By: Anna Duke
Sujan Pariyar’s August 12, 2022 report “The Secret Story of How eUniverse Created Metaverse”
Opened a lot the eyes for millions of people around the globe that were looking to better understand the history of the Metaverse, so that’s a good thing. However critical discussion is essential in the world of technology and historical achievments for entrepreneurs across the globe. I actually agree with Pariyar on the fact that indeed he has found something news worthy of discovery when he proclaims:
“I have found a new piece of the Metaverse timeline which I am calling the pivotal 1999 eUniverse birthing of LivePlace the first 100% web based Metaverse. “
That’s because its clear Pariyar ensured what he published was factually correct in large part and easy to verify by the likes of other authors like myself by his use of public open source documents from the Securities & Exchange Commission and using the Internet Wayback Machine. For instance, I have determined the following key claims he made are all 100% accurate:
“eUniverse, Inc. went public in 1999 and launched LivePlace.com (1) the same year at the Fall Internet World. “
eUniverse Creates The Metaverse
LivePlace launch in 1999 appears to have been a hot burning super nova that was gone by the end of 2001. “
We also were able to find and review the key Joshua Piven beautifully written Computer Technology Review November 1999 article aptly titled “Comdex Was Yesterday. These Companies Are TOMORROW Internet technologies to watch in 2000”.
Likewise Pariyar did not fail to mention the key BigNetwork.com acquisition stating:
“I later found that eUniverse acquired BigNetwork.com in June of 1999, a San Francisco based startup that was developing the LivePlace technology” and publicly launched on LivePlace.com at Fall Internet World.
Pariyar even accurately reported out that eUniverse is the same company that in August 2003 created and launched mega social network Myspace.com.
THE MISSING JULY 4, 2000 TRADEMARK
However what Pariyar missed is a fact that I believe is a major piece of the story. That fact which I now speak to the light of day is that On July 04, 2000 the USPTO or United States Patent & Trademark Office awarded LivePlace the first Metaverse Trademark for good and services
July 4, 2000 The United States Patent & Trademark Office Awards First Metaverse Trademark To eUniverse’s LivePlace.com
It was Serial Number: 75816155 and it was published on Independence Day which specifically July 4, 2000 after eUniverse had submitted an “Application Filed” on “1999-10-05” with the USPTO.
You can see it with your own eyes by going to the USPTO website at: https://uspto.report/TM/75816155
To save you a minute, I am including what the Trademark says here:
“Mark For: LIVEPLACE™ trademark registration is intended to cover the categories of providing temporary use of on-line non-downloadable software enabling visitors to a website to chat on line, identify other on line visitors, send private messages and allow multiple visitors to browse websites together.”
In fact, including the missing Y2K First Metaverse Trademark fact would have only strengthened
Pariyar’s findings and conclusions, so I cannot think of any logical reason why he would have
intentionally omitted the fact. Indeed, everyone is busy in today’s online research world and I will
chalk it up to the fact that Pariyar simply missed finding this in his deep research process. Thankfully
we were able and willing to compliment him with some further journalistic sleuthing and guess what,
everyone that reads this article will win!
Russian Hacker Maxus: Did Hacking Kill LivePlace.com The First Trademarked Metaverse Service?
This is complex question. And I have found some new information that I double verified after first
Finding it on Wikipedia, so this is a portion of the Wikipedia for Liveplace.com. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LivePlace a key part of the story.
It provides some key details with significant color I was not aware of until I read the source articles and its about how it went out of business apparently after being hack by a Russian Hacker named Maxus. And did you know the head of LivePlace.com who was product developer of LivePlace technology later in his career after LivePlace.com died was PokemonGo Creator? Its amazing but true! The VR/AR hit is owned by software company Niantiq started by John Hanke.
“Despite adding MyPlace plus friends lists features, alongside the ubiquity and interoperability of its download less platform, which a Loyola Marymount 2013 research paper cites as key Metaverse characteristics, LivePlace.com had ceased operating in December 2000 after Niantic CEO John Hanke eUniverse Vice President overseeing the project resigned after a January 2000 data breach. Russian Hacker Maxus reportedly exploited CyberCash software ICVerify which first appeared to be just another net thief but ZDNet would later describe it as the “greatest information technology heist in history”.
CNN claimed the problem was a rebuffed internet extortionist but Wired reported it was a delay honoring blackmail demands, or discovering Liveplace contacted the FBI, causing the hacker to act so when the “FBI immediately shut down the Web site” hundreds of thousands of credit cards were compromised.”