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Dutch Court Punishes Theft of Virtual Property 276

Posted by timothy
from the pick-a-fight-your-first-day-with-the-toughest-avatar dept.
tsa writes "Last week, the Dutch court subjected two kids of ages 15 and 14 to 160 hours of unpaid work or 80 days in jail, because they stole virtual property from a 13-year-old boy. The boy was kicked and beaten and threatened with a knife while forced to log into Runescape and giving his assets to the two perpetrators. This ruling is the first of its kind for the Netherlands. Ars Technica has some more background information." In Japan, meanwhile, a woman has been arrested for "illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data" after (virtually) killing her (virtual) husband.
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Dutch Court Punishes Theft of Virtual Property

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  • by VeNoM0619 (1058216) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:06PM (#25488395)
    It's funny and sad...how imaginary pixels can run people's lives to do horrible things in a physical world.
    • by Waste55 (1003084) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:19PM (#25488683)

      It's funny and sad...how imaginary pixels can run people's lives to do horrible things in a physical world.

      Imaginary?! What are these tiny dots I keep starting at while I type?! Someone must have slipped something into my drink! ;)

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by 32771 (906153)

        The parent must have suggested we stick to a one dimensional arrangement of pixels where there is no such thing as an imaginary dimension. Just like you should only use good old fashioned real numbers, everything else is just sinister.

    • by TeacherOfHeroes (892498) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:29PM (#25488903)

      Its not as if real money is any more tangible when its sitting in a bank account.

      Are things like wow gold really anything more than the electronic equivalent of gift certificates nowadays or banks that printed their own bank notes way back when? Surely the theft of either of those would be taken seriously - I don't see why this should be any different.

      • Except the consequence is that if "virtual property" is just like real property, it could be taxed. And you get the bizarre situation that you can be thrown in real jail for crimes against virtual objects and avatars.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mysidia (191772)

          It seems to me that if someone has given you their username and password, then you implicitly are entrusted with the authority to login and do the things that person can do. Including things like routine maintenance; creation and deletion of avatars.

          Deleting someone's avatar when they don't want it to be done may be despicable, but if they gave the credentials, and failed to explicitly revoke the authorization, it seems the person's access was authorized...

          C++ programmers (MMORPG programmers) will now

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by delt0r (999393)
            So if i beat the crap out of you till you *give* me your PIN number, I then have permission to take the money?

            FTA, beatings were involved.
        • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Thursday October 23, 2008 @08:30PM (#25491925)
          Well, I didn't read the FA, but it sounds like this is probably more about the fact that these two assholes beat and robbed another boy. Even minus the theft, they'd still have been in trouble for assaulting someone, and virtual or not, they took that which did not belong to them.

          It's a bit of a stretch to say, well, it should be taxed because a couple of bullies got charged with stealing it. And the actual crime here occurred in meatspace, not in the virtual environment.
          • by SL Baur (19540)

            Well, I didn't read the FA

            There were several articles linked. Go back and read them, they're all worth the time spent.

            The shocker for me was the lady in Japan arrested and jailed for griefing a recently "divorced" (the "marriage" was all in-game) partner in a game which I presume is a Japanese equivalent to Second Life. She logged into his account and I presume, deleted all his stuff. That's ++ungood, but jail and after he gave her his password? WTF?

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Lars T. (470328)
              Most countries have (often quite recently) added hacker paragraphs to their criminal law which make deletion, manipulation or even plain access to somebody else's (private) data against their will an offense. Even if he gave her the password, he didn't want her to access his account anymore. Yes, it was stupid not to change the password (just like it is stupid to break up with a girlfriend and tell her to simply leave the key to your apartment you gave her in the mail box) - but stupidity is not a crime nor
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by JosKarith (757063)
              So... if you break up with someone and they use the house key you forgot you gave them the time that you needed them to water your plants to break in and cut the crotch out of all your clothes and pour bleach in all your plant pots you'd be fine with that. Cos' you know, you gave them that key - so you gave them implicit permission to leave a fresh steming turd under your pillow...
              The guy in this story forgot 1 basic rule - if you break up with someone, no matter how amicable it is, change _all_ your passw
      • by Pikiwedia.net (1392595) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:58PM (#25489357) Homepage
        I'm in big trouble! I've commited murder in numerous games, used weapons of mass destruction in civilization.
      • by Haoie (1277294)

        Yes, but real money can buy real things.

