Dutch Supreme Court Rules That Free Virtual Items Theft Is Real Word Crime

The Dutch Supreme Court has ruled that theft of virtual goods is a crime punishable by real-world criminal sentence, even if the stolen items were free.

The crime that prompted the ruling took place in 2007 when two teenagers beat a 13 years old boy and threatened him with a knife until he logged in to RuneScape and transferred a (virtual) mask and amulet to one of his assailants' characters.

A lower court has already sentenced the offenders to 144 hours of community service each in 2009, but one of them appealed to the country supreme court on the grounds that the stolen goods "were neither tangible nor material and, unlike for example electricity, had no economic value."

The Supreme Court however counter-argued that the stolen virtual items have value because of the "time and energy invested" to acquire them.

The court's logic sounds right to us. After all, people don't still worthless stuff at knifepoint. Make sure to express your opinion in the comments section below.

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dude seriously?

no real world value is a 4 word statement. its about kids taking something that belonged to another person under threat of violence. if you steal your buddies entire "bank" full of items you stole things he worked for spending his hard earned time. its not talking about punishing you for games who has a theif skill that you steal stuff to enhance your level. you can steal all you want just not from real people or under real life circumstances for virtual data.------On another note why was the theift even an issue assalt and threat with a deadly weapon should be the charges as well as the bulling issue witch should have ruled a hell of a lot more than 144 hrs of community anything

Just think about it man...

Just think about it man... Court even explained it themselves... I guess you never played an mmo? Cuz if you had you'd understand it. It's the time spend getting it and I personally wouldn't want people stealing my stuff. And you talk about rogue (not rouge) classes, but they never have the ability to steal just anything off of someone (except on NPC's but thats a whole different thing). And besides that, if a game gives players the ability to steal things of off other players than there is no crime anyway because thats all in the laws of the game (beating someone up and threatening him with a knife in real life aint allowed by any game).

And one more thing. I don't know bout you but I personally wouldn't like to be beaten up and threatened with a knife.

Wow, do you NOT see the

Wow, do you NOT see the problem? Yeah it's just a stupid electronic mask...but the teens THREATENED HIM with a KNIFE...they should have been charged with something way worse than theft. Oh, it's a problem that he stole a mask on the computer, but it's okay that the held a knife to him during the whole time. The fact that people are arguing over the stolen mask is ridiculous, to be honest.

Everyone should be ashamed.

This dude is a idiot

Your stupid XD its saying that people threatened him with a weapon to get simple items in a game it dosent mean that the items were stolen from them after they were killed in game or pick pocketed

Stealing is a crime.

Lets say you have a WoW account or any other MMO. You work your character up to max level hundreds of hours in PvP working on the good gear. And then BOOM some freaking Chinese Bastard steals your account and sells it for real life money. As far as i'm concerned any thing that is worth real money rather it be real items or Virtual is stealing. and anyone that doesn't think so is either a crook. lame ass hacker or an idiot.


remember that the poor guy was and threatend by a knife both of which are criminal acts. I dont see any reason for the court to go that far to announce the theft of the item as the main crime. those two did get what they deserve for their anti-social behavior.


This is just a delayed reaction by their government. China is already ahead of the game, and has stated in law that in-game property is considered mobile property, much the same as a mobile home or trailer. This is only fair considering in games such as Entropia with a real-world economy (RCE) you can be dumping $10k a month in US dollars into your character development, or buying stores or virtual land that you receive real US dollar income from by taxing other players for the hunting and mining they do on your virtual land. There's nothing stupid about it. It does have real-world value if someone is willing to commit a real-world crime in order to obtain it.

Uhm sorry for the general stupidity of my comment. :P

Heh i think i got a little too mad... Sorry bout that but i had a pretty rough day today... Now as i was saying is we don't need this junk... The government does not need to pay attention to things like the value of ingame items... They need to keep their eyes on the more important things. Like crime issues' wars' economy and other shit... They need to keep their nosy noses out of shit like this and more into shit like that.

PS. I can't belive how stupid my comments sound. Oh well...

You should be sorry. -_-

So you invest time in a job and recieve no physical payment as it is all transferred electronically to your bank account. If someone steals it using your details, it isn't a crime. You spend time in a game and find the rarest item in the game, after a year's play time, you're one of 100 people who have it out of the 1000000 people playing. If someone hacks your acount and sells it, it isn't a crime. You spend money on the item and it costs about $20-50 to get and at full power. If someone hacks your account and sells it, it isn't a crime. Someone uploads a worm to your computer which gives them all your usernames and passwords. They steal your online identity, it's not a crime. Someone uses your passport information and credit card details to steal your identity and make a bunch of money. Not a crime.

Non of these thefts are physical thefts, they're all electronical. So none of them count as a crime as far as you're concerned. The items stolen, your personal details and the videogame stuff, have no real world monetary value and yet legally speaking, it is a crime to steal any of them in any of these ways. The only problem is being able to prove any of them were actually stolen.


