by Pixeleen Mistral on 03/07/07 at 10:36 pm
Stroker Serpentine: see you in court, Catteneo
by Onder Skall, Prokofy Neva, and Curious Rousselot – court reporters
Reuters reported today that entrepreneur and part time model Stroker Serpentine (RL name Kevin Alderman) has filed a lawsuit against another Second Life resident for selling copies of the Eros SexGen bed for as little as L$4,000 (approximately $15 USD) – while Serpentine’s bed sells for L$12,000 (approximately $45 USD). “Eros LLC vs John Doe” has been filed in the U.S. District Court in Tampa, and is seeking damages equal to three times the damages sustained by Eros or three times the defendant’s profits.
Virtual beds with sex animations are a staple of the Second Life economy, and are available with a range of features – including the infamous 100-position plaid sex bed
A successful lawsuit assumes that the John Doe in question can be identified. The avatar’s name is Volkov Catteneo, but not much is known about his real identity. As a result, Serpentine/Alderman’s lawyers have filed a subpoena at both Linden Lab and Paypal. They want it all: identity, chat histories, and financial records.
Contacted by Prokofy Neva for comments, Mr. Serpentine said, “We have done our homework well – you’ll see. Linden Labs cannot through any form of TOS or agreement act as a third party abitrar of copyrights belonging to others. I didn’t choose this attorney for convenience. I chose this FIRM because they are the leader in copyright/trademark/IP. they went up and down this case three ways from sunday before it was filed. We know how it is done – and its an exploit – and were going to show it to LL – many apparently already know of it”.
While Mr. Serpentine is confident, according to Reuters, Mr. Catteneo isn’t too worried: “I’m not some kind of noob,” Catteneo said. “My name isn’t on [Linden Lab's] file. I don’t even have a permanent address [in real life] either.”
This may have all been avoided when Serpentine approached Linden Lab about the copyright issue originally, asking if they would take care of the issue under the DMCA compliance policy. Apparently they told him to just go and file an abuse report.
Readers may recall that Stroker Serpentine is the man behind the Amsterdam sim – which recently sold for $50,000 USD. Alderman is also the principle owner of Eros LLC. Eros is a maker of high-end virtual sex toys, such as the disputed SexGen Bed, for SL residents.
As the stakes rise, SL begins to resemble real life and -surprise!- lawyers appear. We hope the Lindens have a good legals staff to stay on top of these issues – but perhaps they are already engaged? Linden Lab is in the midst of the Bragg vs. Linden Lab suit and now also is at least peripherally involved in a virtual goods lawsuit.
Reuters has a copy of the legal filing here.