However, the two items have a real-world monetary value, since people are willing to pay for them. Just like when you're buying a painting, you're not paying for the paints and canvas, you're paying for something altogether less tangible. So although the two items don't physically exist, they're still real, and can be stolen.Dutch youths convicted of virtual theft - Yahoo! News
I'm of two minds over this.
One nothing real was stolen.
Two the kids that did it are @$$holes.
If you can see why it was treated as a crime, then why is it strange that it should be prosecuted? If someone steals something that is worth money, even if it doesn't physically exist, then they should be punished. Someone spent time (and money, if they're a subscriber) to earn something which is itself worth money. If that is stolen from them, then how is it any less of a crime than if someone walked into his house and stole a physical object worth the same amount?To be honest, I can see why it was treated as a crime. What worries me is the fact it was actually prosecuted. Either the Netherlands has a well kept secret of almost no crime, or they are being forced to reach ridiculous targets with prosecutions. Martin, tell us which way round it is, so we know whether to move to the Netherlands or stay well away.
EDIT: Also, Runescape. I have one question. Why?
Makes me wonder if Netherlands based MMOs could be taxed on the monetary value of their items."These virtual goods are goods (under Dutch law), so this is theft," the court said Tuesday in a summary of its ruling.
Some parts of the US are trying/tried to tax online gaming fee's such as WoW or EVE.Makes me wonder if Netherlands based MMOs could be taxed on the monetary value of their items.
I wouldn't be surprised if the WoW or Runescape economy outstages several minor countries.
Same thing here in Canada. Our court system here is so bad, people literally get away with murder :/Only in the Netherlands, we have crime here like every other country just our justice system if screwed up. Killers can often get away with 5 years if they don't try for the temp insanity plea. Which works more often then not. I think it's totally ridiculous stealing you can get few years in prison for and killing you can get maybe a year or 2 more for.