Quicklinks: Taxes, Blogs, Patents, Lawsuits and More

Virtually Blind periodically runs “quicklinks” — items that are not long enough for a full story, but are worth a click. Here’s the current batch.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation will be conducting a seminar on virtual world tax issues at Second Life’s Depo Business Park on Tuesday, the 2nd of December at 3:30pm GMT / 07:35am PST. Here’s a SLURL. It’s a bit early for U.S. readers, but should be well worth attending.

I just ran across a fascinating discussion of Second Life’s “patent peace” policy from a 2006 listserv post. The post was written by Linden Lab’s Gene Yoon, and it sheds a lot of light on the thinking behind the rather non-standard patent clause in Second Life’s Terms of Service.

Interesting twist in the SLART trademark lawsuit (via Massively). It turns out that the avatar ‘Victor Vezina,’ who Richard Minsky named as a defendant (along with Linden Lab) is the avatar of technology writer Victor Keegan, who writes for guardian.co.uk. Keegan says he “was a pawn caught in the crossfire between Linden […] and Minsky.”

Last year VB covered a video by Second Life’s ‘Bernard Drax’ of a virtual Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. The video of the installation is up for an “Every Human Has Rights” media award. Congratulations!

There’s a solid breakdown of the Blizzard v. MDY case (.pdf) from the North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology. The interesting thing about this article is that it sets out a potential argument for appeal based on what the Journal sees as the trial court’s somewhat vague restatement of a key test. Definitely worth a click if you’ve been following the case.

This one’s not directly related to virtual law, but I wanted to highlight Geri Kahn’s new California Immigration Lawyer Blog, because Geri is current VP of Finance of the SL Bar Association, and active in virtual worlds.

Also in SL Bar Association officer blog news, Stephen Wu, the SLBA’s President-Elect, recently posted on the possible impact of an Obama administration on virtual worlds. Interesting analysis.

Just came across a list of the top-50 internet and digital law blogs that includes VB. Lots of good sites on here, including a few I hadn’t heard of.

One more blog note: Sean Kane, one of my co-chairs of the Virtual Worlds and Multiuser Online Games committee of the ABA’s Section of Science & Technology Law, is periodically posting at his new site, Virtual Judgment.

Finally, in case stated-income home loans seemed insufficiently high-risk for your investment profile, some of the usual suspects in the always-entertaining Second Life financial markets are selling securities in Second Life in order “to raise the funds […] potentially to sue Linden Lab” for incresing the price of some types of virtual land last month; proceeds from the lawsuit supposedly go to investors.

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