Friday, February 18, 2011

Universal Studios to Allow “Battlestar Galactica” Groups and Content in Second Life

In November, Universal Studios pressured Linden Labs to take down items and sims with names related to the “Battlestar Galactica” television show, of which the studio owns the copyrights. Various groups began renaming places and objects while trying to contact Universal to make a deal.

Recently the Harrisburg Examiner announced a deal had been reached. Ntanel Swordthain of the International Federation of Trekers acted as a go-between with Universal’s intellectual property licensing office and various groups of Second Life’s Battlestar Galactica community. The Examiner stated that eventually, Universal issued a statement:

Thank you for your patience. After some internal discussion regarding Second Life BSG and the use of our owned intellectual property, we are happy to inform you that users may continue to create and interact with each other as BSG fans, so long as such interaction does not include the creation and sales of unlicensed of real-life or virtual items featuring our intellectual property.

We hope BSG fans will continue to enjoy the franchise in all its iterations, including Second Life.

The Examiner stated several Battlestar Galactica sims were forced to close before a deal was finally reached.

For other fanbased roleplay groups whom have operated with the ever-present threat of a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) takedown notice from the owners of the story their activity in Second Life is based on, this development is good news.

Second Life Newser tried to contact Ntanel and one of the group leaders. Neither one responded to our requests to discuss the agreement.

Sources: Harrisburg Examiner, New World Notes

Bixyl Shuftan

*Note* Following the publishing of this article, Ntanel Swordthain messaged us saying he could talk to us on the matter at a later date.


  1. Hooray!! Finally, a common sense solution. While it's a problem for the folks who make things like avatars and costumes (who now must work for free) it is a logical and fair solution to the problem -- you don't make money at it and we won't object to your having fun.

    Now, how can these sims remain alive though, with no income to support them? That's going to be the complex part. Perhaps the sim will have to be split between commercial side (selling stuff not BSG related) and the fandom side (for RPing). It's not perfect, but it's better than the nononononono we usually hear from big media lawyers, who don't say yes to anything unless a 6 figure check is involved.

  2. The sims can still collect tips and donations, or even charge admission to the sim, they just can't sell BSG items.