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OT: Should Virtual Item Loss Be Classed As Real Life Theft?

Discussion in 'UO Siege Perilous' started by imported_CountLovE, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    These are interesting times. *nods*
     
  2. Puffys got some felonys headed his way. [​IMG]
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    that would be the ultimate thief nerf!!!
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Puffys got some felonys headed his way. [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Not really puffy never took anything ... it was all given to him...

    He really simply never did anything other than say something like let me try it out hold it test it blah blah blah whatever you wanna call it... basically he took advantage of stupid people

    sadly our shard had tons of them as well
     
  5. Trolls T Hunter

    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
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    so your saying stupid people deserve to be SCAMMED?
     
  6. UberJake

    UberJake Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    so your saying stupid people deserve to be SCAMMED?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Natural selection? Sounds like even online games are governed by Darwinism.
     
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Puffy is way over rated in this discussion. *nods* He is just obvious.
     
  8. Hey! be nice! He certainly is not obvious, lay off the big puff ball.
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Well if you are to ..... to realise they were not scammed then I guess I would say yes sure thing pal...
     
  10. MagicNinja

    MagicNinja Guest

    What's next, virtual murder? Oops ^_^
     
  11. My thoughts about virtual crime.

    This game has thiefs that can reach inside backpacks and remove anything that is not blessed... Since we of Siege don't really believe in insurance as a whole, should have no problem with the loss of virtual goodies through good thiefs... And as for the "tricksters" ... This practice has been here since UO started... It is one of the first lessons we learn beside the one about tricking someone to flag on them...

    But... I don't believe that the games intended for the selling of virtual items for real wealth between the players because this then take the act into the real world of real wealth..

    If dealing with real wealth in the selling of virtual items, a thieft has been committed... then that is truely a crime and should be punishable as such... If a person has suffered real monetary loss from real wealth because of a scam... then that should be punishable by law and these people that had a part in it should be considered guilty by law...
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    My thoughts about virtual crime.

    This game has thiefs that can reach inside backpacks and remove anything that is not blessed... Since we of Siege don't really believe in insurance as a whole, should have no problem with the loss of virtual goodies through good thiefs... And as for the "tricksters" ... This practice has been here since UO started... It is one of the first lessons we learn beside the one about tricking someone to flag on them...

    But... I don't believe that the games intended for the selling of virtual items for real wealth between the players because this then take the act into the real world of real wealth..

    If dealing with real wealth in the selling of virtual items, a thieft has been committed... then that is truely a crime and should be punishable as such... If a person has suffered real monetary loss from real wealth because of a scam... then that should be punishable by law and these people that had a part in it should be considered guilty by law...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    And following that logic, people who "trick" people (such as lemme try that on) are guilty of fraud. When you trick someone into giving you something, with intent to deprive the owner of the use of that property - it is theft and fraud. But where do we draw the line? More importantly, how much time and resources do the police spend on virtual theft?
     
  13. <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    My thoughts about virtual crime.

    This game has thiefs that can reach inside backpacks and remove anything that is not blessed... Since we of Siege don't really believe in insurance as a whole, should have no problem with the loss of virtual goodies through good thiefs... And as for the "tricksters" ... This practice has been here since UO started... It is one of the first lessons we learn beside the one about tricking someone to flag on them...

    But... I don't believe that the games intended for the selling of virtual items for real wealth between the players because this then take the act into the real world of real wealth..

    If dealing with real wealth in the selling of virtual items, a thieft has been committed... then that is truely a crime and should be punishable as such... If a person has suffered real monetary loss from real wealth because of a scam... then that should be punishable by law and these people that had a part in it should be considered guilty by law...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    And following that logic, people who "trick" people (such as lemme try that on) are guilty of fraud. When you trick someone into giving you something, with intent to deprive the owner of the use of that property - it is theft and fraud. But where do we draw the line? More importantly, how much time and resources do the police spend on virtual theft?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    mmm.. how can tricking someone out of virtual item in a game be considered criminal... I was speaking of only the breaking of contract between sellers and buyers in the real world of real wealth...
     
