A lawsuit filed in Arizona on April 17 charges Second Life creator Linden Lab and a slew of other individuals for trademark infringement on TASER's handheld self-defense device. Insert zap joke here.
Massively got a hold of the complaint and today posted a pretty lengthy breakdown of the charges and their credibility. Highlights include pointing out that the TASERs in the game don't actually taze people (because you'd have to hijack other users' avatars to make them appear as though they're being electrocuted); pointing out that TASER doesn't seem to understand who to sue to technically be suing "the game;" and examining whether or not the $US75,000 in damages TASER is seeking is even worth a lawsuit instead of a take-down notice.
The big deal in this case, though, is why TASER is suing Linden Lab instead of the content creators. The answer to that, according to the analysis of the official complaint, is because Linden Lab bought XStreet SL a while ago. That means:
…the Lab is no longer mediating transactions between buyers and sellers. Xstreet SL arguably retails on behalf of sellers, and takes a commission. It's going to be difficult to argue that the Lab/Xstreet SL is not selling these items.
My answer is that TASER would rather sue the guys with money, rather than the actual (penniless) infringers themselves.
Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER Lawsuit [GamePolitics via Massively]