        Online currency can only be used in that medium, to purchase things which have no presence beyond the online community/game/whatever itself.

        • by Vastad (1299101) on Friday October 24, 2008 @12:44AM (#25494149)

          What do you mean no presence? And why would you focus on the virtual goods or currency itself? Why ignore the context?

          Would you tell thousands of players of MMOs that their sense of fair play is misguided because players that use gold farming services and items bought with "real" currency don't have a "presence" in the real world?

          What about how these gold farming services are provided? Does anyone actually know how its done? How do we know there isn't some sort of sweatshop set-up in some neighbourhood in Guangdong where the "farmers" toil at a desk with no worker's rights and no health plans of any sort and being paid a pitiful percentage of what's charged?

          real money can buy real things

          What does "real money" represent? It's a unit representation of our time and labour which we then exchange for goods and services. So just what do you think people going to gold farming services are buying? They are paying for time and labour of course! Just so they don't have to invest their own. How is the time and labour invested to get that certain mount or special weapon in an MMO "not real" in meatspace? Isn't it obvious why honest players are in uproar and how some brat teen doesn't want to work that hard?

          As VoidCrow says, if you have a huge surplus of virtual currency, you can sell it for real currency. I'd say that qualifies for presence beyond the game itself. If it didn't, gold farming services wouldn't be profitable. I don't understand why you were modded up at all.

      • by vux984 (928602) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:44PM (#25490069)

        Its not as if real money is any more tangible when its sitting in a bank account.

        Good point.

        Are things like wow gold really anything more than the electronic equivalent of gift certificates nowadays or banks that printed their own bank notes way back when?

        Not "more". LESS.

        Surely the theft of either of those would be taken seriously - I don't see why this should be any different.

        Because you don't "own" your WoW account. Its not your "property" to start with. You are paying Blizzard for access to THEIR GAME. And according them, everything in your account is THEIRs.

        So if blizzard decides X is too powerful or valuable or whatever they can, at their option, simply remove them from the game, or substitute another item, or change the parameters of the item, etc, etc. And you can't say squat. They can also simply 'ban' you.

        The same simply isn't true of your bank account. Your bank can't just decide you aren't a customer, and close your account. Transfering your funds to another account, or perhaps even just "deleting" them.

        So while we EXPECT the contents of our bank account to be treated as real property. We don't really expect the contents of our WoW account to be held to the same legal standard. And I'm not sure we WANT to.

        If Blizz catches you cheating, and bans you, should you be allowed to sue them for "damages"?

        • by jonbryce (703250)

          Banks can decide they no longer want you as a customer. They do have to give you your money back though.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheoMurpse (729043)

          In that case, perhaps we don't make "theft" of online property a crime, but we allow people to sue in tort for it. Tort has always been the great, equitable equalizer throughout history. Why not permit a suit to be filed in this case, too?

          Be careful of slippery slope arguments here. I saw someone above say that treating WoW gold as real could lead to treating avatars as real people. Sure, it could conceivably lead to that result. However, consider this:

          Coveting your neighbor's wife is not illegal. However,

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by vux984 (928602)

            Can you give me a good reason why you shouldn't be able to? Don't give me the hogwash about "it's their world." Without a license provision, estoppel should give you the right to sue them. The elements of estoppel are:

            1. Defendant induced an expectation on the part of the Plaintiff
            2. Plaintiff relied on the expectation
            3. Were the expectation false, the Plaintiff would be harmed

            It seems to me that in this case, absent a license/contract provis

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by TheoMurpse (729043)

              At what point does offering access to a game constitute 'inducing an expectation' that the game items you might acquire somehow belong to you? If you pay to join a soccer leage does that create the expectation that when someone passes you the ball that its yours to sell ebay?

