Advances in virtual and augmented reality technology and in the software to produce virtual worlds have allowed virtual avatars to be used with increasing frequency for a range of activities. But with improvements in the technology to create virtual and augmented reality worlds have come corresponding issues of law and policy which apply to the avatars that represent the human presence in virtual worlds. This chapter discusses several issues of law which relate to the design and use of virtual avatars, with a specific focus on avatars that are gaining in intelligence and operating with more and more autonomy from humans. Virtual avatars are increasingly not simply entities under the control of real-world users, as with avatars found in many online virtual reality games, but rather are becoming more autonomous actors, generating their own decisions and solutions to problems which may not always be intelligible or transparent to the real-world users they represent. Additionally, it is the case that increasingly smart avatars operating with greater autonomy raise significant legal issues beyond those of “human-controlled” avatars, not the least of which is whether the avatars themselves deserve legal rights.
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Woodrow Barfield and Alexander Williams
Edited by Woodrow Barfield and Marc J. Blitz
Edited by Richard Clements, Ya Lan Chang, Kaara Martinez and Patrick Simon Perillo
Edited by Gaetano Dimita, Jon Festinger and Marc Mimler
Dame Vivien Rose
In recent years, there have been major changes in economic theory from the development of behavioural economics, notably from Nobel prize for Economics winner Professor Richard Thaler. This article considers the role that behavioural economics could play in building a litigant's case in competition litigation in the High Court and of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
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.