Intellectual property or intangible chattel?
Currently this virtual property is governed under a system where initial rights are allocated to traditional intellectual property rights holders, and subsequent rights are governed by license agreements called End User License Agreements (EULAs). The traditional intellectual property rights holders have been systematically eliminating any emerging virtual property rights which game players may be entitled to by the use of EULAs, causing an imbalance in resources and rights. Perhaps items and characters created in virtual worlds by players should be treated as intangible chattel while allowing the underlying designs and code of the game designers to retain their intellectual property rights. Just as a person feels that when they have purchased a book, they own the book but not the copyright in the book; so too should a player own the characters and items (as intangible chattel) in the game’s virtual world without acquiring the underlying copyright in that virtual world.
Adrian, A 2006, 'Intellectual property or intangible chattel?', Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 52-61.
Published version available from: