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A pair of golden scales, in balanceI must confess that, while I was still keen on the progress of the lawsuit between Amaretto Ranch Breedables and Ozimals (et al), very limited access to court documents and the relatively slow progress of the case had sent my attention largely elsewhere.

On the fifth of November, however, this little beauty turns up. Judge Charles R. Breyer is granting (in part) and rejecting (in part) a motion for summary judgement. And wow, this document itself is probably the best thing you’ll read about this case.

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According to Examiner.com, the USMC (the United States Marine Corps) “has filed a DMCA (Digital Millenium[sic] Copyright Act) notice against several Second Life residents who were recreating artifacts and uniforms bearing the USMC logo.”

Now, the USMC absolutely does have intellectual property rights to a number of distinctive marks and logos. The problem here, is that the USMC is claiming trademark infringement, and trademarks are not covered under the DMCA 512(c) process. That process is for copyrights only, and to use it for trademarks is improper and ‘abusive’ (that is, that it is a misuse – called an ‘abuse’ – of copyright law).

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Okay. First a quick refresh on how this all got started. Two makers of Second Life breedable pet animals (Ozimals and Amaretto) got into a bit of a stink with each-other which wound up in court. Ozimals had filed a DMCA takedown against Amaretto, claiming copyright infringement, and Amaretto turned around and filed a fat and juicy lawsuit against Ozimals for being unlawfully meddling and naughty.

So, where’s all that at now?

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Amaretto vs Ozimals The legal battle between Second Life merchants Amaretto Ranch Breedables and Ozimals continues. To date, the case has been moving through the preliminary stages, and it is far too soon to go about picking a winner.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer has ruled that the injunction against the taking down of Amaretto’s content can remain in force, but has struck two claims from Amaretto’s complaint against Ozimals.

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