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It may be a virtual world, but six merchants in the online environment Second Life have filed a real-world lawsuit over what they say are knockoffs of their digital wares.

The lawsuit, filed last week in a federal court in Brooklyn, accuses Queens resident Thomas Simon of copycatting in Second Life, an Internet universe with more than 10 million registered members. Creating virtual identities known as avatars, members spend an average of more than $1 million a day in real money to buy food, clothes, shelter and other items.

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