Virtual Worlds

20 Jun 13: Second Life avatars class action settles - A US federal judge has certified settlement of 43 million Linden dollars, or $172,000, of a class action by 57,000 Second Life property owners who lost their virtual property

23 May 13: Bitcoin and social gaming - Bitcoin is a good fit for the social gaming industry due to the high transaction costs experienced online, but industry and consumer acceptance of Bitcoin since its release in 2009 has been slow

19 Dec 12: Is virtual property real or intellectual?: Second Life class action moves forward - Former users of Second Life are suing its owners, alleging that it lured them with false promises of user ownership rights, which it then broke by unilaterally closing their accounts without compensating them for the value of their virtual land, items, and currency (Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton)

16 Nov 12: How have virtual goods been treated by courts globally? - There are questions about whether or not virtual goods can be construed as “property” at law, as discussed in this summary review of the global position (King & Wood Mallesons)

5 Jun 12: Virtual karaoke circus act or: how not to exploit likenesses in videogames - In 2009, the musical group “No Doubt”, sued video game giant Activision after learning that its video game “Band Hero” allowed gamers to access avatars of the band members to perform other groups’ music (Heenan Blaikie)

9 May 12: Virtual pet owners sue Google over lost virtual gold - The owners of virtual pets in the online world “SuperPoke! Pets” have brought a class action against the game’s owner, Google, for eliminating the “gold” balances in their accounts when the game was closed

21 July 11: Virtual property insurance – While most game and virtual world operators try to shield themselves from claims of loss by their users through effective legal strategies embodied in their terms of service, this risk may now be insurable – at least in China (Pillsbury)

12 May 11: Australian gamer blackballed over virtual world fraud – Facing real world debts, a trusted figure in a popular online game stole money from the virtual bank he ran and exchanged it for cash through the black market (The Age)