In this talk I consider how forms of "virtual property" are multiplying - not only is there now a thriving market in virtual gold and other items obtained in MMORPGS like WoW and Second Life, but we are also seeing a trade in, and disputes about, "zero day exploits" (software vulnerabilities), on-line avatars, animatronic heads, and reputations on eBay , to name but a few. This paper considers if we should simply accept that anything of value to somebody is "property" , and whether these new types of rights need public as well as private regulation.
Professor Lilian Edwards
Since the dawn of the commercial Internet in 1996, my principal research interest has been in the law relating to the Internet, the Web and new technologies, with a European and comparative focus.
I have co-edited two bestselling collections on Law and the Internet (Hart Publishing, 1997 and 2000 – 3rd edn due 2007) with Charlotte Waelde, and my third collection of essays The New Legal Framework for E-Commerce in Europe was published by Hart in December 2005. My work in on-line consumer privacy won the Barbara Wellbery Memorial Prize in 2004 for the best solution to the problem of privacy and transglobal data flows.
I worked at Strathclyde University from 1986-1988 and Edinburgh University from 1989 to 2006 before moving to become Chair of Internet Law at Southampton. I am Associate Director, and was co-founder, of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Centre for IP and Technology Law, funded from 2002-2012. I have taught IT, e-commerce and Internet law at undergraduate and postgraduate level since 1996 and been involved with law and artificial intelligence (AI) since 1985. I have been a visiting scholar and invited lecturer to universities in the USA, Canada, Australia, Mexico, and Latin America.
I also retain an interest in Scottish child law, and private law generally, and have co-authored two editions of Edwards and Griffiths Family Law (W.Green, 2000, 2006).