Updated: Is Business Week Stealing Herald Intellectual Property?

by Urizenus Sklar on 17/04/07 at 11:17 pm

Update: April 18, 10:30PM Linden Time

As of 10:30 this morning the SL Herald attribution has been added to the BallerMoMo pic. Thanks to author Douglas Macmilllan for getting Business Week to fix this in a timely manner.


As Prokofy Neva noted on April 16, Business Week is running an online article in which they lead with a Herald Screenshot of ubergriefer BallerMoMo King. Business Week has been contacted by at least three Herald representatives regarding this matter, and one was told that the matter would be rectified. I personally have emailed the author of the article three times, and he has not responded to any of my inquiries.

Business Week was originally given permission to use Herald screenshots provided that they included attribution to the Second Life Herald. After initial complaints they have included attributions to three of the screenshots, but have not provided an attribution to my screenshot of BallerMoMo King. Accordingly I am revoking their permission to use any Herald screenshots in their article, and I am asking them to immediately remove all such screenshots from their website.

From Business Week, April 16.


From the Herald, December 28, 2004.


21 Responses to “Updated: Is Business Week Stealing Herald Intellectual Property?”

  1. Petey

    Apr 17th, 2007

    I’ve had this happen to me too.

    Good luck, Uri.

  2. Nacon

    Apr 17th, 2007

    wtf? Like that matters?

    SL Herald was stealing reports from other sites and along with some pictures too.

    Oh wait… let me guess, you’re gonna go on a “war” with them now? Just like AN and Mercz?


  3. marilyn murphy

    Apr 18th, 2007

    nacon, quit calling people names. how simple that is.

    uri. can’t you give them more than a day to correct this? i don’t know how many days that article has been there, but apparently you only started asking them about this today. might just need a bit more time. just a thought.

  4. Anonymous

    Apr 18th, 2007

    Hello, Your site is great. Regards, Valintino Guxxi

  5. Inigo Chamerberlin

    Apr 18th, 2007

    And what about the paper version? Is it also used there?

  6. Amused

    Apr 18th, 2007

    I suspect that should this article come to the attention of the Business Week journalists in question they’ll have quite a laugh.

    Talk about taking yourself too seriously. This is a website about virtual goings on in a virtual world. Your pictures are cartoons, they are of virtual people.

    Sure there are real intellectual property rights at stake here, technically. But don’t expect to be regarded as anything more an irritating, if amusing, flea.

  7. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 18th, 2007

    I wrote a comment to their letters section but it hasn’t posted and I haven’t heard anything back. I raised the issue of their use of the photos without attribution.

    I did see the SECOND LIFE HERALD post later under 2 of the pictures, but not this one, odd, that.

    It’s especially annoying given that their journalist contacted the Herald originally for ideas and for pictures, promising to credit them.

    Asking them to remove the photos seems harsh though. How about a fine per each day that they remain up without an attribution and a link?

    I’m thinking that to make it right, BW now has to run an exclusive interview with SLH editors and reporters, after a week on the Herald’s yacht, describing what a fabulous contribution the muck-rakers made to the virtual world and how vital they have been to its success, culminating with a frank, if water-logged and alcohol-soaked confession and admission that new media like the Herald represents will utterly pwn this tree pulp stuff very soon.

  8. dandellion Kimban

    Apr 18th, 2007

    “This is a website about virtual goings on in a virtual world. Your pictures are cartoons, they are of virtual people.”

    I don’t get this one. Does this make herald not equal berofe the law? Or anything done in virtual world is out of copyright (that would have interestig consequences)? Or we have big money case, again?

  9. Nicholaz Beresford

    Apr 18th, 2007

    I wonder why profile neurosis is so common among photographers (real world or second life).

    Sure you’re right, the law says the creator has copyright and the way to handle this is a DMCA Takedown Notice.

    But quite practically, bombarding them with emails in quick succession is the easiest way to make sure they don’t take you serious.

    Nobody will look at the attribution anyways (I read the article and didn’t notice attribution for any of the pictures) … but give them a day or two, then go ahead with a DMCA if you want to do it right need it for the egos … LOL

  10. urizenus

    Apr 18th, 2007

    Marilyn, it has been two days now, and all things being equal I would prefer that they do the right thing and provide credit when people are still reading the article instead of when it is tucked away in their archives.

  11. FlipperPA Peregrine

    Apr 18th, 2007

    Pwn ‘em, Uri! Credit is fully deserved, and this reeks of holier-than-thou bullying!

  12. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 18th, 2007

    I suggest you take your name off the next script or coding project you do, Nicholas, and put it on “copy”. Why be so egotistic? Do you suffer from some neurosis? What is it with this egotistical profile thing among coders? They should just work for the common good.

  13. shockwave yareach

    Apr 18th, 2007

    As I understand it, there is no such thing as conditional permissions in the news reporting business. Reporters will tell you that you’ll get to see the story first and approve it ahead of time, or that they’ll list your website. But they aren’t required to follow up on their promises. Once they have your permission, they have your permission. That’s it.

    Many a fandom has been raked over the coals by yellow journalists promising everything short of the moon in order to get people to cooperate. Fact: the reporter isn’t your friend and isn’t there to help you. The reporter only wants to get a story out, whether the facts are correct or not. They are concerned with their own interests and not yours.

  14. Hiro Pendragon

    Apr 18th, 2007

    Likely that photo wound up in some network hard drive and someone assumed it was a stock photo. Emailing the writer of the article likely *will not help at all* because usually an editor or photography editor is the one to choose the picture, and the writer may have zero influence over what pictures are used.

  15. Nicholaz Beresford

    Apr 18th, 2007


    nice try!

    I have done a few real life freeware copyleft projects, and I usually put them out with not rights reserved whatsoever, use, reuse or abuse as you like (if those things served my own purpose, which is why I usually write them in the first place, I just let them float out and don’t bother with them anymore).

    My in-world items (the two or three I made or modded) are always copy/mod/transfer and while I put in my name somewhere. Attribution is a nice touch, and I myself do it always, but I couldn’t care less if someone takes my name out.

    To me it’s just not worth any time or brain power.

  16. Allana Dion

    Apr 18th, 2007

    It will take more than a couple of days. Unlike the Herald, Business Week is not a group blog with a half a dozen or so writers, it is a real world publication with a very large staff. As far as their legal team knows, this image could have come from anywhere. It could have been pulled from the Herald, it could have been simply copied from a google image search, or in fact, it could have been given to them by the subject himself. If he himself copied the image from the Herald and he gave it to Business Week, then as far as they are concerned it is his property. These are possiblities they need to investigate and verify before they can even get back to you.

    A couple of days is jumping the gun. Expecting them to go back in and edit the piece is unrealistic given that if it is also intended to appear in the paper copy, it has probably already gone to print. What you are most likely to recieve in the end, is simply a correction and acknowledgement in the next issue.

  17. Nacon

    Apr 18th, 2007

    “What you are most likely to recieve in the end, is simply a correction and acknowledgement in the next issue.”

    Which isn’t very likely, hahahahahaha but yeah. Very doubtful.

  18. urizenus

    Apr 19th, 2007

    Maybe, but on the other hand see the update.

    Kudos to author Doug MacMillan for getting the attribution repaired in a very timely manner despite, I am told, an overworked art department at BW. So Doug and the other B Dubs are invited to the next Herald Veuve Soiree after all!

  19. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 19th, 2007

    Would it have killed them to put a link?! After all that?!

  20. Intellectual Property? Property, maybe. Intellectual? No. :^)

  21. Zmajrho

    Jun 2nd, 2007

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