Virtual Trademarks and Education

There’s a post up today over at Terra Nova about virtual trademarks:

Virtual Trademarks

This is an interesting area for discussion. We’ve had a lot of debate within the PacRimX project and with Linden Lab over what we can build and display on our island. We had originally envisioned market areas on the island where students from Japan and the US could display virtual representations of “trendy” items from their countries. These might include electronics, clothing, CD’s, games, or just about anything else. But then we got into discussions about what was allowed.

Conversations like the ones being highlighted in this article are necessary. If virtual worlds are to flourish and become mainstream we need to have some basic rules in place to avoid real world legal conflicts. Second Life continues to be the Wild West of virtual worlds and MMO’s, with Linden Lab preferring not to get involved in any disputes between users. They instead want to see a world both created and governed by its users. But as recent news stories show, this is far from reality, and real world issues have a way of crashing in on this virtual world.

For any educator that is embarking on building an island in Second Life, especially an ‘open’ island, you need to read up on issues like trademarks to protect yourself from the potential pitfalls of virtually violating a trademark. Follow the link and read the article, and be sure to follow the links out to other articles.

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