Other Virtual Torts and Crimes

From CyberOne Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In Second Life, the first three of these (attacks on property, harassment, and defamation of character) are broadly prohibited by the community standards. In brief, the standards prohibit intolerance, harassment, assault, disclosure (especially passing along any real life information about other residents without permission), indecency (in public areas; in private, anything goes), and disturbing the peace. Linden Lab offers some enforcement of the Community Standards; there is a mechanism for filing an abuse report against somebody who violates the standards, and if they believe that action is necessary, the offender may be warned, temporary suspended from the world, or permanently banned.

Virtual prostitution, on the other hand, is common and legal, as it is a voluntary economic transaction. In general, the economy of Second Life is thoroughly laissez-faire, and the in-world political philosophy tends toward libertarianism. (The out-world politics of residents are much more variable.) The only economic protection offered in-world is the permissions system.

There is no system of trademark, copyright, or patent in SL; some protection might be available by involving outside authority. As the world grows, however, I can imagine the need arising for some form of in-world trademark system. When Second Life was small, and everybody knew everybody else, social pressure was sufficient, but it is unlikely to continue to be adequate as the world grows. Some protection is possible by using your avatar name as part of your brand identity, as it shows up as the creator of things that you make. But this is not perfect; anybody who owns any full permissions object that you created can make other things that claim to be your creations.

Other virtual worlds may have very different codes of behavior. Sociolotron is a notable example; non-consensual acts like assualt and rape are permitted there. One might argue that they are the main point of the game; imagine Grand Theft Auto as an MMORPG.