Cold dead hand of Frank Herbert reaches up from grave, stabs Dune Second Life megafans in the back

Mitch sez, "The small Dune roleplaying community in Second Life got a legal notice from Trident Media Group, the New York literary agency that handles the Frank Herbert Estate, via Linden Lab, which develops and manages Second Life."

Among the smaller of these is a group dedicated to Dune, the classic Frank Herbert sci-fi franchise of novels, movies, and other IP. Their leader, Vooper Werribee, counts 130 members who enjoy roleplay in the sands of an Arrakis based in Second Life, taking on the personae of sandworm-riding Fremen, Harkonnen-hating Atreides, and so on. (He believes only 20% of these are currently active.)

Notwithstanding those paltry numbers, last weekend Werribee and other members received legal notices from Linden Lab via Trident Media Group, a New York literary agency which maintains the Herbert Estate. "In particular," the notice reads, "Trident Media Group has complained about your use of characters, concepts and other material associated with 'Dune' in the Second Life environment." Those include roleplay locations entitled "Sardaukar Mask", "Fremen Domain", and "Bene Gesserit Retreat". The Lindens' notice ordered Werribee and his group to remove such titles and objects from Second Life within two days, or the company would do so itself.

Good going Trident! There's 130 Herbert megafans who won't be so quick to enjoy, proselytize and spread your client's work next time. Keep it up and you'll soon have the whole world turned off Dune!

Enforcers of Dune: Frank Herbert Estate Targets Dune Roleplayers In Second Life (Thanks, Mitch!)