How should we balance the rights of game providers to protect their systems against the rights of players who invest significant hours and dollars in their characters?Eric Goldman explains why he thinks the balance tips in favor of the providers.In both cases, the online provider can choose, but we're tempted to side with AOL on spam and side against virtual world providers on everything else.It's that inconsistency that I'm trying to address here. Millions of users participate in such complex interactive spaces as Ever Quest, Second Life, World of Warcraft, and The Sims Online.
However, in other cases, the landowner's property rights have trumped the speaker's right to speak on the property, allowing the landowner to "censor" the speaker.
The differing results depend on whether the private landowner is characterized as a "state actor." Constitutional protections such as the First Amendment restrict the behavior of state actors, which typically include government entities such as federal, state, or local governments.
However, at times non-government actors can be considered state actors, which makes the cases confusing.
Indeed, private actors have been characterized as state actors in some cases.
In the online world, the speech/rights dichotomy raises equally complex issues.