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Virtually Blind periodically runs “quicklinks” — items that are not long enough for a full story, but are worth a click. Here’s today’s, slightly less quick than usual.

  • First, it is old news, but I’d not seen this courts-and-virtual-property story until a reader sent it in. Apparently, way back in December, 2003 a Chinese court “ordered an online video game company to return hard-won virtual property, including a make-believe stockpile of bio-chemical weapons, to a player whose game account was looted by a hacker.” China’s courts aren’t known for giving stare decisis the same weight western judicial systems do, so it may be more of a blip than anything else, but it’s interesting nonetheless. [Update: The reader who sent this in, Matt Nolin, has a short post about this up now. Thanks for the heads-up on this, Matt.]
  • BNT's Ancapistan BuildingToday, of course, the debate rages on. Most recently, someone known only as avatar ‘Arthur Burma’ threatened yet another Second Life “bank” (BNT Financial, managed by ‘IntLibber Brautigan’) with a class action lawsuit (via an in-world notecard written in sufficiently advanced legalese and with just enough reserve to make me think a lawyer might have had something to do with it). The text of the notecard is available at The core claim is that “BNT misrepresented the condition of the institution and perpetrated a ponzi scheme by taking deposits while restricting access to accounts and ignoring requests for records and adjustments.” I have no idea if the claim has merit (I’ve not looked into this bank in particular) but there’s no procedural reason people could not bring a class action suit based on a loss of real money to BNT.
  • Finally, there’s a new academic paper up at SSRN on criminal law as applied to actions in games and virtual worlds. It’s by Orin Kerr at George Washington University Law School, and it adds significantly to the growing body of literature on virtual law. I’d have cited it in Virtual Law: Navigating The Legal Landscape of Virtual Worlds (which is slated for publication April, 2008) but just finished final edits. It encourages a fairly hands-off approach which will resonate with game designers. I disagree with some of Kerr’s conclusions (particularly to the extent he lumps pure games and social virtual worlds with real economies together) but it is a thought-provoking piece and well worth reading.

[Edited March 2, 2008 to add link to Matt Nolin's blog.]

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2 Responses to “Quicklinks: Old News from China, Criminal Law Paper, and Second Life Banking Class Action Threat”

  1. on 03 Mar 2008 at 11:40 amArthur Burma


    Many thanks for the mention. Yes, we are reaching out to organize all the folks who had their deposits stolen by BNT. Presently, we have 16 people with damages approximating $15000.00 USD. I’m a Silicon Valley exec with lots of startup experience, and this is more or less of a curiosity for me. I pitch to the law firm in Palo Alto on 3/28. If I do a decent enough job to get them interested – we move forward with a case. If not, well – I’ll know never to give money to people pretending to be bankers… :)

    If anyone reading this has lost money in Meta Bank, BNT, My Second Bank or any other BNT scam – please contact me in Second Life for information on how to join the group.

    Cheers, Arthur Burma…

  2. on 10 Mar 2008 at 4:07 pmCharles Gemini


    Saturday, March 8, 2008

    Majority of M2B Depositors Agree To BNT Real Estate Investment Trust Conversion

    As of today, Brautigan and Tuck Holdings (BNT) is proud to announce the accession of an additional L$660,000 worth of BNT Financial customers’ assets (many of whom were former My Second Bank depositors) into stock in the new IPO for the BNT Real Estate Investment Trust. This latest round of agreements concerning the compensation of BNT/M2B depositors now means that a majority of the L$4.2 million in deposits held by BNT Financial customers have now accepted the BNTFRE deal, establishing their acceptance as a class of the arrangement.

    “It’s a real vote of confidence in the future of the Second Life economy to see an absolute majority of bank customers vote with their dollars in favor of this deal to salvage the asset value of their deposits,” BNT CEO IntLibber Brautigan said. “Indeed, every depositor not seeking a direct withdrawal will be compensated with these IPO shares, giving these investors the chance to recoup their original worth and seek new profit opportunities in this growing market.”

    Former depositors in the closed M2B/BNTF are being compensated by non-depositor investors in the new IPO, for which over 40,000 shares were purchased just in the last day on the Ancapistan Capital Exchange (ACE), a subsidiary of BNT. Of the 4.2 million in deposits, over 2.2 million L$ worth of depositors have voluntarily accepted 100% conversion of their deposits into shares in BNTFRE.

    A quick return on dividends is expected for investors of all stripes, as 10 BNT sims have been assigned to Trust management, with land sales generating dividends and the potential of stock buybacks as well. Land sales revenues in the sims is already over L$50,000 which will be paid out as a dividend following the IPO along with other land sales revenues. Tier profits will pay for the ongoing management of the sims. REIT investors can best support their investments by locating residences and businesses in the BNT sims.

    “Net Asset Value is being maintained and accountability is our watchword as we restore the trust of depositors,” Brautigan said. “Our sims are selling out and we have every expectation of making good on our pledge of restoring faith in the SL market.”

    M2B/BNTF was forced to close due to Linden Lab policies regarding fraud risk protection and prohibiting payment of fixed interest to depositors. Attempts to reopen under a “contractum trinius” arrangement were rebuffed by Linden Lab, so the bank was left with no choice but to convert to an REIT.

    BNT Holdings can always be reached at For more information or to schedule interviews with BNT executives, please contact Media Relations Officer Charles Gemini at

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