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Harvard Law School’s three-week “Evidence 2007″ course (which was conducted partly in Second Life) just wrapped up. The course provided the students and other Second Life citizens the opportunity to participate in an in-world mock trial of the pending real-world Bragg v. Linden lawsuit.

The Bragg case is a dispute about Linden Lab’s decision to disable the account of a virtual land speculator (Marc Bragg, an attorney) who, Linden Lab alleges, used an exploit to purchase some of his land at reduced prices before that land became publicly available.

The nine-member mock jury held 8-1 that Bragg was the owner of the virtual property he purchased. It also found 7-2 that Bragg’s exploit was improper, justifying Linden Lab’s decision to take the property that he acquired using the exploit. However, on the question that is arguably at the heart of this dispute, the mock jury found 6-3 that Linden Lab was not justified in taking property that Bragg had acquired without using the exploit.

Here is a direct link to the transcript of the mock jury’s deliberations.

A wealth of other data from the course and the mock trial, including transcripts, audio and video files, and the Evidence 2007 reading list can also now be accessed at the Evidence 2007 Course Wiki.

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One Response to “Mock Trial of “Bragg v. Linden””

  1. [...] Where there’s a gray area in the law (e.g. the validity of recent patent applications on virtual world technology, “ownership” of virtual land, and the value of real world currency) I generally try to point that out or approach the issue in a way that makes it clear it is up in the air. Those notes, of course, take a somewhat more neutral tone, and if I do miss a counterargument, readers usually catch it in the comments. Finally, there are some issues that VB confronts — like the illegality of ponzi schemes, the legality of virtual escort work, and the necessity of Linden Lab complying with the UIGEA — where the issues appear, from a legal perspective, to be rather black and white. On those, I’ll continue writing in my usual voice. [...]

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