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Crime The Courts Games Your Rights Online

Dutch Supreme Court Sees Game Objects As Goods 136

thrill12 writes "The Dutch Supreme Court ruled on January 31st that the taking away of possessions in the game Runescape from a 13-year-old boy, who was threatened with a (real) knife, was in fact theft because the possessions could be seen as actual goods. The highest court explained this not by arguing it was software that was copied, but by stating that the game data were real goods acquired through 'effort and time investment,' and 'the principal had the actual and exclusive dominion of the goods' — up until the moment the other guy took them away, that is."
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Dutch Supreme Court Sees Game Objects As Goods

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  • Discontinued service (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @05:43PM (#38882389)

    OK, what happens when a game company decides to shut down their MMO server and remove all your objects of "value"?

  • by Carik ( 205890 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @06:01PM (#38882649)

    It could be that the judge wanted to tack on more time... since it looks like he could only impose community service (possibly because everyone involved was a minor?), it may have given him an option to impose a harsher sentence.

    I could easily see that: "OK, the max I'm allowed to impose on a minor for a single offense is 100 hours, and that's for threats of violence. But you deserve more punishment, so what else can I do? Oh... you also stole something. That's another 44 hours. If I could think of anything else to add, I would, so count yourself lucky, kid, and don't do it again."

  • So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by forkfail ( 228161 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @06:02PM (#38882661)

    Jail time for ninjas?

    Import tariffs for overseas gold farmers?

    Sales tax on the WoW auction house?

    Income tax on raid loot?

  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @06:24PM (#38882999) Homepage

    I rarely see any of my monthly wages in cash, it just gets added to the "total" number in my bank account.
    In practice, money isn't much more tangible than in-game goods and most would say taking away money is theft, even if it was taken from a bank account.

  • No Islands of Law (Score:4, Interesting)

    by andersh ( 229403 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @07:43PM (#38884007)

    You don't seem to understand my point, this is not about sovereignty, the reason you can't apply American law to European courts is because the systems are vastly different. It's like using Imperial measurements in a Metric country, or even better like speaking Russian in China.

    For example the Common Law principle of caveat emptor, "buyer beware", does not work the same in most European systems, where there are other balances, duties and rights for both seller and buyer. The equations are different, therefore different results.

    Laws and their interpretations are not formed in a vacuum, international sources are considered, but not applied directly in most countries. They can function as guidance or useful examples. After all the UK is the original source of your legal system, laws, methods, rights and oldest precedents. You don't seem to mind those? Never mind the international treaties and conventions on trade and standardization.

    Now, who's pushing that ACTA set of laws on Europe?

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"