Legal Contradictions Manifest in Video Game Worlds: Copyright through the Post-Structuralist Looking Glass
In the spring I was invited by my colleague Gaetano Dimita (http://www.law.qmul.ac.uk/staff/dimita.html) of The School of Law, Queen Mary University of London to participate in the second edition of an academic conference he organizes called “More Than Just A Game: Interactive Entertainment & Intellectual Property Law”. The conference, which took place on April 8, 2016 was a great success, and I presented on “Legal Contradictions in Video Game Worlds: Copyright through the Post-Structuralist Looking Glass.” My core message was that video game mods should be presumptively legal. I explored the reasons why and suggested some possible mechanisms to, in the words of Captain Picard, make it so.
In preparation for my London adventure I was privileged to present a draft iteration at a Faculty Seminar at the Allard School of Law, UBC on March 16, 2016. Thanks to Natasha Affolder and Janine Benedet for the invitation, and Joe Weiler for moderating. Thanks as well as to everyone who came, asked questions and helped me “sharpen the saw” through their questions.
There was no video of the QMUL conference while the Allard Faculty Seminar was recorded and edited thanks to Dan Silverman. As a result, below you will find the slides from the final presentation in London, video from Vancouver, and some bonus memorabilia from both.
For the sake of completeness here is video of my short presentation on “Relevance for Creative Digitization & the Internet” at the “Roundtable on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions – Impacts and Implications of the UNESCO Convention Ten Years After and Ten Years Ahead: The View From BC” as well as the related slides, the explanatory poster for the event and . Although the conference took place at Simon Fraser University on February 25, 2015, the video has only been posted much more recently.
Of relevance to themes of the course are the tensions existing between cultural protections and the digital age.
On Friday November 6, 2015 I was honoured to be invited to be on a panel and give a talk at the Pitblado Lectures in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This 55th edition of the Pitblado Lectures was put on by the Law Society of Manitoba, The Manitoba Bar Association, and The University of Manitoba Faculty of Law (http://www.pitbladolectures.com/). This years theme was “From Blackacre to Blackberry: Redefining Property and Ownership”.
Attached are a set of post-final slides from my presentation as well as a short written piece. Thanks to Professors Doug Harris and Graham Reynolds of the Allard School of Law @UBC and Professor Katie Sykes of the TRU Faculty of Law for their comments on a draft of the latter.
Both the slides and the short writing take on the utility of defining virtual goods as property, particularly in a “Post I.P.” world effectively ruled by contracts. The slides also go on to explore the contradictions between patent law and copyright law which seem to favour innovators over creators for (IMHO) no particular or particularly good reason. Much of what you will see is consistent with things we have talked about in class but their recasting may prove useful to you in some way.
Not sure if anyone is writing a paper (or hoping to) on the effects of video games on children, but this article discusses some of the benefits of video games on young people.