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MANA · 2w

How does Decentraland handle copyright violations?

To make this easier to explain, I'm going to use Disney as a worst-case example. [Disney is infamously aggressive about its IP]( for those who did not know. Pretend Disney Corp visits Decentraland and see an Imperial Star Destroyer (from Star Wars). The Imperial Star Destroyer™ is a trademark owned by Disney, and its likeness is also copyrighted by Disney, so the company decides to take legal action. How does Decentraland handle that? For better or worse, this is the kind of thing the DMCA was designed to handle, and is also the reason DMCA is so often abused. The DMCA would protect Decentraland from accountability, but *only* if they take down the Star Destroyer pending legal resolution. This is why so many companies rush to comply with DMCA takedowns. Disney is not likely to care about decentralization as a philosophy. If Decentraland fails to take down the infringing content, Disney can say they are liable, and it's plausible that a judge would agree with them. If you think fair use is a bullet-proof defense, I have some bad news for you. For one, fair use in U.S. trademark law is distinct from fair use in copyright law. For another, Disney has used Star Wars for online games and services, so its use in this competing metaverse does *arguably* interfere with Disney's ability to make profit. This undermines fair use copyright claims. It is also *arguably* fair use anyway, but Disney could easily decide to use the court system to settle that argument. If Disney's purely hypothetical cease-and-desist letter to whoever owns the plot is ignored, or if it's not obvious who is responsible, the next obvious defendant here is the Decentraland Foundation, since per Decentraland, the DAO lacks a formal legal status.
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