IGF 2022 Day 4 Open Forum #86 The video games sector at the time of NFTs and the Metaverse

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> RYSZARD FRELEK:  Colleagues on the IGF technical team if the press briefing room, thank you very much for opening the event.  Could we ask for Mr. Andres ‑‑

   >> ANDRES GUADAMUZ:  I am now.

   >> RYSZARD FRELEK:  We're set.

   >> ANDRES GUADAMUZ:  I'm going to quickly check the share screen.  It is working.  Okay.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  Do we have Micaela?

   >> ANDRES GUADAMUZ:  Not yet.  If she has any problems, we can switch the order a little bit.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  That's what I'm thinking.

   >> GAETANO DIMITA:  Live caption, you're going to have to deal with my accent.

   >> ANDRES GUADAMUZ:  Live caption is usually quite interesting for me as well.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  In that case, we go first to Gaetano.

   >> RYSZARD FRELEK:  I believe so.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  All right.  Welcome, everyone, to this open forum on video games Metaverse and NFTs.  We have a great panel lineup for you today and want to get right into it.  We've got some excellent experts from ‑‑ who are been thinking about these topics, and who have experience with them as well, as well as colleagues from the World Intellectual Property Organization and we're very pleased to bring you this open forum today.  My name is Michele Woods.  I'll be the moderator but will try to interject myself as little as possible into the proceedings to spend as much time as possible with the experts.  We do plan to leave time at the end of the program for questions and comment.  We will try to monitor those.  Please be active in trying to intervene when we get to that point, and we'll do our best to recognize those both in the room and who are joining remotely.

So, as we are still trying to add one speaker.  I think we will go directly to Gaetano Dimita and ask him to start us off on the context here in terms of video game developments and what we see generally in this area of the law.  Gaetano, over to you.

   >> GAETANO DIMITA:  Thank you very much, Michele.  Let me start by saying it is a real honor to be here, and I was so excited because you asked me to talk about my favorite topic.  I'll try to be brief and concise.  I really want to hear from Micaela and Andres, and I hope we can have a chance at the end to discuss with the audience, if they have any questions or any comments because it's a very exciting time.

I've been working, doing research, teaching on interactive entertainment in video games for over a decade, but recently in the last few years, it really exploded.  And I have to show my bias because I'm an IP lawyer and I live in an IP bubble and I love video games, you can see my background.

And this has been magic from a researcher from an academic point of view because there is an increased recognition of the importance, not only economic importance but the importance for IP in general in the way that we approach IP, and the impact on society and culture as a whole of these amazing creative industry.  I'm not going to share numbers because whatever ‑‑ whichever survey or data that you collect, the numbers are different and the methodology of collecting the numbers is different.

But let's say, can we say almost half of the population plays video games.  We don't have data from a few major country, but it's not the 80s anymore.  You know, you can publicly play video game if you're passionate about the formal creation.  Video games starting appearing not only in video game museum but museums around the world because it's recognized and important for how we live and approach our intersection with each other and I guess the pandemic also, that video games can also be a force for good because to some extent, they kept us sane, people playing video games had less issues with isolation of the lockdown around the globe.

Let me focus on the IP part and here just for introduction to Micaela and Andres who will get deep into the topic.  Video games from IP perspective are probably the most fascinating subject matter of IP.  I constantly tell my students like IP on steroids.  Our daily reach intellectual property environment and their environments and this is the main difference with the other subject matter IP protection, that you have to interact with, you have to interact with and immerse yourself.  It involves between the subject matter and the player that can create IP.  We saw the explosion of e‑sports, we saw the explosion of channel like Twitch in which people simply creating or simply playing and actually creating another form of IP.

This is fascinating because IP is the blood and I'm bias, is it's the good and soul of the society to protect the most sacred creation, it's something great, and the economy is actually showing that IP‑based economies are ‑‑ they tend to be strong even in situations which is the world economics are struggling.

