Second Life is fairly unique amongst a crowd of Dwarf & Goblin infested online worlds, as it doesn’t focus on gold coins, levels or even experience points. Residents of Second Life go about a wide array of tasks, almost all of which could be easily done in the real world. There are still limits to what people can or should do, but scripting tools allow tech savvy users to expand those possibilities to include things like sexual acts.
So what happens when real life software piracy intrudes on the world of Second Life? Especially when it involves the piracy of above mods.
We’re finding the answer to that now as 46-year-old Ken Alderman’s company, Eros LLC, is suffering a decline in sales. The maker of an erotic add-on for Second Life, managed to find and confront the alleged pirate but were unable to resolve the issue. As a result they’ve hired a lawyer:
"Alderman filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla., last month alleging an avatar named "Volkov Catteneo" broke the program's copy protection and sold unauthorized copies. Alderman, who runs his business from home in a Tampa suburb, allows users to transfer his products, but prohibits copying.
"We confronted him about it and his basic response was, 'What are you going to do? Sue me?'" Alderman said. "I guess the mentality is that because you're an avatar ... that you are untouchable. The purpose of this suit is not only to protect our income and our product, but also to show, yes, you can be prosecuted and brought to justice."
Catherine Smith, director of marketing for "Second Life" creator Linden Lab, said she knew of no other real-world legal fight between two avatars."