Remember me

Register  |   Lost password?

Our popular course Introduction to QuantLib Development will be taking place June 18-20th, 2018.


The Monetary Future Blog Header

Dutch Supreme Court Rules Virtual Objects Are Legal Property

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 10:40:54 GMT

By Ren Reynolds Virtual Policy Network Wednesday, February 1, 2012 http://www.virtualpolicy.net/runescape-theft-dutch-supreme-court-decision.html On the 31st of January 2012, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands found that items in the online game RuneScape had been stolen from a player. This is a ground-breaking case as it is the highest national court in the West to rule that taking virtual objects in this way is theft under national criminal law. This ruling may have broad implications for the online games industry. The case dates back to 2007 when two youths used violence and threats of violence to force another player to log into the game of RuneScape. After the victim logged in to the game one of the defendants transferred virtual items and virtual currency from the victims account to their own. The Supreme Court upheld the conviction for theft but reduced the number of hours of community service to be served (taking into account Juvenile detention served). The appeal did not turn on the material facts, i.e. whether there were threats were made or items were transferred. Rather, the appeal centred on the question of whether what had occurred was ‘theft’ as defined by the law of the Netherlands. Key Arguments The key arguments against the incident being defined as ‘theft’ considered by the court they were as follows: Virtual items are not goods but an ‘illusion’ of goods made up of bits & bytes i.e. they are...

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,