CodeX FutureLaw 2022 Conference
Computational Law and the Metaverse (Do Virtual Realities Need Law?)
Proponents of the Metaverse tout an interactive, virtual environment of the near future where people will spend substantial portions of their lives. If this vision arises, some worry about novel legal issues ranging from digital land ownership to virtual sexual harrassment. Do such ubiquitous, virtual realities need a legal framework?
This panel will examine the “Law of the Metaverse”, examining closely some of the assumptions above.
1) Just Because They Build it Doesn’t Mean that Society Will Come:
Companies are actively developing the Metaverse, but it isn’t clear the technology will necessarily become ubiquitous, the way the majority of the population uses the Internet, cell phones, and other widespread technologies. It is possible that the Metaverse becomes a relatively niche product for some portion of society. History has many examples of companies that have prophesied visions of the future that did not come to pass. The degree to which the Metaverse becomes a significant, or niche part of society, will inform the degree to which the law might become involved.
2) Do We Know What the Metaverse Will Actually Look Like?
Do we know what the Metaverse of the future will actually look like? Today’s vision of the Metaverse, once it is a mature technology, may look as different as the Internet of today looks from the Internet of the 1970s. Given that some part of society will probably use Metaverse products once built, nonetheless, it is hard to predict how society will ultimately interact with them, and what truly novel and significant legal issues, if any, they will bring to bear.
3) How Might the Law Be Involved in Metaverse Disputes?
If disputes arise in the Metaverse, how might they be resolved? Will Computational Law and Other “Code-Is-Law” technologies be implemented? Will the traditional legal system of courts, lawmakers, and regulators be involved? Will there be purely private resolution, organized by the companies building and providing the Metaverse platforms?
Moderator: Harry Surden CodeX; University of Colorado