With the emergence and development of online games, for network gaming disputes that occur frequently, especially the virtual property in network game became the focus of the dispute. China’s current laws and not a clear legal provision for this issue. Expedite the construction of legal system to protect the healthy development of the online gaming industry with Chinese characteristics has become important in the development of network game industry topics. Korea’s online game industry development some time ago, and at first, the legal provisions prohibiting virtual goods transactions, and the underground trade activities constantly. Forming a gray industrial chain. Subsequently provided a network of virtual role games and virtual items with property values independently of a service provider, networked nature of the property and money in the bank account and no essential difference. China Taiwan departments concerned also provides network virtual finance and accounts are kept in the game and server “electromagnetic records” in the fraud and theft can be thought of as “movable property”, are considered part of private property. Crime in online game virtual finance is considered stealing others, up to 3 years of imprisonment. I in the text, through the characteristics of the current situation of network virtual goods, virtual property and property attributes, with regard to urgency and the need for legislation to protect virtual property value assessment, virtual property, on the subject of virtual property classification and recognition, recognition of virtual property offences and description and analysis of the legislation, explained in virtual goods in China’s lack of protection. Hope introduced law on the protection of virtual goods as soon as possible, so as to protect the legitimate rights and interests of online game players can be protected by law, thereby enabling the network industry in China to more broad space for development. Above carry personal opinion, hope of virtual property in legal research and reference to the relevant legislation.
As China’s rapid economic development, people’s standard of living continues to improve. The increasing popularity of interconnection networks, in particular the rise of online games in recent years. Made the game’s virtual goods transactions into a new economic system. and impact the existing law, economy and people’s awareness. According to statistics, the user often play online games in China has 8 million, occasional Internet users playing a game with 23 million. Relevant data show that in the next 5 years, China’s online game industry worth an annual increase in 200% increments, up to 10 billion yuan. China online games market size is very huge. Scale of online games is more than Korea leapt to the world. Online gaming revenue is more than network advertising revenue, becoming one of the network operator’s main source of profits. High-speed development of the online gaming industry at the same time, some legal and social issues raised by a network game also appeared in succession, network virtual property ID of the game and game equipment, carrier’s liability, the legal status of the player many legal and social issues such as protection of rights directly impede the further development of China’s online game industry. Accelerating the construction of legal system to protect the online gaming industry with Chinese characteristics to the point of urgency. At present in China has been the promulgation and implementation of the decision on safeguarding Internet security, the protection of computer information system security regulations and other laws and regulations and the administrative regulations, protection of network virtual property is blank. Korea’s online game industry development some time ago, and at first, the law prohibited transactions of virtual property, and the underground trade activities constantly. Forming a gray industrial chain. Subsequently provided a network of virtual role games and virtual property with property values independently of a service provider, networked nature of the property and money in the bank account and no essential difference. China Taiwan departments concerned also provides network virtual finance and accounts are kept in the game and server “electromagnetic records” in the fraud and theft can be thought of as “movable property”, are considered part of private property. Crime in online game virtual finance is considered stealing others, up to 3 years of imprisonment.
First, the concept of virtual property, characteristics and property attributes
(A), the concept and characteristics of virtual property
The network of “virtual property” also known as the “net wealth”, generally refers to the Internet, game players in the online gaming account (ID) and the accumulation of “money”, “equipment”, “pets” such as “property”.
Contains a variety of virtual property in network virtual space, view includes: 1, games account (including at the level of the characters in the game, occupation, gender and other attributes) 2, virtual gold coins (in the use of currency in a game) 3, the virtual equipment (weapons, armor, pharmacy, etc) 4, virtual flora and fauna.
(B), of the virtual property property property
With the development of networks and on increasing of network virtual property disputes, disputes emerge in all its forms, network virtual property has not fully “virtual”, violations of virtual property has a breakthrough virtual space into real space transition. Has a certain reality not just virtual or isolated within the virtual property in the virtual community, but rather gradually established corresponding with the real world of real property or conversion. Therefore, already shows the reality of virtual property in the social value of real property. Deserve legal protection only with regard to ways and means of protection make different provisions. Network was developed with the development of network virtual property, it has the following characteristics:
1, intangible (objectivity), the virtual property is essentially just a set of digital information saved on the server, Taiwan legislation known as “magnetic recording”, its electromagnetic record stored on the game server.
2, can be transferred, either through the sale of virtual property transfer between the player and game service providers can also offline trading in player transfers between, in reality there are many sites of this trading activity
3, there is of value, of network virtual property is valuable, network virtual property value includes the value of the exchangeable value.
