Internet Piracy: The Effects of Streaming Services and the Digital Marketplace

Internet piracy was thought to be an unstoppable blight on the digital market as recently as five years ago. As quickly as music, movie, and video game companies could shut down pirates and pirate sites, new ones would appear. The notorious Pirate Bay website, for example, is practically indestructible, having survived being forcibly taken down almost a dozen times. Entertainment and software companies began to prophesize the end of their industries due to lost profits Continue Reading →

Video Game Loot Boxes

Introduction Recently, a trend has developed in the video game industry of selling virtual “loot boxes” to consumers. This concept evolved from conventional trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering or Pokémon and developed in the virtual sphere through mobile games and virtual card games such as Activision Blizzard’s Hearthstone. However, as this fledgling concept moved beyond free-to-play mobile games and into fully-priced $60 video games, consumers have responded with significant backlash against what Continue Reading →

Blockchain in the U.S. Regulatory Setting: Evidentiary Use in Vermont, Delaware, and Elsewhere

Joanna Diane Caytas* I. Introduction In February 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery faced a conundrum: following settlement of a shareholder action after a contested merger, shareholders representing 49,164,415 shares claimed settlement proceeds, but the class contained only 36,793,758 shares.[1] By definition, holders of over 12 million of these shares must have lacked entitlement to settlement disbursements, yet all claimant shareholders presented valid evidence of ownership. Investigation by class attorneys failed to establish the “current” Continue Reading →

Digital Afterlife and How to Tweet Post Mortem

Carrie Fisher passed away on December 27, 2016, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, after suffering a massive heart attack. Fisher, a famous actress best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, maintained a number of quite active social media accounts, primarily a twitter account with 1.25 million followers and a Facebook account with 523,845 Likes. Since her passing, no activity has been registered on these Continue Reading →

Pidgey’s Law: How Augmented Reality Influences Legal Regulations

First, there were Angry Birds. Now, there is Pidgey’s Law. Put forward by Illinois State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, the Location-based Video Game Protection Act, otherwise known as Pidgey’s Law, seeks to fine developers of location-based video games for not removing virtual stops in the game at a property owner’s request. This bill was proposed in response to Pokémon GO’s Niantic Labs, who refused to remove a Pokéstop in Loyola Dunes, a state-protected park with endangered Continue Reading →

Taking Games Online Highlights Holes in Current Property Regime

For video games, the horizon may hold more than the promise of superior graphics, improved audio bitrates, and expanded narrative. Following the rise of increasingly complex and inclusive second-life simulations, i.e., MMORPGs (“massively multiplayer online role playing games”), gamers and developers alike are now faced with a variety of legal troubles both novel and daunting. Who owns an in-game sword: the person who found it or the company that coded it? If that sword is Continue Reading →