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Games Your Rights Online

Is Online Property Real? Lawyer Says Sort-Of 128

Bob the Super Hamste writes "The St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting on an analysis by lawyer Justin Kwong in the William Mitchell Law Review about virtual property and ownership. Justin Kwong asserts that virtual items are not real items (PDF) and that you do not own them but only have a license. The analysis stems from a 2008 case of a Blaine, MN man who filed a police report for the online theft of approximately $3800 of virtual goods. Justin Kwong compares virtual items to a mug club at a bar where patrons purchase rights to a specific numbered mug but cannot remove the mug from the premises. He does note that if in game items are purchased there needs to be clear language stating: 'the transaction is a license, not a sale, and that traditional consumer protections afforded by sales of goods do not necessarily apply.'" Justin Kwong also made a weblog entry responding to misconceptions expressed in comments on the St. Paul Pioneer Press article.
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Is Online Property Real? Lawyer Says Sort-Of

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We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise. -- Larry Wall