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Intellectual Property or Intangible Chattel?

Authors
Publisher
International Association of IT Lawyers
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Intellectual Property
  • Virtual Worlds
  • Intangible Chattel
  • Mmorpg
  • End User License Agreements
Disciplines
  • Design

Abstract

Currently this virtual property is governed under a system where initial rights are allocated to traditional intellectualproperty rights holders, and subsequent rights are governed by license agreements called End User License Agreements(EULAs). The traditional intellectual property rights holders have been systematically eliminating any emerging virtualproperty rights which game players may be entitled to by the use of EULAs, causing an imbalance in resources and rights.Perhaps items and characters created in virtual worlds by players should be treated as intangible chattel whileallowing the underlying designs and code of the game designers to retain their intellectual property rights. Justas a person feels that when they have purchased a book, they own the book but not the copyright in the book; sotoo should a player own the characters and items (as intangible chattel) in the game’s virtual world withoutacquiring the underlying copyright in that virtual world.

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