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May 19, 2006

A Virtual Intangible Purchase and Real Lawsuit


How to Recognize The Future When It Lands On You

"A US gamer has filed a "first-of-its-kind" lawsuit in an acrimonious dispute over the sale of virtual land within the online role-playing game Second Life," this New Scientist article says. "The suit highlights the large amounts of money many gamers are now spending in the hope of reaping a profit within their chosen virtual world. Second Life lets players buy land and build structures that can then be leased or sold on to other players,often for a profit. The game's currency, Linden dollars, can be easily exchanged for real cash.

Marc Bragg, an attorney from Pennsylvania, US, filed the suit against the company behind Second Life, Linden Lab based in California,US. He accuses the company of deactivating his account after he discovered a loophole that enabled him to buy virtual land cheaply within the game. The suit, filed in a local district court, seeks financial restitution for Bragg who claims he invested around $32,000 in the virtual land. "This is probably the first dispute of its kind," Bragg says in a statement posted online. "This suit challenges the legitimacy of a virtual intangible purchase of an asset. "Bragg adds that the dispute could test the relevance to virtual worlds of existing laws". Game company sued over virtual land squabble by Will Knight, NewScientist.com. [blogged by Jim Downing on Smart Mobs]

Posted by jo at May 19, 2006 06:04 PM