You can “Own” virtual property?

December 9, 2007

So, if I earn a sword in WOW I really “own” it in the legal sense. This article explains how a dubious transaction in the secondlife environment cost an individual real money based upon a judge’s ruling.

It really opens up a lot of questions that the arrangement of computer code on a server can be considered “property”. I can get my head around intellectual property but the person has not created the item they have merely earned it.

So what happens if I “steal” an item in the virtual world? Could I be charged with theft and jailed? If ideas are considered property haven’t I committed a crime?

Times they are a changin.


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