Virtual Law: Navigating the Legal Landscape of Virtual Worlds

By in Science & Technology on August 18, 2013

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This book introduces readers to the emerging and exciting world of virtual law. It examines current cases and legislation impacting virtual world providers and users, and makes predictions about the future application of current law. It addresses the application of intellectual property law (copyright, trademark, and patent), criminal law, property law, contract law, securities law, tax law, and civil procedure. It also provides practical advice to lawyers who wish to create a virtual world presence for their practice or who have clients with virtual world connections. The book includes extensive appendices listing in-world and web-based resources for practitioners and legal scholars.

One thought on “Virtual Law: Navigating the Legal Landscape of Virtual Worlds

  1. Mary Ellen Gordon
    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Extremely useful book, June 23, 2008

    This review is from: Virtual Law: Navigating the Legal Landscape of Virtual Worlds (Paperback)

    Everyone who operates a business that is involved with virtual worlds should be glad that this book was written. As everyone in that situation knows, virtual worlds give rise to a huge number of legal questions, and this book collects those and answers to them all in one place using a writing style that’s very readable even for non lawyers like myself.

    One thing that I really appreciated about the book is that it describes the degree of certainty associated with different topics. For example, each chapter ends with a section on “open questions” relating to the subject of the chapter, whereas there are other places where the text states very definitively that a given thing occurring in a virtual world would or would not be treated exactly the same way as elsewhere on the Web or in the physical world.

    Another thing that I appreciated about the book was how clearly it is written. While it does include case law, etc. that is likely to be of intellectual interest to lawyers specializing in virtual law, it also includes a lot of very practical and accessible information for those of us who have business interests in virtual worlds.

    I think it will be particularly useful to three groups of people. First, it will provide a lot of information for people running in world only businesses for which legal advice is probably prohibitively expensive. Second, it will provide small and medium size businesses operating in virtual worlds enough of an understanding of the issues to judge when it’s likely to be cost-effective to seek out specialized legal advice and when it’s not. Third, I think it will be helpful to the large companies operating in virtual worlds. Many of them have their own legal staff, but they are often are unfamiliar with virtual worlds. This book will help them get up to speed quickly (and avoid slowing down their companies virtual world initiatives).

    I am in the second category, and I already feel I got my money’s worth from the book in terms of not having to pay for unnecessary legal advice and / or worry that I should be checking things with a lawyer (particularly given that currently most “regular” lawyers are not very knowledgeable about virtual worlds). All in all, I found this book to be extremely helpful on a first read, and it’s one I am sure I will refer back to in the future.

    The one topic I wish would have received greater attention in the book is jurisdiction since so much interaction in virtual worlds involves people in different countries.

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