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Edited by Gaetano Dimita, Jon Festinger and Marc Mimler
Ross Dannenberg and Josh Davenport
Video game litigation in the United States is neither new nor infrequent, and video game developers can learn valuable lessons from cases won, and lost, by others before them. This article examines the evolution of United States intellectual property law from historically narrow roots to classifying video games as an art form deserving broad free speech protection. This article examines seminal cases in a variety of IP areas, including not only copyrights, but also reverse engineering, derivative works, patents, trademarks, rights of publicity, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, contracts, and freedom of speech. These cases explore the factual and legal limits of American jurisprudence in video game law, including how one's own expression can be limited by the rights of others, permissible and fair use and of others' IP, and the impact these cases have had in the industry. As video games have leveled up into a multi-billion dollar industry, the law has leveled up, too, and this article is the primer you need to level up with it.
Chris Reed and Andrew Murray
Chapter 1 asks why any particular state’s law should have authority outside its geographical territory, and particularly in cyberspace. A state’s constitution is not binding on cyberspace users outside its territory and thus cannot give its laws any collective authority, as a legal system, in cyberspace. Law therefore must derive from acceptance by cyberspace users of a particular state law’s authority. But this does not confer general authority on the other laws of the state. This means that lawmaking authority in cyberspace has to be assessed at the level of individual rules of law, not at the law system level. Each rule derives its authority from acceptance by those it claims to regulate. It thus has authority over the members of the lawmaker’s extended community in cyberspace, but that community is dynamic and constantly changing. So a law has authority over a cyberspace user only whilst that user is a community member.
Yves Botteman and Daniel Barrio Barrio
An area of uncertainty, and with differences of approach between competition authorities, is whether brand owners can prevent distributors from reselling their products via online marketplaces such as Amazon. This article considers the European Court of Justice's judgment in Coty and its implications for distribution arrangements, as regards both the application of Article 101 TFEU and the Vertical Restraints Block Exemption Regulation to selective distribution arrangements and restrictions on internet sales via third-party platforms. It also considers the European Commission's response to the Coty judgment (including its application to non-luxury goods) and the approach taken by national courts and competition authorities.
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.
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.