Metaverse’s “Murder” isn’t a 25 -life sentence – or even a crime – but it could be a crime, some law experts say.
The Day spoke with two lawyers, who write about crime in the Metaverse, and a former Manhattan prosecutor who has become a law professor about virtual world violence and whether they can be prosecuted.
Two out of three experts say violent crimes such as murder, rape, or metaverse assault can be speech-related cases such as threatening, stalking, or stalking.
It comes in the wording of the laws as they are written today, according to experts.
It was written to protect “real, living people,” said John Bandler, who teaches cybersecurity and cybercrime at Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub New York School of Law.
The law is not intended to protect avatars or software code, which fills the metaverse.
“I look at it more as a speech or an expression; not like a physical act against someone, ”Bandler said.
“Then we can analyze whether the language or expression is allowed, protected, or not.”
This argument feeds into the broader First Amendment debate in society about what language is protected, what is not, and what can be filed.
“All the trolls, virtual bullying, threats and bad behavior online happen all the time. It’s not new and it happens in the metaverse,” said Greg Pryor, attorney at law firm Reed Smith. LLP.
“But if I say something racist or abuse someone because of their race, religion or sexuality, you can be prosecuted.”
A third expert – Patrick Roberts, of Roberts Law Group – said it was difficult to prosecute the often anonymous user and prove that the user had taken action.
The consequences are likely to be some kind of virtual punishment, such as disabling or restricting a user’s avatar, he said.
“And the person who used the avatar for virtual violence could be blocked or denied access for a while, perhaps,” the North Carolina attorney said.
“It’s all speculation and has implications for freedom of speech. After all, people kill each other in video games all the time with no consequences. I can’t imagine the real world being a criminal. consequence for a virtual crime. »
Will the avatar get “personality?”
This question divides experts who spoke to The Sun last week.
Bandler, who has a long history and deep knowledge of cybercrimes, said criminal law protections for avatars are “impossible.”
“I don’t think it’s necessary to change criminal laws to protect avatars as human beings. It’s not fair, and we have enough challenges to protect people,” Bandler said.
“Online gaming means thousands (millions) of avatars are‘ injured ’or‘ killed ’every day. Essentially, such acts are a “part of the game” or at least permitted by the game. “
Even today, few crimes or threats of digital harassment on the Internet are prosecuted, according to Bandler.
“Every case is individual, but a lot of threats are made and criminal repression is not constant,” he said. “I can’t imagine that metaverse threats will get much traction in law enforcement.
“You can try to report them to the FBI, but luckily. The main way is through the platform.
On the other hand, Pryor and Roberts said they can imagine a future where laws are changed or new laws are enacted to reflect potential violence in the metaverse.
“Can the law provide more protection to avatars because they resemble our personal personalities? Can the law extend protection? Yes, I think there is a possibility. But it is not like that now, ”said Pryor.
This story originally appeared in The Sun and is reproduced here with permission.