Feeds

Telstra in Second Life 'Ayers Rock' kerfuffle

Aboriginal owners probe virtual Uluru

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The administrators of Uluru - the sacred rock formerly known as Ayers - are "investigating" images of the outcrop which Oz telecoms outfit Telstra has slapped on its Second Life island, news.com.au reports.

Telstra opened its virtual presence, The Pond, back in March. It features a "scaled-down" Uluru which, although protected by a barrier which stops avatars "walking or flying over the sacred site", may allow visitors to "view sacred sites" around the rock.

This is a touchy subject for Uluru's traditional owners, the Anangu people. For 20 years there have been "tight restrictions" which "limit photography, filming and commercial painting at Uluru". Specifically, taking snaps of sections of the rock's northeast face is an absolute no-no. In Second Life, however, tourists can "virtually fly in the no-fly zone to the northeast and take snapshots".

A spokesman for National Parks, which administers Uluru on behalf of the traditional landowners, said that while "rules governing photography, filming and paintings have been in place since 1987", the matter of digital images online "had never been raised before".

Accordingly, National Parks has dispatched lawyers to Second Life for a reccy, and is "considering sending a delegation to meet landowners to discuss the situation". Telstra admited it had not asked permission to use images of Uluru.

In Sydney, meanwhile, the powers that be at the famous Opera House are also probing Telstra's use of an image of the building on Big Pond. A spokesman said: "We are looking into the use of the Opera House image on that website at the moment and that's all we have to say."

Intellectual property lawyer Tony Anisimoff was more forthcoming. He described the "issue of recreating iconic buildings and sacred sites in commercial websites" as a "grey and untested area", adding that "in general copyright only protected blueprints and not the buildings themselves".

He explained: "I know the Sydney Opera House Trust does occasionally object to the use of the Opera House and puts forward an argument that it's such an iconic commercial building that its use in a certain context implies an association, a sponsorship or an endorsement. But that sort of argument has never been run in court."

Regarding Uluru, Mr Anisimoff warned that "the exploitation of Uluru for commercial gain was a dangerous move". He said: "Anyone who puts Uluru in advertising asks for controversy. As far as reaction of the Aboriginal bodies is concerned...they do tend to react aggressively against commercial use of Uluru." ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?