Monday, February 06, 2006

Law and ... Something

Okay, I was going to shut this stupid machine down and go play my guitar for a while, but then I checked my email and I found myself (eventually) reading this article. To summarize:

At least one player in the online game / virtual world, "World of Warcraft," was recently reprimanded for forming a queer-friendly guild. [The company that created and runs World of Warcraft is called Blizzard.]
When Ms. Andrews asked how the mere mention of an LGBT-friendly guild could violate the [World of Warcraft] Harassment Policy, Blizzard’s account administrator “Gorido” followed up with correspondence seeming to argue that because other players may choose to harass LGBT players, the mere mention of an LGBT-friendly guild violates the World of Warcraft terms of service.
So the Lambda Legal Foundation sent Blizzard a fairly restrained letter, pointing out that their policy was not up to snuff, law-wise. When I say "fairly restrained," I mean, "they threw the book at them." Here's a sample:
Online environments are public accommodations, subject to regulation as such. Butler v. Adoption Media, L.L.C., 2005 WL 1513142 (N.D.Cal.). Discrimination against LGBT individuals in the provision of public accommodations is clearly prohibited by California law. Id., see also, Cal. Civ. Code § 51 et seq. It has been so for more than fifty years. Stouman v. Reilly, 234 P.2d 969 (Cal. 1951)...
And so on in a similar vein. LILA (The University of Michigan's Lavendar Information and Library Association) will doubtless be following the story closely, for anyone interested in virtual - I mean, Internet - no, I guess maybe I do mean virtual - law.

Someday I'll get an article out of this stuff.


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