Addressing legal issues with the latest technological developments and social media trends.
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copyright-metaverse-1161454459-300x277We’ve written extensively on the still somewhat recent arrival of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as both a potential revenue stream, caveat-filled investment destination and pop culture marker of the moment. Back in 2018, we wrote about the Los Angeles Dodgers giving away digital bobbleheads to fans, who could redeem a private hidden key to send the bobblehead to a personal cryptocurrency wallet or sell the unique serialized bobblehead to another fan. Later, we wrote about NFTs in the art world, from a burned Banksy to the record-setting sale of Beeple’s Everydays – The First 5000 Days, which sold for $69.3 million (including fees). Increasingly, the practical uses of NFTs are being examined in places beyond entertainment and IP portfolios, including the real estate market. Recently, Spanish airline Air Europa even sold the first NFT plane ticket, called a “NFTicket,” for just over $1 million.

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Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are changing how we think about asset ownership in the real world and in the digital world. NFTs—unique digital tokens stored on a blockchain ledger that represent ownership of an asset, either real or virtual—have gained significant popularity in realms such as art, gaming and entertainment, as a means to establish authenticity and transfer various rights. As a result, entrepreneurs are searching for new industries to disrupt utilizing the advantages offered by NFTs and blockchain more generally. The traditional real estate industry, together with virtual land in the evolving Metaverse, has been on the radar of many.

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Between February and April 2022, a professional photographer from Cologne, Germany, filed nine copyright infringement lawsuits in U.S. federal courts. What makes the cases unique is that in each one, the defendant had a Creative Commons license to use the image for commercial purposes free of charge. Knowing the potential traps associated with these licenses and how they can arise may help your company avoid being the next defendant.

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in HiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn that automated web scraping of publicly accessible websites does not violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), even if the website owner objects to the scraping. This marks the second time in this case where the Ninth Circuit found that scraping public websites is not the type of “breaking and entering” into computers that the CFAA prohibits.

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metaverse-investment-maze-83720799-300x225The Metaverse is an immersive world combining virtual reality and augmented reality, where users are represented by avatars and roam virtual spaces. It comprises a variety of platforms and environments that can be explored, experienced, and developed. Online social games like Second Life, Fortnite and Minecraft are among the first wave of successful Metaverse games. Now, Meta and Microsoft see the Metaverse as a place to play, live, and work. A JP Morgan white paper stated that opportunities in the Metaverse seem “limitless.” The bank predicted that virtual worlds will “infiltrate every sector in some ways in the coming years.” A March 31 report by Citi concluded that the Metaverse has the potential to become a $13 trillion opportunity by 2030, with total global users of between one and five billion. According to Citi, the Metaverse will become a significant part of the next iteration of the internet (referred to as Web3) enabled by a variety of existing and emerging technologies, including 5G connectivity, secure blockchain and payment platforms, crypto assets, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, 3D modeling tools and headset devices.

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NewsofNote-300x250In today’s News of Note, we explore ransomware-as-a-service profits, the continued untangling of IP issues with NFTs, the prospect of scented virtual reality experiences, the development of a humanoid robot, and much more.

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GettyImages-89528859-e1649697177155-300x198Every year professional sports franchises introduce new marketing tactics and sponsorship models to increase their revenue streams—new gear, new placements for logos in stadiums/arenas and on jerseys, not to mention an array of online engagement opportunities. As the concept of the Metaverse becomes more established in the minds of fans, there is, not surprisingly, a good deal of buzz about this futuristic environment. But even as professional sports franchises announce their own forays into the Metaverse, organizations around the world would do well to consider how this bifurcation of the sporting experience (viewing the venue in person vs. in the Metaverse) creates a whole new world of marketing revenue streams.

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CCB-300x134The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act), enacted in December 2020, established the new Copyright Claims Board (CCB) within the Copyright Office, which is intended to provide an alternative, cost-efficient, streamlined forum for copyright owners to enforce their rights without having to resort to federal court litigation, which can be lengthy and expensive. The CCB is currently scheduled to begin hearing cases by no later than June 2022. But will this forum achieve its intended goals? What are the potential pros and cons presented by the CCB process for the parties?

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EU-parliament-73829701-300x199On March 24, 2022, the EU Parliament and Council negotiators agreed on the wording of new EU rules to limit the market power of big online platforms. The EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) will prohibit certain practices used by large platforms acting as “gatekeepers” and enable the EU to carry out market investigations and sanction non-compliant behavior.

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Multicloud-1318623693-300x169Modern cloud computing only came into existence about 20 years ago, but now virtually all enterprises (99%) are using cloud services. Cloud adoption accelerated further in the last two years because of the COVID pandemic as a result of an increase in remote work, the evolution of online business strategies (e.g., e-commerce), and the focus on business resilience. In addition, given budget uncertainties, moving technology tools, data and storage to the cloud usually results in significant cost savings to an organization, which is the top priority for organizations using cloud services six years in a row.

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