              The typical legal standard for answering a question like that is "reasonability." I.e., would a reasonable person be induced?

              In your soccer case, a reasonable person would not be induced. In the WoW case, it may actually be true that a

          • I think the problem comes in right at number one: Blizzard is not telling you that if you "earn" something in the game, they have to change their rules/policies to prevent you from ever losing it.

            In fact, I'm sure the EULA says the opposite: it's their game and you play by their rules. Even if no part of the EULA is enforceable, you can't accuse them of creating some expectation when they have attempted to give you the opposite expectation.

            Of course, you always ought to be able to sue. But that's basic: you

        • Well,

          you are not very well informed.

          At least in europe 90% of Blizz Eulas are void.

          Ofc, my propertsy is my property, and one thing is for sure: my account and my account credentials, not talking about the virtual itmes my account might have "access to" ... so back to the topic: my 'account' is 'MY PROPERTY'.

          European court ruling, or explicit law is very clear in this. And YES I can sell my WoW account. And that is binding as everything. Blizz is not stupid, read their EULA, they dont prohibit selling, they

          • by vux984 (928602)

            a) companies make law (aka ... you signed EULA, all your "property" belongs to us, muhuhuhua!)

            So if we're playing cards and I deal you a hand, you now legally own those cards? Please explain.

            b) virtual property is not real property? (Hint: shares, money in bank accounts, rights to ground, houses, yield of crops etc.)

            The question really isn't whether its real or not. The question is whether its YOUR property.

            If you join a scrabble tournament, and you draw your seven tiles, are they now your property? When yo

        • by SL Baur (19540)

          The same simply isn't true of your bank account. Your bank can't just decide you aren't a customer, and close your account. Transfering your funds to another account, or perhaps even just "deleting" them.

          That's not how things work any more and haven't for a long time.

          They absolutely can lock your money up away from you. On a recent trip home, when I bought my wife a Macbook, I later got a threatening email message (fortunately I was checking email, I do not usually do so) from my Credit Union saying they were going to immediately suspend my account due to suspicious activity on my account[1]. It took a very expensive international phone call to clear things up.

          I'd do banking in the Philippines instead of

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by liledevil (1012601)

          Message from the netherlands, and this has been in the news for a couple of days over here as well.
          The i aint going into whether or legal system is good, if our priorities are screwed up, whether our sentences are too high or too low, but just a little feedback from the dutch sources.
          please dont hold me for not using the proper words for everything, i will try to explain this as good as I can.
          The sentence the 2 boys got was for stealing property with violence.
          The motivation of the judge was that like with r

    • by mollymoo (202721)

      It's funny and sad...how imaginary pixels can run people's lives to do horrible things in a physical world.

      Is it really any funnier than how photons or pressure waves can influence people? MMOs, Second Life etc. are to some extent a medium for communication between people. People are real, no matter how they communicate.

    • by Simonetta (207550) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:03PM (#25489445)

      I've come to trust the Dutch as a serious and civilized people, so I suspect that it more the kicking, beating, and menacing with a knife that got these bozos punished; not the 'theft of imaginary pixels'.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        It's probably both. Some charges of assault, along with some charges of theft. While it's difficult to put an actual value on the losses of virtual property, it is still theft. It's normal in the US at least for prosecutors to pile on all the charges they can, and the theft part makes sense as an additional charge.

    • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @06:00PM (#25490275) Homepage

      The boy was kicked and beaten and threatened with a knife while forced to log into Runescape and giving his assets to the two perpetrators.

      so the kid was physically assaulted with a deadly weapon, but the court decided to charge the perpetrators for stealing the victim's Runescape items? is it just me or are the court's priorities just a little screwed up?

      i'd much rather lose some virtual money/items than get stabbed or beat up. christ, the company that runs Runescape can just restore the the items back to the kid who was robbed. heck, they could just create new items to give to him. it's not like it costs them anything to make those items.

