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Decentraland dispute resolution and IP litigation terms of service

Posted by Steve Vondran | Feb 27, 2022 | 0 Comments

Attorney Steve® Metaverse & NFT Law Essentials - Decentraland Dispute Resolution  DAO Disputes, and other digital law issues!

digital world metaverse

Introduction

Decentraland is a beast.  Digital "land" as most refer to it, is actually more like a plot of code in a game where avatars can interact with each other.  It is very cool looking, and even looks promising from a gaming perspective, and perhaps more.  There may be a commercial branding potential for brands willing to pony up the digital coin to purchase a plot on Decentraland.  So what exactly is "Decentraland?"

According to Wikipedia:

"Decentraland is a 3D virtual world browser-based platform. Users may buy virtual plots of land in the platform as NFTs via the MANA cryptocurrency, which uses the Ethereum blockchain. It was opened to the public in February 2020, and is overseen by the nonprofit Decentraland Foundation. Users can develop the land by using the Decentraland's own editor or importing 3D models from external software. Cosmetic gear, like t-shirts and hats, can be traded. A desktop internet browser and a crypto wallet (optional) is needed to access. After loading, the user is prompted with a character creation screen. A menu lists current events, clicking "Jump In" transports the user to the event. Users can navigate the world using the keyboard and the mouse

DAO Disputes a boon for IP lawyers?

Decentraland is governed by its users.  Users can raise issues of concern (ex. I don't like the use of the name ISISland") and other owners can vote on it.  This seems pretty cool at first blush, but as a lawyer, I know that HOA disputes are frequent and control of policy, in general, can be frustrating if you are on the losing end of an issue (say someone doesn't want you to use your land for a digital bar and they vote you out)?  If you made a 2 million dollar investment don't be surprised if passions flare and folks look to Metaverse lawyers for assistance and dispute resolution.  But, what happens if you have a dispute arising from your use of Decentraland?  Can you file a civil court lawsuit?  Do you have to arbitrate the dispute?  Here is what I found in the Decentraland terms of use as of the date of this post.

18.1 Initial Dispute Resolution

The parties shall use their best efforts to engage directly to settle any dispute, claim, question, or disagreement and engage in good faith negotiations which shall be a condition to either party initiating a lawsuit or arbitration.

18.2 Binding Arbitration

If the parties do not reach an agreed-upon solution within a period of 30 days from the time informal dispute resolution under the Initial Dispute Resolution provision begins, then either party may initiate binding arbitration as the sole means to resolve claims, subject to the terms set forth below.

Specifically, any dispute that is not resolved under the Initial Dispute Resolution provision shall be finally settled under the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. The following shall apply in respect of such arbitration:

(i) the number of arbitrators shall be three (one nominated by each party and one nominated by the ICC);

(ii) the decision of the arbitrators will be binding and enforceable against the parties and a judgment upon any award rendered by the arbitrators may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereto (provided that in no event will the arbitrator have the authority to make any award that provides for punitive or exemplary damages or to award damages excluded by these Terms or in excess of the limitations contained in these Terms);

(iii) the seat, or legal place, of arbitration shall be the City of Panama, Panama;

and

(iv) the language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be English, any documents submitted as evidence that are in another language must be accompanied by an English translation and the award will be in the English language. Claimants and respondents shall bear its or their own costs of the arbitration, including attorney's fees, and share equally the arbitrators' fees and ICC's administrative costs.

For purposes of cost-sharing, all claimants shall be considered one party and all respondents shall be considered one party. The parties shall maintain strict confidentiality with respect to all aspects of any arbitration commenced pursuant to these Terms and shall not disclose the fact, conduct or outcome of the arbitration to any non-parties or non-participants, except to the extent required by applicable law or to the extent necessary to recognize, confirm or enforce the final award or decision in the arbitration, without the prior written consent of all parties to the arbitration.

18.4 Exception - Litigation of Intellectual Property and Small Court Claims

Notwithstanding the parties' decision to resolve all disputes through arbitration, either party may bring an action in state or federal court to protect its Intellectual Property Rights (ex. copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and patent infringement issues).

Either party may also seek relief in a small claims court for disputes or claims within the scope of that court's jurisdiction.

Note, I have been telling everyone about the Copyright Small Claims Board ("CCB") that is set to open in Washington D.C. in July where the "small claims" can go up to 30k.  Now, this is not a "court" per so (it's a "board") but I expect many disputes to be heard here concerning copyrights and trademarks.

Contact a Technology & Metaverse Lawyer

We can help with select intellectual property disputes, DAO governance disputes, crypto disputes, NFT copyright issues, and Metaverse legal issues. 

Call us at (877) 276-5084 or leave us a message through our contact form. 

We are licensed to practice law in California and Arizona and have been serving our great clients both large and small since 2004.

About the Author

Steve Vondran

Thank you for viewing our blogs, videos and podcasts. As noted, all information on this website is Attorney Advertising. Decisions to hire an attorney should never be based on advertising alone. Any past results discussed herein do not guarantee or predict any future results. All blogs are written by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise indicated. Our firm handles a wide variety of intellectual property and entertainment law cases from music and video law, Youtube disputes, DMCA litigation, copyright infringement cases involving software licensing disputes (ex. BSA, SIIA, Siemens, Autodesk, Vero, CNC, VB Conversion and others), torrent internet file-sharing (Strike 3 and Malibu Media), California right of publicity, TV Signal Piracy, and many other types of IP, piracy, technology, and social media disputes. Call us at (877) 276-5084. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337

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