Jul 012008

The slides below are from a presentation I did last week at the Monash Law Chambers as part of a four speaker mix on Law and Regulation of Virtual Worlds. The embed below has just been elevated as a slideshare featured presentation – so goes to show what a catchy title will do. I co-presented with Dan Hunter, New York Law School, Melbourne University Law, Melissa deZwart, Senior Lecturer, Monash Law and David Lindsay, Senior Lecturer, Monash Law. A great crowd attended and my talk hopefully raised a few issues as I scattered various cans of worms for fellow speakers to pick-up on. It was all very civilised until we got to a panel session when a diverse range of views on copyright law (or none) sprung up – “huh, you wanna fight” video below.

The main thrust of my talk began midway and I decided to be devil’s advocate in mapping 18 ‘joke’ commandments onto a range of worlds (Second Life, Habbo, WoW, there.com, Ultima etc:) based on some recent and on-going cases. Also many of these were also meant to be a response to the anti-world hype generated by traditional journalism and other heritage media.

  1. Thou shalt not steal virtual furniture…or skin
  2. Thou shalt not trade, against the terms of the EULA
  3. Thou shalt not spy or record players activities!
  4. Thou shalt not fornicate with avatars or publish porn
  5. Thou shalt not cheat game worlds (by using bots)
  6. Thou must not deliberately use misleading identity
  7. Thou shalt not counterfeit virtual goods
  8. Do not gather in groups to represent legal entities
  9. Thou shalt not engage in Child (or Age) Play
  10. Thou shalt not film others IP for commercial gain
  11. Thou shalt not model real world cultural icons
  12. Thou will not sell virtual goods in the real world
  13. Thou shalt be controlled by un-policed mafia
  14. Thou must not make false financial promises for gain
  15. Thou shalt not, not use DMCA
  16. Thou will not cause ‘grief to’ or deface work of others
  17. Thou shalt not play copyright media in your world
  18. Thou shalt not copy then sell goods as your own IP

Finally for those who are having problems dealing with what’s real and what isn’t another classic from the quirky APEC Education Foundation Series

Jun 232008

For those folk who fancy a trip down to Monash University Law Chambers on Wednesday 25 June and who want to see where ‘Underbelly’ meets Social Virtual Worlds and Online Games well we have just the seminar for you. My opening talk’s title “The Sex, the Violence and the Dirty Money: The Truth about Social Virtual Worlds” constructed several months ago now seems a little OTT, wonders how he will live up to the promise…oh yes just cite every mainstream ‘heritage media’ article about the evils of online games and social virtual worlds and voila. Of course I will be talking about some of the benefits too. I might also use this lovely video I picked up from a side exhibition in Seoul last week from APEC Education Foundation Series which points out the evils of the internet (sorry, safe use of) – this particular one entitled ‘Copyright Infringement’ is ‘so swank’…btw I will be putting up my Seoul talk at the trilateral Broadband Summit in a day or so.

Seminar (PDF available from here)
Wednesday 25 June 2008, 4 – 6.30 pm
Monash Centre for Regulatory Studies, Monash University Law Chambers
472 Bourke Street Melbourne
Key Speakers
Gary Hayes, Director LAMP @ AFTRS and Head of Virtual World Development, TPF
Dan Hunter, New York Law School, Melbourne University Law
Melissa deZwart, Senior Lecturer, Monash Law
David Lindsay, Senior Lecturer, Monash Law

Businesses, and communities of users are increasingly operating in virtual worlds, such as Second Life. But doing business in virtual worlds raises many complex, novel legal issues. Already, potentially landmark cases have come before US courts. This seminar features well-known experts and legal academics in this rapidly-emerging area. It will be an indispensable introduction to virtual worlds, as well as an overview and analysis of significant legal issues.

4 pm Welcome
4.10 pm The Sex, the Violence and the Dirty Money: The Truth about Social Virtual Worlds
Gary Hayes
4.40 pm Property, Intellectual Property and Virtual Worlds: What Do Virtual Worlds Tell Us About Property?
Dan Hunter
5.10 pm Beyond the Terms of Service: Legal Issues in Regulating Virtual Worlds
Melissa deZwart
5.40 pm Copyright Protection of Buildings and Artistic Works in Virtual Worlds: Comparative Legal Analysis
David Lindsay
6.10 pm Questions & Discussion
6.30 pm Refreshments

Speaker profiles
Gary Hayes is the Director of the Australian Laboratory for Advanced Media Production
(LAMP), which is run through the Australian Film, TV and Radio School (AFTRS), based in Sydney. LAMP is rapidly emerging as Australia’s preeminent media R&D and production lab. Through AFTRS, he runs workshops in multi-user virtual environments (MUVE), exploring the potential of shared social online virtual spaces for collaborative production, creativity and education. Gary is also Head of Virtual Worlds with the UK-based Project Factory. In this capacity, he has produced and built both the Telstra and ABC Second Life presences, and is currently building and devising other commercial and game-like services for virtual worlds. From 1995-2004, as a Senior Producer and Development Manager for the BBC in London, Gary led the BBC’s development of the internet, interactive TV and emerging platforms. As a published music producer, composer and performer, he has had over 200 works performed live and on TV, film and radio. Gary has been an International Interactive Emmy juror for the past two years.

Dan Hunter is an expert in cyberspace and internet law, and artificial intelligence and cognitive science models of law. He holds a chair in law at the University of Melbourne, and will join the New York Law School faculty permanently in mid-2008. Dan regularly publishes on issues dealing with the intersection of computers and the law, including papers dealing with the regulation of virtual worlds and high technology aspects of intellectual property. He was one of the first scholars to examine the social significance of virtual worlds, co-founded the scholarly blog Terra Nova (terranova.blogs.com), and ran the 2006 State of Play/Terra Nova Conference at New York Law School, and the 2007 State of Play Conference in Singapore. Dan holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge on the nature of legal reasoning. He was a tenured faculty member at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, from 2000-2007, where he continues to teach as an adjunct faculty member. Prior to joining Wharton he taught on the law faculty at Cambridge University in

Melissa deZwart is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Teaching in the Faculty of Law at Monash University, where she teaches Cyberlaw, Law of the Internet, Intellectual Property and the Internet, and Introduction to Legal Reasoning. Melissa is an expert in cyberlaw, e-commerce law, information technology law, technology contracts and copyright law, and is widely published in these areas. She is the co-ordinator of a Monash Arts/Law grant researching the law and regulation of virtual worlds, and has been instrumental in establishing the Monash presence in Second Life. In 2008, Melissa will introduce the graduate subject, Law of Virtual Worlds. Melissa has a PhD from Monash on the intersection of copyright and contract in the digital environment. Prior to joining the law faculty, she was the Legal Manager at CSIRO.

David Lindsay is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Monash University teaching Intellectual Property Law, Copyright, Law of the Internet, Communications Law & Regulation and Trusts. He is the author of many articles and reports in the areas of intellectual property law, internet law, communications law and privacy law, and a wellknown speaker on these areas. David is a contributing author for Copyright and Designs (Butterworths, Sydney, 1996-) and the author of International Domain Name Law: ICANN and the UDRP (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2007).