When you look at video games, you always have to consider the entire package of intellectual property and intellectual property are jurisdictional based, they are different in subject matter protection and exception, and this shows how complex this already complex subject matter protection product of services are and reached by a very complex, I think, globally and international licensing frameworks and obey to a very different level of complexity and layer of global regulation.  It is an industry that we have to observe.  It is an industry that most of the time we have to learn from because most issues becoming in the mainstream today are video game issues for two decades.  So the video game industry has to deal with a lot of fundamental questions that we have today for over two decade, and I'm not saying that they solved all the problems or they went for the correct approach in all of the situations, but it's something they're familiar with.  It is a young industry, it is born digital, it is extremely successful, so that means they get sued sometimes and they're global, highly creative, highly innovate.  I don't know if it's because they're young but they're not afraid to take risks.  There is a lot of do it first and ask questions later kind of approach with dealing with difficult questions to answer.  Most of the time the video game company is launching something entirely new, there for the first time, and not even the best practitioner or the best academics can give a yes or no answer.  I mean in IP, and when dealing with lawyers it's quite common to get a depends as an answer.  There are a lot of depends in this.

When we talk about video games in connection to Metaverse and NFTs, probably because this reason.  The industry is so fast‑forward that we can use them as canary in a mine.  We can actually observe them in order to understand what the trend could be, of course prediction is always better not to do any prediction when you're being recorded, (Laughing), but we can understand where the trend, where the direction is, the thing that worked, the thing that probably are not going to work.

And whenever it is a technological advancement, it's also important to remember that video games is actually one of the two ways we embrace and start using new technologies.  Usually something they force you to do at work or something that you buy because you want to buy because you want to play video game with.  Generally, the most expensive technology at home is what we play video games on, and more generally and this has been pointed out a number of times, video games are also the first interaction that we have outside of our family circle.  Okay, so now also used to understand how social interaction works in an observable environment.

One of the common sentences is generate the first license that you sign, the first contract you sign is an end user license agreement of a video game, and the first money that I spend is probably on the video games.  Now days, also the first money that you earn might be because of a YouTube video that is generating income.  Impact on how we relate to each other and relate and understand the law is also important.  Also, they have a transnational nature.  When you play a video game, you're joining an environment that is beyond borders, but of course I mean the law is national so you can actually export concepts outside of your national jurisdiction if it's done properly by designing them within video games.

Not only for a lot of legal issues but as for the specific topic of today, the first industry that are being actually looking at it from a more establishment point ‑‑ an established point of view.  Most of the successful ‑‑ okay, successful isn't actually ‑‑ most of the proto‑metaverse, the people that actually play and enjoy tend to come from video games, basically video games.  And they're also the ones that integrate and understand the form of it, the entertainment with the social media aspect of including and governing a community.

But as the most apt, they're technologically based industry to use and to experiment on new modernization model and new form of, but I don't want to use words because Andres is going to explain better later on, illusion of property, illusion of ownership because there is a strong connection with the video game that you play.

I'll leave Andres to go technical and tell us the truth.  There is the sensation that we deal with virtual items, we deal with things that we don't actually own a lot in video games, starting from the video game that you buy that goes with other points that Micaela is probably going to do later on how perception, especially when it comes to IP is really important because it's impacting on us, and on us I mean not the researcher in video games and IP, but on us the general public, the citizens of this planet.

And I'm conscious of time, it is meant to be just an introduction, but I want to leave you with one of the things that I think is really important.  We're moving into an environment in which IP is the core of everything, and we live in this environment, and we're going to have IP and very complex contract layers.  It is very important be that we keep our attention on intellectual property because intellectual property is going to create the constitution of this virtual environment, the constitution of wherever we are going to log in in 10 years and IP is also the only protection that we have to some extent to a world everything is regulated by contract, where there is not much space for freedom, democracy, and civil liberties.  IP can actually save us.  And now as I totally declare my bias and I guess I'll pass it back to Michele as the moderator.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  Great.  Well, I can see we're getting into some interesting areas here with that start off, so thank you so much, Gaetano.  Let's go to our next speaker, Micaela Mantegna who will focus on the Metaverse aspect of the video games and what we're seeing there.  She's a great expert in this field, and I very much look forward to her comments.  Micaela, over to you.

