Law, Virtual Reality, And Augmented Reality


Publish Date:
April 5, 2017
  • Collins, Ronald K.L.
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This year’s conference takes place on Friday, April 14 from 8:15 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and is titled “Truth, Lies and the Constitution.” The event will be moderated by Professor Helen Norton.

Lemley & Volokh on alternative forms of reality

Professors Mark Lemley and Eugene Volokh have a new article entitled “Law, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality.” The article will appear in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Below is an abstract of that article:

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are going to be big — not just for gaming but for work, for social life, and for evaluating and buying real-world products. Like many big technological advances, they will in some ways challenge legal doctrine. In this Article, we will speculate about some of these upcoming challenges, asking:

(1) How might the law treat “street crimes” in VR and AR — behavior such as disturbing the peace, indecent exposure, deliberately harmful visuals (such as strobe lighting used to provoke seizures in people with epilepsy), and “virtual groping”? Two key aspects of this, we will argue, are the Bangladesh problem (which will make criminal law very hard to practically enforce) and technologically enabled self-help (which will offer an attractive alternative protection to users, but also a further excuse for real-world police departments not to get involved).

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