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Second Life repays mark parody ...
Second Life repays mark parody in kind
The parody site, entitled Get A First Life (slogan: ‘Your world. Sorry about that.’), satirises Second Life users by poking fun at their fixation on the virtual world and their hopes of establishing a better life online than in reality.
Describing itself as ‘a 3D analog world where server lag does not exist,’ Get A First Life copies layouts and fonts from its target, and even has its own version of Second Life’s eye-in-the-hand logo. The parody mark has only the index finger open – gesturing, ‘first’ – and is reproduced extensively on a range of apparel sold through the site via Café Press.
Far from taking aggressive action against these acts of sweeping infringement, Linden Lab – famous for conferring IP rights upon Second Life users for their virtual innovations – has seen the funny side and contacted the site with a generous offer: ‘It has come to our attention that the website located at www.getafirstlife.com purports to appropriate certain trade dress and marks associated with Second Life and owned by Linden Lab,’ begins the letter. ‘That website currently includes a link in the bottom right-hand corner for “Comments or cease and desist letters.”’
It continues: ‘… any competent attorney is well aware that the outcome of sending a cease-and-desist letter regarding a parody is only to draw more attention to such parody, and to invite public scorn and ridicule of the humor-impaired legal counsel. 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 … Linden Lab hereby grants you a nonexclusive, nontransferable, nonsublicenseable, revocable, limited license to use the modified eye-in-hand logo. This license may be modified, addended, or revoked at any time by Linden Lab in its sole discretion.’