   >> MICAELA MANTEGNA:  Thank you so much, Michele.  Thank you so much, Gaetano, for the introduction.  I'm sorry that I am in Argentina, based in Argentina and having of course in the Internet Governance Forum and of course I have trouble with my WiFi, my Internet.  And that's one of the problems when we're talking about the Metaverse and talking about digital realities, and if you're going to be based in the Metaverse, this is going to be something that is to consider, how we access the Metaverse.  Let me share my screen for one moment so we can.  Here we go.  Can you see the screen?  Yes?

   >> ANDRES GUADAMUZ:  Now we can.

   >> MICAELA MANTEGNA:  Thank you.  One of the things we share here ‑‑ all the panelists here and I assume the public is our love for video games and I share Gaetano's enthusiasm about video games leading the way into the Metaverse.  And another thing that is really important is to consider that video games are one of the few, if not the only interactive media that allows you experience empathy in a different way because of the interactivity of the nature of the stories and the narratives, it's really important to understand that we can actually feel the stories and feel the experiences in a different way.  And this is something really important if we're talking about Metaverse because it's going to be an interactive environment and also a tool to create communities.

Let me go quick.  Gaetano did some introduction about how to arrive to this concept of the Metaverse that until not so much was considered something really far fetch from sci‑phi pop culture and it first and misconception is people talking of Metaverse of something new and the Metaverse is in fact turning 30 this year and started as a book Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson and also clarifies in the book there were other development and other uses of the term, but we have seen different elements, the key elements of the Metaverse and I see Michele smiling so I assume she loves Star Trek as much as we do here.  There are some elements of the metaverse in different aspects of pop culture and video games.  For example, if you remember from Star Trek the kind of interactive rooms to create different reality, and this is like the ultimate goal and aspiration of creating a Metaverse, a completely full immersive interactive environment where we can touch, smell, see, hear, all of our senses are going to be engaged.

Another philosophical predecessor to the things we're talking about today is the Matrix and talking about particularly the perception of reality, simulation theory for those who like philosophy, and also the economic incentives of these kind of digital economies.

And for the more young people, you might remember Ready Player One based on a book and also for me from an IP perspective, you know everyone here in the room is kind of an IP geek and one of the things that I remember interestingly about this book is like the clashing of licenses because you can see characters from different corporations all mixed together, and this is something that is really core to what the Metaverse is and something that you also are seeing in video games as well when the format you can have like an Avatar from like a star ‑‑ I'm going to say Star Trek but not Star Wars and also next to them could be Ariana or Batman and it's nice to see the kind of clashing of coalition or licenses and putting your IP in hands of people, to the Avatars which in video games is something we call sometimes user‑generated content and it's something interesting because corporations are kind of weary before these to allow people to kind of interact in that way with their IP.

And something that I think really is interesting, I find interesting about this is that you compare, for example, what has been happening with how Disney kind of interacts with the IP and public, and on the other hand, how do you see the Minions and how the owners of IP allowed the public to interact in a different way to recreate and do things and that allowed the popularity to grow.  These are kind of hints that can allow us to forecast what can happen in the future with this.

Also, the Metaverse comes from gaming, and you might remember Sect Life one of the Metaverses Gaetano was talking about and recently Animal crossing during the pandemic that allow us to connect and continue social relationships online.

The thing is what is the Metaverse.  There is no consensus about it, but we can say it's the next evolution of video games and the next evolution of the Internet, and at the same time mixing different elements of social media, Internet, and platform, but as adding an element of special computing, that will allow us to manipulate and interact with these 3D digital objects.  My definition is kind of a work in progress and we can talk about the Metaverse as convergence of digital and physical realities and software and hardware, but as it is not just technology but it's also the human component and the anthropological component of how we relate with each other.

So, if we are talking about different technologies, we can see that the depending who you ask, they are going to be elements of Blockchain or neurotechnology as future of interfaces, artificial intelligence, and something that we're going to talk about a bit today is how generative artificial intelligence is a key element of the Metaverse.

And when we're talking about how this reality mixes, this is something I have been researching and working on that I call the reality gradient that we tend to think of VR and XR as different things or kind of an umbrella, but the thing is like we are not going to be one woman in VR and then VR and we are going to notice a difference.  We are heading to a state where we are transition gradually from one state to other adding or describing different artificial senses.

