Virtual property and contractual issues in the virtual world
Art Law

Virtual property and contractual issues in the virtual world

[co-author: Ertuğrul Akıncı] Today, we live in a world surrounded by virtual reality. Virtual reality is commonly used in advertising, video games, cinema, entertainment, education, training, simulations, architecture, engineering and the defense industry. Applications of virtual reality in the entertainment industry can give rise to several legal questions that need to be addressed when determining the relationship between stakeholders, especially when the transaction volume in the virtual world and virtual market trades are considered. In this article, we address some of the questions that may become important in the virtual world. Virtual property and ownership issues in a virtual world The legal characteristic of virtual items are subject to debate under Turkish law. It is widely accepted that, as an intangible asset, virtual items do not qualify as a “property” under property law. On the other hand, virtual items can be protected under intellectual property law. For instance, the environment, story line, dialogues, maps and other items in the virtual reality created by an author can be protected under copyright law, provided they meet the originality requirement. Who owns the characters created by users in the virtual world? In certain virtual reality environments, especially in online role-playing games, users […]

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