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Pixilated property dispute a real issue in court

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In "Second Life," your character can buy new clothes, a new body, or a custom car. The transactions have real-world value, and courts are beginning to deal with virtual disputes. (Ken Millstone/CNS)


Hockey jerseys are among the many products "Second Life" users can buy to customize their characters. One U.S. dollar is worth about 270 "Linden dollars" in the game. (Ken Millstone/CNS)

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Video games have evolved into online worlds where you can own virtual property, sell virtual goods and walk away with real money. It may seem silly, but it's big business--worth an estimated $1 billion annually. Can you have property rights in a place that doesn't exist?