Virtual Law Analysis – Watch it… you might be in trouble here

I ran into this article about the top five myths or ‘fumbles’ so-called law analysts tend to favor when applying real world law to the metaverse or any virtual world. I read through the list and for me it all looks not only reasonable, but intuitive (as in ‘duh’ – of course).

I’ve posted the number one ‘fumble below, but if you want to read through the entire list eh way it’s presented (5 backward to 1) – then click the following link and have a look.

Commentary: Top Five Virtual Law Analysis Fumbles | Virtually Blind | Virtual Law

It might actually prove enlightening and instructive. And, I foresee more and more arguments via law between residents and their intellectual rights. I build and create stuff in SL, too. And, I’ll admit that if I run across another item that is so similar in design, close enough that from a distance someone who’s never seen it before might not really be able to see true differences, my first course of action will be a cease and desist – regardless if thier object was built from scratch and there was some wierd cosmic event that caused them to think the same way I did.

If my product is in world first, I will stake my claim and use the law to protect it. And I would expect, and respect anyone else who does the same thing. It’s amazing how many fraudsters there are in SL. Take the ‘Business in a Box’ examples. Pah-leese. I can run around gathering up freebies all over the grid and bundle them together, too.

So, how do I prove my product was first in-world? Simple. I take two photographs – one stays in-world, the other is saved to disk. The one saved to disk is emailed to myself and printed. Once a week I gather my prints and snail-mail them to myself.

The in-world version has a time and date stamp on it that I can’t change. The email version also has time and date stamped all through the header. My killer back-up is the postal snail-mail envelope I mailed to myself. As long as I don’t open it. The United States postal cancellation (date and time stamp) is admissible in a court of law.

The number one fumble law analysts make when speaking of law and Second Life:

“If no one’s been convicted, it must be legal!” This is by far the most common fumble analysts make regarding questions in virtual law. It is fed by the (admittedly appealing) idea that virtual worlds are “just different.” It is nonsense. Consider this: nobody has figured out how to kill with a blue laser beam yet. If someone does so though, it would be completely reasonable to say that the act is illegal even before a jury finds a defendant guilty of that particular method of murder. Juries evaluate facts, the law is what it is. The fact that people just recently figured out how to defraud each other using prim-based ATMs, in-world messages, and avatars, doesn’t change the fact that the underlying fraud is, itself, illegal.


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