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Perrie Juran

Convicted Over Theft Of Virtual Money

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  • K.B. logged into a friend's profile on RuneScape
  • He then gave away her stash of virtual money after pair had argued
  • H.J. -  who spent six years saving credits - then called police
  • K.B. was charged despite fantasy money having no real value

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2328922/Teenager-dragged-court-giving-away-friends-VIRTUAL-gold-coins-online-fantasy-game.html

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That's true, obviously these commenters haven't grasped the issue at hand:
Accessing a computer / computer account without permission.
And that was the basis of the conviction.

That the commenters don't get it, has a simple reason: It's the Daily Mail. Intelligence is hard to find there.

 

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Dresden Ceriano wrote:

Some of the comments on that page are truing moronic.

...Dres

They'd be the first ones screaming if someone broke into their computer and say deleted all their photos without their permission. Same principle.  Obviously they are idiots who can't think about the larger issue here.

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I think the picture of him with all those empty cans is both pricesless and sums it up nicely.. YOLO as they say

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Perrie Juran wrote:

  • K.B. logged into a friend's profile on RuneScape

  • He then gave away her stash of virtual money after pair had argued
  • H.J. -  who spent six years saving credits - then called police
  • K.B. was charged despite fantasy money having no real value

 


While the Games (TOS) Terms OF Service does state that Virtual Currency has no Real Value this is not actually true.

 

Given the fact that in a MMORPG you have to spend hours of your Real Life time collecting virtual goods, and saving up content, while in a court you could not SUE because of any actual value of money I believe that you could SUE for all the Real Life time and hours you spent putting into the game to earn that much money while currency is not allowed to be traded for real currency I would personally look up the average price online of the value of the virtual goods and SUE for it if possible as you are not SUE over the currency being worth money you are SUE for the amount of time put into the game and time spent earning and working hard to get that currency  seems perfectly legit to me.

There are plenty of Lawsuits in other country too like this and I hope that in the future MMO's use more Real Currency as an exchange like entropia, or support Real Money Exchange between gamers like GW2 for example but isntead of exchanging gems for gold in GW2 you can buy items for example from an auction house with gems that will then go to other players and so on.

Hopefully Entropia, or a New Version/MMO similar to APB, and Second Life will come out sooner or later that offers different fantasy RP experience, but without all the problems SL has and using Real Money to fuel the economy.

Actually EVE has done this.

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If the friend had given him the password previously wasn't she responsible as she had not secured the account?

 

Either way, much as I sympathise with her (I used to play Mafia Wars and lost a LOT of inventory which pretty much ruined my game character) this could set a silly precedent.

 

I hope no-one on an early viewer reports me to the police for indecent exposure when I'm wearing my mesh bathing suit :matte-motes-agape:

 

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Sabean Pagan wrote:

If the friend had given him the password previously wasn't she responsible as she had not secured the account?

 

 

If I give a friend a key to my place and he visits when I'm not there and steals my stuff am I responsible?

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Sabean Pagan wrote:

If the friend had given him the password previously wasn't she responsible as she had not secured the account? 

Giving someone the keys to your house for a particular purpose does not give the person permission to dispose of the stuff that's in the house. Allowing someone access to your computer does not give them permission to delete stuff or, as in this case, dispose of stuff.

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Hi Dillon :)

 

In real iife, no, theft is theft, but that would be with the added insult and upset that you were abused by someone you trusted and not just a stranger. But in terms of SL, LL will not usually get involved in any way if someone has given a friend or partner the ability to access their account, I'm not even sure if it is permitted without authorisation. It could have been to hurt the owner of the account, or to commit fraud, in LL's eyes it is the account holder rather than the user behind it that bears the responsibility, unless I they can absolutely prove otherwise?

 

Like I say, I feel for the person who was hurt, but for the police to get involved I think in this case is frivolent. The police have far more important things to investigate, in my opinion, than waste tax payers money because agrieved party X logged into party Z's account and sold virtual game items for usless virtual currency.

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Hi Phil :-)

 

I agree with you both, it is a betrayal of trust, but for the police to get involved and use their resources to tell someone off for being naughty and not do it again when we have murders, shootings, rapes, thefts, arson etc in 'real life' I think is rediculous.

 

It's just my opinion, you could be right and me wrong, and vice versa, it's just what I think about this particular report in one of UK newspapers.

