In-World Tasers Earn Second Life a Lawsuit

A virtual world, but a real lawsuit. Taser International has sued Linden Labs, creator of the virtual world Second Life, for $75,000. The reason: in-world tasers.

According to Bloomberg, Taser, which manufactures the well-known stun games, filed a 102-page complaint asserting that Linden Labs is damaging the company’s reputation and hurting its sales by allowing virtual weapons to be sold online under the Taser brand name.

Massively got a look at the complaint, and put together a pretty detailed analysis of the lawsuit.

How is the use of the Taser trademark in the game going to hurt Taser's reputation? Well, the company is afraid that they will be "damaged" by the virtual sex and drug use that occurs in Second Life. Virtual, mind you.

As Massively says, this revolves around the tasers that content creators are selling:
Some of these content creators also manufacture/sell material that Taser describes as pornographic, or offensive, and they feel that their brand is being linked with these prurient materials, and that they're losing business and sales to Linden Lab.
Linden Labs' acquisition of Xstreet SL, a Web-based virtual good store, surely complicates matters, as Linden could be then said to be directly involved in the sale of these sorts of items.

Massively adds that:
under Arizona Revised Statutes Taser can be granted US$500 per infringing copy (or manufacturer's retail price, whichever is greater). Considering that the most expensive replica being sold in Second Life is of the order of US$2, it seems as if the US$500 figure will be the one used.
Our thoughts are that Taser sees that Linden Labs has deeper pockets than the content creators themselves, and thus decided to aim their lawsuit in that direction. One would also have assumed that perhaps a DMCA takedown would have been enough, but the lawyers would not get any money out of it in that case.

And our guess: most likely we will see this settled out of court.
Via:  Massively
3vi1 5 years ago

Let's see... who should Taser sue next? The New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, and other police departments that have "damaged their reputation" by killing people with Tasers?

Maybe Taser Int. should realize they're selling fewer Tasers because we're in a recession - not because of THE FREE PROMOTION they're getting from a video game?

It's almost as if their legal department is scrambling to sue someone to justify their headcount.

Marco C 5 years ago

Many companies react before thinking things through. It's amazing how many CEOs---so called leaders---simply let the legal and accounting departments run the show through cost cutting and legal measures.

3vi1 5 years ago


3vi1 5 years ago

Instead of baseless lawsuits, Taser should be investing that money into R&D that could correct the shortcomings of their product.

Taser sales are down in a time that gun sales are up. One of many reasons I can think of that is much more probable than the whole Second Life thing is that police may be buying less of them since they've been given pause to reconsider Tasers as "non-lethal".

I would never buy one myself, because I gather that the Taser cartridges are single-shot and I don't want to get stabbed to death by an accomplice while I'm tasing a supervillain. It's less of a hassle to use a real gun.

Disclaimer: I may or may not identify random people on the street as "supervillains".

acarzt 5 years ago

Wow this is just ridiculous lol They are getting free advertising and they're complaining about it. They're even trying to get paid for it. That's bass ackwards... They should be paying them to advertise in their game.

AMDZFan 5 years ago

Hmm... wonder if the "your brand has been incorporated into the common-language" could work here. It's so casually spoken now with no intention of mentioning a brand.

Please, just "don't tase me, bro" for my comment!

amdcrankitup 5 years ago

LOL AMDZfan! I just noticed your screen name wanted to welcome you to HH best place on the net, good people here and going by the name you might be an AMD fan!Yes

AMDZFan 5 years ago

Well thank you :)

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