The virtual world is taking more and more space in our daily life. The metaverse explained in this article represents a new digital dimension that merges virtual and real, and it is imposing itself as the new frontier for entertainment and business opportunities. The metaverse offers various opportunities for companies and individuals, but it is important to know what legal protections – i.e. what we are learning about the legal metaverse – are necessary to avoid the risks of intellectual property theft and scams in the virtual world.
What is meant by the term legal metaverse
Legal metaverse is a term used to describe the meeting of virtual reality and legal systems. Virtual reality is no longer just a form of entertainment or gaming, it is becoming a place of interaction for trade, content creation and business. The more people interact within virtual worlds, the more critical digital rights issues become. What are our rights as users of these spaces? Who owns the data generated in these virtual spaces?
What are digital rights?
Digital rights refer to all those rights individuals are granted with respect to their personal data and how it is used. These rights include:
- the right to privacy;
- the right to access and control one’s personal data;
- the right to be informed about the use of one’s data;
- trademark protection;
- intellectual property protection;
- patent protection;
- real estate protection.
In the legal metaverse, as explained by the expert lawyers of the Damiani&Damiani law firm on their page about trademark protection in the metaverse, digital rights rise to a whole new level of complexity, given how the data generated in these virtual spaces invest real rights, such as private property or intellectual property rights, which are the property of the companies or individuals who create them.
Why are digital rights important in the legal metaverse?
There are many reasons why digital rights are relevant in the metaverse. Firstly, because people increasingly interact within virtual worlds and personal data is collected and used for various purposes. Secondly, because the metaverse is a place where people can create and share content, i.e. generate purchases, offer products and services covered by copyright, and must therefore have the right to check if the contents are stolen or counterfeited and if such contents are used by third parties. According to market forecasts released by the GlobalData Intelligence Center, the Metaverse already has a market capitalization of over €22 billion, which could become €996.4 billion by the end of the decade. For this reason, the need to create a set of rules that goes under the term ‘juridical metaverse’ is now pressing. Virtual reality is imposing itself as a space where people can conduct business and must be protected in their right to fair performance in the stipulation of contracts, according to universally shared rules.
The challenges of defining digital rights in the legal metaverse
Defining digital rights and legal metaverse is a complex task per se. Virtual worlds are in constant evolution and the ways personal data are collected and managed vary constantly. Furthermore, the subjects involved in the definition of the legal metaverse are many and different – governments, companies, individuals, each with their own interests and priorities. Finally, there is no global consensus on what digital rights should entail. This is why among the Tools to Make Your Company Stand Out in today’s markets, the indispensable collaboration with a law firm expert in digital rights will soon be included.
Current legal frameworks for digital rights in the legal metaverse
Currently, few sets of rules are in place to protect digital rights in the metaverse. In the United States, for example, there are no federal laws regulating digital rights in virtual worlds specifically. The European Union is discussing the AI Act, the Regulation for Secure Metaverse, this however is still being discussed and a final approval does not seem near. A regulatory framework is now taking shape on a case-by-case basis, with courts making decisions based on existing legal principles. In other parts of the world there are laws and regulations that apply to virtual worlds, but they often prove themselves limited in scope and effectiveness.
The role of governments, companies and individuals in digital rights protection
Governments, businesses, and individuals all play a role in protecting digital rights in the so-called legal metaverse. Governments can approve laws and regulations to protect digital rights, as well as to ensure constant monitoring and law enforcement. Companies can develop policies and procedures and count on the advice of legal experts to protect intellectual property, real estate rights, contracts transparency and collected, stored and processed data management. Finally, individuals can take steps to protect their own digital rights, such as being extra careful about the information they share online and using privacy tools to protect their personal data.
New technologies and the future of digital rights in the legal metaverse
Technology’s constant evolution and the spreading of the legal metaverse may present new challenges for digital rights. Technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence have enough potential to revolutionize our interaction with virtual worlds and the way rights will be managed and protected in the metaverse.
What can we do to protect our digital rights in the legal metaverse?
For companies and individuals who are about to carry out activities of:
- commercial space management;
- exchange of services and products;
- purchase and sale of real estate;
- financial exchanges;
the only viable option so far is to rely on a law firm with the necessary expertise in the field of legal metaverse and associates expert in corporate law and rights protection.
Conclusions: The importance of digital rights in the legal metaverse and what we can do about it
The advent of legal metaverse will be the result of a unique set of challenges for digital rights, and it is crucial to address them to ensure that they are protected.
The metaverse, with its virtual reality, offers infinite business and entertainment opportunities, but it is essential to be aware of the legal protections needed in order to invest safely.