Who should set the rules of the metaverse?
In theory, everything that happens in Internet is governed by law. The doubt usually always lies in what legislation applies to a certain area of the Internet, since it is usual for the company that provides a service to have its headquarters in a country with certain legislation and the user who has a complaint lives in another country with different legislation. But generally, one finds a solution that benefits the user. Although sometimes it benefits the company in question. The same thing happens with the metaverse. What are the rules of the metaverse? Who or what defines those rules?
let’s start with the unwritten rules of the metaverse. The ones that define what it is. These rules say that there is only one metaverse. Only one that covers all the virtual universes or metaverses that we have seen in previous articles. it’s supposed to be Open to everyone. That it is open, accessible from any device and that no one controls it. And in these last points or rules is where the doubt resides. If no one controls the metaverse is it a virtual space no applicable laws?
In practice, everything is easier than in theory. Although we are talking about recently created virtual worlds, behind them there are companies that must abide by the laws of their countries. The same way that crimes happen on the internet who are denounced and persecuted by professionals, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies of different geographical scope, the metaverse does not have to be different. But there are nuances. and precisely the nuances mark the rules of the metaverse.
Nobody controls the metaverse?
This unwritten rule or maxim is one of the great promises of what has come to be called Web3, the evolution of a large part of the Internet, an Internet that many criticize for having become too corporate and dependent on big names like Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, Google or Apple. And since the metaverse is going to be sustained, in the medium and long term, in this new Web3, the benefits of one and the other are often confused and mixed.
Claim that nobody controls the metaverse it is somewhat exaggerated. The reason for stating this is that it is based on blockchain technologies which, on paper, should decentralize what we do on the Internet: buy, send money, identify ourselves on a website… An infrastructure based on blockchain, in principle, will be more anonymous and will not depend on a single regulator or a few companies that manage payments, user IDs, etc.
The reflections of the physical world in the metaverse
The promises of the metaverse are that they allow the creation of interactive virtual worlds in which to create and display content, move freely using virtual avatars, acquire virtual space and exchange it, build and create digital spaces and much more. Or what is the same: we can create virtual worlds without the physical limitations. But everything has its limits.
As indicated by specialized media such as Above The Law, although at the moment there are no specific laws that regulate the metaverse, beyond the rules of the metaverse that impose their own creatorsYes, there are laws that apply to everything we see on the Internet. In other words, the unwritten rules that we saw before speak of freedom, open access and other technical advantages. But, in practice, you will have your legal limitations.
Going back to the documents any internet company must state on its official page, the laws that apply to the metaverse, for now, are similar to those that we can find in other online products and services: copyright and intellectual property, contracts, anti defamation laws… To this we have to include the laws latest related to Data Protection and the privacy of users.
Just as the Internet is a network of networks of public and open accessin which contents and services of individuals, public organizations, public bodies and, especially, companies of all kinds coexist, in the metaverse they are going to reproduce similar dynamics while we wait for the blockchain technologies that decentralize the current Internet to be 100% applied.
In summary, whoever dials the rules of the metaverse, or of its virtual plot, those rules must comply with the legislation of the world around us. Privacy, copyright, conditions of use and other public or private regulations that we all accept, whether we know them or not, when we register or hire anything on the internet.