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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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  • Re:Of Course! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday October 24, 2011 @10:36AM (#37817512) Homepage

    Actually you are correct. Because Land is actually not owned by you but by your government. your DEED is not to the land but a use of that land.

    Your local city/county/state/country holds true ownership of your land.

  • Re:Freehold (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2011 @11:02AM (#37818044)

    What are you talking about? Freehold land IS owned by you.

    The GP is talking about eminent domain. When the government can decide that your land would be better used as a shopping mall and can force you off, you can't claim that you own your land.

    Given the recent SCOTUS decision on Kelo vs City of New London, there is definitely no such thing as private land ownership in the US.

  • Re:Getting looted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday October 24, 2011 @11:24AM (#37818508) Homepage

    If I shoot you with a paintball gun to distract you while you're trying to steal a base, is that a criminal matter, or a civil matter, or a gameplay matter?

    Why would those be mutually exclusive? If I break your leg in a way totally unrelated to the game I'd expect criminal assault charges, a civil tort and an immediate expulsion from the game.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27