The podcasts and blogs this week have been buzzing with the new site Get a First Life which is a takeoff on Second Life and makes fun of all things SL. The site is great fun to look at but what I find most interesting in this whole thing is how Linden Lab (the company behind Second Life) handled the use and parody of the SL logo, site design, and more.

In what I consider to be a move that shows thoughtfulness about where copyright is in the early part of the 21st century, Linden Lab didn’t send SL a cease and desist order. Instead, they sent what the person behind First Life is calling a proceed and permit letter. This letter basically says “Go for it, we know this is a parody and won’t be taken for any thing that is really related to Second Life, so have a good time.” Going even farther, Linden Labs is also allowing Get a First Life to sell products with the SL logo (being used for First Life) without any legal ramifications.

Go Linden Lab. This may be a great turning point for how more and more companies might start to think about copyright and intellectual propery. I’d be interested in knowing what teens think about both the Get a First Life site and how Linden Labs is handling it. Do they think First Life is stealing something? Do they think what Linden Labs is doing is cool? What do teens think it means for their own creations?

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

4 Thoughts on “Get a First Life (and copyright/intellectual property)

  1. Interesting questions, Linda. My 15 year old saw the “Get a First Life” page and thought it was hysterical. I don’t know how much the copyright v. parody issue even registers with teens (or most non-info worker types). My daughter might be an exception, though. While she sees parody as fair use (not her words), she illustrated that she understood copyright pretty well last week. I sent her a link to a film on ebaumsworld and she wrote back, “I’m never visiting ebaumsworld again. Eric Baum steals people’s work and puts his logo on it.” And then she pointed me to discusssions about it. She has also called out folks in online communities she’s involved in when she’s discovered that they post others’ work as their own. I may have a jr. librarian on my hands….

  2. Kelly [Visitor] on February 4, 2007 at 9:04 am said:

    I’ll ask the teens I’m working with in tsl. One I asked so far wasn’t aware of the site or how Linden Lab responded but thought it was funny.

  3. TheCoolLeader Boyer(Teen) [Visitor] on February 4, 2007 at 11:51 pm said:

    Lol that site is pretty funny. I can’t stop laughing and after seeing Linden Labs reaction I think I might signup to try it out.(lol)

  4. Beth Gallaway [Visitor] on February 5, 2007 at 10:10 am said:

    The parody is brilliant. Wouldn’t this make a fun assignment, to create a parody site that emulates something well-known? My favorite used to be a Weird Al site that looked like Yahoo!’s front page.

    The permissive nature of Linden Lab is absolutely refreshing, especially in light of the “Big Game” on Sunday that we can no longer call by name unless we are sponsors, a federally licensed or the NFL… what’s up with that?

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