2009 TIP Conference

IP Rights in Virtual Space: 20th Century Law, 21st Century Rights

Download 2009 TIP Conference Program

Monday March 10 – Virtual Property: From Concept to Reality

How can property created in the virtual realm of video games such as Second Life and online auctions result in real-world value? What should the law have to say about this? More specifically, how can Intellectual Property rights interact in these virtual worlds? These are some of the questions this panel will address in a discussion about the novel concept of Virtual Property and its grounding in legal reality.

Speakers: Sheldon Burshtein (Partner, Blakes) and Tudor Carsten (Associate, Davis LLP)

Tuesday March 11 – Privacy Online: Who Owns Your Face?

Questions explored include: Does a user have a reason- able expectation of privacy over personal information col- lected by social networking sites and search engines? Is a person’s privacy violated when user-created content, al- though voluntarily uploaded, become used in unexpected ways?

Speakers: Mark Hayes (Partner, Blakes) and Kate Wilson (Legal Counsel, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada)

Wednesday March 12 – EULAs vs. Intellectual Property Regimes: Do They Conflict?

Some commentators have suggested that service providers impose certain conditions through EULAs on end users, which arguably supersede rights granted to users of intel- lectual property through existing intellectual property re- gimes. Questions arise as to whether these contracts be- tween users and service providers are enforceable in Can- ada? If so, do these EULAs conflict with existing intel- lectual property statutes?

Speakers: Casey Chisick (Partner, Cassels Brock), Joel Ramsey (Associate, McCarthy Tetrault), and Bhupinder Randhawa (Partner, Bereskin & Parr)

Thursday March 13 – Keynote: Metaphysical Jurisdiction

In John Marshall’s famous phrase, jurisdiction is the power “to say what the law is.” Those who operate a virtual world exercise jurisdiction over the (virtual) laws of nature themselves. This absolute jurisdictional power invites abuse and generates instability– but these problems are inherent in our conception of what a virtual world is. Playing “together” in a persistent, shared, spatial environment requires consensus about the nature of that environment, and the price of that consensus is software-enforced coercion. Since we will never be able to divest server administrators of their metaphysical jurisdiction, we should instead focus on finding ways to regularize and monitor their exercise of it.

Speaker: James Grimmelmann (Associate Professor, New York Law School)

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