ( 689221 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @03:33AM (#17824990) Journal
    Trademark law (at least, the case law) doesn't work like that.

    If you do not take steps to protect your trademark by either threatening to sue or---apparently, because I've never seen it done like this until now---granting permission, then if someone does end up violating your trademark, no matter how flagrantly, they can argue (and successfully at that) that the mark has been diluted and is therefore invalid. You snooze, you lose.

    Interestingly, a recent instance of this happening was when Sega Europe fired off a nastygram [] to YTMND [] regarding an instance of [ahem] unsavory treatment [link NSFW] [] of a certain trademarked character. Sega can't do anything right these days. If you read the C&D, you can tell it's pure BS, but it's this aspect of trademark law (i.e., needing to defend marks in such an asshatterous manner) that gets it put on my personal proscription list, along with copyright and patent.
  • Re:IP and Fair Use (Score:5, Informative)

    by miyako ( 632510 ) <miyako&gmail,com> on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @08:57AM (#17826268) Homepage Journal
    I see this complaint all the time, but if something is already modded funny (which doesn't give karma) can't you just mod it underrated- which will give karma and not change the label? That's what I generally do if something is funny enough to be worth karma, or largely funny but also insightful.
  • by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @12:07PM (#17828452) Homepage

    1. It works. Everything but video works fine. Sure, it crashes once in a while, but so does the Windows one, so I don't think that's specific to the Linux version.

    2. I have modified the source, and connected to the main grid using the compiled client.

    Regarding whether they accept patches, not 100% sure there, but the latest version compiles on GCC 4.1 when the first releases didn't. It looks like they integrated fixes people made for that.
  • Re:depressing (Score:3, Informative)

    by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) * on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @12:41PM (#17828928) Homepage
    It's been a while, but I distinctly recall her saying she was 16 in the movie.

    Of course, that's still "underage" in most states, but the concept is not as disturbing as if she were 12...


Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"