Category Archives: Virtual Items / Virtual Goods

Whether they’re a new form of property or just another way to make a buck in virtual worlds and online environments, virtual items are big business.

UPDATE: Virtual Horse Case, Amaretto Ranch v. Ozimals

When Judge Frank Easterbrook disparaged the emerging field of cyberspace law in 1996 by comparing it to the “law of the horse,” i.e. that there was no such thing, it’s unlikely that he ever imagined that there would one day … Continue reading

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Multi-user Online Environments, Virtual Items / Virtual Goods, Virtual Stuff..., Virtual Worlds | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Analysts Pessimistic About Zynga’s Growth Potential Ahead of IPO

Perhaps the most well-known social gaming company is getting ready to launch its initial public offering (IPO) later this week and analysts are already tamping down expectations.     Forbes reports that predictions of the Farmville parent company will “slow to … Continue reading

Posted in Multi-user Online Environments, Virtual Currency, Virtual Items / Virtual Goods | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is your online game gold real?

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that my law review article about virtual items was published in the William Mitchell Law Review this month.  I’m very excited about it, and apparently, I’m not the only … Continue reading

Posted in Multi-user Online Environments, Social Networks, Virtual Currency, Virtual Items / Virtual Goods, Virtual Land, Virtual Stuff..., Virtual Worlds | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Blizzard Changes Course, Integrates Real Money Trading Into Diablo III

If you’re a hardcore player of World of Warcraft, you know how stringently its parent company, Blizzard, has fought to keep the spectre of real money trading (RMT) from corrupting the game.  Gold farming and power leveling were/are scourges of … Continue reading

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Feeding Virtual Horses Sparks an IP Battle in Second Life

I’m not sure how I missed this story when it first emerged last winter.  A company that designs and sells virtual animals in Second Life is suing a competing animal maker over the IP behind the way the companies make … Continue reading

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A Real “Virtual Currency” Emerges: Could BitCoins Threaten “Real” Currencies?

I’ve talked fairly often on this blog about the trade of virtual goods and virtual currencies in virtual worlds such as Second Life or Facebook.  While novel, neither of these elements are legally what they claim to be.  With respect to virtual … Continue reading

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Virtual Items Remain Key Revenue Source for Social Games, But Ads Are Gaining

It is always incredible to see a breakdown of the numbers supporting virtual items, but this recent report featured on paidContent.org shows the incredible business model it has become.  I won’t rehash all the numbers here, but there are a … Continue reading

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