4, time limits, network virtual property only exists in the operational phase of the game, once the game is stopped operations, virtual properties will disappear as well, thus has a clear time frame.
5, dependent, based on particular virtual community space and the virtual property, based on specific network game exists.
Virtual property transactions, showed a virtual property directly in the real world value. We should recognize the value of virtual property and be protected.
We can see that is the core of the value of the property property, and we advocate and has a value of virtual property, and also have virtual property property property. Property is a property attribute is due to:
⑴ the virtual property is valuable, the virtual equipment, a certain level of account and the other is with a value of virtual property in network world, to meet the characters in the virtual space of development, and access to these assets is the need to spend a certain amount of labour (typically by doing tasks made or purchased from service providers). ⑵ can trade virtual property, the law does not prohibit trading of virtual property, online property deal in real life is very common, major website also has a dedicated section for online transactions.
Second, the network of virtual property in China and on the urgency and necessity of legislation to protect virtual property.
(A), the status of virtual property in China
Since 2003, after the case Li Hongchen Arctic ice, network activities more rampant theft. Sichuan, a young man using high technology software on the network ID of the theft of more than 100 more of the legends of the game, and online virtual equipment hanging on, cash transactions, was arrested on the spot and sent by users to Chengdu yellow shoe Street police station, police officers had severely criticized the men-only education. But by law could not be found, only to no avail. Wuhan 3 men to sell online “weapon”, received the other “send” to MOP $ 3,000 of the game “money”, but not down the nets, “money” has been stolen. They suspect are stolen by the two men take over their Internet, party or “money”, then after refused police.
My friend play a network game of the legendary world of the small Deng has been 3 years, in a few months ago, he rose to the level 47 Mage. But it was not long before he found his equipment and hundreds of “yuanbao” (legend of Acer truncatum Bunge is the official trading currency in the world, one of Acer truncatum = one billion. Is bought from your service provider) was stolen. Little Deng games operators require tracing be found, but the reply is received, we cannot help you with your query, please protect your account number and password. Little Deng had intended to go to the police report, because the legal protection of virtual items not related, so only so to no avail. Of equipment or ID theft is now in the game to the point of rampant, many gamers in particular almost all senior players had stolen, experience, and ultimately can only be their grievances throat into the stomach. Now legal in China, such as general principles of civil law, such as the consumer protection act is not to the protection of network virtual property to be clearly defined.
In my country, on the network virtual property has not been effectively protected, the reason is that existing laws including the Constitution and the General principles of civil law only to the citizens of lawful income, savings, houses and other lawful property shall be recognized, and did not make clear provision for the legitimacy of the virtual property. In the Consumer Protection Act, Internet users of virtual property rights do not belong to any one of the existing consumer rights in, resulting in a lot of players after the loss of property of nowhere. Thus in order to protect the legitimate interests of the online game, promote the healthy development of the network to expedite the settlement of “network virtual property identification, the protection of network virtual property of the legitimacy of laws and regulations and other key issues of the relationship between” is imminent.
(B), on the urgency and necessity of legislation to protect virtual property
Since 2003 “online games in China” first case after case – Li Hongchen Arctic ice, caused by network gaming disputes litigation continued. But China’s laws, even is lagging behind the provisions of the law of all countries, regardless of the academic community also is the entity laws, in network game show tremendous property blank. Online gaming property issues, urgent discussions on the protection of network virtual property related laws and regulations are also needed to develop the game. On December 25, 2003, a copy of the protection of network virtual property of legislative proposals, together with the joint authorship of 19 lawyers, from Chengdu via EMS mail sent to the NPC Law Committee. A part of the proposals recommended the development of the regulations on the protection of network virtual property. It is learned that the legal profession written calls for protection of network virtual property, which is also the first in the country. In the proposal believe that online games in China annual revenue has reached 1 billion yuan, has become a huge industry, with tens of millions of consumers. Meanwhile, itself attached to the network virtual property value, already shows the General properties of the goods, “ought to have legislation to protect”.
As the popularity of network and online games, including the virtual property, and networking in the virtual world of some phenomenon, as soon as possible should formulate corresponding laws are regulated and protected by the legislature. For the maintenance of order in the network, online gaming operators should also be conscious of normal behavior, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Web users. Such rights include not only material benefits, including moral interests.
