The Virtual Property Problem: What Property Rights in Virtual Resources Might Look Like, How They Might Work, and Why They are a Bad Idea

  title={The Virtual Property Problem: What Property Rights in Virtual Resources Might Look Like, How They Might Work, and Why They are a Bad Idea},
  author={John William Nelson},
  journal={Cyberspace Law eJournal},
  • J. W. Nelson
  • Published 15 August 2009
  • Law
  • Cyberspace Law eJournal
“Virtual property” is a solution looking for a problem. Arguments justifying “virtual property” lie among three common themes—Lockean labor theory, theft protection and deterrence, and market efficiency. This Article goes beyond those who advocate for or against the creation of “virtual property” by first dismissing Locke’s labor theory as a justification. Then, this Article explores two models of what property rights may look like when applied to virtual resources. These models are then… 
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Periods of rapid U.S. economic growth during the 1960s and 1970s coincided with improved living standards for many segments of the population, including the disadvantaged as well as the affluent,
at 849 (citing John Brewer, When A Virtual Crook Struck This Gamer, He Called Real Cops
    THE PHILOSOPHY OF RHETORIC 116 (1936) (defining "metaphor" as "compound[ing] different uses of the word into one, and speak[ing] of something as though it were another
      at 1088 (detailing the Korean system of dealing with the theft of virtual property)
        arguing that the protection of property rights allows for the efficient transfer of property). 71. POLINKSY, supra note 70
        • 1997
        Fairfield, supra note 30
          See Lawrence, supra note 35, at 532-40 (applying the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
          • 2006
          breaks into' computers without authorization, either for malicious reasons or just to prove it can be done
          • 2009
          Prosser believed the tort of intrusion into seclusion protected primarily a mental interest
          • CAL. L. REV
          • 1960
          Beijing Arctic Ice Technology Development Co., a case involving a dispute arising out of a third party stealing Li Hongchen's account)