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Thread: Is the theft of virtual goods or purchase of stolen virtual goods illegal?

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    Is the theft of virtual goods or purchase of stolen virtual goods illegal?

    So there was a court case in the Netherlands that 2 kids had gotten sentenced for stealing virtual items from runescape after assaulting a person to get them. The court had ruled that theft did take place as the person put time and effort into getting the items that were then stolen from him. It set a precedent in the Dutch court that virtual items had a value and that it was theft.

    1. So my question i come to you all with, is the taking of neopets accounts or goods not owned by you considered theft in the U.S.
    2. Are there any precedents in the U.S for a virtual items type of case?
    3. If you pay for the taken goods are you still liable for the action?
    4. How do you avoid paying taxes on your earnings from such activities without getting in trouble
    5. Have any of you gotten in trouble for any of the activities included in this discussion?

    *** Do not reply with anything close to or related to "your on a cheating site, this is irrelevant" as it will just be reported as spam, i'm looking for only legitimate answers and facts if their are any to be had***

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    I don't believe so. The best they could get you with is profiting off viacom somehow. All the items in the game are on different users account and stuff, but technically it all belongs to neopets which is part of viacom. I don't believe it's illegal as you never really steal the items off neopets. They just get taken from one part of viacom's control to another. They never leave. It's scamming which is illegal in game, but outside, it would be a tough case to make.

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    It is mostly unprecedented. Virtual goods are not really considered a legal item to steal since most EULA's state that there is no value to online currency and that anything obtained on a game is generally owned by the company. Here's a really great article by Forbes that went into a very high-level overview.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/oliverhe...virtual-goods/

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    Anyone who gets caught "hacking" or scamming or selling other people's goods just gets frozen, asked to stop, or in some way shut down. No one gets prosicuted for it.

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    How about the use of hashes, cracking them, to get access to someone's online game account. Or through his email, to his game account.
    This could possibly be illegal.

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    That being said, there are horror stories of TNT figure out well known cheater's info and threatening to contact their school or parents or whatever. But i don't know if that's ever been confirmed or not lol.

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    That being said, there are horror stories of TNT figure out well known cheater's info and threatening to contact their school or parents or whatever
    This actually made me laugh hahah.
    I doubt that's true, but if I find out it is, I'll probably laugh about it again just a hundred times harder. Damn TNT.
    I'm sure my parents or school wouldn't have given a shit if they found out I was a hacker on NEOPETS haha.


    Oh, and to actually reply to the topic, I have to say it must not be illegal because I'm sure there's a ton of people who would have filed law suits about it by now and that hasn't happened so..
    Maybe, maybeee with NC items I can see something happening because user's actually purchase that with real money.. but again, since it hasn't, I doubt it's possible.
    Last edited by ladyoftheflowers; 04-16-2013 at 10:38 PM. Reason: Typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    That being said, there are horror stories of TNT figure out well known cheater's info and threatening to contact their school or parents or whatever. But i don't know if that's ever been confirmed or not lol.
    i would laugh so hard if this were true.
    i belive it to be an empty threat.

    but you do give your ZIP/Postal Code.
    So it wouldnt be hard ... assuming you give the correct info.

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    There's stories of tnt contacting his uni

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyoftheflowers View Post
    This actually made me laugh hahah.
    I doubt that's true, but if I find out it is, I'll probably laugh about it again just a hundred times harder. Damn TNT.
    I'm sure my parents or school wouldn't have given a shit if they found out I was a hacker on NEOPETS haha.


    Oh, and to actually reply to the topic, I have to say it must not be illegal because I'm sure there's a ton of people who would have filed law suits about it by now and that hasn't happened so..
    Maybe, maybeee with NC items I can see something happening because user's actually purchase that with real money.. but again, since it hasn't, I doubt it's possible.

    well that's the difference there. If you actually HACK neopets and not just "hack" it there are real legal implications. As TNT has credit card numbers and other personal details stored in that manner, you're playing with fire. That being said, there are only a few people who have the capability/balls to do it. Programmers and hackers are different.

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