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Internet Policy Lunch: Virtual Justice

November 4, 2010
12:00PM - 01:15PM

Annenberg School for Communication, Room 223
3620 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, 19104

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Categories: Seminar

Please RSVP by Tuesday, November 2.

Tens of millions of people today are living part of their life in a virtual world. In places like World of Warcraft, Second Life, and Free Realms, people are making friends, building communities, creating art,and making real money. Business is booming on the virtual frontier, as billions of dollars are paid in exchange for pixels on screens. But sometimes things go wrong. Virtual criminals defraud online communities in pursuit of real-world profits. People feel cheated when their avatars lose virtual property to wrongdoers. Increasingly, they turn to legal systems for solutions. But when your avatar has been robbed, what law is there to assist you?

In Virtual Justice (Yale University Press 2010), Greg Lastowka illustrates the real legal dilemmas posed by virtual worlds. Presenting the most recent lawsuits and controversies, he explains how governments are responding to the chaos on the cyberspace frontier. After an engaging overview of the history and business models of today’s virtual worlds, he explores how laws of property, jurisdiction, crime, and copyright are being adapted to pave the path of virtual law.

Greg Lastowka is a Professor at Rutgers School of Law.  He teaches courses in the laws of property and intellectual property. He is an expert on Internet law and his opinions have been quoted in publications such as Nature, The Economist, Scientific American, and the New York Times.  He is a co-director of the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy & Law.

Click here for NPR’s On the Media interview with Greg Lastowka.