Just seen on Euronews a documentary on Second Life and its legal issues. Apparently, there are some lawsuits regarding the ownership of land and property in Second Life.
In May 2006, Marc Bragg has filed suit against Linden Lab for “a virtual land deal gone sour.” According to the press-release issued by Bragg, “The suit seeks financial damages in the thousands, in part for a breach of a virtual land auction contract and for violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. This suit is unique because the land doesn’t actually exist.” Technically, the land does exist – both as data, and as a user experience – but not as terra firma and he argues that when you mention the term “own” by no means can it be made to signify “licensed” or “rent”.
Property is an interesting concept if we relate it to virtuality. ownership is by no means related to physicality, that’s something we all agree (copyright on an idea is one very good example) and exchange is what gives value to the owned property.
I’ve tried Second Life just today and it seems addictive, but honestly, I would not spend a dollar on things that are a simulacrum of reality. I would most definitely spend money on new inventions, objects, be they as weird as they might be… It’s a brilliant idea for the Linden Lab, I cannot argue, but my take on this is a no.
And then again, in love and science, never say never