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        They presumably charged them for armed robbery rather than grevious bodily harm, as it is a more serious offence.

        • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @06:32PM (#25490699) Homepage

          i think that shows how skewed our culture's value system is.

          it's considered worse for a teenage computer geek to hack into a business network our of curiosity, unintentionally impeding commerce for a few days (which the company analysts will claim has cost tends of millions of dollars in damages), than it is for someone to rape or murder another person. the legal punishment for non-malicious curiosity-motivated computer crimes are far worse than the sentences given to violent offenders.

          this seems completely unbalanced to me. do most people really think non-malicious computer crimes (i'm not talking about spamming, spreading viruses, DDoS, etc.) are worse than things like rape/murder/assault/etc? it also seems like the courts treat financial damages to the corporate sector far more severely than murder & rape, the victims of which are usually the poor. what do other think about the relative severity of these different types of crimes?

      • by icebike (68054)

        so the kid was physically assaulted with a deadly weapon, but the court decided to charge the perpetrators for stealing the victim's Runescape items?

        I rather suspect when you dig through all the hype and mistranslation the perpetrators were indeed charged with and punished for the assault rather than the theft.

        But you see, this is slash dot, and that interpretation would not be worth posting about.

      • It is just you.

        The court did not decide to charge the perpetrators for stealing the victim's Runescape items?.

        The court decided for robbery.

        Who cars if they robbed real or virtual items? How would you feel if a gang would wait with rifles in front of your house to hand them over your sons WoW items? There would be no relation to WoW but to the rifles, or not?

        angel'o'sphere

  • by GaryPatterson (852699) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:07PM (#25488423)

    Surely the first case would have revolved around the attack by the two boys, using the knife, threats and all that. I mean, that's a pretty straightforward criminal act right there without going further to look at the proceeds of crime (data).

    I know, read the article, read the article. It's early, and I'm skimming headlines.

    • by Artraze (600366) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:14PM (#25488565)

      I think the point is that the theft counted as part of the offense. In other words, rather than being viewed as assault, it was viewed as a mugging.

      • I think the point is that the theft counted as part of the offense. In other words, rather than being viewed as assault, it was viewed as a mugging.

        Also, the particular value of this property is what makes this assault particularly horrifying (at least, in the eyes of news reporting agencies). I know that in my neck of the woods, if someone gets mugged, beaten, and their life threatened with a knife, it doesn't count if real money was involved -- that's what we consider in my neck of woods -- good cause --

    • by AlXtreme (223728) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:18PM (#25488677) Homepage Journal

      Surely the first case would have revolved around the attack by the two boys, using the knife, threats and all that. I mean, that's a pretty straightforward criminal act right there without going further to look at the proceeds of crime (data).

      They were also charged for the violence, conditional jail-time of 1 and 2 months. Source [www.nu.nl] for the dutchies.

    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:22PM (#25488751)

      It does seem odd. To make that fair the judge should have
      the bailiff beat the attackers with a night stick
      and then sentence them to a virtual jail.

      • by LithiumX (717017)

        It does seem odd. To make that fair the judge should have the bailiff beat the attackers with a night stick and then sentence them to a virtual jail.

        Then install a webcam so we can watch them spend the next few days searching their cells for secret walls or hidden lockpicks.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Acapulco (1289274)
      I agree totally. In the article, not *once* they mention if there would be charges or sentence for the violence. It's obviously bad enough that this kids stole something (vritual or not), but I would think that the important part was the violent one.

      Does anyone know how many kids are bullied in schools everywhere by someone, so they can get their epic ultra-leet items? and getting away with it?

