In a somewhat startling move, eBay is now delisting auctions for any type of virtual property, including items, characters, and “virtual cash”.

The primary reason, according to an article on slashdot, is the ambiguity of legal ownership, particularly in regard to the underlying intellectual property.

Rather than become involved in that extremely murky situation, eBay is taking the easy way out and dropping all auctions that offer anything in the way of virtual real estate.

Obviously, they haven’t been too worried about this before. However, now that online games are big-time, and governments are starting to look at them from a tax viewpoint, it’s easy to see why eBay would not want to be involved.

So what will players with VRE for sale do? Likely, go to other sites that allow such auctions and transactions. But this does bring up the matter of who really owns what in these games.

If your character is your character, do you have the right to sell it? Or that nifty +50 sword of instant death? Or does the game owner, such as Blizzard, really have rights to the virtual creation?

I expect this will become a really hot topic in the coming months. Check out the article and see what you think.

Ebay Delisting Virtual Auctions