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illustration: Metaverse city and cyberpunk concept, 3d render

Oct. 3, 2022

The metaverse and Web3 are all the rage, but the law is stuck at Web1

ABA Journal

The metaverse, a colloquial term for a network of immersive 3D virtual worlds; and Web3, a new iteration of the internet that includes virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, and more, are evolving to become another Wild West technology frontier where existing laws are hard to apply, legal experts say.

Early games already have created virtual worlds that people spend hours in every day. Increasing computing power that allows for more immersive game play and the invention of new technologies like haptic suits that simulate physical sensations in the virtual world are making the experiences even more real, Jason Epstein, a partner and co-head of Nelson Mullins' technology and procurement industry group, told the ABA Journal.

"The law of the metaverse is following a similar pattern of earlier emerging technologies-from the dot-com era to cloud computing, electronic contracting, blockchain and now the metaverse. There will be some new laws created, but it will also be about the application of established law to this new technology," says Epstein, who is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Trademark and copyright issues are among the first to have arisen in the metaverse, he added.