Интеллектуальные права геймеров
At the cusp of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, civilization entered the digitization period of its development, characterized by information dissemination in electronic form through computer devices connected to the Internet. Over the two decades, the world's economy materialized new sectors founded on personal computing systems and global communication technologies, including the video game industry.
At the first stage of the internet gaming industry formation, there wasn't the issue of recognizing the players' intellectual property (IP) rights. However, with the ripening of gaming platforms, their users have received ample opportunities for creativity. In the new realities, the problem of ownership to the results of intellectual activity that users create inside games has become acute, and this point remains unresolved until today. The situation is escalating by the growing gray market of rights for new and derivative works developed by players inside the video game ecosystem. Most publishers of electronic games prohibit the legal trade of gaming artifacts and IP rights for them, but demand inevitably constructs supply, and the exchange continues. Due to the absence of a legal market, a significant part of the funds earned by players, which exceeds the average market commission, drops on the accounts of intermediaries organizing the shadow operations.
This article analyses multiplayer online games from the standpoint of IP rights. It compares provisions of several license agreements on the rights to results of the users' intellectual activity. The paper offers answers to the legal questions of the computer gaming industry. Are there grounds for granting IP rights to players? Is the legal market of IP rights on user-created works possible, and is it justified from an economic point of view? Special attention focused on the motivation of gamers based on a dedicated sociological survey. As a result, we substantiate the recognition of computer gamers' IP rights and the establishment of their legal trade.