Avatars Inc. – The Legal Personality of Avatars

By Dr Angela Adrian

Digital technology is detaching information from the physical plane, where property law of all sorts has always found definition. Virtual world property is, likewise, detached from the physical plane. Historically, intellectual property law concentrated not on ideas, but on the expression of those ideas. The ideas themselves were considered to be the collective property of humanity. To express an idea was to make it physical. The law protected the physical expression. One did not get paid for the idea but for the ability to deliver it into reality. The value was in the conveyance and not the thought conveyed. In other words, the bottle was protected, not the wine (Barlow, 2004).

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