Proprietary Digital Sex

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From the AP:

Kevin Alderman…[a] 46-year-old entrepreneur recognized four years ago that people would pay to equip their online selves — which start out with the smooth anatomy of a Barbie or Ken doll — with realistic genitalia and even more to add some sexy moves.

Business at Eros LLC has been brisk. One of his creations, the SexGen Platinum, has gotten so popular that he’s now had to hire lawyers to track down the flesh-and-blood person behind the online identity, or avatar, that he says illegally copied and sold it.

The $45 SexGen animates amorous avatars in erotic positions. It is software code, written in the scripting language of “Second Life” and placed in virtual furniture and other objects. Avatars click on the object and choose from a menu of animated sex acts.

Alderman filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla., last month alleging an avatar named “Volkov Catteneo” broke the program’s copy protection and sold unauthorized copies. Alderman, who runs his business from home in a Tampa suburb, allows users to transfer his products, but prohibits copying.

“We confronted him about it and his basic response was, ‘What are you going to do? Sue me?'” Alderman said. “I guess the mentality is that because you’re an avatar … that you are untouchable. The purpose of this suit is not only to protect our income and our product, but also to show, yes, you can be prosecuted and brought to justice.”

The full article is here.

-Bridget Crawford

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