Regulating Your Second Life: Defamation in Virtual Worlds

47 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2007


Although the issue of virtual harm has never been raised in real-world courts, virtual worlds like Second Life have become increasingly significant in terms of both time and money for their users. As such, it is important to develop theories of how the law may apply to and resolve disputes that originate in these worlds. This Note will therefore argue that because users have imported real-world concepts, specifically currency and economy, into the metaverse, it would behoove brick and mortar societies to provide for redress if a user suffers pecuniary loss in these worlds. This Note will also explore certain ambiguities inherent and unique to the virtual environment when traditional elements of defamation law are applied to it. Moreover, this Note will argue that real-world courts should be the proper forum in which to litigate defamation actions, where victims suffer pecuniary loss due to the fall of their reputations.

Keywords: virtual, world, worlds, second life, defamation, tort, MMORPG, online

JEL Classification: K1, K13, K10, K2, K3, K4, K42, K49, O3, O34, O38

Suggested Citation

Chin, Bettina M., Regulating Your Second Life: Defamation in Virtual Worlds. Brooklyn Law Review, Vol. 72, No. 4, 2007, Available at SSRN:

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