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Real Law In The Virtual World

Publication Date: 
January 01, 2008
California Lawyer
Chuleenan Svetvilas
Professor Lawrence Lessig's book Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity is mentioned, and Lecturer in Law and Executive Director of the Center for Internet and Society Lauren Gelman is quoted in the California Lawyer in a story about law in virtual worlds like Second Life. In order to learn more about the concept, she plans to conduct a seminar on virtual jurisdiction at the law school this spring:

..."The class will discuss what a court system in the virtual world would look like, and try to implement it," says Lauren Gelman, executive director of Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. Gelman plans to hold some discussions in Second Life and have residents participate. "For courts to work in Second Life, we would need the support of the residents," she says. By the fall term, she expects law students to begin hearing cases in Second Life.

Gelman is also dean of New York Law School's State of Play Academy, which holds classes on the law in, a virtual world created by San Mateobased Makena Technologies. "One of the driving ideas behind the academy is that you don't have to go to three years of law school to know about the law," she says. "It's just a way to give people more information." Classes are open to anyone who creates an avatar.