      I have no idea about the latter, but it's sure as hell not anywhere near 0%. So stealing virtual items it's
    • by anomnomnomymous (1321267) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:30PM (#25488919)
      The question was wether the virtual asset could be considered as a 'real' asset: And thus robbery could be charged.
  • Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:07PM (#25488427) Homepage Journal

    Last week, the Dutch court subjected two kids of ages 15 and 14 to 160 hours of unpaid work or 80 days in jail, because they stole virtual property from a 13-year-old boy. The boy was kicked and beaten and threatened with a knife while forced to log into Runescape and giving his assets to the two perpetrators

    Uh, so it was about virtual property and not about, uh, anything else?

    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

      by borizz (1023175) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:47PM (#25489199)
      On the radio, they quoted the judge as saying that virtual property gives joy, you've worked to earn it and in this case, if one person has it another can't have it (well, the admins could easily clone it, but that's beside the point). So in essence, they said it's a lot like real tangible property.
      • The point of property is not that you have it, it's that you've taken it away from someone else. If you clone an online object, then I could have two instead of you having one and I having one. In the real world, if I buy a Ford Mustang GT with heated leather seats and a glass roof, it's my $30,000 mustang; you can't have it, you can get someone to make one just like it but it's still physically mine and yours is not identical to mine on a base level, it's simply mine.
  • wtf? (Score:5, Funny)

    by easyTree (1042254) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:08PM (#25488433)

    They kicked/beat/threatened him with a kife and the most important crime was IP-theft. wtf. Did I mention 'wtf' ?

    • by BountyX (1227176)
      Indeed wtf. Courts should have only punished the kids for the violence part. Makes you wonder whats the dutch will do when D3 scammers trick 13 year old kids into dropping items.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mmalove (919245)

        I'm not sure whether the Dutch also charged the kids with assault, but I think the focus of the story, which has appeared in a couple other places on the net, is repeatedly that the judge made a point to allow the prosecution to push a theft charge for the virtual goods. I too am perplexed however that the bigger focus is on stealing the pixels and not beating the kid up and threatening him with a lethal weapon. But I guess it's the former that is newsworthy because it's setting a precident - there's noth

        • by borizz (1023175)

          I'm not sure whether the Dutch also charged the kids with assault

          "We" did. But the emphasis in the media is on the virtual goods part, because it is setting a precedent.

          • by conureman (748753)

            I think perhaps what is perplexing some of us is the apparent emphasis in TFA of the importance of the property crime. Would punishment for the assault be detrimental to the "rehabilitation" of the perpetrators? TFA was poorly writ. It looks like the lawyers may now have something of a precedent tho. shit

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DerWulf (782458)
        My knowledge about the justice system isn't great but at least I know that there is a difference between assault and robbery ... In germany you can get away with 6 month for assault but can expect a minimum sentence of 1 years for robbery.
  • Theft is theft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) * on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:08PM (#25488439)
    This ruling is the first of its kind for the Netherlands

    I doubt that. I'm sure there were other cases of teenagers being convicted for stealing something in the Netherlands. It was something of value, otherwise they wouldn't have wanted it so badly, and the victim was deprived of it. Obviously, there is the issue of beating and threatening with a knife, but even if that wasn't the case it wouldn't be any less of a theft than if they stole some physical object. Can someone tell me what is the complicated issue that tfa is talking about? Seems pretty straightforward to me.
    • by Idaho (12907)

      How do you steal an item that doesn't really exist (a.k.a. virtual)?

      The guy could have been convicted simply for beating someone up, or even just for threatening to do so unless he would give up those items (blackmail or whatever you call it). But instead, he got convicted for stealing something virtual, which only exists in a game.

      This is news because, if the in-game money or item is considered property, should it therefore also be taxed? Can it be used (legally) as a real-life currency? Can game publisher

      • Re:Theft is theft (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LandDolphin (1202876) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:45PM (#25489167)
        "How do you steal an item that doesn't really exist (a.k.a. virtual)?"

