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Virtual Justice: The New Laws of Online Worlds

de Greg Lastowka

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204901,100 (3.2)1
Tens of millions of people today are living part of their life in a virtual world. In places like World of Warcraft, Second Life, and Free Realms, people are making friends, building communities, creating art, and making real money. Business is booming on the virtual frontier, as billions of dollars are paid in exchange for pixels on screens. But sometimes things go wrong. Virtual criminals defraud online communities in pursuit of real-world profits. People feel cheated when their avatars lose virtual property to wrongdoers. Increasingly, they turn to legal systems for solutions. But when your avatar has been robbed, what law is there to assist you? In Virtual Justice, Greg Lastowka illustrates the real legal dilemmas posed by virtual worlds. Presenting the most recent lawsuits and controversies, he explains how governments are responding to the chaos on the cyberspace frontier. After an engaging overview of the history and business models of today's virtual worlds, he explores how laws of property, jurisdiction, crime, and copyright are being adapted to pave the path of virtual law. Virtual worlds are becoming more important to society with each passing year. This pioneering study will be an invaluable guide to scholars of online communities for years to come.… (mais)
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Exibindo 4 de 4
This is an interesting and easy-to-read survey of legal issues pertaining to virtual worlds. Lastowka wisely saves intellectual property for last and starts by examining other issues such as jurisdiction and virtual property. He also examines a number of virtual worlds that are, in my experience, underrepresented in the academic literature. ( )
  breadhat | Jul 23, 2013 |
An interesting pop-law book looking at how legal concepts such as property rights, copyright and contract law do and could apply to virtual worlds such as Second Life, WoW or MUDs. ( )
  tronella | Nov 10, 2012 |
Hi -- I'm the author so I shouldn't post a review, but rivkat's description of the contents is accurate. The only thing I want to add is that if you have an e-reader (or don't mind reading from a monitor) the book is available for free under a Creative Commons license.

You can download it for free at http://bit.ly/virtualjustice

I'd be happy if you could pass along the link to others -- I'm more interested in having people read this than in getting people to buy copies.

(And I won't add a rating -- I'm biased -- but it is true that this is a book that doesn't come to many conclusions.)
  greglas | Feb 3, 2011 |
Lastowka provides a brief and accessible introduction to the legal issues surrounding online games, and argues that their status as games matters: where play and pleasure are important, constraints matter at least as much as freedoms, and law generally has something to say about constraints, just as game designers do. He covers contract, property, “hacking,” and intellectual property (mostly copyright). He doesn’t come to many conclusions—law will be important; law will probably come to recognize more than it does now that games can produce valuable property; it will be hard to regulate game makers’ use of contracts to operate essentially as feudal lords, meaning that when push comes to shove players are vassals. ( )
  rivkat | Nov 11, 2010 |
Exibindo 4 de 4
In “Virtual Justice: The New Laws of Online Worlds,” Greg Lastowka argues that the legal system can no longer afford to ignore virtual worlds, places where people spend time, do real work, and earn real money.
adicionado por greglas | editarBoston Globe, Rachel Nolan (Dec 19, 2010)
 
Far from a "dry academic" tome I'm finding it interesting, thought provoking and educational.
 
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Tens of millions of people today are living part of their life in a virtual world. In places like World of Warcraft, Second Life, and Free Realms, people are making friends, building communities, creating art, and making real money. Business is booming on the virtual frontier, as billions of dollars are paid in exchange for pixels on screens. But sometimes things go wrong. Virtual criminals defraud online communities in pursuit of real-world profits. People feel cheated when their avatars lose virtual property to wrongdoers. Increasingly, they turn to legal systems for solutions. But when your avatar has been robbed, what law is there to assist you? In Virtual Justice, Greg Lastowka illustrates the real legal dilemmas posed by virtual worlds. Presenting the most recent lawsuits and controversies, he explains how governments are responding to the chaos on the cyberspace frontier. After an engaging overview of the history and business models of today's virtual worlds, he explores how laws of property, jurisdiction, crime, and copyright are being adapted to pave the path of virtual law. Virtual worlds are becoming more important to society with each passing year. This pioneering study will be an invaluable guide to scholars of online communities for years to come.

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