Tuesday, April 29, 2008

When all about are losing their's..

This is wonderful. Many moons ago Pangloss gave a paper, loosely on virtual property in online worlds, and used some analogies from personality rights cases featuring unauthorised uses of celebrity images. One fortunate synchronicity was that at the same time, Wendy Grossman, the tech journalist about town, asked her for some advice on the theft of - get this - a life size AI-equipped, animatronic head of Philip K Dick - the reality-bending deceased sf author - which had been programmed with the entirety of PKD's works in the hope it could give answers PKD himself might have while alive. My paper ended up being called, snazzily I thought : "Bring Me the Head of Philip K. Dick: New Forms of Virtual Property"

The head disappeared when its creator, David Hanson, accidentally left it on the overhead rack on an America West plane. Hanson subsequently sued AW for the loss of the head, worth c $350,000. Boing-Boing reports that the suit has just been dismissed in no uncertain manner in a hilarious judgment which is itself intensely self referential.

Am I time travelling, insane or just still in a coma? : ) Reality bites!

Ps this ties up rather well with advertising that I'll be giving an updated version of this talk in Exeter in May at the rather groovy looking Workshop on Virtual Worlds, May 20th, 2008 University of Exeter..
For further information, please contact: A.Harcourt@ex.ac.uk

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