        So, if I take your Credit card and charge it up, I did not steal anything because the physical money never exsisted?

        Or how about MP3's? Do those have any value? There as virtual as anything in a game is. Just 1's and 0's like the items in a game and the money on your credit cards.
        • So, if I take your Credit card and charge it up, I did not steal anything because the physical money never exsisted?

          Exactly. You haven't stolen anything from me (other than the card itself), but you have committed fraud by claiming authorization to charge to that account. Using someone else's credit card is just another way of taking out a loan in someone else's name; ID fraud, not theft. There is a difference.

          • So, If someone threatens you into buying them things with your Credit Card, you can charge them for the threat, butyour SOL for the stuff you bought them becuase your only out virtual cash and there was no fraud going on.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NoobixCube (1133473)

        I know I'll be taking an unpopular stance on Slashdot in saying this, but I think it needs to be said (not to say I'm correct, but rather that it's another view point).

        I don't believe in imaginary property, but I do believe in virtual property. The distinction is, imaginary property is infinitely reproducible, like an mp3 file. When you can sell the infinitely reproducible, you have a license to print money. It probably would have much larger implications for the economy if all movies and music were sudd

      • by Plekto (1018050)

        could you get in real life trouble for planning a nasty Ponzi/pyramid scheme within the game? (which does not violate the EULA in any way, I might add)?

        Nope. As long as you are doing it with your own account and character, theft, bribery, stealing, or whatever else is okay as long as it's in-game. Obviously stealing someone's account or password, or taking this into the real world is a huge violation of the rules(and laws in most countries). But yes, you can scam and do pyramid schemes to your heart's co

      • The guy could have been convicted simply for beating someone up, or even just for threatening to do so unless he would give up those items (blackmail or whatever you call it). But instead, he got convicted for stealing something virtual, which only exists in a game.

        IANAL but to me it seems that the question is not whether those items have real world value (it seems they have though, if they can be sold for real money) but whether they are property of the victim. It is theft to steal someone else's propert
    • by westlake (615356)
      Can someone tell me what is the complicated issue that tfa is talking about?

      .
      There are no complications for anyone but the geek who can see no value in the "imaginary" property of others.

    • TFA merely wishes to publicize the precedent that this was tangible property stolen. Some (expletive not found) will try to twist this around to apply to copyright infringement cases now. I hope it played a little different in the Netherlands.

  • by geekoid (135745)

    sent anyone to jail for Assault and battery?
    I find that..odd.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by borizz (1023175)
      We have, but that's not news-worthy. The stealing virtual goods (regardless of how I feel about it) is the new part that is being reported.
  • by LithiumX (717017) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:08PM (#25488451)
    Erm... while I'm not too horribly offended over the theft of virtual (game) property, the fact that it was a matter of Aggravated Assault is a totally different matter.

    Wait, the knife and beating happened in the real world, right?
  • by Emb3rz (1210286) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:10PM (#25488477) Homepage

    "Gimme loots or I PK u IRL lol"

  • Digital crime? (Score:5, Informative)

    by psychicninja (1150351) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:11PM (#25488521)
    The Japanese lady was actually charged for fraudulently accessing the guy's account, not for what she did after logging in.
    • by LithiumX (717017)

      The Japanese lady was actually charged for fraudulently accessing the guy's account, not for what she did after logging in.

      While there should be some legal protection of any kind of secured account or well-established identity, there's got to be a line drawn somewhere between a harmless but annoying prank and a more serious crime.

      For instance, way back in the day, if people got careless about their login info on forums and other places (specifically WoW and Ultima Online), I had a nasty and totally reprehensible habit of logging in with that info, proceeding to strip their characters as naked as they could get (but leaving

  • from T2ndFA:

    The woman, who is jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used his identification...

    So even the real-life woman playing as the virtual woman is a man? My head is spinning.
    • No, used the ID of the real guy to whom she was digitally married.
    • So even the real-life woman playing as the virtual woman is a man?

