Eros LLC/Nomine vs. Linden Research – The Complete Class Action Complaint

by Alphaville Herald on 15/09/09 at 10:06 pm

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

Click on the images for a full-sized version of Eros LLC/Nomine vs. Linden Research class action complaint.

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24 Responses to “Eros LLC/Nomine vs. Linden Research – The Complete Class Action Complaint”

  1. Eva Ryan

    Sep 15th, 2009

    Let me call my lawyer.

  2. cube

    Sep 15th, 2009

    an the eve of veoh decision against content owners rights to property and commerce, this is a good first step and accurate documentation of the “ethical” issues and problems that define most web2.0 “user content ” buisness models banked on in silicon valley.

    the DMCA was bad law, it has been used by new media tech/bankers to profit from others (old media or millions of indies) property, and has also caused content owners to go after “everybody individually” for each minor IP action, vs the largest, most organized new corporations that benefit from the mass IP infringments as a business strategy.

    The DMCA must be changed. It encourages Kanyeism.;)

  3. MarillaAnne

    Sep 16th, 2009

    Woah. This is a chilling, readable, understandable, and accurate class action complaint. Absolutely stunning.

  4. AWM Mars

    Sep 16th, 2009

    It is about time…. for years Linden Labs have been aware and by definition above, supported those who counterfeit and benefit. By purchasing and controlling XStreet, they now host, advertise these goods, and by direct definition above, can be tied to profits, income and gains of those that break the law under their very noses, and choose to ignore these acts.
    CopyBot and its more recent adaptations have been let loose in SL for years. Those that could have controlled it (LL) again chose to ignore it.
    Now they will have to pay, albeit only in USD, recompense for all the misery and heart ache of those that would pay LL to take the risk and develop a whole new market, business and revenue for many, only to be overlooked when laws were being broken, by the very governing body that wrote the SL ten comandments (TOS) which by definition above, they have fallen foul of themselves.
    I hope the Jury give you a lot of recompense. The result for others in SL and beyond, that rip off those that would venture into brave new worlds, to take heed of this action. No more free lunches!!
    GL to you both.

  5. Edna

    Sep 16th, 2009

    I’m not a content creator or even anyone that sells anything in Second Life but talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Eros wouldn’t exist or have the money to hire lawyers if it were not for Second Life. This is the thanks LL gets for making someone wealthly? Good grief. LL needs to smarten up. Not only about content theft but also on booting and blocking access to people that are pissing on their head.

  6. Ilicitana

    Sep 16th, 2009

    With respect AWM it shows that youre not a content creator or you would understand.
    Following your argument then it would be ok for your parents to abuse you because they brought you into this world?
    Im surprised this hasnt happened sooner tbh – FINALLY someones standing up and claiming their rights- Linden Labs has been so slack about protecting In-World Creators for far too many years, I know many designers who have been driven to the edge with frustration.
    I expect LL will pay them off before it gets anywhere as they have no leg to stand on, I just hope it will finally make them introduce changes that will better protect the honest, otherwise im sure therell be more lawsuits to come, and deservedly.

  7. Ilicitana

    Sep 16th, 2009

    edit- sorry not AWM, Edna

  8. Edna

    Sep 17th, 2009

    Sorry Ilicitana, that analogy doesn’t work for me. Parents have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect their children. People use Second Life voluntarily; Linden Lab is a private company and they don’t owe a living to somebody just because the person registered to use their service.

    I’m not saying that LL shouldn’t do what they can to stop trademark abuse. However, it is a two-way street. If a person gets hit over the head and mugged every time they park on a certain street, what does a reasonable person do? They park on a different street.

    I see this as yet another frivolous law suit solely motivated by dreams of cash. This “the world owes me not only a living but a millionaire’s lifestyle” business is childish and short-sited. What the hell are the content creators going to do when LL goes bankrupt and closes SL because they had to give all of their assets away to these people? I can assure you if that happens, these two people and their lawyers aren’t going to be worrying about you content creators who will be out of luck while they are spending their millions.

  9. Wondergrl

    Sep 17th, 2009

    Yeah, pretty original content. Have to buy it inworld though:)

  10. Karine

    Sep 17th, 2009

    Great! Now assuming this will help reduce copybots and company, let’s see who has real talent and who are the real losers copying them :)

  11. Coke Supply

    Sep 17th, 2009

    Ha! I KNEW this was coming!!

  12. The Inquisitor

    Sep 17th, 2009

    Finally something is done… and I hope Linden Lab will wake up and stop these criminal subjects stealing OUR ideas, Designs, Work and time.

    @Edna – I guess you have no idea what damage content theft is doing to SL?
    and tbh. people like you – leaving such a comment drive me bonkers.
    If you have no clue what you’re talking about – then better keep it to yourself.
    Or are you afraid that you can’t buy cheap skins on some doubtful sims?

    In my opinion Linden Lab should be forced to delete all content from their databases
    which have been reported stolen and proven as.
    And the ones crying and sobbing that their skins, outfits and so on is gone… well – there are still legal Places in SL which sell good stuff at a low price.

