The controversy over ownership of virtual “real” property and intellectual property rights within online games has existed for nearly as long as the technology to create such games. Previously, the owners of virtual worlds possessed sole control over everything within the world as a result of rather strict terms contained in their user licensing agreements. Lately, this controversy has acquired a new dimension in a rapidly expanding game called Second Life. Second Life is different from most online games because it expressly guarantees its users the rights to content they create within the game. To the extent that Second Life protects users’ intellectual property rights, it should be applauded. This is a notable step forward in the realm of virtual worlds.
Megan B. Caramore,
Help! My Intellectual Property Is Trapped: Second Life, Conflicting Ownership Claims And The Problem Of Access,
Rich. J.L. & Tech
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolt/vol15/iss1/4