Stephen S. Wu-- SL: Legal Writer,, (408) 573-5737, 50 W. San Fernando St., Ste. 750, San Jose, CA 95113

Applause for Benjamin Duranske

From January 21, 2007 until December 2, 2008, writer Benjamin Duranske served the 3D Internet legal world with his blog Virtually Blind with dedication and energy. On December 2, Ben made his final post on his pathbreaking blog, and announced his new position as an attorney with the Silcon Valley office of Pillsbury. I applaud Ben for his hard work and sharing of legal information concerning legal issues in virtual worlds and multiuser online games. We will miss his blog, but look forward to his future publications.
Ben is a pioneer in the field of 3D Internet Law. His blog was important, first, because of his expansive vision for the future in seeing the implications to law and society of the coming 3D Internet. His op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal, The 3D Internet Will Change How We Live, envisions a robust, ubiquitous 3D Internet that is “an integral part of human communication,” with 3D Internet applications and sites as commonplace as today’s 2D sites. Moreover, he saw the connection between the 3D Internet and legal issues before others, and helped launch a new legal field. Second, Ben tirelessly followed the events and issues and shared his thoughts with us. He kept us all up to date with the latest news. Finally, his blog has served, and will continue to serve, as a resource for lawyers, writers, and researchers seeking information about virtual law. I am thankful that Ben is leaving up his blog. It will serve as a snapshot of the legal landscape of virtual law during the past two years.

Ben says the following about his new practice at Pillsbury in the firm’s profile for him on its website:

“Mr. Duranske’s practice focuses on the emerging field of virtual law, intellectual property law, Internet law, and litigation.

Prior to joining Pillsbury, Mr. Duranske practiced law for several years in the San Francisco bay area, representing both local and global high-tech companies on intellectual property, litigation, and transactional matters. In the late 1990s, before becoming an attorney, Mr. Duranske worked as an information technology manager.

As the author of Virtual Law: Navigating the Legal Landscape of Virtual Worlds (American Bar Association, 2008), the first book on this emerging field, as well as numerous online and print articles on the subject, Mr. Duranske has helped define virtual law. He currently co-chairs the Committee on Virtual Worlds and Multiuser Online Games of the American Bar Association's Section of Science & Technology Law, which he helped establish. He is a frequent speaker on the subject of legal issues facing virtual world and game providers, software developers, content creators, and users. He co-chaired the first Virtual Law Conference, and founded the SL (Second Life®) Bar Association, an informal professional organization of attorneys and other legal professionals with an interest in virtual worlds.

His practice focuses on all aspects of intellectual property including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, open source and Internet law. His areas of technical focus include virtual worlds, video games, social networks, computer software, user-generated content, e-commerce, and wireless telecommunications.”

I congratulate Ben on his new position and wish him all the best in his new endeavor.