Virtual items – Legal theory v. Contractual Obligations

Published in Research news

by Salimjon Yusupov (Research Assistant, Commercial Law)


Abstract

Recent years have been marked with the rapid development of trade activities among the users of online entertainment services (online games).

From the perspective of general legal theory, such activities lead to the presumption of property rights owned by the possessors of virtual items. At the same time, this approach is deemed to be in confrontation with the contractual obligations imposed on users by the online entertainment providers, who claim that virtual items are part of the provided services.

This research is focused on the identification of applicable jurisdictions for the purposes of establishing the status of virtual items, and determining whether restrictive contractual clauses should be considered as void.