Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Your virtual gold is real under Dutch law
There have been similar cases in China, but now a Dutch court decided that virtual goods are real enough so that you can steal them, and convicted two teenagers for virtual theft. This is something game companies have been resisting a lot, because as soon as our virtual goods are considered to have a real-world value, the game companies would become liable for losses due to bugs or even due to changes in the game.
But highly theoretic considerations of virtual property rights apart, of course the courts decision was sensible in this case. Two kids stealing a toy from a third, younger, kid doesn't become any less reprehensible just because the toy only exists in a virtual world. From there to a comprehensive system of virtual property rights is still a long way.