Bragg v Linden Lab

Following on from my post about MDY v Blizzard, Bragg v Linden is another of the tough questions that will frame my thesis. Second Life is a three-dimensional free-form virtual world constructed primarily by its participants. Unlike some other virtual worlds, Second Life is not a 'game' – it has no central narrative or defined[…]

Article: On the (partially-)inalienable rights of participants in virtual communities

publication, article, MIA, media international australia, , games, human rights, participant rights, property, virtual worlds, inalienable, contract My most recent article has now been published. Unfortunately, MIA's policy is set to change to allow online access as of the next issue. For now, here's the post-print: Nicolas Suzor, "On the (partially-)inalienable rights of participants in[…]

Digital constitutionalism: the governance of virtual communities, part 1

digital constitutionalism, participant rights, virtual communities, virtual worlds, governance, thesis I am finally beginning to write up my thesis. What follows is the first half of the argument I plan to present. This will hopefully provide the structure for identifying the problem and the context of the argument. Comments welcome – what have I missed[…]

On Cyberproperty

cyberspace, property, virtual worlds, participant rights Proprietors of virtual communities sometimes make absolutist claims to sovereignty over the platform and the community. These proprietors tend to resist any public regulation, as they see the platform as 'their' 'property'. Unlike public utilities, most platforms do not receive Government funding or enjoy legislated monopolies, and therefore, the[…]

Mozelle Thompson on Governance

governance, public, private, End User Licence Agreements, participant rights, contract, property, facebook Photo: Andrew Feinberg, CC BY 2.0. Last week, I had the opportunity to talk to Mozelle Thompson at an event organised by QUT IPKCE and the IIA. Mozelle was a US Federal Trade Commissioner, and is now a legal adviser to Facebook. Mozelle[…]

Margaret Jane Radin’s theory of partial inalienability as a model for evaluating interests in …

games, participant rights, politics, property, virtual worlds I am in the process of selecting a theoretical model on which to base my normative analysis. Below, I explain my preliminary attraction to Radin's construction of partial inalienability and the pragmatic method of resolving tensions between conflicting interests. As always, comments are greatly appreciated. Thesis: in choosing[…]

Liability rules and property rules as a framework to view virtual world RMT

games, participant rights, virtual worlds Calabresi and Melamed proposed a three-way taxonomy of entitlements – inalienable entitlements, which cannot be traded between willing sellers and willing purchasers; property rules, which are enforceable by injunction to prevent non-consensual takings; and liability rules, where objectively measured damages are the only remedy, leaving open the possibility and expectation[…]

On inalienable rights and virtual worlds

Image: Jefferson Memorial by kjd (CC BY-NC-ND). While the discussion of liability rules and property rules (below) may be adequate for fungible interests, it may not be appropriate in cases of interests which more closely touch the personality of the participant. For these latter interests, inalienability, or partial inalienability may be the best method for[…]

Linden settles Bragg suit

Image: FredoAlvarez (CC BY-ND) Linden labs has settled the Bragg lawsuit, on undisclosed terms. This is very much to be expected. The only surprising thing here is that it didn't happen much sooner. You simply can't encourage people to invest and 'own' virtual land, run around telling them that they can make lots of money,[…]