Entries categorised as Virtual Worlds:

Second Life avatars class action settles

Posted On June 20, 2013
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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.

Linden Research argued against the notion that virtual property was real ownership of tangible property, claiming instead: “Second Life users own copyrights in the virtual land and items that they purchase or create”.

The judge devoted a great deal of time to analyzing the meaning of ownership of virtual property, Gardere reports.

Bitcoin and social gaming

Posted On May 23, 2013
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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.

In March 2013, the US Department of Treasury released interpretive guidance on their position of the use of certain virtual currencies, including decentralised virtual currencies, reports Graham & Dunn.

The Division’s position was that “exchangers” and “administrators,” including certain persons “engaged as a business” in “virtual currency” transactions, are subject to money transmitter limitations and may be subject to licensure requirements.

These limitations would make Bitcoin transactions much more transparent in contrast to the anonymity of the current regime.

Is virtual property real or intellectual?: Second Life class action moves forward

Posted On December 19, 2012
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A class action lawsuit is proceeding against the owners of Second Life, alleging that it lured users 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, reports Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

How have virtual goods been treated by courts globally?

Posted On November 16, 2012
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The term “virtual goods” does not have a precise definition, but is generally understood to refer to any intangible objects that exist in an online environment, typically in-game items in online computer games

There are questions about whether or not virtual goods can be construed as “property” at law, as this summary by King & Wood Mallesons discusses.

Virtual pet owners sue Google over lost virtual gold

Posted On May 9, 2012
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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.

The players spent virtual gold to buy virtual items for their virtual pets. The virtual gold was purchased with real money. Unspent virtual gold balances were lost when the game was closed.

In the Complaint filed in the Superior Court of California, the owners allege the game owner violated consumer protection laws by deceptively inducing players to purchase the “gold” while retaining the right to eliminate those purchases without notice or cause.