There is a new world that we all call the metaverse. Everyone talks about it, but in fact, not everyone knows what it is. This is, inevitably, what happens when the metaverse is in question. And then, quoting Carell, the paraphrase immediately comes into its own: Metaverse, this (Unknown)“.
Even if the literal meaning is simple and immediate, i.e. “beyond the universeThe term metaverse refers to something more complex and, at the same time, general, the definition of which remains one of the most discussed concepts in modern technology and the description of which is difficult, since there is not even a unanimous idea, and the above is all acknowledged.
In fact, the metaverse incorporates a slew of new technologies (including artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality, augmented reality (AR), blockchain, and cryptocurrency), becoming a meeting point for everyone involved.
In particular, the experience in the metaverse is created using a set of technologies through which users, with the adoption of specific audiovisual tools, connected to a computer or game console, can experience a specific virtual reality, which shows the real world rich in elements generated by forms of innovation .
There are many applied uses of Metaverse. For example, but not limited.
From entertainment purposes, which generally represent the original space of metaverse use, through gaming platforms or to advertise tourism or, again, to experience a concert in live broadcast, for commercial use, or for other purposes, of quite different kinds, as in the case of the health sector , for telemedicine and telemedicine consultations.
Certainly, the metaverse expands the possibilities of online education and training, or to carry out work activities, also through the smart work formula.
Then there is the United States military that is exploring the metaverse to train its soldiers or the many corporations that are investing in protecting their brands in the virtual space.
Thus, the metaverse is a dimension with indefinite distances and multiple spheres of application, where there is a permanent convergence of many technological solutions, where people interact through avatars, representing them in any desired way and form, for a continuous correspondence between the physical and the virtual.
And this is the clearest definition of Metaverse, which can be deduced from the document issued by the European Parliament.Metaverse. Opportunities, risks and policy implications“.
But the metaverse has already been talked about for years.
In fact, the term metaverse first appeared in 1992, in the cyberpunk novelSnow crashWhere, according to its author, Neil Stephenson, the metaverse was a three-dimensional space, in which physical people could move and interact, sharing activities through personal avatars.
So why now, or rather, why have we recently started hearing so much about the metaverse?
Why is the metaverse only spreading today?
Only today technology has matured an unprecedented amount of information, developments and data that were not known before.
Only today’s technology has processed huge computational power for all the data.
Only today has technology found that society is ready, ready to welcome new and different forms of interaction, creative for a truly global environment for the convergence of technological solutions.
Indeed, or rather, perhaps it is only today, and perhaps also in the aftermath of the pandemic emergency due to Covid, that society has felt a different need to express ways of communication, inclusivity, participation and identification, that had not been displayed before.
Thus, only metaphysics today finds its place in contemporary society and reality (both real and virtual).
Thus, to allow many subjects to communicate continuously and simultaneously, huge databases would be required, so much so that some have already assumed that it would not be possible to speak of a metaverse, but of different metavers, distinct from each other or by geographical extent, or by product sector , or by providing the services offered.
Therefore, the metaverse represents the creation of a generative world, in which weighted analyzes and reflections are required, in which multiple rights and interests are involved.
We are facing a global phenomenon, where many existing entities will create a web of relationships making it very difficult to identify responsibilities and faults.
The ability to transfer and share information will include a huge range of personal data, even sensitive data, which will require special attention to be processed.
Early approaches to the new frontiers of the metaverse tend to invoke the syllogism according to which whatever is illegal in the real world is also illegal in the virtual world.
In practice, however, the direct application of this assumption may be overly simplistic in the face of more complex situations, which require the writing of new forms of crime, including computer crime or new forms of heroism in legal relations (from the sale of faulty NFTs or the illicit use cryptocurrency or the invalidity of smart contracts).
Risks and opportunities mix in the metaverse, coexist and form two different realities that, as in the real world, must be analyzed and managed.
So, progress being made, the metaverse has all the characteristics to be an opportunity for redemption for each one, creating a world that is by definition innovative, based on technology, in which notions of identity and sustainability are inserted as pillars and relationships.
Law will, in very short order, have to stand behind any evolution of the metaverse. For this reason, if the first formulation will certainly be jurisprudential law, as it is by nature, we hope for non-binding law proposals capable of mitigating risks and proposing solutions, in addition to all the study and research activities of legal practitioners.
And we are already wondering if we are at the gates of a universal law, which has yet to be established and defined.
This is the first of the new contributions Conversational Handbook That Di Pardo Law Firm will dedicate itself to the legal implications, opportunities, and perils of a new, yet-to-be-discovered world: the Metaverse.
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