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This edition of the site’s Reading Room (the first of two this week) features a student paper addressing the application of the privacy tort “intrusion on seclusion” to virtual worlds.  The paper, Common Law Privacy in a Not So Common World: Prospects for the Tort of Intrusion upon Seclusion in Virtual Worlds (.pdf), is exclusively available here pre-publication.  It comes from Tigran Palyan, a student at Southwestern Law School, in Los Angeles, California.

In the paper, Palyan sets forth a “reasonable avatar” standard as a way of determining what should constitute ‘highly offensive’ intrusion and a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ in a virtual world. From Common Law Privacy in a Not So Common World:

While virtual worlds exist on massive computer networks, the communities they inhabit are real. However, in some virtual worlds such as Second Life, users have unlimited freedom to program devices that allow one avatar to eavesdrop or spy on the other.

Can one protect the “right to be let alone”  in a communal environment that thrives by bringing people together? That is, can one avatar assert invasion of privacy against a virtual resident in real court? This Comment answers that question by showing that the tort of intrusion upon seclusion may be applicable to invasions of privacy in the virtual world.

The site’s Reading Room is here to make virtual law papers, particularly papers that haven’t yet been widely distributed, broadly available to the growing field of attorneys and scholars interested in virtual law. If you have a published or unpublished paper you’d like to have hosted here, drop me a note.

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One Response to “Reading Room: New Paper Argues for Application of Privacy Tort to Virtual World Activity”

  1. on 15 Oct 2008 at 9:49 am

    [...] limit for Elsevier Foundation programme approaches Saved by euniceweirdo on Tue 14-10-2008 Reading Room: New Paper Argues for Application of Privacy Tort to … Saved by Gulpappeske on Tue 14-10-2008 CISSP Seminar in MALTA Saved by SkaterChickSakura13 on Sun [...]

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