    Hey and we still got the hunts :)

    So maybe I can start to open my store again (which I had to close since a few Brazilian guys copybotted everything I had and nearly ruined me in RL since it was the only income I had after my accident)

    So I’m looking forward that Linden Lab will finally wake up from this hilarious hibernation and cuddle policy they are practicing.

    Be safe all out there and happy business

  13. Original Content What Now?

    Sep 17th, 2009


    “Yeah, pretty original content.”

    Really? Underroohs instead of underoos, supurr instead of super. The little “Superman” logo thing.

    Yeah, because that’s not IP theft at all, right?

    Here’s an example of the original Wonder Woman product. Compare it to the first link supplied by Wondergrl above.

    Fucking hypocrites.

  14. K Morton

    Sep 17th, 2009

    Does a PDF of the complaint exist? The complaint is not available through the Court’s PACER site yet.

  15. Ajax

    Sep 17th, 2009

    Content creators certainly agree. Its disheartening when you work hundreds of hours fine-tuning a script so that your product operates smoothly and efficiently and without bugs only to have it copied and sold side-by-side against your item on XstreetSL — and when you report the violation, all you get is the form letter basically saying “don’t call us, we’ll call you –um– never” As to biting the hand that feeds you — I work in RL and always expect a paycheck from my employer. It is not biting the hand that feeds you to want this paycheck every week. Likewise, we would like to receive the lindens every time our work is sold.

  16. Hotdog

    Sep 17th, 2009

    Don’t speak for all content creators. I’ve been building since 05 and yes it’s horrible to see things stolen. But you ARE biting the hand that feeds you.
    LL is not your employer and no where in the TOS does it say they promise you a steady paycheck. With a real job there is a contract, where they give you benefits and a somewhat protection. This is business on the flat ground, imagine decades ago when the little guy had a chance to rise from the bottom, thats what they gave us. You have a chance, you put yourself out there and see what you get. I hope these two people’s accounts are terminated… Then maybe they’ll remember what life was like before they made millions off of someone else’s platform.

    I’m a content creator, have been stolen from (before you all start saying oh but you don’t know what it’s like, yes I do but I act responsibly), and I’m standing by LL. They may make mistakes at times but they gave us SL. Without SL, where would you be? Go start a sex bed business in real life! People would laugh in your face.
    I’m not depending on this GAME to pay my rent and they owe me nothing. I’m thankful for what I do get from them… I mean getting money to do what you enjoy?? Get a real job.

  17. The Inquisitor

    Sep 18th, 2009

    @ Hotdog

    I highly doubt that you’re a creator in SL – otherwise you wouldn’t spread such utter BS.
    LL gave us a platform – yes – but LL isn’t paying us for our design. It’s actually the
    customers / resident who are paying us.
    LL gives us nothing.. absolutely NADDA – since We are the one who are paying THEIR paychecks with the money we made in SL. Easy like that.
    Where would be SL or LL without US the “real” content creators fighting for our goddamn rights to finally prevent these human trash stealing OUR work.

    Now I wanna quote you:
    “Without SL, where would you be? Go start a sex bed business in real life! People would laugh in your face.”

    Err… now that was the point where you lost it completely.(Or you are living in the center of the Bible Belt far far away?)
    There is a Sex Bed Industry in RL providing RL people with RL Sex Beds.
    Just think about the BDSM industry (and yes it’s an industry meanwhile) with all sorts
    of twisted Beds coming with cuffs – chains – and other unbelievable features.
    Or why do you think that someone invented in the mid 50′s the coin operated vibrating Bed mostly been seen in cheap motels or other “known” places.
    You can’t spit across your table and say… Allllllright this is the end of the world as I know it.
    Maybe one should think twice before posting rubbish.

    Fact is: The more stolen products hit SL the less the income of “honest” Creators is.
    And this means Creators have to shut down their business or even worse their Sims.
    The direct result is being reflected in the all over economy of SL.
    Because Content thieves will NEVER add to the SL economy in ANY way. They are just in SL to make money for their own profit without spending it in or for SL.

    The only one who profits from Content thieves is Linden Lab.
    They give a &%$/( where the money comes from they are processing with 3.5 %.
    Easy like that.
    In some states even countries helping others directly or indirectly spreading / selling / distributing stolen Stuff is being treated as: Concealment of stolen goods.
    This isn’t a funny law and should be enforced in SL like in RL because we’ve been sitting in front of our screens hours and hours – day and night just to get our creations on. So it’s OUR damn right that our stuff is being protected by law.
    And if LL isn’t interested in such a law they should be treated like the ones who actually steal it. LL helps such individuals inderectely with their screwed up policy.

    I think I’m gonna stop now before I’m really getting angry.

    Have a good one! Cheers

  18. The Inquisitor

    Sep 18th, 2009

    Addition to Hot Dog

    Oh wait – you assume that I’m not having a RL job? Wrong!