Although previously had has had players because virtual property lost prosecution operators and eventually was lost of case, while also has Court “special of network game environment, order virtual property has has intangible property of value, can get legal Shang of appropriate evaluation and relief” of judicial explained, but China of existing legal only on citizens of legitimate income, and savings, and housing and other legitimate property be recognized, and no on network virtual property of legitimacy made clear provisions, and this State is bound also will continued is long a time. The 13th article of the Constitution of China stipulates: “citizen’s lawful private property is inviolable. Citizens of the State in accordance with the law to protect private property rights and inheritance rights. “The 75th of the General principles of civil law States:” the personal property of citizens, including citizens of legal income, housing, savings, household items, artifacts, books, trees, animals and the law allows citizens of all the means of production, and other lawful property. Citizens ‘ lawful property shall be protected by law, and no organization or individual may seize, encroach upon, destroy or illegally seal up, distrain, freeze or confiscate it. “Criminal law under second article provisions:” People’s Republic of China criminal law of task, is with penalty with all crime behavior for struggle, to defend national security, defend people’s democratic dictatorship of regime and socialist system, protection State property and working masses collectively of property, protection citizens private all of property, protection citizens of personal rights, and democratic rights and other rights, maintenance social order, and economic order, protection Socialist construction career of smooth for. “You can see from the above legal provisions, within the legal system in our country, citizen’s lawful private property both in civil or in criminal areas, have been subjected to legal protection. In 2004, after modifying the Constitution, protection of citizen’s lawful private property is explicitly included in the Constitution, reflects growing respect for citizens ‘ right to privacy and the spirit of the rule of law in a modern society. Then, network virtual property, as a special property of the user rights, can be incorporated into an extension of the concept of legal body in our country, within the Department of property determines whether the judiciary can directly apply our laws to protect online game network increased, while the continued serious cases due to online gaming dispute “lose the Internet cafe” incidents,
Therefore I appeal to the healthy development of China’s online game industry, accelerating the construction of virtual property related to the legal system to protect the healthy development of the online gaming industry with Chinese characteristics has become a bottleneck in the development of network game industry. If not legislation as soon as possible may cause the complete collapse of the online game industry in China.
Third, reflections on the legal protection of network virtual property
(A), virtual property valuation issues
Network virtual property only exists in a particular network environment, its value is specific to a particular game players only, meaningful, and thus determines its value has great difficulty. For now the virtual property prices are mainly determined by the following two ways: one is the game developer in selling virtual property of a custom price and the second is privately traded between players. However, both price as criteria for judging value of virtual property there is a problem. First, the game developers as a business operator, the main consideration for setting the price is the sales, so its price set by establishing standards for and not as a virtual property value. Second, the virtual property privately traded player vulnerable to the emotional effects of various factors, such as, has the characteristics of the disorder and instability. Private deal between the players is the spontaneous generation of it had no right to price supervision and guidance of the Department, has a great deal of randomness, so as the standard is also problematic.
For recognition of virtual property value I propose should be taken in several ways:
1, led by the Ministry of information industry in China and formed a by the relevant administrative departments, game developers, game master, such as the participation of the institutions, has developed a set of virtual property identification and assessment system.
2, by counting the socially necessary labor time to calculate the value of virtual property, virtual property must be made of the players acquired after some work, network virtual property setting in the human labor, by the game master, as well as carriers work together to calculate the virtual property of the socially necessary labor time to determine its value.
3, according to the player’s input costs to calculate the specific value of virtual property, which the player convincing proof must show a legitimate.
4, because the majority does not directly reflect the real value of virtual property, specific to a different value of virtual property in the game, should keep the nature of the game itself are closely related, operational conditions, the operator’s operating costs, so the factors need to be integrated after analysis of each case to determine the value of virtual property. “In my view, assessment of network virtual property value should be referred to the spontaneous market independently of the service providers and users of professional bodies to conduct, so as to give the network virtual property value of an impartial and accurate identification.
(B), on the subject of virtual property Division and confirmation issues
But these networks “virtual property” be regarded as private property? The network of “virtual property” property rights are not protected by law? One view was that, “virtual property” is made by players in the game, how it is achieved and the State as determined by the rules of the game, is part of a game, therefore the ownership belongs to operators, and players can only enjoy tenure. Another view is that the “virtual property” is achieved by the player through their own efforts, and the operator only store these data, these “virtual property” belongs to the ownership of the player.
I agree with the latter view, the “virtual property” resulting from a server for a specific game operator, and usually can only be stored on that particular server, but the “virtual property” and changes were not controlled by the operator, but specific behavior results when players in the receiving operator service, specific types and quantities of fictional characters and property are completely depending on the player’s own activities. Operators are only providing games corresponding to the periods of service and custodial work. Therefore, the “virtual property” should be vested in the ownership of the player, rather than to the operator, operators only on the server to save the data, and no right to any changes to it.
