Prominent Financial Services Lawyer, James A. Murphy (MetaLawMan), calls for Adoption of Universal Rights in the Metaverse
RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Due to the overwhelming response to the findings in his first research report “Metaverse Much? Better Read the Fine Print,” MetaLawMan is now calling for adoption of a declaration of universal rights in the metaverse—to be called the “Meta Magna Carta.”
Upon release of MetaLawMan’s research report, it became apparent that much of the user community was unaware of the surprising rules included within the Terms of Service of metaverse platforms. The report found that, on some metaverse platforms, users do not obtain any ownership rights with respect to the virtual assets they buy in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Similarly, in some cases, independent developers and creators do not obtain intellectual property rights with respect to the structures, games and user experiences that they create in the metaverse. And, in the event of a dispute with a metaverse operator, many users have waived their right to go to court to seek damages. But, perhaps most surprisingly, some metaverse operators retain the unilateral right to banish any user from the metaverse platform with no prior notice and for no reason at all. The findings of MetaLawMan’s full report are available here.
“I would like to see the metaverse flourish and grow to realize its enormous potential,” said Murphy. “But the only way that will happen is if gamers, developers, artists, platform users and investors can all have confidence that they will secure true ownership rights in what they buy or create on these metaverse platforms. Without that assurance, there is little incentive for the investment of valuable time, creative talents and money by the decentralized metaverse community.”
Why call it the Meta Magna Carta? The original Magna Carta, signed by King John in 1215, asserted the radical proposition that the King was not above the law and could no longer treat his subjects with impunity. The Magna Carta imposed limits on the King’s right to confiscate property and levy taxes on the inhabitants of the realm. It also established the right of trial by jury to replace the existing system that permitted the King to imprison whoever he chose for as long as he chose. For 800 years, the Magna Carta has served as a foundational text for free societies everywhere seeking to establish a statement of the fundamental rights of the people. The Bill of Rights in the United States was partially based on the Magna Carta.
Drawing on inspiration from the original, MetaLawMan has proposed a Meta Magna Carta, to serve as a declaration of universal rights in the metaverse. “It is time for a clear and concise statement of fundamental rights in the metaverse” declared Murphy. “Because metaverse owner/operators have unilaterally written the rules that will apply within their realms, the rights of the user community have not always been fully considered,” said Murphy.
MetaLawMan believes strongly that no centralized entity or authority should dictate the terms of the Meta Magna Carta. Rather, the greater metaverse community (including both metaverse operators and the decentralized user community) should collectively debate and collaborate on the ultimate text of the Meta Magna Carta. MetaLawMan has proposed an initial draft of the Meta Magna Carta available here as a means to catalyze this important debate. “This level of decentralized collaboration on a universal statement of rights in the metaverse will be a daunting challenge. Perhaps collaboration on this scale might best be accomplished through a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) approach,” suggested Murphy.
Backed by acclaimed financial services lawyer, James A. Murphy, MetaLawMan is a source for objective metaverse and Web3 content and commentary. The name “MetaLawMan” represents Murphy’s digital persona as a thought leader on metaverse-related issues on social media channels. For more data and commentary on legal and business issues arising in the metaverse, visit the MetaLawMan website or follow MetaLawMan on Linkedin and Twitter.
COO MetaLawMan, LLC