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Habbo Hotel

Posted at 9:12am on 15 Nov 2007

Software Thievery

'Virtual theft' leads to arrest

A Dutch teenager has been arrested for allegedly stealing virtual furniture from 'rooms' in Habbo Hotel, a 3D social networking website.

It's not that strange if you think about it, "stealing" virtual property is no different from "stealing" an mp3 file or a copy of Photoshop, and there are people serving jail terms for doing the latter.

In fact one might reasonably argue that the term "theft" is more accurately applied in the former case, since the rules of the game world make it impossible to copy someone’s sword without depriving them of it, whereas in the real world one can duplicate digital goods without depriving their original owner of their use.