Don't Sue Me, Bro

Just when you thought it was safe to read the web, Second Life is in the news again. This time they are being sued by Taser International (who make, you know, tasers) because SL users are creating tasers in game and using them in bizarre sadomasochistic rituals. Dear god in heaven, I am not making any of this up.

The kicker here is that Linden Lab, Second Life’s publisher, recently acquired the largest third-party item catalogue, XStreetSL, which thus means that you can purchase Taser-equipped chastity belts…

with textured particles sparks, electric shock sound, electrocution animation), for unruly/naughty subs/slaves…

directly from a Linden Lab affiliated company. Which, though XStreetSL is still a catalogue of user-generated content and not Linden-generated, still apparently convinced a laywer that Taser could sue damn near everyone. So that’ll show you. (Maybe it’s the “XStreetSL is now officially part of Second Life” line added to the logo after the Linden Lab purchase.) In particular, Taser seems to have popped a monocle at Taser-trademark copyright infringement and damage to the good name of Taser International in a SL roleplay area called “the Crack Den”, which is mainly for people who want to live a virtual life in GTA: San Andreas.

Wait… something looks familiar… let me go back to the Taser official web site:


Yeah, I can totally see where their corporate image is being besmirched here.

Just in case you haven’t read enough analysis about this totally justified and not frivolous at all lawsuit, here’s a couple more articles from the Intertubes.

I’d write more myself but I’m currently convulsing uncontrollably and wetting myself.


25 Responses to Don't Sue Me, Bro

  1. TPRJones says:

    It’s just a by-blow of the age-old problem of common use of a trademark. Just like Kleenex(tm) has become the common word for a soft piece of paper to blow your nose on, Taser(tm) has become the common word for a gun-styled device to subdue someone through electrocution. If someone in SL made a box of Kleenex(tm), the same sort of suit could result.

    It’d still be pretty stupid, though.

  2. Vajarra says:

    “a SL roleplay area called “the Crack Den””


    No I mean… seriously?

  3. Arrakiv says:

    Vajarra: This somehow surprises you?

    I’m actually somewhat curious about how the lawsuit goes, simply because of how it relates to IP/trademarks with user generated content.

  4. “No I mean… seriously?”

    Yeah, seriously, it’s actually a quite successful mini-MMO in SL. Has about 3400+ players, lot of detail and depth of roleplay. It’s not strictly about crack, it’s more like GTA cosplay. Srsly.

  5. hitnrun says:

    Actually, this is going to be kind of an interesting test case. If taser isn’t a genericized word yet, it’s soon going to be, and that can cause Taser(tm) to lose their trademark.

  6. Mortarion says:

    I particularly like this quote, from the taser chastity belt link:

    “Realistic aspect. Fits perfectly the stock SL avatars (34 out of the 39 default SL avatars supported: only the “lil red riding hood”, the “cardboard boxbot” and the three furries/dragon avatars are not supported)”

    Because the taser chastity belt is realistic, it does not, sadly, fit on furries. Or cardboard boxbots.

  7. Amp says:

    I’m not one to judge, do whatever you want if it’s consenting…but…
    The people that play that game are just plain fubar.
    I’m pretty surprised that old FUFME joke didn’t find a home as an attachment for this game.
    This copyright shit doesn’t surprise me. Monsanto is trying to sue farmers for having Monsanto’s frankinseed on thier farms…even if it blew over from another farm. Copyright laws are in need of some work.

  8. Bonedead says:

    Isn’t it great how everyone just wants to sue everybody and get some phat lewtz? Great indeed…

  9. geldonyetich says:

    Taser lawsuit frivolousness aside, Second Life really is a pit of completely (perhaps predictably) awry debauchery across unregulated dynamic content.

    When you get right down to it, there really is no universally agreed upon line in the sand about how much virtual conduct is genuinely immoral, so the denizens of that pit have enjoyed not only crossing this imaginary line but inventing several degrees of imaginary lines they could be crossing.

    Unregulated dynamic content: done. Catastrophic results: inevitable. Now, we’re just waiting for game developers to figure out how to regulate dynamic content right. Shadowbane didn’t quite work, EverQuest is hardly dynamic, find a good middle ground.

  10. JuJutsu says:

    I have to ask…what is a cardboard boxbot?

  11. Raad says:

    Get the whips. We will fight the Taserians to the edges of the Crack-den. THEIR IMMORALITY IN THE FACE OF OUR BDSM CREW WILL NOT BE TOLERATED, TO WHIPS MY BRETHREN!

  12. Raad says:

    Addendum: Sweet ass tractor brah

  13. JuJutsu says:

    Thanks for the link. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and a cardboard boxbot is just a cardboard boxbot 🙂

  14. J. says:

    That tractor is fucking awesome.

  15. Vetarnias says:

    What a wonderful idea Taser had to be doing this, just when the safety of their gun is being questioned left and right.

    Whenever there’s a study demonstrating the things aren’t safe, here they always come saying the study is flawed, always some sort of knee-jerk reaction that really doesn’t care if the study is valid or not.

    But what really annoys me is that law-enforcement types and other law-and-order nuts always jump to Taser’s defense.

    And now this.

    I don’t care about Second Life, but I’m tired as hell of Taser International.

    You know what I’d love to see in the brief? “We can’t allow the Taser to be used in this manner, for it is not safe in such a context.” Then I’d be happy.

  16. Not Richard Garriott says:

    “Don’t Tase me, Ho!”

  17. Merkwurdigliebe says:

    Ya, I’m done with society. Ted is letting me rent out his shack. I don’t plan on mailing anything…yet.

  18. Boanerges says:

    I’d write more myself but I’m currently convulsing uncontrollably and wetting myself.

    And this is better than working for NCSoft, right?

    Sadly, the tractor got nerfed to 4 tires after the EPA realized how overpowered 8 were.

  19. IainC says:

    J. :
    That tractor is fucking awesome.

    Seriously. On a scale of 1 to Tractor, that thing goes right off the dial.

    It’s even more awesomer than the Porsche tractor I spotted on a ski trip recently.

  20. ixobelle says:

    it’s about fucking time we got some tractors up on the front page. was wondering when you’d get around to it.

  21. Gx1080 says:

    So, Second Life is a fetishist heaven, and a company is doing a stupid demand for distracting people of the fact that their product is sucking.

    Anybody find this surprising, or even new???

  22. EpicSquirt says:

    Nope, no surprise, the reality that there are many dumb people alive and sadly there is no such requirement as “you can’t be dumb as a lawyer”.

    I’d like to see an “Axe vs. Taser” MMOGRPG though.

  23. Aufero says:

    Surprising and new, no. Amusing, yes.

  24. Gx1080 says:

    Ha. The guys of Linden Labs are weird. They dont know that the fan-made copyright violator pr0n its supposed to be hidden in 4chan? Nooo, they put it right in the middle of a mainstream game and expect that the companys dont rain sues into them.

    And double HA for the guys at Taser International. Sorry you dont own the word Taser and much less all the Tasers just because is in your company’s name.

    Maybe if i say Taser enough times i will be sued too. Who knows? (I would make the experiment, but it would be trolling).

    Protip: When your product starts sucking, you DO NOT make everybody look at you. You keep quiet and fix it.

    -Sigh- for the fact that stupidity always seems the rule rather than the exeption

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