Copyright of an Avatar

ZDNet is reporting that a virtual land owner in Second Life is sending DMCA takedown notices to persons using screen shots of the now infamous, to put it bluntly, flying penis attack at a CNET interview with that person. There are several problems with this tactic, as ZDNet notes. Although the person has copyright in their Second Life avatar, that does not mean that they can control all uses of their copyrighted work. They certainly can’t stop fair uses, of which the reports including screenshots almost certainly qualify as.

Another problem is that one of the people they sent the notice to was the Sydney Morning Herald, which does not currently have to follow the U.S. DMCA, although they have their own copyright issues over there. :P

One Comment

  1. Posted 1/3/2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Actually i faced to smilar legal issue. An avatar which has been designed by a devian and pulished freely, later on has been registered as trademark avatar by an organization and when i tried to put it on my software, faced to legal complaint. I am getting confused each day where this technology and real life soup will bring us. I know that one day we will be able to only sit on our chair and pay for everything due to copy right issues !!!!