Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Second Life “land” dispute moves offline to federal courtroom

‘A virtual land dispute in Second Life will be resolved in federal court after a judge’s ruling. A lawsuit filed in May of 2006 by Pennsylvania attorney Marc Bragg accused Linden Lab and its CEO Philip Rosedale of wrongfully seizing his virtual land and unilaterally shutting down his Second Life account—intellectual property that Bragg says is worth thousands of (real-life) dollars. Linden Lab filed two motions to dismiss the suit, arguing that Bragg came into possession of his land wrongfully, but the Pennsylvania judge denied those motions.

Linden Lab has long maintained that virtual “property” owned by its residents in Second Life belongs to the players. Therefore, things like virtual clothing, buildings, and land all legitimately belong to the residents who created or purchased them, and the burgeoning trade of such is legitimate. Linden Lab sells “land” to residents directly—which translates in real life to server space for the land and things that are built on it—and does so through online auctions. Bragg purchased the land in question through an auction offered by the company, which he argues is the company’s fault for selling it to him if he wasn’t supposed to have it.’

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