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Welcome! I am teaching law at St. Petersburg State University and engaged in legal practice with the international law firm Dentons. Major part of my research is connected to virtual worlds and massive multiplayer online games (a broad field which includes Internet law, video game law, virtual law and game studies). My legal practice is focused on providing support to computer game companies. This interest derives from my passion for computer games which I consider as one of the most important cultural artifacts ever created. Please note that this blog conveys my private opinion which is not necessarily shared by any organisations I am associated with. For more formal and detailed introduction please visit my website arkhipov.info which serves more as a 'business card'.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Theft Of Virtual Objects In RuneScape

Many thanks to colleague from Denmark who shared the information on decision of Dutch Supreme Court concerning theft of virtual objects in popular RuneScape MMORPG.

The summary:

The Court of Appeal convicted the defendant of, briefly stated, the theft with violence, together with another person, of a virtual amulet and mask belonging to another person in the online game RuneScape.

From the evidence adduced at the appeal, it may be concluded that the defendant and his co-accused coerced the victim, using violence and the threat of violence, to surrender virtual objects in the game of RuneScape that had cost him time and effort to obtain. He was made to log into his RuneScape account and 'drop' the objects in the virtual game environment. The defendant was then able to use his own RuneScape account to appropriate the items dropped by the victim.

The appeal court held that this constituted a criminal offence under article 310 in conjunction with article 312 of the Criminal Code.

And the link to full text at official website.