Our sense of hearing would be replaced for artificial sound or maybe our visuals, so it's going to be integrating different elements of that, and as we were saying before, the kind of the goal of this is achieving haptic and kind of like a really super immersive reality in the far end of the spectrum.

So, this is kind of a more academic definition that I have been working on, so if you want to read happy to share.  Here is the link.  But the thing is like I will say generative AI is a under if mental shift on creativity and how we think about creativity which is a high kind of main component of copyright law and thinking about originality and creativity, and this is going to be a Metaverse cornerstone because if you are thinking about these virtual worlds and you probably have been reading news about some proto‑metaverse that nobody is in there, like big structures and big investment but nobody is there.  One of the things that I always say is like the race for the Metaverse is going to be won not only by the best graphics but the best communities and this is another lesson from video games.  As Gaetano was saying, video games create relationships between people, and people might not like the graphics, but they're going to stay if you have your friends there.

I see a chat, a question, okay.  I'm trying to be aware of the time so make a sign if I'm overstepping.  The fact is we're living in an era of AI creativity where we can in seconds create masterpieces and this is opening really interesting and new questions because we cannot only create like only like images or paintings as you might have been seeing with some, but these techniques can be applied to any single type of creative content, and this is where we started talking about generative artificial intelligence, talking about one particular architecture that was called GAS and now just like in a few years we've evolved into models that are able to create, as we were seeing, really interesting images in just second.  Can you see these models through Dalis, Table Fusion, journey, where we start with a random pattern of dots and diffusing, and it's a process of kind of matching a text, let's say like a simple explanation, and matching a text and matching an image and creating like a map of possible images that correlate to that semantic text.

And the thing is that this is just the tip of the iceberg because we are seeing this beautiful images created to journey and this kind of impossible landscapes, but this is just static, but Nvidia and other corporations are working on transforming the static into dynamic and 3D objects.  This is the 3D kind of like the Dali for Metaverse for Nvidia and they're trying to make it possible to create animated virtual objects just from text, as we have text to image, we're going to have text to animation.

Meta also presented make a video when you can create an illustration and then an animation.  And this is interesting because while we have been talking about artificial intelligence for years, but now we need to talk really deep about artificial creativity and the challenges that it poses to IP because IP was based on scarcity rationale, and about how would you think about the creation and integration of our cultural knowledge.

And the thing is these developments allow us to create really massive and quick and producing a volume of works that humans cannot compete with.  So, this is like ‑‑ this is posing really interesting questions and we have been thinking about originality and creativity and what does it mean for a work to be original.  And the thing is now we cannot the difference, we cannot say just by looking at some piece of art if it was machine made or human made, and at the end of the day, is it going to matter?  And another interesting thing is about how this will impact the public domain, because if we start thinking about registration and allow registration of machine created works, these can increase the amount of works that aren't under copyright protection and create some imbalances toward the public domain.

So, for the Metaverse, it's going to be really interesting because as we were seeing, these will need to be populated, and it will be a mix of human creativity and human ingenuity and but we have to create at a massive scale that only generative AI can provide.  Copyright is in the middle of this and has a lot of questions to talk about that has huge impact in how do we consider the future of work and the future of creation and I don't want to overstep on my time, so if you can find me here and we continue the conversation.  I'm a super geek of both IP and video games, so just reach out to me here.  Thank you.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  Thank you so much.  That was fantastic.  You gave us so many things to continue to talk about, and I'm sure that Andres Guadamuz, our next speaker is going to pick up on some of those themes and lead us a little more in depth of the topic of NFTs and how it intersects with the universe.  Andres, over to you.

   >> ANDRES GUADAMUZ:  Thank you.  I'm just going to try to share my screen and hopefully I can resize.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  That looks good.

   >> ANDRES GUADAMUZ:  Yes.  I think now I have it fine.  Thanks very much, again, for the invitation and very excellent presentations before by Micaela and Gaetano who have introduced the subject.

