Innovation

Should a virtual world have real-world consequences?

I have never played <em>Second Life</em>, but the more I hear about it in the news, the more intrigued I am. For example, there's currently a lawsuit against <em>Second Life</em> users for copyright infringement. Okay, so that's not the interesting part. What turns on my intrigue is the fact that the copyrighted items include sex toys.

I have never played Second Life, but the more I hear about it in the news, the more intrigued I am. For example, there's currently a lawsuit against Second Life users for copyright infringement. Okay, so that's not the interesting part. What turns on my intrigue is the fact that the copyrighted items include sex toys. See the LinuxInsider article, "Second Life Sex Toys Spat Spurs Real-Life Lawsuit."

According to the article:

The suit was filed last week in Brooklyn federal court against New York resident Thomas Simon, who reportedly goes by the name "Rase Kenzo" in Second Life, as well as 10 other as-yet-unnamed defendants.

The plaintiffs in the case are Eros, an adult products business run by Kevin Alderman, who is known as "Stroker Serpentine" on the site.... Alderman's company makes a variety of furniture and toy items that include computer code to facilitate sex between avatars. "A multitude of products" were copied, Alderman says, including his best-selling SexGen bed.

Sex between avatars? A SexGen bed? Suddenly, Second Life has taken on a life of its own.

Do you think that this virtual world should have real-world consequences?

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the several blogs.

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