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    If an item has value, and I mean real world dollar value, then it is considered property.

    So, if I have property and you ask to borrow the item, but then refuse to give it back, therefore depriving me of the property then it is theft.

    If you use trickery or deceit to obtain the property and commit theft in doing so, then you have committed fraud.

    Now, understand that this logic only follows if we apply real dollar values to virtual items, which is the whole idea behind this thread. If we do so, then "scamming" becomes actual fraud. Fortunately for certain people, if they do decide to consider virtual items to be real world property with value, it will only effect future scams and not ones in the past (cannot retro-act theft charges).

    I think that we may be seeing this in the near future. If you look into what is happening in Second Life, you will see that we are rapidly moving toward protection of virtual properties.
     
  15. <blockquote><hr>

    If an item has value, and I mean real world dollar value, then it is considered property.

    So, if I have property and you ask to borrow the item, but then refuse to give it back, therefore depriving me of the property then it is theft.

    If you use trickery or deceit to obtain the property and commit theft in doing so, then you have committed fraud.

    Now, understand that this logic only follows if we apply real dollar values to virtual items, which is the whole idea behind this thread. If we do so, then "scamming" becomes actual fraud. Fortunately for certain people, if they do decide to consider virtual items to be real world property with value, it will only effect future scams and not ones in the past (cannot retro-act theft charges).

    I think that we may be seeing this in the near future. If you look into what is happening in Second Life, you will see that we are rapidly moving toward protection of virtual properties.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes... I understand about items having real value but that was not meant to be until the players themselve made it so. But when a game has the ability to steal items of property then the items are not to be considered personal property... and when a person tricks someone out of that property in a game... to me that is the same.. But when a seller/buyer makes a contract between themselves for purpose of real wealth transactions... then it becomes a matter of law..
     
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    In this story, Police Refuse To Aid In Virtual Theft Case the police claimed there was no theft because virtual items "are devoid of monetary value." The problem for a thief may come in where he steals a virtual item, then sells it for real cash.
     
  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    If an item has value, and I mean real world dollar value, then it is considered property.

    So, if I have property and you ask to borrow the item, but then refuse to give it back, therefore depriving me of the property then it is theft.

    If you use trickery or deceit to obtain the property and commit theft in doing so, then you have committed fraud.

    Now, understand that this logic only follows if we apply real dollar values to virtual items, which is the whole idea behind this thread. If we do so, then "scamming" becomes actual fraud. Fortunately for certain people, if they do decide to consider virtual items to be real world property with value, it will only effect future scams and not ones in the past (cannot retro-act theft charges).

    I think that we may be seeing this in the near future. If you look into what is happening in Second Life, you will see that we are rapidly moving toward protection of virtual properties.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes... I understand about items having real value but that was not meant to be until the players themselve made it so. But when a game has the ability to steal items of property then the items are not to be considered personal property... and when a person tricks someone out of that property in a game... to me that is the same.. But when a seller/buyer makes a contract between themselves for purpose of real wealth transactions... then it becomes a matter of law..

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yeah, that makes sense to me, the fact that stealing is part of the game would make make the right of property null and void, just like murder would be. Currently it could only apply if money actually changed hands.
     
  18. Feyre

    Feyre Guest

    In the end all a scam is is the person that got scammed going waaa i lost my stuff, and the person that generally use legal means and just dupes the idiot out of the item being clever. However, i feel that hacking accounts and stealing passwords and the such should perhaps suffer rl concequences as that takes it to a different level of actually playing the game and becomes more of theft.
     
