The Law of the Upload

12 Pages Posted: 13 May 2021

See all articles by João Marinotti

João Marinotti

Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Information Society Project, Yale Law School; Center for Intellectual Property Research, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Asaf Lubin

Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; Yale University - Information Society Project; Federmann Cybersecurity Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

In April 2020, Amazon released a new comedy series called “Upload.” The show extrapolates a future in which human consciousness is successfully simulated in silico. In this world, individuals can pay to be “uploaded” into a series of competing digital afterlives. When uploaded, human consciousness is converted into data and executable code, which can be edited, reset, throttled, or even deleted depending on each upload’s membership plan and payment status. The show breaks the boundaries between reality and virtual reality, consciousness and artificial intelligence, and even life and afterlife, entangling various legal questions in novel ways. By addressing three of these legal issues, we hope to highlight how science fiction may help launch a more nuanced conversation about what is artificial in artificial intelligence, what is virtual in virtual reality, and what is digital in digital rights. We argue that becoming early adopters of a new reconceptualized language around “us” and “them”, the “self” and the “other,” can perhaps future proof our society from the technological perils that await us.

Keywords: Law and Technology, Science Fiction, Artificial Intelligence, Copyright, Personhood, Digital Rights

JEL Classification: K1, K3, I1

Suggested Citation

Marinotti, João and Lubin, Asaf, The Law of the Upload (2021). Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 451, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3844948 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3844948

João Marinotti (Contact Author)

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Office #247
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.indiana.edu/about/people/details/marinotti-joão.html

Information Society Project, Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.yale.edu/joao-marinotti

Center for Intellectual Property Research, Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 South Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Asaf Lubin

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

Office #322
211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
8128556403 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.law.indiana.edu/about/people/bio.php?name=lubin-asaf

Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Yale University - Information Society Project ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

Federmann Cybersecurity Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel

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