Now, I'm going to take us a little bit into the Metaverse and end up with NFTs.  So, try to bring everything together because one of the things that I want to do is bring us into property.  What is property like, what is going to be property in the Metaverse, is there is such a thing, and that is potentially going to involve some form of tokens, so I'll try to explain where I'm coming from.

I think that what we're seeing right now is a confluence of technologies that are potentially going to change the way in which we interact, we create, we mediate with media.  There is the potential of generative AI, the potential of immersive environments, and potentially also the use of tokenization to mediate our interaction with all of these things.

So, we are living in an almost, you could say, almost a golden age of technological advances, particularly in the field of artificial intelligence.

However, I also come to you with a bit of a warning.  I'm usually ‑‑ I like to have this as one of my presentation slides.  There is always a danger that we are going to look at the height and get lost in the buzz words, and my goodness, I have a presentation that has the words Metaverse and NFTs together, so it I think it just needs artificial intelligence and Cloud or something else for this to be even more buzz wordy.

So, I bring you a little bit of a warning to try to be careful about not overdoing it.  I'm not going to go into a lot of detail on the definitions of Metaverse.  Micaela did an excellent job on this.  However, I would agree that we don't really have a definition, and I think over the next couple of years, we have to come up with a workable definition.  If we define it as virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D spaces, chat rooms, all of these things exist and have existed since the 1990s.  One of the jokes that I always say is that a View Master is pretty much like the Metaverse if you define it that way.  If you don't know what a View Master is, don't worry, ask your grandpa.

Okay, so my own definition, which is sort of similar to Micaela's is I'm looking at a persistent virtual 3D space that allows people to interact with one another.  How they interact is a game environment, social environment, it's going to be a different question.  I am skeptical a little bit.  I've been writing that the Metaverse doesn't exist, which is sometimes a little bit, trying to be a little bit let's say skeptical.  However, let's assume that I'm wrong.  Let's assume that the Metaverse actually exists and it actually takes off.  So, what type of Metaverse are we going to get?  I promise that we'll eventually get to NFTs.  There is a reason why I have all of this introduction.  So, assume that it takes off.

What would it look like?  I like to use media to sort of explain concepts so I like to think that we could get what I call the Ready player One Metaverse if which one company wins ‑‑ we won't mention which company, but let's assume that one company is the one that wins the race.  Therefore, the Metaverse that we're going to get is that company's version of the Metaverse.  Okay.

They're going to own pretty much everything, that is if you watched or read Ready Player One, that is the Internet owned by one company which is actually a nightmare from regulatory perspective, but that's a different question.

Then we have the potential of what I call the Ralf Break the Internet Metaverse by is different platforms and by the way this is a fantastic movie, and its different platforms that interact with one another through a similar sort of standard or connected through protocols, very similar protocols.  So, when you have different Metaverses that can potentially interact with one another.  Then we have what I like to call the Multiverse of Madness which is every Metaverse is compatible with another and then you have to jump and probably get super hero to allow you to jump from one to the other, spoiler alert.

Okay.  What we're talking about from a property perspective when we're dealing with the Metaverse and property is digital assets.  So, the concept itself of digital assets is not new.  We've had this ‑‑ we already have it, and we've had digital assets in everyday life in the form of currency, music, the old time MP3s, but when we think about it, our interaction with technology now days takes place with what we understand as digital assets in all sorts of forms.

So, the deployment of pervasive requirements will require us to sort of grapple with the legal issues surrounding digital assets, are there property, intellectual property, do they have an interface with intellectual property?  Some things I would argue that they do, but it's more important who owns the platform, and here is where we start analyzing and looking at property.

Now, I would argue that in the Metaverse there is for the most part no IP and only contract.  Gaetano explained that already.  Our interaction with the environment is going to be completely mediated through signing an end user license agreement and everything is handled.  I always like to say if it's not your server, it's not your property.  If you have anything, anyone can cut access to your property.  That comes from not your case not your Bitcoins but I think a very similar concept.

