Friday, June 1, 2007

Bragg v. Linden update and IGE gets sued by Consumers

Nod to Greg Boyd for sending these articles:

Bragg v. Linden update - Looks like Bragg has scored some preliminary victories in his case against Second Life operators Linden Labs. Judge Eduardo Rubreno held that SL's arbitration clause in its Terms of Use was unconscionable, despite Linden's offer to move the arbitration to Bragg's native Philadelphia and pay the costs. Score one for the players: with this provision struck down, it is unclear how much more of the ToU will survive.


Hernandez v. IGE filed - Hernandez is a WoW player from Florida who has enlisted the help of a hot shot plaintiffs attorney in class action lawsuits involving consumer protections. Hernandez is alleging that IGE, as a link between a consortium of gold farmers and paying customers, is essentially interfering with his play. He pays good money to play the game, and companies like IGE “strip out scarce and limited virtual world resources,” making the game less fun to play. Agreed. They are trying to attach liability through consumer protection laws. They are also going after Paypal and other internet money transfer services that facilitate the trade in virtual goods. With Ebay's recent delisting of all virtual property, I wonder if Paypal and other will also drop their gold farming clients.

It will be interesting to see how this comes out. It is hard to quantify how much these farmers devalue the experience of players, especially since so many seem more than willing to purchase their wares. I can't wait to see the type of balancing test the court about judicial discretion: well, the sword is worth x to Hernandez who obtained it playing the game, but y to average Joe buyer...I can't say it enough...WoW!

The Biggest Week for MMO Players since Burning Crusade was released!

For an interesting interview with Hernandez's Lawyer see: The Interview

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