      No, the murderess (the woman) logged into the victim's (man, i.e. "his") account.

      I wonder if the virtual divorce came about because there wasn't enough "manipulating of electronic data." Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

  • by J.R. Random (801334) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:19PM (#25488689)
    If those punks had kicked, beaten and threatened that boy with a knife inside the virtual world of Runescape instead of of because of Runescape it would have been perfectly legal and they'd have gotten his stuff from his corpse and leveled up. Some punks have no common sense.
    • by idontgno (624372)

      Well, some PvP fights you just can't win... differences in gear, disparity in skill, that kind of thing. I mean, to be blatantly obvious, I am awful at PvP in WoW, because I don't play enough to not panic and lose my combat skills in a PvP situation. Also because I don't play enough to have good gear in a PvP situation.

      So, logically, if you can't win in-game, win IRL. Think outside the box.

      Pretty seriously wrong.

      (Although I'll admit to wishing some pretty terrible RL fates on the d-bag players camping me fo

  • by MWoody (222806) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:21PM (#25488729)

    The second link is getting passed around as the Japanese woman "killing" her husband, which (rightly so) sounds ludicrous to most gamers. In reality, she logged into his account and deleted all of his characters and information, an act that is certainly worthy of some sort of punishment. Whether or not it needs to be brought to the attention of real world police is arguable, but quit making it sound like she's guilty of PvP.

    • by LithiumX (717017)

      The second link is getting passed around as the Japanese woman "killing" her husband, which (rightly so) sounds ludicrous to most gamers. In reality, she logged into his account and deleted all of his characters and information, an act that is certainly worthy of some sort of punishment. Whether or not it needs to be brought to the attention of real world police is arguable, but quit making it sound like she's guilty of PvP.

      She what? Ignore anything I said before about mercy, I sincerely hope that woman was flogged, waterboarded, flogged again, maybe a little caning thrown in for the sake of globalism, culminating in her being locked up in a heavily used porta-pottie (which is then turned on it's side and slowly rolled down a hill and finally left to stew in the sun for a few hours).

      This punishment would fit the crime, as opposed to the more brutal usual Japanese punishment of being forced to undergo daily John Tesh conce

  • The case of the tokyo woman involved her killing his maple story character. Anyone who has played maple story for a few minutes knows this was an act of kindness, not criminal.

    But anyway, what are the chances we see the vice versa: Real murders get you virtual jail time. After all, turnaround is fair play. Making murderers play Maple Story to punish them would be fitting.

  • I'll give you my avatar when you take it from my cold dead hands.
  • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @06:04PM (#25490345)
    Thus spake Wikipedia -

    Ooka Tadasuke (1677 - 1752) was a Japanese samurai in the service of the Tokugawa shogunate. During the reign of Tokugawa Yoshimune, as a magistrate (machi bugyo) of Edo, his roles included chief of police, judge and jury, and Yamada Magistrate (Yamada-bugyo) prior to his tenure as South Magistrate (Minami Machi-bugyo) of Edo. With the title Echizen no Kami (Governor of Echizen or Lord of the Echizen), he is often known as Ooka Echizen. He was highly respected as an incorruptible judge. In addition, he established the first fire brigade made up of commoners, and the Koishikawa Yojosho (a city hospital). Later, he advanced to the position of jisha bugyo, and subsequently became daimyo of the Nishi-Ohira Domain.

    One of the most famous stories is called "The Case of the Stolen Smell" where he heard the case of a paranoid innkeeper who accused a poor student of literally stealing the fumes of his cooking by eating when the innkeeper was cooking to flavour his dull food. Although his colleagues advised Ooka to throw the case out as ridiculous, he decided to hear the case. The judge resolved the matter by ordering the student to pass the money he had in one hand to his other and ruling that the price of the smell of food is the sound of money.
  • Let's see, two young adults beat up a little boy and held him up at knifepoint to steal from software, and they get community service. That's pathetic!

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