Sunday, June 03, 2007

Litigation, Virtual Style

Roger Parloff has a new article on recent real world litigation arising from disputes within virtual worlds. He summarizes the recent ruling concerning SL property from the U.S. District Court of Philadelphia in which Judge Robreno wrote: “While the property and the world where it is found are ‘virtual, the dispute is real.” The plaintiff was an attorney expelled by Linden Lab for violating the SL Terms of Use. He also summarizes the ruling on the World of Warcraft suit in which a gamer sued a company engaged in employing gamers based in third world countries, which he claimed devalued the in-world currency and the gaming experience.

There are several SL efforts underway to establish in-world dispute resolution mechanisms for issues among residents. However, both of these cases involved the real world value of virtual assets, and the policies and practices of the owners of the virtual worlds.

Other perspectives on legal issues emerging from virtual worlds are available on the Terra Nova blogs and Communities 2.0. Related public policy issues will be addressed at the Ludium II conference at Indiana University in June.

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