How does the digital environment change the law of intellectual property?


On Tuesday, July 3, a meeting of the Association of Attorneys at Law of Ukraine took place, during which leading industry experts discussed the main challenges of protecting intellectual property in the virtual reality area.

The meeting was held at the conference hall of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine and lasted about three hours. Speakers at the meeting were Konstantin Zerov (Assistant Professor of the Department of Intellectual Property of the Faculty of Law of Taras Shevchenko National Taras Shevchenko University, Research Fellow of the SRI IP NAPR of Ukraine), Mariya Ortynska (Chairman of the Committee of the Intellectual Property of the Association of Attorneys at Law of Ukraine, director of the patent and legal company IPStyle), Ivanna Pogrebnyak (director ot AltexSoft Law Department), Tetyana Harebava (Head of Legal Labs Group Law Department), Leonhard Reis (Attorney, Professor, Austrian Symposium on IT Law), and Brian Wassom (partner of the Warner Norcross law firm, USA).

The meeting began with the introduction from Mariya Ortynska, after which all the participants spoke on the specifics of the protection of intellectual property rights in the field of VR and AR.
“Virtual reality – is no more a phenomenon of science fiction, but part of everyday life. The video game industry and VR and AR products are developing very fast, which sometimes leads to new challenges, including legal ones. ”

The discussion helped to define the main principles and peculiarities of the protection of the copyright of VR and AR product manufacturers, among which the protection of authorship of the source code, graphic elements, product names, and others. In addition, there was a discussion on the issue of copyright protection for works created by artificial intelligence: whether its components are purely author’s or are considered as tools for its creation.

Tetiana Harebava outlined the main differences between the concepts of VR and AR and noted that the term “augmented reality” was known in 1990: it was introduced by the researcher of Boeing Aerospace Corporation – Tom Caudell. Company’s experts used digital displays, which were fixed on the head – to help with the installation of wires of the aircraft.

Today’s technology in VR now affect not only on scientific and technological progress, but also on the mental (often mental) user health, privacy, development of medicine, social behavior and advertising. According to forecasts given in Ivanna’s Pogrebnyak report, by the year 2023, VR and AR technologies will reach 2.5 billion users, which means that the market will get additional $ 5 billion. The expert also believes that AR / VR / ER / MR technology will soon be considered the 8th media channel.

“The experience of other countries makes it clear that the issue of copyright protection in the field of VR is much deeper and more complicated than it seems. For example, in British law, there are provisions for the recognition of a person by the author for a work created by a computer, and in the United States the author can be recognized as a legal entity. ” – Konstantin Zerov told in the course of his report. As for Ukraine, this issue is currently open: legislation does not regulate such nuances. Also, the expert stopped on other potential “highlights” for the further development of digital technologies, including face-swap technologies: “Imagine that in 15-20 years, you as the end user sitting at home on the couch will choose the faces of actors on the role of heroes and villains movie from a licensed catalog on your own. And how it all will affect the right to intellectual property. ”

“In Europe it is determined that the author’s intellectual creation is usually understood as the meaning that the original work must reflect the author’s identity, which clearly means: the author-human is a must for a copyright work to exist.”

said Leonhard Reis.

“The development of modern technology and rapid progress are further complicated in the search of compromise and correct decisions when it comes to VR or AR. Often, apart from the violation of copyright in material or abstract works, the rights on privacy, general moral and ethical norms are also violated. A good example for this is a visit to the Holocaust Museum with the players of Pokemon Go at one time, whose purpose of the visit is only to complete a mission in a digital game. There is definitely something to think about.”

Mariya Ortynska also emphasized.