Virtual Worlds

Timeline: Key cases & statutes

The cases and statues have been key to shaping our curent understanding of virtual worlds, computer games and social media can be summarised as follows:

1982 Atari v. North American Philips Consumer Elecs., 672 F.2d 607. (infringement)

1982 Williams Electronics v. Artic International, 685 F.2d 870 (3d Cir. 1982) (play as co-authorship)

1983 Apple v. Franklin, 714 F.2d 1240 (3d Cir. 1983) (copyright in code)

1996 National Basketball Association v. Motorola, 105 F.3d 841 (2d Cir. 1996) (play as authorship)

2002 Blacksnow Interactive

2002 Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition 535 U.S. 234, 122 S.Ct. 1389 (2002) (virtual child porn)

2003 Hongchen vs Beijing Arctic Ice Technology Co Ltd – theft of virtual goods

2003 Kremen vs. Cohen (property in domain names)

2003 Intel v. Hamidi (trespass on chattels)

2003 Taiwan – clarifies Criminal Code making it illegal to steal virtual items (possibly illegal before the clarification also)

2005 Sony Station Exchange Launched

2005 Marvel vs NC Soft

2006 Kopp v Vivendi (game guide)

2006 Bragg v Linden

2006 Korean Game Industry Protection act

2007 Korea bans gains from ‘abnormal play’

2007 Eros LLC v. Volkov Catteneo

2007 WoW v. Peons for Hire

2007 Hernandez v. Internet Gaming Entertainment ltd (anti-gold farming class action)

2007 Korea applies 10% VAT to virtual currency sales – but only to a limit (akin to prize fighting?)

2007 Linden bans ‘gambling’

2008 Habbo & RuneScape item thefts in Holland (theft under 312 Dutch Criminal Code)

2008 Linden ‘bans’ banking

2008 Blizzard vs WoW Glider

2008 Blizzard v. In Game Dollar LLC

2009 Bank ‘theft’ in EvE online

2009 China ‘bans’ the use of virtual currency outside game

2009 Korean supreme court clarifies Game Industry Protection act – in case of players selling virtual currency

2010 Stern v. Sony (disability / accommodation)

2010 Blizzard vs WoW Glider (9th C  decision)

2011 Zinga poker chips case

2011 Meguerian et al v. Apple Inc. allowing children to purchase in-game items

2012 Dutch Supreme court decide on the 2008 RuneScape theft case

Virtual Protest timeline

In-world protest have long been a feature of virtual worlds. What follows is a timeline of the most significant protests that have occurred in virtual worlds.

1992 December: LambdaMOO: LTAND

1996 February: WorldsAway ‘No turfs, no peace’

1997 September: Ultima Online (Beta)

1997 November: Ultima Online

1999 EverQuest: Weekend Warrior Walkout & Sit in

2003 November: EverQuest: ‘Warrior Stand Down’

2004 October: Blog (FFXI) ‘Steal the Gil’

2005 January: World of Warcraft: Argent Dawn (US) Warrior protest

2005 April: Final Fantasy XI ‘Fight Against Gillselling’

2006 World of Warcraft: GLBT protest

2007 January: RuneScape (and forums) ‘Rule Seven Protest’

2007 February: RuneScape ’14 Hour Riot’

2007 July: Fantasy Westward Journey ‘The alliance to resist Japan’ protest

2007 November: RuneScape ‘Pest Control Riot’

2007 November: RuneScape ‘Duel Arena Riot’

2007 December: RuneScape ‘ Pay to PK Riot’

2007 December: RuneScape ‘Mod Hasmo Riot’

2008 January: RuneScape ‘Unbalanced Trade Riot’

2008 June: RuneScape ‘Wilderness Riot’

2009 April RuneScape ‘PvP Glitch Riot’

2009 May: RuneScape ‘Bounty Hunter Riot’

2009 July: RuneScape ‘Protect Item Riot’

2010 March: RuneScape’ HP Riot’

2010 April: RuneScape ‘Dungeoneering Rollback Riot’

2010 April: RuneScape (Forums) ‘ Forum Changes Protest’

2010 June: RuneScape ‘Rock Climbing Boots Riot’

2010 December: RuneScape ‘Wilderness and Free Trade Vote Riot’

2011 March: RuneScape ‘Ring of Wealth / Sigil Glitch Riot’

2011 June:: EvE Online Jita protest

2011 ? RuneScape ‘Capes of Distinction Riot’

2011 June: RuneScape (forums) ‘Rants Removal Protest’

Primer: What are virtual worlds?

Primer: What are virtual worlds?

Everyone who talks about virtual worlds seems to mean something different by the term, so we’ll start out this Primer by outlining what we mean by the term. We’ll also lay out the taxonomic system we use when making distinctions between the different kinds of virtual worlds.

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Player Governance & EvE

EvE7th November 2008, Reykjavík, Iceland: tVPN’s Ren Reynolds was invited by CCP, creators of EvE Online, to act as the neutral moderator at the pubic meeting / Q&A session of the EvE Council of Stellar Management (CSM). The CSM is the largest experiments in ‘player democracy’ in a current MMO.

The video of the session can be seen on the EvE site’s Fanfest ‘08 films page.

Virtual Policy ‘08: Virtual Worlds – Overview

Event: Virtual Policy ‘08
Session: Virtual Worlds – Overview
22 July 2008 10:15 – 12:00

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