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Is Online Property Really Yours?
Written by  Spirit - Thursday, 27 October 2011  (0 Comments )

One thing that has been bugging people for quite a while concerns the subject of online property. When you buy an item or a piece of property in an online game such as Farmville or World of Warcraft, does it really belong to you? Can you establish ownership in a court of law or demand a compensation for some of your mined gold having been stolen or lost? Well, according to a Minneapolis lawyer he believes that there is nothing truly real about these online items, in spite of being a market that is expected to reach nearly $8 billion worldwide by 2015.

 

Lawsuit Online Property

 

We all have read news where someone kills or injuries other people just because they have stolen their lightsaber or sold the "my precious" item without consent, but the fact is that many times people invest a large amount of money and quite a chunk of time in building these online characters and feel like they've been deprived of something really important in their lives when they somehow lose them.

Final Fantasy XI player, Geoff Lurrs, brought his case before the Blaine, Minnesota police department after having $4,000 in virtual goods and currency accumulated by his avatar stolen, but he was refused any help. So far, in Europe and the United States no court has recognized the right to virtual-world assets but things are a little different in other countries such as South Korea, where they have begun treating virtual items as a form of property.

Whenever you accept the conditions stated in those walls of text that nobody reads by clicking "I Agree", in order to take part in some online game, what you are many times doing when you buy an item is granting a license to use it in a determined environment and not acquiring a piece of property that you can use outside of that environment, so it's hard to make an exclusive claim of ownership to an item created in an online game.

But then again Entropia Universe does grant you rights to the objects in-game value. If they for some reason have to cancel the game, they would re-imburse users that value, so if your items or avatar get stolen you have really been deprived of a measurable and quantifiable value, as it happens with objects in real life, therefore being able to sue or file a complaint for theft?

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