Week Adjourned: 4.23.10

Tantalizing property for sale...too bad it isn't "real"Top Class Actions 

Testing the limits of virtual reality… Second Life—you may have heard of it—an enormously popular and just plain enormous virtual reality platform that enables you to totally reinvent yourself—many times over if you wish… (Think Avatar). Well, it’s the subject of a potential class action lawsuit filed this week. There’s a laundry list of allegations, including consumer fraud, stemming from real estate transactions that took place within the platform.

The simpleton’s version (because Second Life can seem a bit non-sensical to those of us with our feet on terra firma), is that people—members—of Second Life who used real world money to purchase virtual real estate within the platform, have been duped. How? The allegations are that “Linden Research induced thousands of people to invest as much as $100 million of real money in virtual properties, then reclaimed those virtual properties from the purchasers without compensation.” There’s nothing virtual about that allegation.

The law suit also claims that Linden Labs stated that it would protect members’ rights to their virtual property, and that those properties could be used as a source of revenue for the owners. However, the plaintiffs contend that members who purchased virtual real estate were in fact increasing the value of Linden Research in advance of an initial public offering or sale of Second Life. And, Linden Labs, at no time, made any attempt to compensate an estimated 50,000 participants who purchased virtual real estate based upon the company’s promises.

None of this sounds even vaguely like science fiction—more like art imitating life…there really is no escape…

Top Settlements

Big Asbestos Settlement in Texas. A 67-year old man was awarded roughly $11 million by a jury this week, in settlement of his asbestos mesothelioma lawsuit. FYI—this is reportedly the largest settlement of its Continue reading “Week Adjourned: 4.23.10”