Second Life, the digital Narnia where the men are men and the women are, more than not likely, also men, continues to blur the line between the virtual and the whatever-the-opposite-of-virtual-is with the recent news that one of their all-too-common land disputes has boiled over into the courts of Pennsylvania.
A while back, Marc Bragg, Second Life inhabitant and lawyer, exploited a bug in Linden Labs’ URL system to acquire huge tracts of land. Since (Second Life developer) Linden Labs believed he had cheated to gain the real estate in the first place, they waved their magic wands and reclaimed the virtual assets. As lawyers are wont to do, Mr. Bragg has taken Linden Labs to court claiming that they are unfairly depriving him of his rightful property. In response to this unprecedented (and disturbing) use of the judicial system, Linden has filed two prior motions to dismiss the suit, but both motions were tossed out by some dude in a black robe.
The ‘Toid fully realizes that our world is becoming more and more ‘e’ as the days go by, but for a judge to push this matter into an actual court is both confusing and entirely unnecessary. There will indeed come a day where we will need precedents for the sort of psuedo-real economical issues that exist within virtual worlds, but we get the feeling that the judge who denied Linden’s motions is over-eager to reach that day, and a case in which Mr. Bragg should have been called a cheater and told to slag off, is, instead, going to waste the valuable resources that could be better utilized to find the real killer of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.