Jotwell: Third Party Beneficiary Law Meets Virtual Worlds

oie_globes_and_books5_sm.gifJames Grimmelmann has a nice piece up on Jotwell called Third Parties to the Rescue.

Here’s how it starts:

Michael Risch’s Virtual Third Parties, 25 Santa Clara Computer & High Tech. L.J. 416 (2009) tips the scales at a mere eleven pages—but it punches far above its weight class. He gives a clear and straightforward reading of third-party beneficiary doctrine in contract law to put a new spin on old problems of online power.

Risch’s subject is virtual worlds, where the immense technical power of the world’s provider is so well-recognized that it has its own shorthand name: the “God Problem.” If Blizzard wants to exile you from World of Warcraft, confiscate everything you own in-world, or stick your avatar in the stocks, their control over the servers lets them do it with a few keystrokes. Your avatar’s arms are never going to be long enough to box with a game god whose software controls arm length.

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4 Responses to Jotwell: Third Party Beneficiary Law Meets Virtual Worlds

  1. steve says:

    Hey, Michael— This comment is wildly off-topic. Sorry.

    But you know Susan Crawford, of course.

    I just heard she resigned from the Obama administration. Maybe you’re more plugged into that scene than I am—maybe this is old news for you by now. But it’s new news to me. And kinda surprising.

    What’s really surprising is the news that Crawford is a radical leftist. Did you know she was a red all along?

     

    From The American Spectator:

    RADICAL NEUTRALITY

    White House senior adviser Susan Crawford resigned last week to little fanfare, but some White House insiders say her leaving may reveal growing tensions inside the Obama Administration about just how radical the administration has become in developing policies.

    … White House sources say that she ran afoul of senior White House economics adviser Larry Summers….

    Crawford’s exit comes at a time when some Obama Administration aides, after seeing the fallout from the resignation of Van Jones and the spotlight placed on leftists inside the administration, like Anita Dunn, wonder if it is too late to pull back many of the more radical aides now placed in a number of different cabinet level departments, including the Department of Justice, and the Energy and Education departments, and federal agencies. “They haven’t done us any good on any level,” says the White House aide. “And now they are just a bunch of targets on our back that we can’t shake.”

     

     

    I bolded that last quote from the White House. Think about it.

  2. michael says:

    I presume you are being ironic here, but it’s really shooting fish in a barrel. No one with an ounce of sense takes anything written in the American Spectator seriously. It is an entirely tactical publication written by far-right ultraconservative partisans. That some of them are not in fact idiots does not, all too often, stop them from writing like them.

    More than 60% of the country fits the Spectator’s working definition of a “leftist”.

    Furthermore, everything we know about last week’s election suggests that the Spectator’s wishful thinking is backwards: rather than failing for being too “left” the Democrats who lost went down because Obama voters stayed home — the candidates failed to be sufficiently supportive of the agenda that got Obama elected. The mainstream of the US wants things the Spectator hates, like the public option or net neutrality. If you are for regulating any industry for any reason, the Spectator is ready to assault you; Red baiting is just par for the course. Instead of trying to create a level playing field for competition, the Spectator wants more tax cuts for rich people paid by liens on your child’s future.

    Susan Crawford is smart, hardworking, and nice. Obama was lucky to have her. I haven’t been in contact with her while she was in DC — I figured she had enough to do without my bugging her — but news reports did suggest that her office was not staffed up properly. Why not go back to Michigan before your leave expires and you still have tenure?

  3. Rhodo Zeb says:

    Wait, Steve, are you sure she is a radical leftist? Because I would prefer more specificity with these things.

    Do you use the patented Lib Quot system? Because I find it flawed, myself.

    The American Spectator is indeed a joke. Has it not always been so? I thought it in league with The American Thinker…

  4. I will consider not to use American spectator as a source. They often just bluffing around. Hey, that’s just my opinion, no offense. What do you mean with ‘radical leftist’? Maybe you should do some more researches about it, first. I guess you need to find more reliable sources and not just depending in one source.

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