Odds are you’ve heard of Ozimals if you’re involved with Second Life at all. They make all those breedable bunnies that you see around.
Well, there’s another company in the same field: Amaretto Ranch Breedables. They do horses and the like.
A dispute between the two is heading for the US Federal courts.
The way I understand it is that Ozimals sent a cease-and-desist to Amaretto (on 22 November), alleging that Amaretto’s products were infringements of Ozimals’ copyright. According to the relatively scanty information that’s currently available, Amaretto basically seems to be saying that the basis for Ozimals’ claim of copyright infringement is that Amaretto’s products also eat food and breed, in the same fashion as Ozimals’.
Of course, that’s just one side of the story – and incomplete at this stage – so things may run deeper than that.
Anyway, the impression seems to be that Amaretto told Ozimals to get stuffed – or at least the formal equivalent – insofar as the cease-and-desist letter went. Ozimals responded by filing a DMCA notice with Linden Lab (on 1 December), which is enough to get all of Amaretto’s content deleted from Second Life under normal circumstances, whether any infringement is actually occurring or not.
Amaretto was given notice by Linden Lab, and responded with the appropriate objection notice (9 December), but fears that the Lab “will take down Amaretto’s product line at any moment, during the height of the holiday shopping season, thereby causing irreparable harm and damage to Amaretto.”
Amaretto seeks a restraining order and injunction, costs, lost profits, statutory damages and punitive damages. It is represented by Kenneth Keller with Krieg, Keller, Sloan, Reilley & Roman Greenberg and Lieberman, in conjunction with Krieg, Keller, Sloan, Reilley & Roman..
- Update: Thanks to Saffia Widdershins, who reminded me that Amaretto raised in the vicinity of US$68,000 for breast cancer research in an auction of some of its special horses just recently (more info in Prim Perfect, page 18). There’s big money in this trade, if you’re hard enough.
- Update: Thanks to Marx Dudek for digging up a copy of the complaint document (PDF). I must have missed it in the shuffle.
Stories about this case are grouped together for your convenience.