Stroker Serpentine & Munchflower Zaius – 2009 Avatars of the Year

by Alphaville Herald on 27/02/10 at 1:12 pm

Class action complaint against Linden Lab leads to avatar of the year award

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

In 2009, there was no question of which the players had the biggest impact on the metaverse. After lawyering up and heading to the courthouse, virtual sex toy entrepreneur Stroker Serpentine and noted avatar skin and clothing designer Munchflower Zauis alleged, "Linden Lab, with knowing and conscious intent to do so, profits in multiple ways and at multiple stages from the illegal conduct" in a class action complaint against the Lab. 

Unlike the usual in-world player whinging and role play bluster, Serpentine and Zaius augmented their reality by putting the Linden game gods on notice that he Lab’s seemingly lassiez-faire approach to copyright and trademark infringement was unacceptable. 


Their complaint detailed the trials and tribulations of Second Life content creators who’s virtual goods are routinely copied and resold by those who have sidestepped the Second Life digital rights management controls, and sent the Lab scrambling for legal representation. Although the Linden’s first choice lawyer proved to be too expensive, the Lab ultimately found council, and the legal wrangling began in earnest.

Among the telling point made in the complaint are the ineffectual nature of DMCA takedowns in Second Life: "A Second Life pirate who becomes subject to a  DMCA takedown notice will usually not challenge it, but rather will simply create a new free  account and re-upload the content, employing the tried and true whack-a-mole approach.” Herald readers may recall a recent episode involving motorcyle parts which illustrates this issue


It is hard to imagine a more difficult public relations situation for the Lab as major in-world businesses take to the courts for fundamental change in a case that seems likely to continue on for some time.

With Serpentine and Zaius’s lawyer Michael Aschenbrener of the KamberEdelson pointing out the suit is about "protecting the rights of content creators against piracy" and Serpentine bemoaning "a pattern of ambivelence over six years. We want fundamental change in the regard to the very content and creators that made SL what it is today", the 2009 avatars of the year personified a major change in attitude toward the game gods among content creators – and a willingness to turn the game upside down to bring change to the virtual world. Not surpringly, this attitude and approach has drawn the wrath of the Linden fanboy contingent.

The Herald staff congratulates Zaius and Serpentine on their achievements and hopes the legal situation will ultimately be equitably resolved. Meanwhile, feel free to make and distribute multiple copies of the Herald’s 2009 commemorative plywood cube avatar of the year trophy to friends and family – this is an award that most players can only dream of receiving.

16 Responses to “Stroker Serpentine & Munchflower Zaius – 2009 Avatars of the Year”

  1. Orion

    Feb 27th, 2010

    Speaking of which, what ever came of that law suit? Not that it matters much for me anyway. I just killed off my SL avi after getting fed up with all the IP rights whackos who were screaming that there’s nothing wrong with letting some copybot detection system that’s based off of a client exploit scan your hard drive to figure out what clients you have installed.

  2. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Feb 27th, 2010

    I’m no LL fanboy, but I think Strokers lawsuit and claims are frivolous bunk. I don’t understand why you chose stroker for av of the year. He never changed the way I do anything in SL, ever (unless he did actually invent sex beds, in which case maybe, but that claim is tenuous and he didn’t do it in 2009). In 2009 I’ve seen people obsess over the Sion chickens. Sion Zaius changed business models and changed what people do in SecondLife, at least for a while. The Emerald team changed what we expect to get out of an SL viewer, what our capabilities are in SL, and changed how we experience every minute of the virtual world.

    Stroker made me chuckle and post a few comments here once and a while. He might scare LL, but all kinds of things scare LL that aren’t actually important. Stroker never actually changed a single thing or even claimed to change anything in 2009.

    If I understand this correctly, the Herald is essentially saying that Stroker, who functions purely as a clown for me and everybody else who even knows he exists, has more importance than Zaius or Emerald. I just don’t see it.

    Then again, I’m probably taking this whole thing way too seriously. It’s a made up award from a virtual world tabloid.

  3. Scylla Rhiadra

    Feb 27th, 2010

    “Meanwhile, feel free to make and distribute multiple copies of the Herald’s 2009 commemorative plywood cube avatar of the year trophy to friends and family”

    Wonderful! We can only hope that, in keeping with one of the fine freebie products distributed by one of your recipients, it includes animations for anal rape. What could be more appropriate?

  4. Bruce

    Feb 27th, 2010

    Yes why not give this award to someone who has actually done some good for Second Life and not some perv selling sex beds. Maybe after this lawsuit is quieted down, LL will use it’s clause in the TOS to perma ban anyone for any reason that they see fit. Everyone say

    “Bye Bye Stroker”

  5. Professor C

    Feb 27th, 2010

    Avatar of the year. Well Pixel did tell me once that the number one was really a joke every year I have questioned her about it. So seeing this is no shocker. Of course I dislike Stroker but I am pretty neutral when it comes to Carpet Munchflower. As for Stroker, it’s amusing to see this lawsuit seeing as how it was already proven by the Herald over a year ago that he had stolen the things he is selling. And I have it on word with contacts that the Lab knows this and … Well we will have to see what happens.

    Also interestingly enough, did anyone here know that Strokers number one girl Andrea Faulkner has left SexGen because Stroker cheated her out of income she was making? That sounds familiar to what was claimed by another pair that was partnered with him years ago.