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What this person did WAS theft, plain and simple. Just because it was virtual currency doesn't excuse him from the theft. As far as the currency used in SL, if someone got access to my account and disposed of my lindens, it would be theft as they can be turned into real money. Even if they can't, they still have value in SL, just as this person's virtual currency had value in her game. Theft is theft, and it is never a waste of anyone's time to make someone pay for doing the crime. 

 

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I'm not a great orator and I don't have a great vocab, so please forgive me but I do the best i can.

 

I'll try to explain what I mean in a scenario and then bow out of this as I don't want to upset anyone, but I don't want anyone to think I don't care, because I do.

 

*scenario* My husband and I both make an account in 'YAY Online', we play it together for 6 years, he has my log in info and me him, sometimes we play each others account. We shouldnt, it's prohibited on the ToS but we figure no-one will know. 6 years later, I've had ehnough of his personal lifestyle and kick him to touch. He gets angry, thinks 'how can I really annoy her' logs into my account and disposes of my game acquisitions.

I believe that is wrong, he should not be able to get away with doing that, it is an abuse of trust and just downright nasty ad dishonest

 

. But it is not, in my view, a matter for RL law enforcement. What it should be a matter for is the host of the online game to make restitution upon some proof of what happened, at their discretion, and the account owner to learn to not be so trusting, or change their password a bit more often.

 

Now IF the person had transfered currency, converted it to real money and cashed out that would be fraud, entirely different.

 

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Sabean Pagan wrote:

 

*scenario* My husband and I both make an account in 'YAY Online', we play it together for 6 years, he has my log in info and me him, sometimes we play each others account. We shouldnt, it's prohibited on the ToS but we figure no-one will know. 6 years later, I've had ehnough of his personal lifestyle and kick him to touch. He gets angry, thinks 'how can I really annoy her' logs into my account and disposes of my game acquisitions.

 

That is a matter of your personal choice.

Once upon a time I took up sketching with paper and pencil.

I was terrible at it but still have the sketches. 

They are valuable to me.

 

If someone came in my house and decided to destroy them should I just grin and bare it?

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What you're saying here is irrelevant... the guy was charged with gaining unauthorized access to a computer and making unauthorized modifications to computer material, which is definitely a crime and, being such, would make it a matter for the police.  What's so difficult for people to understand about that?

...Dres

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What I say is often irrelevent, it was just a personal opinion on a topic that was posted by someone else.

 

I apologise deeply for any offence I have caused.

 

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You haven't caused any offense at all, so there is nothing for you to apologise for.

Like everyone else, in all the threads, you have an opinion and you posted it. If you and everyone else didn't do that, especially when the opinion is different to those already posted, the forum would be extremely boring. So do post your opinions. We all welcome them :)

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Phil Deakins wrote:

You haven't caused any offense at all, so there is nothing for you to apologise for.

Like everyone else, in all the threads, you have an opinion and you posted it. If you and everyone else didn't do that, especially when the opinion is different to those already posted, the forum would be extremely boring. So do post your opinions. We all welcome them
:)

agree_smiley.gif

...Dres

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GothGirl Demonia wrote:

Hopefully Entropia, or a New Version/MMO similar to APB, and Second Life will come out sooner or later that offers different fantasy RP experience, but without all the problems SL has and using Real Money to fuel the economy.

Actually 
EVE has done this.

ALL MMOs thrive on real money to fuel them, get used to it.

Either you have to buy currency with real  money like in SL, or you have to buy in-game items with real money as most Korean and many other MMOs do, or you have to pay subscription fees that give you access to content that lets you generate in-game currency (more rapidly), or a combination of all of those.

It's how the game companies make their income. Even Blizzard has now embraced that model in WoW (where they've reworked the trial version into a limited access unlimited time version that can only hold a small amount of resources) and Diablo 3 (where you have to pay real money to trade in game items between avatars).

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So many want to make this about whether virtual money is real money or not. That is a non issue and should not even be discuss by any1 with half a brain. Money is determined by governments to enslave their subjects. It's just a word game. The only real money in the world is gold and silver. This has been determined by the market. Everything else is fiat money, which governments use to print as much as they want. Fiat money allows governments to tax the public without the public seeing the affect right away. Money printing is a hidden tax, which expresses itself in inflation(rising prices).

