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Edited by Carlo S. Lavizzari and René Viljoen

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Edited by Carlo S. Lavizzari and René Viljoen

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Edited by Carlo S. Lavizzari and René Viljoen

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Edited by Carlo S. Lavizzari and René Viljoen

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Edited by Carlo S. Lavizzari and René Viljoen

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Sebastian Schwiddessen and Philipp Karius

So called loot boxes are one of the most important monetization methods for many companies in the video gaming, social gaming and social casino gaming industry. After the global skin betting scandal in 2016 and the 2017 loot-box uproar, loot boxes are now under investigation or even subject to legislative measures in several jurisdictions. Since then, numerous regulatory authorities, politicians and other stake holders have issued statements on the matter. From a legal perspective, loot boxes can touch gambling, youth protection, consumer and even financial laws. Characteristic of the 2017 loot-box debate was a black or white view and people taking extreme positions. In particular, gamers and people not familiar with the subject tend to condemn loot boxes as gambling. However, taking a closer look at selected key jurisdictions shows that the application of gambling laws depends on the jurisdiction and on the exact set up of the loot box mechanism. Furthermore, some questions are not conclusively solved yet – not even in those jurisdictions which are regarded as loot-box safe havens. One of these questions is, for instance, the impact of secondary-market trading of loot-box-generated items. This article evaluates the legal situation of loot boxes from a gambling law perspective in selected jurisdictions.

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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.

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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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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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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.