Chinese man awarded bio-chemical weapons

— 3:36 PM on January 2, 2004

Did I mention the weapons were virtual? Oh, well, at least I got your attention. The full story is here at Essentially, a Chinese man spent a couple of years and over a thousand dollars US on a popular online computer game, amassing a supply of bio-chemical weapons. All was well until last February, when hackers "stole" his arsenal.

The company which ran the game (Beijing Arctic Ice Technology Development Company Limited, reprinted here solely because of the ridiculous length of the name) refused to identify the player who had stolen the virtual property, and the cops were no help at all. At that point, the player went to court over the matter, and recently the court decided that Beijing Arctic I.... err, the company, should give the player his "property" back because it was vulnerabilities in their system that allowed the "theft" to take place.

With in-game "property" being sold on real-world auction sites, I suppose real litigation over virtual stuff was the next logical step.

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