The reality is, your virtual assets are real property. They are something you acquire thru your labor. Again labor versus play, is just another word game. These assets take up real space on a server. Essentially, all virtual worlds have property rights. This is easily assumed because no 2 character can have or use the exact same assets. Yes, they might be able to use an exact copy, but not the same asset. Owning that asset means you have the exclusive right to use it. Passing your assets onto some1 else, without your expressed permission is actually theft.

Do not confuse this with some1 illegally copying an item. This is not theft, as the original party still has the object. Now we are getting into a whole other argument, so let's not go there.

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 I see that we have the ususal types crawling out of the woodwork here ...

No charges were filed concerning "theft" of virtual currency.

No charges can be made over "theft" of virtual currency - the currency has no value outside of its particular software system.

Did the victim possibly purchase some of this virtual currency at some point to lessen the time needed to acquire the amount that was given away? Possibly. That does not make the currency worth a single cent outside of that specific software system.

In truth, there are not very many MMO like bits of software wherein the parent company allows a user to buy and sell the in system currency for real cash. The few that do, have not had a case like this actually brought to court, thus there is no case law.

Until there is case law and until a court explicitly states otherwise .... no "theft" has occurred here.

Oh look! We even have the type that actually believes that "precious" metals hold some intrinsic value beyond that which we as humans have ascibed to it! Hmm, last time I checked, you cannot eat these metals, nor do they make good clothing or shelter materials. You do not see people in second and third world countries fighting over them either - they're too busy fighting over food, water, clothing and shelter to care about a lump of metal that people pretend has some value beyond pretty jewelry and electrical components.

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There are plenty of "word games" around but 'money' isn't one of them. You were talking about RL money, and so am I. Money is a credit note - a working credit note. Sometimes it's made of metal and sometimes it's made of paper, but they are all actual credit notes, and not word games. And they are very versatile credit notes too, because they can be used to pay for any goods and services within borders of where the credit notes apply.

On the other hand, gold and silver can't usually be used to pay for goods and services. They are just metals, and don't function as credit notes like money does. If all you have in your pocket is a lump of gold, you can't even buy a loaf of bread (unless the seller is expert enough to know that it is actually gold and that s/he can swap it for some credit notes). Lumps of gold and silver on their own are worthless. They only have value because some people will swap them for credit notes in the form of money.

So which is the word game? Money or lumps of gold and silver? ;)

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Compared to food, water and shelter you could say that "virtual currency" is trivial.  You sure can not eat it.

In economics they or we talk about expendable income,

"After you take care of all of your necessary expenses then if you have any thing left that would be an expendable amount of your net income."

We use medium of exchange, things we have placed value on, like gold or silver.  If you as an individual place value on "virtual currency" you might be willing to exchange food, water and shelter for them.

Goods and services have value to us, hence we have made the theft of goods and/or services a crime.

The question would be is "entertainment" a necesity?  Cetainly we do not need it for our base physical survival.  But is there more to life than this?  Is song and dance a necesity?  I think that is an honest question.  I think that it is and hence I place value on it.  Of course I know that if I place greater value on it than food, water & shelter I won't be around long to enjoy it.  But that does not negate the need for it.  And sometimes I use a medium of exchange to obtain them.

The individual in that article stole 'goods and services.'  They were virtual, they were not as important as food, water and shelter, but they were still goods and services that had value to someone.

Note that:

"Belmont, of Swansea, admitted an offence.......and was ordered to pay £16 compensation by Swansea magistrates."


The Court did place a value on the virtual currency and effort the girl had expended in obtaining it.

ETA, the overarching reason for the 'hacking laws' is theft of goods and services.

 

 

 

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Yeah, I don't get Solar's "intrinsic" value argument. If you look at human history, there are examples of those for whom even human life has no intrinsic value. I'm quite happy that the vast majority of humans have conspired to create mechanisms to value and transfer goods and services efficiently. The barter system is just too damned cumbersome to get much done.

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The money that was ordered to be paid was for the time and effort. Nothing more and nothing less. They did not expressly state a single thing regarding that virtual currency.

 

The rest of your response is more or less a matter of philosophy as opposed to reality.

 

Food, water, clothing and shelter are the only things of real value when the crap hits the fan. Beyond that, if it has no use anywhere but within a specific software system (such as the gold in WoW), it's not something you can prosecute under "theft".

 

The kid was guilty of hacking and illegal modification of software.

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