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The Legal Acceptance of Virtual Property?

6 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2010 Last revised: 26 Mar 2011

Wian Erlank

North-West University

Date Written: March 4, 2010


The article discusses virtual property in general and more specifically, the Dutch Runescape case. An argument is made that this case points to the beginning of legal acceptance of virtual property by Western courts as well as an illustration of the courts willingness to accept that virtual property could be classified as being a protectable object of property law separate from intellectual property.

Paper was presented at the Association for Law Property and Society’s first annual meeting held on March 5-6, 2010 in Washington D.C.

Keywords: Virtual Property, Legal Acceptance, Virtual Property Theft, Protection of Virtual Property

JEL Classification: K11, K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Erlank, Wian, The Legal Acceptance of Virtual Property? (March 4, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Wian Erlank (Contact Author)

North-West University ( email )

Faculty of Law
Potchefstroom Campus
Potchefstroom, North-West 2531
South Africa
+27 18 299 1932 (Phone)


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