Avatars in the Metaverse: Potential Legal Issues and Remedies

International Cybersecurity Law Review 2022; https://doi.org/10.1365/s43439-022-00056-9

28 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2022

See all articles by Ben Chester Cheong

Ben Chester Cheong

Singapore University of Social Sciences

Date Written: June 8, 2022

Abstract

This article discusses some of the issues surrounding an avatar of a real-life person in a metaverse. Given that the anticipated rise of metaverse is a developing area, the first part of the article discusses what the metaverse would entail, some suggestions on what these avatars would be like, why such avatars’ rights should be protected and whether consciousness should be a defining characteristic before these rights are granted. The second part of the article analyses incorporation techniques to grant legal personality to avatars in the metaverse as well as some of the potential harms that avatars could cause there, potentially leading to an extension of the real world. The third part of the article deals with imposing liability on a real-life person by lifting the ‘veil’ of the avatar to identify the real person behind the avatar through four foreseeable scenarios, i.e. fraud, defamation, identity theft and crime. The article briefly explores other potential legal issues in the metaverse. The article makes two final recommendations, the possibility of statutory remedies and judicial interpretation to rectify torts committed by avatars.

Keywords: Avatars, Rights, Metaverse, Legal Issues, Remedies

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Cheong, Ben Chester, Avatars in the Metaverse: Potential Legal Issues and Remedies (June 8, 2022). International Cybersecurity Law Review 2022; https://doi.org/10.1365/s43439-022-00056-9 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4130712

Ben Chester Cheong (Contact Author)

Singapore University of Social Sciences ( email )

461 Clementi Road
599491
Singapore
(65) 62408816 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.suss.edu.sg/about-suss/faculty-and-staff/detail/ben-chester-cheong

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