  19. <blockquote><hr>

    In the end all a scam is is the person that got scammed going waaa i lost my stuff, and the person that generally use legal means and just dupes the idiot out of the item being clever. However, i feel that hacking accounts and stealing passwords and the such should perhaps suffer rl concequences as that takes it to a different level of actually playing the game and becomes more of theft.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Agree... Because that is already illegal to go in and use a person's personal idenity without his consent, to access his legal agreement with another party.
     
  20. <blockquote><hr>

    If an item has value, and I mean real world dollar value, then it is considered property.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    the rub against that though is...what do you really "own" in this game. You read the TOS with most online games and you are just paying for access to the servers and content and what not. All content in the game is owned by EA/Blizzard or whatever company made the game.

    So if you lose something in game because of scamming, theft, puffy trying it on, or whatever, the claim can be made that you really did not lose anything because you still have access to the servers and you never did own the piece of virtual junk in the first place.

    An interesting twist was that online game that came out a few years ago (i cant remember the name) where they tried to tie the in-game monetary system to a rl cash value. I remember reading in a gaming magazine about some woman who traded in this currency for a million dollars in rl cash. You may have a case there cause the virtual items are tied directly to an outside value.
     
  21. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    If an item has value, and I mean real world dollar value, then it is considered property.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    the rub against that though is...what do you really "own" in this game. You read the TOS with most online games and you are just paying for access to the servers and content and what not. All content in the game is owned by EA/Blizzard or whatever company made the game.

    So if you lose something in game because of scamming, theft, puffy trying it on, or whatever, the claim can be made that you really did not lose anything because you still have access to the servers and you never did own the piece of virtual junk in the first place.

    An interesting twist was that online game that came out a few years ago (i cant remember the name) where they tried to tie the in-game monetary system to a rl cash value. I remember reading in a gaming magazine about some woman who traded in this currency for a million dollars in rl cash. You may have a case there cause the virtual items are tied directly to an outside value.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Actually that used to be true, but is no longer is. When EA started selling the virtual items for real money, ie soulstones, etc., they actually made the connection (which they probably don't even realize made parts of their TOS null and void) between virtual items and real money.
     
  22. Nerf-Herder

    Nerf-Herder Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    In this story, Police Refuse To Aid In Virtual Theft Case the police claimed there was no theft because virtual items "are devoid of monetary value." The problem for a thief may come in where he steals a virtual item, then sells it for real cash.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I wonder if that would change if it could be proven that at some point in the past, the item was involved in a trade that included real currency.

    Doesn't really matter though. Unless new legislation is passed, these crimes are going to have high potential for jurisdictional issues as very few of them involve a perpetratr and a victim that reside in the same state (some not even in the same country).

    Would like to hear from Mr X. about now... He once told me about a guildmate of his that sold an account and was paid through paypal. A few weeks later, the "buyer" reversed the paypal payment without returning the account. He got a lawyer/investigater to track down the "thief" IRL and wound up getting his money back.

    I'd mention the buyer's name, but it would violate the ROC (as he still plays).
     
  23. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    In the end all a scam is is the person that got scammed going waaa i lost my stuff, and the person that generally use legal means and just dupes the idiot out of the item being clever. However, i feel that hacking accounts and stealing passwords and the such should perhaps suffer rl concequences as that takes it to a different level of actually playing the game and becomes more of theft.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Remember that in the law, it is the intent and not the actions that count. In real world scams people use legal means to trick people out of property. It's called fraud, and there are millions of victims each year. It is not a matter of them using legal means, it was their intent that makes it illegal.

    Another interesting thing is since virtual items are technically data, if you had a unique item, therefore unique code, and someone stole that item, would it be theft or unauthorized use of data?
     
  24. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The ultimate thief nerf.
     
  25. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    If an item has value, and I mean real world dollar value, then it is considered property.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    the rub against that though is...what do you really "own" in this game. You read the TOS with most online games and you are just paying for access to the servers and content and what not. All content in the game is owned by EA/Blizzard or whatever company made the game.

