The Future is a Strange Place.

Words I never expected to type into Google: "sex gen cuddle rug".

Raising the stakes on a two-year-old intellectual property controversy in Second Life, a popular seller of online adult novelties filed a federal copyright- and trademark-infringement lawsuit against Linden Lab this week. The suit claims that 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.

Attorneys for Eros LLC founder Kevin Alderman wrote: "Those merchants who sell cheap, imitation knockoffs bearing the SexGen mark harm Eros by causing further confusion among consumers when the products they purchased do not function in the ways they expect SexGen products to function."

For its part, Linden Lab makes money by charging a modest membership fee, running a currency exchange between Linden bucks and real U.S. dollars, and selling and taxing virtual real estate -- all of which is tainted by profits from the pirated material, the lawsuit claims.

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9 Responses:

  1. ultranurd says:

    I realize the circumstances are different in terms of who is providing the goods, but I wonder if the outcome of this case will affect virtual property in MMOs... typically, the host claims full intellectual property rights to everything in the game, but most players consider their characters and gear "theirs", even though you don't get any rights to sell your stuff when you're done playing for real-world money. There's the black market for selling accounts, of course, but that's pretty blatantly in violation of the games' TOSes.

  2. ywwg says:

    I propose a new internet Law:

    Linden's Law:
    For any internet-enabled program, website, or service that allows adult content; as t approaches infinity, that service will consist entirely of adult content.

    (revisions and tweaks welcome)

    • spendocrat says:

      How about "as t increases, the ratio of non-adult content to adult content approaches zero"?

      • pyrop says:

        Every program attempts to expand until it can accommodate flying wangs. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.

  3. Wait. "You created a marketplace. We joined that marketplace. The marketplace you created doesn't work the way we want it to, so we're suing you. Give us money." I miss anything here?

  4. scullin says:

    The beauty of Internet self-referentialism is that this post is now in the top Google results for "sex gen cuddle rug."