“The course of true love never did run smooth” as the proverb, first uttered by Lysander in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, says. And if you love immersive technologies – virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and the like – it would be wrong to suggest its course had been particularly smooth. In fact, over the last few years whilst the road has continued onward for the technology, there’s no getting away from there having been some dirty great bumps along the way.
The legal tussle between Oculus and ZeniMax Media being the most obvious example but there have been other instances too where the law has had to step in. (Such as when one AR developer sued the city of Milwaukee over the need to get an AR permit for their location-based title.) It may well do so again in the future, because when it comes to VR a lot of the existing rules, both written and unwritten, may have to be redefined. Or fully defined in their actual creation to fill a gap.
So it may not be a surprise that one body of the legal arena is taking the matter to task very soon.
The American Bar Association (ABA) is a voluntary society of lawyers, law students and other individuals in the field of law. Originally set up in 1878 for, as they put it “the advancement of the science of jurisprudence, the promotion of the administration of justice and a uniformity of legislation throughout the country”. It’s set to begin its 23rd Annual Conference, beginning tomorrow, Thursday March 1st 2018 and which will continue on through to Saturday. With VR and AR just one of the hot topics to be discussed by guests and representatives from law enforcement organisations, television broadcasters, internet firms and news outlets.
Immersive technology is joined by other topics such as the management of online content, gender equality and the ever (un)popular spectre of ‘fake news’. VR and AR will be put under the microscope in the session Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Diminished Reality: Do You Really Know What They Are? Can You Spot the Legal Issues?
“Panellists will discuss the legal challenges of creators and users of the latest technological trends involving virtual, augmented and diminished reality. A history of the technology, key legal issues involving property rights and likely trespass issues when it comes to location-based games such as Pokémon Go will be discussed. The panel will also explore First Amendment issues, virtual advertising, biometric privacy issues involving facial recognition, trademark and patent issues.”
The hour-long event will take place this Friday from 1:15PM. You can find more details about the attendees and all the discussions taking place at the ABA website. VRFocus will bring you more updates from around the globe on VR/AR discussions very soon.