The metaverse, a virtual world where users can interact with each other and experience a variety of digital content, has grown in popularity over the last few years. However, as with any online platform, a potential dark side must be addressed. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the countries that are taking steps to police the metaverse and ensure that users are safe from harm.
Ali ni Khatam, senior advocate general at Dubai Public Prosecution, said that protecting IP in the metaverse ” is not an easy legal issue.”
Besides, it raises questions like who is protecting the trademarks in virtual reality. If companies need to register their brands in the metaverse, we must have legislation and solutions to these issues”.
But for now, it is accessible to counterfeit items in the metaverse by copying an existing trademark in real life into the metaverse.
Hence the most challenging situation is if there is a trademark in a specific virtual reality and someone copies it in another virtual reality, we must have legislation and protection for this issue”.
The UAE authorities have already explored using artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor the metaverse. This technology would allow them to analyze user behavior and identify potential risks and threats.
Another way that the UAE is looking to police the metaverse is by working with virtual world creators and platform operators. The authorities in the UAE are working to establish partnerships with these companies to ensure that their platforms are safe and secure for users. This could include the development of specific policies and guidelines for content creation and user behavior.
The UAE is one of many countries taking steps to police the metaverse. Many other countries are also exploring ways to protect users from harm. For example, in the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has already started investigating the potential risks of the metaverse, including privacy and security concerns.
One of the challenges of policing the metaverse is that it is a decentralized platform. Unlike other online platforms, no central authority governs the metaverse.
Another challenge is the fact that the metaverse is constantly evolving. New technologies and platforms are continuously being developed, so authorities must be proactive in policing the metaverse. This requires ongoing research and development investment and collaboration with virtual world creators and platform operators.
Mr. Musabih said Dubai Customs dealt with around 400 intellectual property disputes that involved 15 million counterfeit items with a street value of Dh110 million.
The UAE updated its legislation and increased the punishments in 2021 to crack down on counterfeit items.