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Thread: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

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    Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    Found this over at 1up.com and thought it was rather funny. I can see it now, getting turned down for a job in the future for stealing online furniture

    Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft news from 1UP.com

    Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft
    Steal $5,800 worth of Habbo Hotel furniture? That's a tasin', bro.
    By Mark Whiting, 11/15/2007

    Some Dutch cops (and crooks) may have set a world's first today after police in Amsterdam arrested and booked a group of teenagers for the crime of online MMO property theft, reports The Telegraph. Ready for the punchline? The dastardly deed that brought the 411 running went down in the seedy world of -- wait for it -- Habbo Hotel.
    Try and get your head around this one: a 17-year-old kid, aided by a four 15-year-olds, hacks into numerous online Habbo accounts after conning innocent MMO users out of their passwords. Kids then proceed to "steal" virtual "furniture" from these houses and move it into their own pad. Affronted victims call the police. Jailarity ensues.

    Bonus: Total street value of the stolen GIFs and JPEGsis valued by the Dutch police at close to $5,800 US -- no doubt all paid for by the unwitting credit cards of mom and dad.

    "We are trying to bring charges of theft" commented a representative from the Amsterdam police dept. "It is a little difficult and new. There has not yet been a judgment in a case like this. The furniture may not be physical objects but because it represents a certain value we think theft is involved."

    Habbo Hotel -- the Finnish graphical chat program that has proved so addictive and popular in some sectors of the pre-teen gaming world -- boasts upwards of 80 million users worldwide. While its content may be jokey, the business model surely isn't. Consider for a second that all of the "stolen" cash came straight off of someone's very real-world bank account. Habbo users, often young and without access to credit cards, charge their accounts by making calls on special premium-rate phone lines. Ultimately, these lines translate back into very real money.

    While the idea of the police kicking in your door for the crime of stealing a JPEG might sound ridiculous, it does raise a few interesting questions about just how close to the line representatives of the law should treat the theft of virtual money and property. With the economy of online environments such as World of Warcraft stacking up favorably against many of the world's "realer" nations, the nebulous world of online value is getting even more difficult to tabulate. Imagine paying $10,000 for your WoW Rogue and having a 17-year-old punk swipe it. You, too, might want justice.

    Some of you may recall the big heist which went down in EVE Online not too long ago which saw a user known only as "cally" simply walk away with a stack of in-game currency valued on the very real currency trading market at close to $170,000 US. At the time, authorities were unable to prosecute the perp for anything beyond a breach of the MMOs Terms of Service.

    The Dutch bust however marks the first confirmed arrest by an actual RL police department for the crime of virtual property theft. If the case goes to court (successfully) its precedent may set the bar for future prosecutions in real-world courts of law.

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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    Damn - Next thing you know, the RSPCA will be knocking on my door because of that giant tortoise that I threw about a mile in the air in at the start of Crysis...

    But yes, an odd story to say the least. Interesting concept though.

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    Senior Member UltraMagnus's Avatar
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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    this is stupid, they didn't steal anything.... nothing existed in the first place so it couldn't be stolen.

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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    they still hacked accounts, which is wrong.
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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    Quote Originally Posted by UltraMagnus View Post
    this is stupid, they didn't steal anything.... nothing existed in the first place so it couldn't be stolen.
    Intellectual property theft is still classed as stealing, this is only so because the virtual items hold a real world value since they are bought with real money. In most MMO games items and in game currency hold no real world value (discounting 'black market' gold sellers) and is all considered property of the company running the game.

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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    Quote Originally Posted by UltraMagnus View Post
    this is stupid, they didn't steal anything.... nothing existed in the first place so it couldn't be stolen.
    The money in your real world bank account doesn't actually exist either. It's all just entries in a computer system. But I'd bet you don't want it stolen.

    For that matter, the notes and coins in your pocket have very little intrinsic value. They ONLY have any real value because of what you can exchange them for. It's all about confidence in the system, and in the "value" of abstract items.

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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    it's not so much that the property laws are being made to look ridiculous by the virtual so much as the expansion of virtual worlds illuminates further the virtual abstract nature of property laws and money. For example, most of us think stealing is wrong because it denies someone else access to something the previously had access to ie i go round to your house and steal a dvd, which is why we don't see file sharing as the same as real theft (despite various adverts trying to make us). The problem is ofcourse that whilst the vast majority of the population understand theft in terms of use value and objects they can use ie a bike is for cycling, a movie is for entertainment, the economic system actually cares **** all about use values, they are simply necessary evils in the production of and valorisation of exchange value in order to expand capital ie Malcolm Glazer and his werido family don't give a **** about Man Utd or football but they are interested in how it can expand their bank accounts. Now again most of us are only interested in our bank accounts in so much as they allow access to use values ie going to the pub, cinema, getting a house etc so when we encounter a virtual world in which these use value (the cyber furniture for example) can be easily reproduced at will our way of relating to the world and our opposition to theft that is based on a use values is confronted with the insane fetishistic nature of exchange value, that is capital expansion for the sake of expansion.
    "The less you eat, drink and buy books; the less you go to the theatre, the dance hall, the public house; the less you think, love, theorise, sing, paint, fence, etc., the more you save – the greater becomes your treasure which neither moths nor rust will devour – your capital. The less you are, the less you express your own life, the more you have, the greater is your alienated life, the greater is the store of your estranged being." Karl Marx

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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    The kids should take the makers of Habbo Hotel to court for stealing their life, sad gits.
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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    This is similar to how the banned gambling in "Second Life". Seeing as the currency (Linden Dollar i think) can be exchanged with real money, it is technically illegal to gamble (in certain countries/states).


    Next they'll be taxing it.

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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    so would they arrest you for killing someone on a game like ultima online and stealing there things?

    because that was fun
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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    I once looted a ship on EVE..... I should change my name and hide.
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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    Quote Originally Posted by jay_oasis View Post
    I once looted a ship on EVE..... I should change my name and hide.
    Do it, do it now before it's to late!

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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    its already too late, the black helicopters are circling

    it will be like hackers, they will get you when your in the shower
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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    nooooo...... I'll just take baths.
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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    Quote Originally Posted by jay_oasis View Post
    I once looted a ship on EVE..... I should change my name and hide.
    From the original post:
    Some of you may recall the big heist which went down in EVE Online not too long ago which saw a user known only as "cally" simply walk away with a stack of in-game currency valued on the very real currency trading market at close to $170,000 US. At the time, authorities were unable to prosecute the perp for anything beyond a breach of the MMOs Terms of Service.
    You're safe, for now at least

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    Re: Amsterdam Cops Bust First Online Property Theft.

    To be honest, if you are stupid enough to give your password away.... you deserve to have your habbo sht nicked.

    Actually, if you play habbo hotel and you are over the age of 11, you should have your toenails removed so that it hurts when you wear shoes.

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