    I’m a RL graphic designer (2D & 3D) having fun in SL.
    I wouldn’t be able to support my family just with SL.
    How dare you are to tell me to get a RL job.
    Yes I had to use SL for a while as a RL income while recovering from a bad car accident
    which was caused by a drunk truck driver who rammed my car.
    So if you wanna blame me for that – go ahead – have fun.

    <—- rolls his eyes

  19. Merchant

    Sep 18th, 2009

    If you upload illegal mp3s to a webhost they get taken down.

    If you rip a tv program and put it on youtube it gets taken down

    If you sell copied brand-name handbags at your local market, your place gets shut down.

    Do it in SL? The lab turn a blind eye and just enjoy the revenue you make.

    Well done Stroker, it must have been a hard desicion but I’m sure worth it for securing the future of virtual worlds and content

  20. Ranma Tardis

    Oct 6th, 2009

    Sighs, I could see this day coming. How much will it cost Linden Labs before they pull the plug on Second Life? So in the end your lawsuit victories will cost you both your business and property. Do you think another company will follow Linden Labs lead after this?
    Nice work, either Second Life is going away or will change into something else. Linden Labs should claim ALL content the property of Linden Labs but allow residents to make and sell it with no guarantee of theft protection.

  21. yeppyepp

    Oct 6th, 2009

    mmmm why not sue the inventor of TCP/IP of being responsible for the millions of illegal copies of music and video out there in cyberspace… Now THAT would been a interesting idea…. Any lawyers out there up for the task? I’ll promise to bring you to work as a free coffie maker in the breaks between the court meetings just for the fun of it…

  22. Arkad Baxton

    Oct 14th, 2009

    To make this short. LL doesn’t do anything until it’s cornered. You can steal, cheat, lie, whatever until someone with power (=money) knocks on their door. Until then LL cares about only one thing. How they can sell more lands, have more Linden dollars on the exchange circulation and how they can rip off people with the no good premium accounts.

    It’s never about who is wrong or who is right. It’s about who has the power and if they are willing to use it or not. Cheers! :)

  23. Cooper

    Jan 20th, 2010

    SL and everything that exists in it is the property of LL. It’s their world – they merely allow us to use it to play in, create in and make profits in it. Perhaps litigating against them for this isn’t the best way to handle this

  24. Nelson Jenkins

    Jan 21st, 2010

    @ Cooper and everyone else that doesn’t understand what’s going on:

    Let’s take a simple analogy that lets us understand what’s going on here.

    Assume, for instance, you build and sell a certain product at a specific market. This product is distinct and protected under copyright law. A good example for the uncreative is an iPod.

    Now, the market allows anyone to sell their products on their property but only as long as they pay them a fee for a certain booth. Similarly, any income tenants make is taxed. They also allow their tenants to advertise and sell their products on the market’s website, however, any sales made on this website are chopped apart by a heavy tax. Overall, the market’s owner makes a very good profit on the operation.

    Unfortunately, the talents that you possess in creating your trinkets are only valued by that market. You cannot sell your trinkets in another market unless you make major changes to the method in which you create them, changes which are financially infeasible and not worth your time as compared to sustaining the fees that are tacked on by the market you sell at.

    Now, you make a good profit by selling these trinkets at the market – so much, in fact, that a certain unscrupulous person takes interest. Day after day he inspects your trinkets inside out but because the market allows this, you have nothing to do but stand there and threaten him.

    Suddenly, one day the vendor across from you decides to move out. Guess who moves in? Yep. Somehow, the guy has a stock of identical products from your copyrighted design, and he’s selling them at a lower price. However, he does not let anyone know who he is – he uses a fake name and nobody but the market has records on him. When you confront him, he does not respond. He simply ignores you.

    The next day you come over with some plywood and start boarding up his shop because you haven’t made a single sale since he’s moved in. It’s for your own protection, you say. The market owner comes by and lets you know that you’ve been evicted for a week because of harassment. You try to tell him what’s going on and he says he’ll get back to you.

    A week later you come back and reopen your shop. You once again call up the market’s owner and leave a message on his answering machine. No return call. You finally decide that your only option is to lower your prices below his. You do so and begin to make sales once again.

    Suddenly, you get a call from your friend. Turns out someone stole a truckload of your trinkets and they’re giving them away at the entrance to the market. You give up and give one last call to the market’s owner, but once again, no return call. You’re now broke and your business has been ruined.

    Two weeks later, you get a call from the market owner. He lets you know that because the tenant is a paying customer, he has a right to be there. Furthermore, the tenant is not doing anything against the market’s terms of service. They abruptly hang up without letting you respond.

    You decide enough is enough and you send a cease and desist letter to the tenant who sells your products – however, because you do not know their address, you must do this through the market’s website. You have no method of verifying whether this is sent through or not, and after all is said and done, nothing happens.

    Now, here’s the question – what do you do? I don’t know about you, but because I don’t know who the tenant is, I’d sue the market for allowing such activity to take place on their property and taking a profit off of illegal activity, then refusing to enforce the law within their private property. Regardless of whether or not they allowed you to start your business, they participated in the transfer and ownership of profits from the sale of stolen property and refused to enforce the applicable laws.

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