Posted on June 17, 2007, Andrew Virtual Ownership: Property Rights in Virtual Worlds
Who owns what you see in virtual reality? How do you claim ownership in a virtual world over anything in your possession?
Terra Nova has a new blog up exploring these questions, and trying to come up, at least in part, with an answer. Robert Bloomfield, the author of this blog, does a good job of posing a few suggestions.
“If I have an item in my Second Life inventory, from an inworld perspective I “own” it entirely,” Bloomfield writes. “About the only sophistication I see is that I can sell it to someone with slightly restricted rights–they can’t copy and/or modify it.”
Virtual worlds from Second Life to World of Warcraft and all the MMOs in between have different rules and structures which complicate matters, and real-world disputes over these bits of data are both occurring and on the rise.