May 6th, 2007 by Benjamin Duranske
The Second Life News Network is running a short piece on another scam in Second Life. This time it’s someone allegedly selling empty boxes labeled as celebrity skins via an in-world store called “Like a Celebrity.”
The alleged scammer used the avatar ‘Brenda Balczo’ (‘Balczo’ did not respond to a request for an interview). The store has been closed, and the vendors taken down. ‘Therese Carfagno,’ who wrote the SLNN piece, took the accompanying picture earlier, and graciously gave permission for its use.
From the Second Life News Network article:
‘Ey Ren’ is among those who feel cheated. ”I thought I’d bought a Legolas shape. But alas, the box was empty,” ‘Ren’ said. (Legolas is an elf character in J.R.R. Tolkien’s series, Lord of the Rings.)
Besides the skin representing the iconic stair-surfing elf, the store also carried skins (well, empty boxes purporting to contain skins) based on Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Allen Iverson, and other real life celebrities.
The irony here is that though IP infringement is far more widespread than fraud in Second Life, this particular alleged scammer actually avoided infringing MGM’s copyright, and Jolie’s, Pitt’s and Iverson’s rights of publicity, at the same time that she was defrauding her customers.
I guess it’s hard to be a tiny criminal mastermind without managing to do at least something right.
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