The Real Law of Virtual Reality
Stanford Public Law Working Paper
51 UC Davis Law Review 51 (2017)
14 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2017 Last revised: 17 Apr 2020
Date Written: October 9, 2017
This is an edited version of a talk one of us (Lemley) gave at the UC Davis symposium on the future of law. We explore legal issues that will arise in virtual reality and augmented reality, particularly those stemming from the fact that VR is a visceral experience that blurs the line between information and the physical. The fact that people experience VR as real even when they know it isn't has implications for tort and criminal law. The ability to design and change the terms of people's interaction in virtual reality has significant implications for the role of law vs. self-help. In VR, code IS law in a very real sense.
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