Judge Overrules Second Life Terms Of Service

Judge Overrules Second Life Terms Of Service

A judge has ordered Linden Labs to re-open a suspended account, even though the account was suspended in compliance to Second Life's Terms of Service.

The case began in April of last year when Second Life player Marc Brag "learned of a way to purchase virtual land significantly below market values" and started to invest thousands of real world dollars in cheap (and virtual) land, hoping to resell it later at a profit.

But Brag's plans didn't go as planned. Second Life operators noticed Brag's cheap land trick, called it an exploit, rescinded the purchase and subsequently terminated his account. According to Bragg, Linden didn't state the terms violated and refused to offer credits, refunds, or further communication.

So Brag took the whole matter to the court where Judge Eduardo C. Robreno found Linden's terms of service an unconscionable "contract of adhesion" and a "take-it-or-leave-it" agreement necessary to enter Second Life that granted Linden Labs unfair power over those who agreed with it. Specifically, it was the TOS arbitration clause - outlining how legal questions would be handled - and its relative obscurity filed under a section marked "miscellaneous" that concerned the judge.

Unfortunately, legal experts say that the ruling has nothing to do with the legality and ownership of virtual property and that it was just revoking a contract of adhesion.