When is theft fraud, or exploitation?

This discussion over at the Second Life forums is about a situation where a player seems to have accidentally sold some land for $0 to another player. This player ‘pounced’ on the land sale, probably with a script, and then immediately sold the land on to a willing buyer (or alt?). With the Linden Dollar being valued at around $1.20us per L$250 that represents for the player a loss of around $380us of virtual property.

Is it so hard to imagine a future when these games become popular enough for thieves to make a nice sideline income from scamming players. As the real virtual value of goods becomes more accepted and acceptable will games companies be done for aiding and abetting if they don’t work very hard to track and stop these kind of exploits? Should the police, or the small claims court be involved? Maybe one day. For now we just have forums and a rather accommodating Linden Labs to keep us happy.

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