Thread: Dutch court convicts teens of virtual theft
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:58 AM   #1
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Dutch court convicts teens of virtual theft

This morning Eurogamer reports this funny story.

Yahoo reports that a court in Holland has convicted two teenagers of stealing virtual items in the popular kids' MMO, RuneScape.

The 15 and 14-year-old culprits forced a 13-year-old boy into a transferring a "virtual amulet and a virtual mask" to their accounts in RuneScape.

The Yahoo report is light on detail, but we understand from our friends at Eurogamer.nl, who read about it in the paper this morning, that the errant teens beat up and kicked the victim, and threatened him with a knife.

The two were convicted to 360 hours of community service between them. "These virtual goods are goods (under Dutch law), so this is theft," said the court in its ruling.

Very few cases of virtual theft have reached the courts in the past - usually, police refuse to take them seriously. This is the first time in Holland that there has been a final ruling in such a case.

If you can read Dutch, you'll find more information on the case at nrc.next.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:10 AM   #2
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Virtual goods are goods? I guess they're very SMART.


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Old 10-23-2008, 01:33 PM   #3
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Wonder if you kill someone in that virtual world that you could be convicted for murder in the real world?
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:17 PM   #4
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Wonder if you kill someone in that virtual world that you could be convicted for murder in the real world?
No, lol.

That is interesting that virtual items are treated the same as items in Dutch law. I wonder to what extent that goes and because of this case, how many future cases there will be of this.


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Old 10-23-2008, 02:35 PM   #5
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Yet, didn't Dutch law pretty much give a pass on caring about software pirates?

I have to admit I question the sanity of somebody who would assault and threaten to kill a kid over video-game junk. I hope they get in trouble for more than just "virtual theft", ya know, like assault and battery with a deadly weapon or some such.


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Old 10-24-2008, 02:01 AM   #6
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So, the cops couldn't bring up charges on assault and battery, but could for stealing pixels?


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Old 10-24-2008, 02:11 AM   #7
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So, the cops couldn't bring up charges on assault and battery, but could for stealing pixels?
Police/Teachers/Parents have few options in something like this.

Little cousin got jumped a few times after school and was beaten to a pulp by a group of kids a few times. Aunt went to the teachers, but the school either cannot or usually refuses to do anything about it.

The Police can be called, but unless they have proof all they have to work off of is the kids word that he was beaten up, even if he is bruised and beaten.

I'm not sure how it works there, but here the justice system as far as bullying and threats to kill between teenagers means almost nothing. They tend to only notice once the kid dies, and that is only because the media forces them to take action.

On the scale of not caring about children, Parents are second only to schools. Maybe the law says different, but the system sure doesn't care.

And unless you are willing to fork out $40,000 for a legal case on assault between teens, then nothing is going to be done period.
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:48 AM   #8
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It is quit understandable, really.

I recall a case in Japan in which someone killed his best friend. He went on vacation and lend the 'Uber Epic Sword' to his mate for play. His friend sold it for cold-hard cash.

The sword though, will take hours/days/weeks/months of struggle to get. So from a point of view, you pay for it and it is your property.

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Old 10-24-2008, 12:39 PM   #9
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What the hell is wrong in this world? ... no one can kill or steal another one's things virtualy?!?! ... whats the fun of it?



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Old 10-24-2008, 01:00 PM   #10
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Ztalker is talking the truth, but still I can't believe that Earth's rule can be applied for virtual world. I'm lucky I live in a nation where piracy is a common thing and almost 80% of the game sold in many stores is a clone. If you pay 10 dollars or more for a TSL DVD, I only pay one dollar. Must be hard to live in a nation if there's so many rules. Thank God I don't live in USA or Europe.


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Old 11-15-2008, 10:24 PM   #11
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Ztalker is talking the truth, but still I can't believe that Earth's rule can be applied for virtual world. I'm lucky I live in a nation where piracy is a common thing and almost 80% of the game sold in many stores is a clone. If you pay 10 dollars or more for a TSL DVD, I only pay one dollar. Must be hard to live in a nation if there's so many rules. Thank God I don't live in USA or Europe.
Meh - It's not that bad. TSL is about $20.00, so that's like what, two or three hours of working?

And that's just for my job...


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Old 10-24-2008, 02:54 PM   #12
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^ Your statement was actually serious? Also, 59% or 80% of the copies are pirated?


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Old 10-28-2008, 07:33 PM   #13
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Yes, the Dutch law at best!
We convict people who kill to a mere 8 years of prison, and a kid who is "steals" a virtual thing has to work for 200 hours! (If you posses illigal fireworks you only have to work for 50 hours or so)

The Dutch law is screwed up.
At least I get healthcare etc.
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:34 PM   #14
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I play runescape and to be honest, these kinds of things aernt that uncommon. theft, threatining, account stealing, happens all the time.
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:28 PM   #15
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The real way this should be handled is by the game itself tracking players actions and having a system in place to verify something being stolen, to return the item and to ban the serial key of the offending party if serious enough. I'll admit not feeling sorry for the little convicts though.
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Old 11-13-2008, 01:37 AM   #16
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Now what if they go as far as to arrest people for killing in a game?! (Example: Call of Duty: World at War, Gears of War 2)

Then there would be no reason to play games except for a few...








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Old 11-15-2008, 10:29 PM   #17
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I can make that in an hour.

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