    So if you lose something in game because of scamming, theft, puffy trying it on, or whatever, the claim can be made that you really did not lose anything because you still have access to the servers and you never did own the piece of virtual junk in the first place.

    An interesting twist was that online game that came out a few years ago (i cant remember the name) where they tried to tie the in-game monetary system to a rl cash value. I remember reading in a gaming magazine about some woman who traded in this currency for a million dollars in rl cash. You may have a case there cause the virtual items are tied directly to an outside value.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Very good points. However, EA sell items in game for real cash (soulstones tokens for example). They may have trouble continuing to claim those items have no real value. If I by 100 tokens for $10 each at $1000 and someone hacks my account to take them, this would amount to a felony grand larceny.

    One big problem though is jurisdiction. The accepted practice with online fraud is now that it can be prosecuted at either end. But if one end is Burkina Faso (for example), you may find it hard to do much no matter where the other end of the transaction is.
     
  26. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Yep. There was a class-action lawsuit against the cuban government a few years ago. The litigants won millions of dollars in a Miami court, but it was really only a symbolic victory because there was no way they'd ever collect.

    I think that the only way for gaming companies to avoid the liability is to explicity prohibit sale of in-game property for real-world money, and have an active (and well documented) program to track down violators and ban them.

    Either that or prohibit pvp and thieving, thus trammelizing everything.
     
  27. RTLFC......

    This is why EA makes you agree when you set up an acct, that all pixle stuff is thier property. We don't "own" anything in the UO, we agree in advance to pay for the temporary use of it. EA is allowed to sell all the pixle crap they want without affecting ownership laws because we agree to this when we make the purchase. We also agree that we are NOT to sell the pixle stuff for real life money.

    Therefore if you attempt to sell something for real life money, and you get scammed, there is no crime because you violated your agreement by trying to sell it in the first place.

    In a game like Second Life however, the entire point is for you to be able to make a new "pixel product" that you can make rl profit on in game. With a set up like this, the debate of criminal law applying to pixle ownership is very interesting.
     
  28. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    RTLFC......

    This is why EA makes you agree when you set up an acct, that all pixle stuff is thier property. We don't "own" anything in the UO, we agree in advance to pay for the temporary use of it. EA is allowed to sell all the pixle crap they want without affecting ownership laws because we agree to this when we make the purchase. We also agree that we are NOT to sell the pixle stuff for real life money.

    Therefore if you attempt to sell something for real life money, and you get scammed, there is no crime because you violated your agreement by trying to sell it in the first place.

    In a game like Second Life however, the entire point is for you to be able to make a new "pixel product" that you can make rl profit on in game. With a set up like this, the debate of criminal law applying to pixle ownership is very interesting.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It was and continues to be my opinion that this was why Ebay quit listing UO stuff.
     
  29. Guest

    Guest Guest

    My 2 GP worth is that I think EA and other companies could probably make a good case that their in-game used store items are simply optional value added services within the game, not tangible property. The value added is to the service which they state they can terminate at any time.

    When you buy a t-shirt with the game logo on it from their store, that item becomes your property...when you pay $19.99 for added storage in game or some other pixelated goodie, I don't think it qualifies in the same way, as the item has no practical existence outside the context of the service they provide.

    The fact that OTHER people make real world profit by trading/transferring access to these virtual items is a separate issue, and what people are actually doing is agreeing to pass control of/access to items they don't actually own (by ToS) to other people for real value in cash. It is obvious there was some sort of agreement for transfer between parties, and if one doesn't fulfill that, they have in fact defrauded the other party, but that doesn't necessarily mean they have done so in a way that is actionable in our current legal system. (Really depends, mail fraud - depending on the transaction that took place, identity theft, and all sorts of other circumstances may be factored in). Other gaming companies expressly forbid this sort of transfer of items to &amp; access by anyone other than the account holder on record. As far as I know, EA never spelled out that provision.

    -Skylark