Owning E-Sports: Proprietary Rights in Professional Computer Gaming

44 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2014 Last revised: 17 Jul 2016

See all articles by Dan L. Burk

Dan L. Burk

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: January 27, 2014

Abstract

Among the most significant commercial activities to emerge on the Internet, both in terms of revenue generated and numerical participation, has been multi-player gaming. Such Internet gaming increasingly includes professional play. These "e-sports" feature the structure of team owners, sponsorships, leagues, prize money, and star players that have long been familiar in physical sport competitions. But because these competitions are played in a virtual environment, control of rights to the matches is anything but familiar. E-sports play is typically mediated by proprietary software, raising a set of difficult issues regarding the licensing and control of professional matches and tournaments. As e-sports become increasingly established around the world, unsettled questions of copyright, right of publicity, and neighboring rights will need to be resolved among players, team owners, and developers of e-sports platforms.

Suggested Citation

Burk, Dan L., Owning E-Sports: Proprietary Rights in Professional Computer Gaming (January 27, 2014). University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 161, No. 6, 2013; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2386205

Dan L. Burk (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

4500 Berkeley Place
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
949-824-9325 (Phone)

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