Home SecondLife: Anyone Still Here, Keep Your Hands Off Our Logo!

SecondLife: Anyone Still Here, Keep Your Hands Off Our Logo!

Even as it faces a long list of other problems, LindenLabs

announced today

that it will begin enforcing its copyright against unauthorized use in 90 days. An official post on the


blog introduced a new website called the

SecondLife Brand Center


“The Brand Center,” Catherine Linden writes for the company, “explains how Residents can promote their own brands, products and activities in the Second Life world and use appropriate logos to enhance their message.” That’s a remarkably positive way to describe what’s mostly a list of thou-shalt-nots, combined with an ugly new logo that users are allowed to put on their stuff.

A copyright campaign by the company is probably connected to, and may be the only thing crazier than, rumors of a forthcoming IPO. A look at the context for this announcement shows that threatening its users is the last thing this company ought to be doing right now.

You can see the whole list of things you can’t say, with generic alternatives, here. The list includes the name of the inworld currency, the Linden, for which users are instructed to substitute the word “dollar.”

It sure would be great if Linden focused on improving the SecondLife experience instead of focusing on their copyright.

The Bigger Issues

Second Life’s user numbers are stagnating. SL expert Wagner James Au writes at Gigaom that the population in-world has plateaued at just over a half million active users and new user retention is stuck at 10%.

The company’s founding CEO is stepping into a new role, making room for someone not yet selected, with more managerial experience.

Service interruptions are rampant, reading the company blog is disheartening and reader comments on the BrandCenter post return again and again to the basic problems that even dedicated residents have to deal with.

In December, the leader of its vaunted platform for outside commercial designer/developers, the Electric Sheep Company, laid-off one third of its workforce and announced that it will move into other Virtual World platforms.

Scores of users complain that their own copyrights are going unprotected in SecondLife. These complaints make LindenLabs’ move today all the more an indignity.

So who’s ready to start buying stock?

Virtual worlds undoubtedly hold a whole lot of potential, but SecondLife may have already proven itself too inhospitable to scale.

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