Class action lawsuit targets ownership of virtual goods

Just a quick post – Cnet reports that a group of Second Life resident have commenced a class action lawsuit against Linden Labs and its former chief executive, in which they complain that they and other residents were forced to agree to terms of service that eroded their ownership rights to virtual property and goods within Second Life.
As I’ve written about previously, there is a battle over the ownership of virtual goods which has been brewing for a while.  It has flared up from time to time, notably in the 2007 American case of Bragg v Linden Labs, but has never been definitively decided (Bragg settled, for example).  Now it looks as though it may be flaring up again.  At stake is the issue of ownership of virtual goods potentially in every corner of the games market, from social games to MMOs.
I have not yet been able to read the (65 page) Complaint – that’ll be a job for this weekend, at which point I will update this post.  But, from what I have seen so far, it goes into some detail as to the complainants’ legal ownership of virtual goods/property within Second Life.  If that argument was substantiated in court then, as I’ve said previously, it could send shockwaves through the games industry with its increasing reliance upon the monetisation of virtual goods.  As always, watch this space…
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