Avatar legal protection as an atypical copyright object
The legal protection of an avatar as an atypical copyright object has been investigated. The originality and objective form of an avatar have been established and characterised, which will allow correlating an avatar with atypical copyright objects, and the atypicality of an avatar as an object of copyright has been emphasised.
It has been determined that the phenomenon of an avatar as a legal category is that it is a complex category which has a different legal regime. It has been noted that it is most appropriate to relate an avatar to an object of rights, in particular, in the field of personal non-property rights and intellectual property rights. Creating objects with the help of a neural network, in particular, an avatar in the form of a computer copy of a person, is a complex work of different people. At the same time, this work has signs of intellectual, scientific and creative activity. Due to the complexity of such activity, it may fall under different legal regimes of intellectual property rights, in particular copyright and patent law. An avatar as a game character can be considered as an object of copyright. If an avatar is created using digital tools offered by the developers of a computer game, the copyright belongs to the respective developers.
It has been proved that an avatar is an intangible benefit that can include such virtual objects as: a game character tied to a specific user; a social network profile of a person; a computer copy of a person with unique identification features, originality and objective form. It has the following characteristics: the presence of a digital objective form that makes it possible to perceive the avatar in the digital environment, originality, uniqueness, and the availability of legal access to use the avatar. The legal protection of an avatar within the framework of copyright may be carried out under two legal regimes: copyright protection; and the institute of rights of a special kind (sui generis). It would be appropriate to supplement the Law of Ukraine “On Copyright and Related Rights” with a definition of an avatar and rights to it.
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