Games company must replace player's virtual weapons

Out-Law News | 06 Jan 2004 | 12:00 am |

A Chinese games company has been ordered by a Beijing court to replace virtual property stolen by a hacker from a player's on-line account, according to Reuters. It had taken Li Hongchen two years and around £750 in pay-as-you-go cards to amass his virtual weapons.

According to Reuters the hacker broke into Li's account for the on-line game Hongyue (Red Moon) in February, exploiting a weakness the server security of the game's creator, Beijing Arctic Ice Technology Development.

However, the company refused to reveal the private details of the hacker, although it was another player. It also declined to replace the stolen items on the grounds that they were not property in the real world. Li took the matter to court.

The District People's Court ruled on 18th December that Beijing Arctic Ice was liable for the theft, because it had enabled the hacker to gain entry to the gaming account through programming weaknesses in its servers. The company has been instructed to reinstate the stolen items.