If you do not own the servers, someone can flip the switch.  This applies for absolutely everything.  So decentralized and open models and this is where we will eventually get to NFTs, may start to come in.  However, roughly speaking, we are dealing with three property models when dealing with the Metaverse.  So, there is the private and closed model and everything is on the Metaverse and that belongs to one company that only gives you the service.  So that could be Roblox or Meta or whatever definition we have.  Again, not your server, not your property.  This is the most common in virtual worlds in MMOs in games, in virtual spaces where you're interacting with your property through ‑‑ through user license agreements.

You may have items in a game or in the virtual space, you may own a house, you may own an Avatar, you may own mounts, gear, all sorts of things.  But you don't really own them because they are part of your end user license agreement.  So, there is no property on any, on anything.

There is, however, an open model of the Metaverse which would be this is very rare, but it used to be very common in Second Life which to my surprise already exists, and it still exists since 2006 or something.  So, usually you create goods under license through creative common sense so actually you own some things, but even again the open model relies on user other people's server, so it's very rare, other than second life, I haven't seen many places where it exists.

This is where we get to Metaverse.  So, the third model, the third property model is the use of what is under be stood as Web 3.  Web 1 was the early web of the 1990s.  Pretty much unidirectional.  Web 2 is the social media, user‑generated content.  The Web 3 is supposed to be the tokenized web in which everything that we do, we interact with some form of tokens.

So usually, we're going to have the centralized services connected through wallets, Crypto currencies and particularly NFTs.  Those ‑‑ all of these digital assets are supposedly interchangeable and we can take them with us from one Metaverse to the other.  That is the idea that is the selling point of the Web 3 Metaverse.  Doesn't matter if you're disconnected or service is brought down, you still have property and shape of token that you can carry with you everywhere.

Game developers by the way are highly skeptical about this model.  You may wonder, Andres, what do you mean by NFTs?  We don't have enough time to go into an in‑depth discussion of about the NFTs, and I know this is a very educated audience, so I'm assuming that a lot of people understand the concept already.  What we're talking about, usually, is fungible goods that are by definition interchangeable so grain, gold.  There are not fungible codes that are unique.  A nonfungible token is digital Crypto currency Blockchain representative ‑‑ I'm sorry, I've been looking at the ‑‑ I haven't been looking at the chat.

So, it's mediated through a token, and this toke season going to represent a unique item.  So, and it's immutable so the entries on the database cannot be changed.

Roughly speaking, it looks something like this to give you an idea, and I guess it's just metadata written on Blockchain.  If you have a Tezos explorer and you are fast enough and you want to write down, this is a contract that I created, and this is what an NFT looks like pretty much.  What we're talking about is spoken that are metadata that represent a digital item, and in this case, an artificial intelligence‑generated image, and you can take it with you even if the service that you used to create it disappeared.

So, obviously, the idea is that we can have items on the Metaverse that can interact with one another.  Quickly, to finish, there is now starting to be case law that is going to be decided on this interface between digital assets, the Metaverse and NFTs.  We just have in the last couple of weeks, a very interesting decision in the Barcelona commercial court on an injunction between VEGAP sort of the commercial entity, the collecting agency for virtual artists in Spain, and Mango which is a very popular Barcelona‑based shop of clothing.  And Mango created an NFT based on four works by Catalonian painters who are still under copyright, they own the physical works but they don't own the copyright.  And so, they created clothing based on the paintings and put it on the Metaverse, and there is a Metaverse shop on the central land that you can visit shows and okay, running out of time and quickly, the case is ongoing but what is interesting is the court decided that, okay, we're going to keep this NFT that is potentially infringing and they ordered an injunction to have custody of the wallet.  So, fascinating environment that we have now decisions that have interface of all of these technologies.  I'll leave you with that.  Thanks very much.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  Great.  Thank you so much, Andres.  That was fascinating, and looking forward to hearing more about that case and development of case law.  Before we get into the discussion, I do want to turn to my own colleague and the champion of video games here at WIPO, not the only one, but very much in the lead Richard Frelek who will tell us a little of what's going on at WIPO in this area.  I would like to shout out to a couple of other colleagues who are with us today, and I see Paulo and Victor who have been very involved in bringing this program to us.  Now, over to you, Richard, please.

