INIURIA IN CYBERSPACE
Keywords:virtual worlds, liability in law, actionability in criminal law, delict in South African law, personality rights, liability for economic loss
The purpose of this note is to investigate some real-world disputes that may arise as a result of unlawful conduct in virtual worlds. The note will firstly expand the background of virtual worlds and then sketch some scenarios, which could potentially lead to liability in law. The main focus will be on actionability in criminal law and delict in South African law. Special attention will be given to the question whether personality rights of members of virtual worlds can be infringed by, for instance, the rape of their avatars. The question whether liability for economic loss caused unlawfully to members of virtual worlds by other members of such worlds will also be addressed.
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