Speaking as a person who has had his account hacked and had to start over from nothing on something that i spend money on it better damn well be a punishable offense

They ought to get jail time.

Anyone who holds another person at knife point for anything, virtual or not, should be put in jail for felony assault. And if someone stole a h'ween mask and fury from me at knife point they had better hope I never find them again (although I'd actually need to get one of each first if anyone wants to donate on rs).


this is bull**** if anyone stole something from someone online just think its a game and start a diff mmo plus i think runescapes pretty bad

your not getting the point

This kid was threatened and beat up over something he bought in the game its not about the game its about how people are that desperate to beat up a kid and steal something of his that has no real use.

P.S. Its a game if your willing to hurt someone physically for a GAME you need a life.

Are americans seriously

Are americans seriously thinking that Dutch people are stupid? Witch country was it that people can drag tabaco industry's to court because they got cancer and keep telling that they didn't know although it's a fact that has been known for fucking ages. Americans are stupid. They desperatly want country's to stop poluting the air and yet they are the worst poluters there are. Haha stupid dumb american fucks. Go invade some random country or something. No forget that, you are not even good at that haha. USA is fukcing rediculous haha. Dumb Fucks


Dutch people are so smart they can spell like 100% witch is which* yea theirs a bunch more, Review before posting.. And Americans are actually pretty smart, I havent heard dutch do anything? ANYTHING? Quiet.

Dutch Oven

1.) Don't butcher our language if you've the audacity to insult our country with it. 2.) The ~311,591,917 Americans you refer to each have their own opinion. After reading your attempt at making a point which paints a picture of crayon-scribbled nonsense, this American thinks what he assumes is a poor representation of the Dutch people, as stupid.

Good day sir.

Back your point.

Roight! Time to sort you the f*** out! "The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, ..." Actually, she may be a tired old whore, but only because she been a camp follower taking what she could from the many armies tromping through her villages for two thousand years. "England and America are two countries devided by a common language." My second quote is GB Shaw, who as an Irishman might have an opinion, since England been raping that land for over five centuries. To which Yank speech do you refer? (oops, almost split an infinitive) California has one official language and a recognizable accent in caucasians born here, and one in those speaking AAVE. But my state is *8* times the area of your enire pair of islands, without accents that differ from tiny county to county. Also, what of the Canadians and the Australians? I may not have a HS dipoma, I think it is insular provincialism like yours that gives tiny island countries like GB and Japan a bad and undeserved name. And embarrassed to be an Anglophile.

It partially is

I don't recall him stating that English was solely American, he only said it was our language that can mean it could be yours as well, there are many different variations. Also I would appreciate it if you didn't call my language shit. I'll call English whatever the fuck I want. <3


im tired of seeing people go on a forum and act tough and have a large argument about the stupidest things ive ever seen, get a life, grow up, see a shrink

This should only apply.

This should only apply if the theft is during real life, if i trick you into giving me stuff over the game then you are a moron and fair game. Eve Online has this happen thousands of times for more value then anything in failscape.

I agree.

I have got to say, community service is pretty much what these kids deserve (if not, then something worse). Threatening a kid just for a couple in-game items? How stupid is that? Get your own damn items. Sure, stealing in-game items is fine IN-GAME, albeit extremely annoying to the people who worked hard to get the items, and douche-esque for the people that steal them (even though that could possibly be counted as their way of "working hard"). But were these kids really so desperate for an amulet and a mask (which I would like to stress ARE NOT REAL), that they had to beat up some kid, and threaten them with a knife just so they could have it? How sick is that?

In addition to community service, strap on some serious counseling, because you need Jesus. Sheesh.


community service is a slap on the rist. this is a crime that threatened someone's life im sure the punishment is jail time

Stupid Dutch??

Stupid Dutch??

Easy to say it on the web anonymously.. would have loved it if you said it face to face to me. Would have lodged your teeth at the back of your skull.

This may be a stupid law and the supreme court may have taken it to far but what does this have to do with the dutch, and when you say the dutch I assume you mean all the dutch, been stupid.

im an idiot

god all these dutch morons including pl3zmedawg, dutch are retards who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. all they do is prostitute themselves for money and drain their government therefore ruining their county and economy. nuke that country and be done with those dutch losers. burn em all. blah, yeah come visit me in the USA and ill beat your wimpy dutch ass you internet tough boy, haha wimp getting mad.

A bit racist

There is nothing wrong with the Dutch you racist asshole. I doubt that you could beat his "wimpy dutch ass" because your are most likely some scrawny little kid who faps to gifs on 4chan cause your never gonna get any, Now please do us all a favor and go cry to your mommy. If you assume(if you know what that word means with you -13 iq) i'm Dutch your very wrong i am American and i live NH, come at bro.

Lets be honest here

you wouldnt be able to do that you'd get arrested :| juuusssttt saying, even through they said something rather racist violence doesn't exactly solve it and gets you, the person angered in trouble pointlessly when really it should be more or less the other way around.


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