Virtual currency and virtual property revisited

Still waiting for an orc raid on Stormwind’s Bank

It feels like 2007 all over again. There seems to be a resurgence in articles and blog posts seriously discussing the subject of virtual property and the virtual economy, something that was very familiar in the tech press around the time of Second [...]

Do avatars dream of digital rights?

Free the worgen!

I have been playing World of Warcraft again in preparation for the forthcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion (two words: panda monks!). For years I played in European servers the same character, an Alliance Human mage who then switched sides and joined the Horde as a Blood Elf, and finally settled into [...]

Augmented reality law

IT lawyers are always looking for the Next Big Legal Thing (and they also like grandiose generalizations, but I digress). From ebooks to iPods, you can always find an article describing the latest gadget in legal terms. For people involved in this area of law, it is always important to develop a [...]

Virtual Heartbreak Hotel

I’ve been reading and watching with interest a UK Channel 4 report on the popular virtual world Habbo Hotel. For those unfamiliar with the story, Channel 4 News got a female producer to pose as an 11-year old girl for 2 months, who complains that she was subjected to extreme sexual contact from other [...]

Dutch Supreme Court says virtual goods are property

All your loot are belong to us

(Via Greg Lastowka) The Criminal Division of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands has delivered a ground-breaking ruling which declares that virtual goods from the popular online player game Runescape are to be considered goods in accordance to Dutch law, and therefore are subject of theft and [...]

Cyberpunk 2.0

I am currently reading REAMDE, Neal Stephenson’s latest novel, and although I am still going through the initial pages (I am savouring it as I do most of Stephenson’s work), and it already has me thinking about new trends in literature.

Cyberpunk is a well-defined post-modern sub-genre within science fiction, with a distinctive narrative [...]

Is Bitcoin legal?

Could the next revolution in payment systems be already here? Bitcoin is a non-fiat cryptographic electronic payment system that purports to be the world’s first cryptocurrency. In other words, it is a peer-to-peer, client-based, completely distributed currency that does not depend on centralised issuing bodies to operate, the value is created by the users, [...]

Should law enforcement pursue game theft?

Our heroes track down a hacker and plot some vigilante justice

The use of the loaded question may imply that I believe they should. I shall be frank and admit that this is precisely the intention of this post, but please allow me to explain my reasoning before you dismiss such a ludicrous notion.

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MDY v Blizzard: Terms of Use and copyright infringement

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circle has decided on the interesting and important case of MDY v Blizzard.

First some background information. In December 2006, Blizzard, the makers of World of Warcraft, sent a cease-and-desist letter to MDY, the makers of a cheat program called Glider. This program allows users to [...]

Beta testing legislation

Game developers are always looking for new beta testers

While in the UK we are immersed in heated debate regarding the Digital Economy Bill, and the threat of ACTA looms large, I have read with interest an article by Peter Grundy in Wired UK about beta testing legislation before it is released to the [...]