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Giovanna Fessenden Interviewed on the Lack of Regulation in the Metaverse

May 11, 2022

Giovanna Fessenden was recently interviewed for an article for Managing IP on how Metaverse users must read terms of use or risk losing IP. 

Regarding gamers creating digital assets in-game, the article states, “Giovanna Fessenden, counsel at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds in Massachusetts, says it’s standard practice for virtual platform owners to try to assert ownership over the digital assets created on their platforms.”

Giovanna is quoted, “From an IP ownership perspective, I think the question is whether there is a true transfer of copyright in a user-created NFT to the platform based on terms of use alone.” She noted that the terms of use should clearly express that it is the intent of the player to transfer title to the copyrights held by the player (copyright owner).

She added that without an express assignment of copyright, “it is possible that under copyright law, at least in the US, the platform may only have a license to the user’s copyrighted content and not true ownership of the NFT designed by the user.”

While it is not always necessary, “[a] written agreement signed by the rights owner is typically required to transfer title under US copyright law, notes Fessenden.”

Managing IP Subscribers: Click here to Access the Article.