The 2009 Dutch Convictions on Virtual Theft Conflict Resolution in Virtual Worlds: General Characteristics
VIRTUAL WORLDS AND CRIMINALITY, K. Cornelius & D. Hermann, eds.
12 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2010
Date Written: April 15, 2010
The focus is on virtual conflicts, so conflicts with a origin in the virtual world. First some general characteristics of virtual conflicts are discussed, and in what way these might influence the suitability of particular dispute resolution methods. After this general part, a type of conflict that is really interesting in the context of Virtual worlds and Criminality is discussed: Dutch court cases (Habbo and Runescape) from 2009 on virtual theft are discussed. In the case of the Habbo Hotel online actions and the transfer of virtual objects is qualified as theft. In the Runescape case misbehaviour in the physical world led to the transfer of virtual objects, and also here the judge qualified the eventual transfer of virtual objects as theft. These cases nicely illustrate that virtual disputes are taken seriously by the judiciary.
Keywords: virtual law, internet law, virtual theft, dispute resolution
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