A Seller of Online Adult Novelties Brought Federal Copyright and Trademark Infringement Claims Alleging: “Linden looks the other way, while virtual residents rip off the SexGen product line, which includes specially programmed beds, rugs, sofas and even a coffin that enable consenting avatars to engage in virtual sex acts.”

Story here. Sample SexGen commodified virtual monster genitalia below. Might not be safe for work, apologies if this post got you fired.

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3 thoughts on “A Seller of Online Adult Novelties Brought Federal Copyright and Trademark Infringement Claims Alleging: “Linden looks the other way, while virtual residents rip off the SexGen product line, which includes specially programmed beds, rugs, sofas and even a coffin that enable consenting avatars to engage in virtual sex acts.”

  1. It just HAD to happen didn’t it? I guess it was inevitable! Secondary liability in Second Life – and of course it HAD to be about sex toys…

  2. I’m struggling to maintain a sense of decorum around here, so thanks!

    Can we get serious for a second? Because it might be a lot of fun to talk how the day that having sex — even virtual sex — became a question of IP rights is the day that IP rights owners just went too far — but there are interesting doctrinal questions here.

    What IP rights is Eros asserting? If its SexGen mark is being used in connection with the sale of a virtual but “counterfeit” version of the device, then the claim is relatively straightforward. But the complaint is written in a way that suggests that the device is itself a mark (trade dress); that implicates functionality questions, and then we have to talk about such questions as whether the design of the device is “essential to its use or purpose” — where “use or purpose” is metaphorical, or virtual. At least with physical sex toys the question of “function” is pretty straightforward, if you’ll pardon the pun.

  3. But why not simply copyright infringement either in the graphic depiction of the device or in the underlying code? Wouldn’t that be easier to argue?

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