    Also it would be interesting to know that the major issue with the script blacklisting SexGen had was not as big a deal as it should have been. Straight from the horses mouth, Stroker was given an Auto repair system years ago that would have been able to fix the errors that were caused but he refused to use it in favor of letting customers panic over broken beds. All he had to do was just rez the repair center in world. Everyone’s problems would have been solved.

    Could these be why Linden Labs used the Clean Hands Doctrine on their response? I think so.

  6. Jumpman Lane

    Feb 27th, 2010

    @prof c I knew! I knew! I knew andrea left hehehehehe
    Andrea Faulkner
    Briggi Bard
    Corsi Mousehold
    Mash Mandala
    are all people Stroker Turd of the Year shitted outta monies and he has the NERVE to prentend like he’s some kinda good guy champion of all that is fluffy good and nice. THis tard has a zillion enemies and I’m just the tip of the spear but i’m what’s gonna cut him to his heart! fat fuck plumber hehehehe

  7. Steve

    Feb 28th, 2010

    So all I need to do to be avatar of the year is bite the hand that feeds me with no thoughts as to the consequences for other people?

  8. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Feb 28th, 2010

    I fail to see how a sexbed peddler with a stick up his ass had any tangible effect on SL in 2009.

  9. JustMe

    Feb 28th, 2010

    All three “awards” are to people who are totally irrelevant to the SL of 99+ percent of us who go about our Second Lifes every day.

    #3 .. why buy an item that will multiply and cost you even more each day (for the food)

    #2 .. those who want a decent SL experience don’t install every new viewer that appears. The ‘latest and greatest’ isn’t called “Bleeding edge” for nothing. I can live without bouncing boobies .. give me stability, decent menuing and less lag

    #1 .. yawn, no, make that double yawn. The only thing good about this one is that it shook up LL , at least a little bit. Hopefully, it’ll make them think about their policies.

  10. General Drama

    Mar 6th, 2010

    Personally I’d put Sion first, make Stroker and carpetmuncher share an award, and give third place to Jack and Harry Linden for destroying all that was fun and good in SL, they created the Second Life death spiral…

  11. Wayfinder

    Mar 9th, 2010

    I’ve known Munchflower off and on for several years. I doubt munch remembers me, but she was kind to me when I was a newb looking for my first skin. I don’t forget such kindness.

  12. Wayfinder

    Mar 13th, 2010

    I’m a person who reads between the lines, and I think something in all this is very interesting.

    Strokers and Munch files a suit against Linden Lab. Linden Lab’s response is to pendulum-swing too much the other way and announces– early– that they plan on banning even legitimate backup of builds containing full-perm “freebie” textures. Basically (from what I understand), if you didn’t created it, it will be against-the-TOS BANNABLE offense.

    Now, let’s think about this a second. Do any of us believe for one second that Linden Lab has to take such position to protect themselves legally? Full perm means full perm. Legally, unless the creator presents a specific license stating otherwise, the moment s/he releases an item full-perm, it becomes PUBLIC DOMAIN. That means we have the right– lacking statement otherwise– to do whatsoever we will with the item… including backing up a build we created using a public domain texture to our hard drive for safekeeping.

    So why is Linden Lab taking this stance? It strikes me as a blatant move to turn people against Strokers and Munchflower for stirring the pot. It’s an old tactic of Linden Lab: blame the customer for the problem.

    I don’t know all the ins and outs of this case, but after more than five years of dealing with Linden Lab, it’s become fairly easy to recognize their mode of operation.

    I’m not impressed. I see Linden Lab pull marginally-legal (or possibly even illegal) stunts on a regular basis. Then when someone finally has the nards to stand up and say, “We’re going to do something about this”… Linden Lab’s over-reaction paints them as trouble-makers, and numerous buffoons on Second Life are gullible enough to fall for the trick?

    LOL. That is just seriously gullible. Folks, if we want to blame someone for something that happens on Second Life, it might be beneficial to look first at the people in charge of the board, the ones who set the policies that cause us all so many problems.

    Or have we forgotten so early the OpenSpace bait and switch con game and the fact that they had the gall to blame their customers for that one as well? 5,500+ sims had to shut down because of that blatantly profit-grabbing stunt. Premium user numbers fell, people left Second Life by the tens of thousands, and Linden Lab succeeded in putting their competition– OpenSim– on the map.

    So if anyone is looking for someone to blame in regard to problems on Second Life– it might behoove to look at the ones who are running Second Life… not the customers who are paying the bills.

  13. Wayfinder

    Mar 13th, 2010

    Follow-up: In other words, if I didn’t spell it out clearly enough… we should not be goofy enough to blame Strokers and Munchflower. Look to the company that created this fiasco in the first place and that continues to form additional customer-abusive policies with each passing month.

  14. Duckier

    Mar 1st, 2011

    The problem with full perms as an in world tool is that they aren’t legally binding. Second Life’s tool set and permission system does not allow for content creators to manage their creations past the point of sale.

    Unfortunately, Linden Labs will never make changes that help creators like this, that school of thinking is done at Linden Lab, gone with Chadrick Linden, Cory Linden and Q Linden.

    The residents content doesn’t matter. This is what this lawsuit is about.

  15. [...] Life's well known sex-bed entrepreneur Stroker Serpentine, his Second Life virtual family, and his real-life family are to be featured Monday May 2 on the [...]

Leave a Reply