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I’m a bit behind the news here as I was on the road this week, but Reuters confirmed that the fictitious defendant named in Eros’ copyright and trademark lawsuit last fall was correctly identified in court papers as Robert Leatherwood of North Richland Hills, Texas (see VB’s earlier coverage for details).

The confirmation is hardly a surprise; subpoenas to PayPal, Linden Lab, and two Internet service providers had led to two different computers that Leatherwood was known to use to access Second Life at two different locations. It was pretty unlikely the defendant was anyone else. In spite of this, Leatherwood denied the connection, leaving the case feeling somewhat unresolved. This admission has little legal impact, but does underscore the fact that the pseudoanonymity offered in most virtual worlds is fairly trivial to pierce in the event of a lawsuit.

At the time that Leatherwood was named in the Amended Complaint, VB spoke with plaintiff Eros’ owner Kevin Alderman (Second Life’s ‘Stroker Serpentine’). Alderman said:

I am saddened that Leatherwood doesn’t understand the severity of his actions and the evidence we have against him. Witness statements, Linden Lab account information, and numerous corroborating sources assure us we have our guy. If he continues to deny his guilt we will seek the full damages afforded to us by law, which are considerable. Regardless of his current financial situation, a prevailing judgment will follow him until satisfied. We offered an extremely amicable and affordable settlement, that would have required a fractional monetary compensation.

Leatherwood never responded to the amended complaint. The case ended in a default judgment against Leatherwood by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

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