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Edited by Carlo S. Lavizzari and René Viljoen

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Kostyantyn Lobov

As virtual reality (VR) products increase in popularity, stakeholders in the games industry wanting to promote their VR products, or to leverage VR technology for advertising more generally, need to be aware of the most common legal and regulatory pitfalls, particularly as this is an area in which advertising and consumer protection regulators are likely to take a keen interest. Meanwhile, the regulators themselves will also have to be agile. They face the challenge of having to apply laws and self-regulatory codes which were not drafted with VR technology in mind to new situations, in a fair and rational manner which does not expose them to the risk of judicial review.

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Emil Albihn Henriksson

Virtual reality technologies necessitate the collection and processing of more – and more intimate – personal data than other media. This gives rise to some particular considerations under data protection regulations and not least the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The aim of this article is to explore these characteristics particular to VR and to identify some of the issues that these might give rise to under the GDPR.

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Edited by Richard Clements and Ya Lan Chang

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Edited by Gaetano Dimita, Jon Festinger and Marc Mimler

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Scott M. Kelly and Kirk A. Sigmon

The eSports industry has exploded, in no small part due to the ease with which exciting matches may be watched. Many modern video games stream game user inputs to viewers, rather than bandwidth-intensive video. These game input streams can be used by the viewers’ game clients to perfectly reproduce a match in real-time. In World Chess U.S. v. Chessgames Services, a U.S. District Court held that allegedly pilfered chess game moves, as facts, were neither subject to copyright protection nor eligible for ‘hot news’ misappropriation. But might video game input streams (as facts, per the World Chess court) nonetheless be eligible for copyright protection to the extent that the input data corresponds to a copyright-eligible game performance? After all, input streams are significantly more granular and exacting than mere chess game moves: they capture millisecond-by-millisecond input and effectuate perfect reproducibility of gameplay, rather than a mere description thereof. This article explores the copyright issues under U.S. law presented by live streaming of video game inputs and proposes that video game input streams are, to the extent that they are usable to perfectly generate a faithful recreation of a gameplay performance, copyright-eligible and owned by the player of the game.

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Kian Hsia and Thijs van den Heuvel

Last year the District Court of Amsterdam ruled that using the portrait of former Dutch soccer player Edgar Davids in the online video game ‘League of Legends’ is unlawful towards Edgar Davids. On the occasion of the World Cup 2014, Riot Games, the developer of the League of Legends, introduced four additional character skins that could be purchased by gamers. For the character ‘Lucian’, gamers could purchase the ‘Striker’ skin, and the Court first considered that Striker Lucian is a portrait of Edgard Davids. Furthermore, the Court considered that Edgar Davids has a reasonable interest to oppose the commercial exploitation of his portrait. The Court concluded that Striker Lucian is a portrait of Edgar Davids and Riot Games is acting unlawfully by disclosing Striker Lucian in the Netherlands. Besides, granting a declaratory decision and injunction, Riot Games was ordered to pay damages.

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Andreas Lober, Susanne Klein and Florian Groothuis

The 2012 UsedSoft decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘ECJ’) disrupted the digital distribution of computer programs. Since then, unauthorised sellers of product and game keys often try to utilise the UsedSoft ruling and its principles to justify the resale of key codes. Against this background, we will review the new developments in this area, taking into account recent court decisions in Germany, which are based on European Directives. Furthermore, the impact of the UsedSoft decision on the gaming sector, where game keys are often distributed in digital form only, will be examined. Since the ECJ in its Nintendo decision and the German Federal Supreme Court ‘BGH’) in its World of Warcraft I decision both considered video games to be hybrid products, we will discuss whether and to what extent the Software Directive 2009/24/EC and the InfoSoc Directive 2001/29/EC are applicable. We then apply the findings to the distribution models used in the gaming sector and examine their legality.

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Yolanda M. King

In the past several years, a number of tattoo artists and one of their exclusive licensees have filed lawsuits against a variety of businesses for copyright infringement of their tattoos. However, none of these lawsuits have gone to trial. This case review examines a pending tattoo copyright lawsuit filed against a video game maker in 2016, Solid Oak Sketches, LLC v. 2K Games et al, and mentions another more recently filed lawsuit against the same video game maker, Hayden v. 2K Games, Inc. et al.

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Deborah Whitehall

Hannah Arendt was a German-Jewish witness of the grand infamies of the twentieth-century, a classicist, a political theorist, a social commentator and a cartographer of time. In that last capacity, she presents the international lawyer with a set of concepts to gauge the meaning of international legal time, its relationship to international history, and the part of international law in triggering new historical cycles. Three concepts developed by her stand out for how an international lawyer might reconceive the part of international law in international history and importantly, against catastrophic world tragedies that ask for innovative regulatory response, its redesign. The concepts of a time-gap, time-sequence and historical-cycle and repetition of revolution present possible coordinates for drawing different time-maps for international law. The question raised here follows Arendt to ask: what might a time-map for international law look like if international lawyers notice the gaps, rhythm and sequences that set and reset their part in international historical time? Starting at Potsdam, in 1945, settles the question of a time-map on a series of lines and boundaries that restarted time then under the auspice of international agreement.