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SCOTT JAGOW: Maybe you’ve heard about Second Life. It’s an online virtual world created by the people who play. Well, there’s a new site called GetaFirstLife.com. It’s quite obviously a spoof. Its creators were expecting a legal battle from Second Fight, but it hasn’t come. Janet Babin reports from our Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.
JANET BABIN: The parody site was ready for action: It put up a link for cease and desist type letters on its website in case Second Life came calling.
But instead, the virtual game’s producers Linden Labs got the joke. They shot back that all Linden staffers have a sense of humor, even the lawyers.
Courts in recent years have generally allowed parodies. Still, some companies, like Apple, ferociously defend trademarks.
But Cardozo Law professor Justin Hughes says what firms give up in brand control, they often get back in exposure.
JUSTIN HUGHES: We’re going to get to a place where rights holders and their lawyers have a little bit of a sense of humor and courts are increasingly telling them, get a sense of humor.
In its letter, Linden did license its logo to Get a First Life pranksters. If the company had let use of its trademark slide, it could have ended up losing it.
I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.
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