2021, investment company Purchased 2,000 acres of real estate For about US $ 4 million. Normally this wouldn’t be a headline, but in this case the land was virtual.It only existed in Metaverse Platform called sandbox.. By purchasing 792 Non-substitutable token To Ethereum blockchainOffice Then owned It is equivalent to 1,200 blocks.
But did it? It turns out that the legal ownership of the Metaverse is not that simple.
A popular but legally problematic story among crypto enthusiasts is that NFTs grant true ownership of Metaverse digital items for two reasons: decentralization and interoperability. Due to these two technical features, some argue that: Tokens provide indisputable proof of ownership, Can be used in various Metaverse apps, environments and games. Due to this decentralization, some people also You can buy and sell virtual items on the blockchain In itself at any price you want, without the permission of a person or company.
Despite these claims, the legal status of a virtual “owner” is much more complex. In fact, the current ownership of Metaverse assets is governed by contractual law, not property law.As Legal scholar As I study property law, technology policy, and legal ownership, what many companies call “ownership” in Metaverse is not the same as real-world ownership, and consumers are deceived. I believe there is a risk of being sick.
Purchase at Metaverse
When you purchase an item in the Metaverse, it will be recorded in a transaction on the blockchain. The blockchain is a digital ledger that no one can control and transaction records cannot be deleted or modified. Upon purchase, you will be assigned ownership of the NFT. This is simply a unique bit string. NFTs are stored in crypto wallets that only you can open and “carry” anywhere in the Metaverse. Each NFT is linked to a specific virtual item.
Since your NFT is in your crypto wallet, no one can rob you of a virtual apartment, costume, or magic wand backed by your NFT without accessing your wallet’s private key. It’s easy to think about. For this reason, many people think that NFTs and digital items are the same thing. Even experts confuse NFTs with their digital products. NFT is personal propertyThey allow You own a digital product in a virtual world..
However, when you join the Metaverse Platform, you must first agree to the Platform’s Terms of Service, Terms of Service, or End User License Agreement. These are legally binding documents that define the rights and obligations of users and the Metaverse platform. Unfortunately, of course, few people actually read the Terms of Service. In one study Only 1.7% of users found and asked the “child transfer clause”.Is embedded in the Terms of Service document. Everyone else unknowingly handed out their first child to a fictitious online service provider.
Interoperability and portability define the characteristics of the Metaverse. In other words, you should be able to carry non-real estate virtual properties, such as avatars, digital art, and magic wands, from one virtual world to another. However, today’s virtual worlds are not interconnected, and the NFT itself has nothing to label, for example, a magic wand. Currently, each platform needs to link NFTs to its own digital assets.
Virtual fine print
This means that all the visual and functional aspects of digital assets, the functions that add value to them, are completely absent on the blockchain. These features are fully controlled by the Private Metaverse Platform and are subject to unilateral control.
For example, one day you own a $ 200,000 digital painting for a Metaverse apartment, and the next day you may have been banned from the Metaverse platform and deleted a painting that was originally stored in your own database. Strictly speaking, you would own an NFT on the blockchain using the original identification code, but it’s functionally useless and economically worthless.
Sure, it’s jarring, but this isn’t an exaggerated scenario. It may not be a wise business move for a platform company, but there is no law to prevent it.under Terms of service When Premium NFT Terms of Service $ 4 million worth Virtual real estate purchased in the sandboxThe Metaverse Company, like many other NFTs and Metaverse Platforms, reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate its ability to use or access purchased digital assets.
If the sandbox “reasonably believes” that you have engaged in any of the platform’s prohibited activities, it requires a subjective judgment as to whether it has interfered with the “fun” of others on the platform. And may immediately suspend or terminate the user account and delete the NFT image. Description from that platform. It can do this without notice or responsibility to you.
In fact, the sandbox too Claim rights In these cases, to immediately confiscate the NFT that is deemed to have been acquired as a result of the prohibited activities. How to successfully confiscate blockchain-based NFTs is a technical mystery, but this raises further questions about the effectiveness of what is called virtual ownership.
The conversation asked the sandbox for comment, but did not respond.
Many Metaverse platforms reserve the right to amend the Terms of Service at any time, as if these provisions were not sufficiently vigilant. Little or no actual notification.. This means that users should constantly update and reread the terms so that they are not involved in recently prohibited behaviors that may result in the removal of “purchased” assets or their entire account.
Technology alone cannot pave the way for true ownership of digital assets in the Metaverse. NFTs cannot bypass the centralized control that the Metaverse platform currently has and will continue to have it under contractual terms of service. Ultimately, legislative changes are needed along with innovation before the Metaverse matures into what is promised. – Rappler.com
This article was originally conversation..
João MarinattiAssociate Professor of Law, Indiana University
Disclosure: João Marinatti does not work, consult, own shares, or receive funds for any company or organization that would benefit from this article.