The lawsuit brought against Linden Lab was settled out of court yesterday. Apparently, Bragg was given his SL account back as the result of a “misunderstanding”, SL’s TOS was changed, and no doubt money changed hands from one party to another.
If it had gone to trial, it would have resulted in some of the (if not *the*) first court rulings regarding the legal rights of virtual property holders. Such a ruling could have been a landmark in what can and cannot be expected from MMO/VW companies and their clients – or it could have choked the industry in lethal tangles of governmental regulation. Needless to say, not wanting to submit their business model to the vagaries of whether or not a random judge understood virtual worlds no doubt weighed heavily in Linden’s decision to settle.
Commentary from people who know more or less about this stuff than I:
- Virtually Blind doesn’t have much to say now, but I’d expect more later
- Prokofy Neva has angry (and atypically terse and focused) commentary
- Virtual Worlds News with analysis of the TOS changes prompted by the suit/eventual settlement