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KICJ Research Reports

Legal and Policy Responses to New Mechanisms in the Metaverse Era (Ⅰ) 사진
Legal and Policy Responses to New Mechanisms in the Metaverse Era (Ⅰ)
  • LanguageKorean
  • Authors Haesung Yoon, Cho Joon Tag, Suk-young Jang, Sungmin Park, Yuh-kyoung Rhie, Jin-ho Choi, Doo-won Kim, Hwang, Tae-jeong
  • Date December 31, 2023
  • Hit66

Abstract

  This study examined national and international legislative trends regarding the metaverse industry in order to understand what metaverse is and what impact it is having on society. Also this study was conducted from a criminal law perspective with a focus on how to handle the infringement on rights in the metaverse in the field of criminal law and criminal policy. To this end, a survey of experts, empirical data analysis, comparative legal research, and literature review were conducted, and the final chapter sets out policy recommendations.

  As a result of the survey, among the types of metaverse crimes, the types of crimes expected to occur frequently were insults, verbal violence, sending obscene messages, fraud, and avatar stalking. Regarding the severity of metaverse crimes, the experts generally recognized them as serious. Moreover, some claimed that if a metaverse platform company does not properly carry out crime prevention activities or procedures required after a crime occurs in the metaverse, it is necessary to punish or impose a fine on that company. In addition, some wrote that a tentatively called Metaverse Committee should be established for self-regulation, and regular monitoring and crackdown should be carried out using the company’s security forces. In particular, the experts pointed out that in the case of sexual crimes against children and adolescents, a disguised investigation by the police is necessary, and that technical measures such as warnings, deletions, and blocking measures for obscene messages, a reputation ranking system for avatars, and the establishment of youth safety zones are needed regarding proactive prevention measures for criminal crimes in the metaverse.

  In terms of criminal law and criminal policy, with the advent of the metaverse era, new forms of crime are occurring and are likely to occur in the future. Legal violations in the form of sexual harassment, impersonation of other people, defamation and insulting actions, and property crimes against avatars have already happened in the metaverse, and it is expected that crimes related to assault and injury, criminal organizations, gambling, election, and public service duties will increase with the advancement of technology. In such a case, the question arises to what extent criminal law can be applied in that situation. Moreover, from a criminal policy perspective, it is necessary to prevent excessive intervention by criminal law and create a more free metaverse industrial environment by pursuing decriminalization.

  This study examined the criminal law protection of personality rights in the metaverse by looking at the right to self-determination first and then the right to self-protection. In addition, this paper analyzed the need for criminal law protection against personality-infringing acts against avatars in the metaverse, and the criminal policy issues regarding defamation of the avatar itself, and hate speech. Also in the case of digital sex crimes within the metaverse, this study looked at both sides of arguments regarding whether the personality rights of avatars can be recognized or not considering the protection of the legal interests of digital sex crimes and examined legislative examples in response to digital sex crimes in other countries. Moreover, as foreseen above, it seems that infringement of property rights by hacking, swindling, theft, and extortion will be able to occur in the metaverse with the combination of technologies used in the metaverse, blockchain, and NTF. Therefore it might be necessary to amend criminal law as well as other relevant laws. Also, considering the characteristics of blockchain and artificial intelligence, criminal law interpretation or legislative supplementation to solve this problem must be continuously examined.


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