Etoy is a European digital art group. Etoy won several international awards including the Prix Ars Electronica in 1996. Their main slogan is: “leaving reality behind.”
Etoy routinely experiments with the boundaries of art, such as selling shares of “stock” in the etoy.corporation, a registered company in Switzerland and travelling the world as well as living in “etoy.tanks” (cargo containers).

Etoy was founded in 1994 and the authors behind etoy’s brand were an art collective that started to sell virtual shares and is owned now by hundreds of etoy.shareholders: international art collectors, the etoy.agents and toywar.soldiers (who protected the etoy.brand during the toywar). The etoy.inventors own, control and protect the corporate “sculpture”.[citation needed]

etoy “agents” with mortal remains of Timothy Leary (2007) by Joi

In 2007, German and Swiss director Andrea Reiter realised a documentary (produced by Hugofilm) about etoy’s “Mission Eternity” project, a “digital cult of the dead”.

According to Toywar.com eToys Inc. offered etoy $516,000 for the rights to the etoy.com domain name. After etoy rejected this offer, eToys Inc. responded by filing a lawsuit on the grounds of “unfair competition, trademark delusion, security fraud, illegal stock market operation, pornographic content, offensive behaviour and terrorist activity.”[citation needed] The Toywar soon ensued. eToys was successful at one point in the litigation process and was able to get an injunction to temporarily shut down the etoy website. But before long the Toywar developed into a high-profile tactical media event.

The toywar was a legal battle between the Internet toy retailer eToys.com and etoy for the domain name etoy.com. Fearing brand dilution and customer confusion about the similar domain names, eToys sued etoy for trademark infringement, and asked etoy to remove graphic images and profane language from their website that were bringing customer complaints. The artists refused to comply, and eToys eventually obtained a preliminary injunction against etoy which shut down their website.[4] etoy fought back with a coordinated public relations campaign and Internet-based denial of service attacks on eToys.com. After several weeks eToys dropped the lawsuit and the etoy website returned to operation.

It has been called “the most expensive performance in art history”, citing eToys’ market capitalization loss of $4.5 billion dollars during the conflict. However most analysts denied that this had been caused by the efforts of etoy and its supporters alone. The story is one of the subjects of the documentary film, info wars.

An email campaign was led by Internet activists including etoy.agents developing the toywar website, a battlefield for 2000 toysoldiers.

A book about the story of the etoy corporation, Leaving reality behind, by Regula Bochsler and Adam Wishart was released in 2002.