(C), “virtual property” violations identified problems
When we look at network world significance to tools, it is still part of the real world, is in the real world people one of the technical means for information exchange, such as in e-commerce, online banking, social status and role of the economic activity in the network. When we look at network world to ontology sense, it is independent of the processing and memory, distinguish from the real world and build a virtual world, such as the formation of community in the online gaming environment. This area formed in our perception of the two social systems: one is the real-world practical system of social relations, virtual social relations in the second, virtual world system. Reality can only adjust the reality of the law of social relations, the reality of the law cannot adjust the virtual social relationships, such as marriage and the formation of a common virtual property relations on the Internet. However, and cannot be completely divorced from the real world and virtual world, virtual world need support to be matter and energy to survive the real world, virtual world, and there is a necessary and frequent exchanges of information between the real world. That occurs in the virtual world and real world relations are social relations, it should belong to the real-world social connections, such as players in online games with real money to buy the game equipment. At this point, we can set for legal protection of virtual property is one of the most basic interface limitations: only virtual property and real social relationships occur when contact with legal implications, to enter the areas of legal adjustment to reality.
In trial of virtual property-related cases, to avoid the internal affairs of the virtual world into judgment scope. So-called virtual world of Internal Affairs probably has such some elements: main is virtual world in the specific of, as players own of ID; main is to virtual world of identity activities of; activities of range limited to virtual world, regardless of its is comply with virtual world of game rules; in virtual world activities in the and reality world of contact is legal significance of, as players own for participation network game and pay of energy and information. If a players to virtual world of identity against a players of virtual property, regardless of its behavior is meet the virtual world of game rules, are should considered the virtual world of Internal Affairs, reality of legal not should ignored; if application a virtual identity against reality property, as steal others online bank of account and steal its funds, is belonging to reality world of affairs, should belonging to reality of legal adjustment of areas; if to a reality world of identity against others of virtual property, as operators free delete players of virtual property, also should belonging to reality world of affairs, can application reality of legal on this behavior for sanctions.
(D), legislative measures considered
Despite the current legislation to protect network “virtual property” both in the technical level, is also on the feasibility, there is this or that issue, but as soon as possible establish corresponding laws and regulations to protect virtual property rights and related rights and interests of the majority of Internet users have been imminent. Starting with the first should safeguard the legitimate property rights of Internet users, establish effective management systems to protect virtual property right of Internet users. Such as shopping on the Internet should establish “tracking mechanism”, improve the online tracking system, which appears “virtual property” after the theft, can find the relevant responsibilities in a timely manner of the people, do have a responsibility to check. Currently the easiest possible way is to use the banking payment system is now more mature, in partnership with banks by the network operator, all payments through banks, implementing the bank remittance the real name system, guarantee the existence of real player, so as to protect game players for “virtual property” have legitimate rights and interests. Online game service law is enacted, clear rights and obligations of service providers. Specialist in network games act as Internet police service arrangements. Control of network game hangs. When you delete a player illegally copied goods, to protect the rights of bona fide third parties. Allow service providers to use technical means in the role of play in the game the hand of God.
1. Two ways simultaneously: the protection of civil law and criminal law protection. In the first expansion of the General principles of civil law by judicial interpretation of “property” extension. Under above of expositions, just pursuant to contract method difficult to full protection virtual property, pursuant to computer information network Internet security management approach under and was protection range of limit, theft virtual property yiwai of disputes often difficult to solution, I think real can from fundamentally solution and virtual property about of legal problem main also is pursuant to civil law, key is on civil law general clauses under 75th article in the “other legitimate property” do expanded explained, therefore priority of is introduced judicial explained will virtual property into “other legitimate property” of range. At the same time of considerable amounts for theft of virtual property should adjust to criminal law. In this regard can learn from Taiwan’s practices, their account as a virtual property in network games and exists on the server of the “magnetic recording”, “electromagnetic records” in the criminal fraud and theft are “movable property”, is part of a private property. Acts constituting a crime of theft of virtual property of others, up to three years imprisonment.
2. Making online games basic law. Only through the expansion of judicial interpretation in the General principles of civil law “property” of the extension is not enough, because the legal characteristics and elements of the virtual property, of virtual property rights, carrier’s liability, and virtual solutions are difficult to relate to property disputes, which is also the practice of the most pressing problems. But also in many private servers for network game, plug-in, virtual trading platform specification, network game format of contract issues such as governance, through the basic law in formulating a network game system solution to these problems is more thorough, which is currently growing calls for the entire online gaming industry.