   >> RYSZARD FRELEK:  Thank you so much, Michele.  Exactly what I want to do give a shout out to Victor and P Paulo, quite a lot of games which makes it very exciting for us to continue on this work.  Very good afternoon to everyone.  I'm pleased to join this event with such amazing speakers and excited to give you a preview of our upcoming project Level up your IP a videogame developer's quest.  So why video games?  The reef speakers already said it in many ways, but just to further emphasize that intellectual property is at the heart of the videogame industry.  From the copyright to the music, stories, visual, software, to trademarks for the brands, characters, or even slogans, a video game is a treasure trove of intellectual property.  Why WIPO, why the World Intellectual Property Organization?  As the global photo for international property services corporation ‑‑ we know intellectual property and we already have an extensive portfolio of activities on video games ranging from the highly popular mastering the game publication that gives a detailed overview of almost 400 pages of all things legal and business related to video games to the recently released PlayStation Infographic or also highly popular study on copyright infringement in the video game industry.  Many, many more both trainings as well as studies in this area.

So, why are we doing this new project be?  Well, here we want to focus on helping the SME video game developer grow for the better management of their intellectual property as well as we want to create a networking opportunity for big and small companies across different regions of the world, specifically in this case we'll be focusing on central European and Baltic states as well as Latin America and Caribbean countries and dream big result that we want to achieve is contribute to national economic growth in the target region through successful and IP aware video game companies.

Who are we targeting?  The main beneficiary are small and medium‑size studios and video game and new creators, people in the industry and can benefit from the better understanding of basics of intellectual property.  Additionally for the project to be successful, we also are targeting representatives of large studios, publishers, councils, platforms, video legal expert, in‑house lawyers, gamers, always.

How do you want to do it?  We want to do it in a 360 approach around the needs of the game developer everything in the project is short, collected, useful to the point and on the business aspects of IP and how legal issues can help out in those, and we will have five levels of content which will follow the different game development stages of a video game.

And each and I'll come back to the content but just to say that each of the levels will have four steps.  So, the first one would be the podcast interview of a successful video game company ranging from the biggest to smallest ones, which we will have the objective to also get to some insights, tips, and tricks from the industry on how companies are managing intellectual property.  Second, there will be the IP clinics and those will be the one‑on‑one meetings between high‑profile legal experts internationally recognized with the small video game company, the one‑on‑one meetings in 45 minutes to support them better in intellectual property.  Then we are aiming to cover approximately 75 companies from across the world and additionally we would want to have informal online networking events where we will also give the opportunity for those companies who could not make it for the clinics to still ask their questions to our experts who are part of this project.

And finally, we will also on each level, issue this Level Power Up as we call it that is going to be a one page, one‑page video checklist for video game developer to then at that stage go through the basic things they need to understand at IP at that game development stage.  Plus, we also want to have this network very active and engaging network created specifically ‑‑ specific group on LinkedIn.

We are going to be cooperating and partnering with many amazing organizations and people, including associations, federations, publishers, large, large and small studios, governments, ministry, and IP offices.  While I have to hold on sharing all the details of all the amazing company, legal practitioners and partners we'll be working with, I can already tell you that two of the experts here today will be joining this project and will be ‑‑ are already actually helping with the development of this project, so Micaela and Gaetano will be part of the podcast and networking events as well as of course the content creation.  Speaking about the content, the content will of course focus on helping that game developer level up their intellectual property.  We will be doing that through a level zero introduction kind of session, and then level one to five following those game development stages.  Just very quickly, level one will have that objective to introduce the quest and the levels, introduce the hosts and experts, and show that at the end of the day, the gaming stories from the project team, because I know all of us are playing World of Warcraft or many other games across different platforms for many years and that is something that we also want to emphasize here is that is by game, this project is being developed by gamers.

Moving on to the first level, here preparing for the journey and this is going to be about the IP and concept phase, and so when you're thinking of developing the game, what are the main issues that you need to understand about intellectual property, so for example if you're going to be creating your own IP, your own world's characters or should you be licensing that from another media such as comic book or TV show.

Adventure time, this is about the IP issues that kick in when you start to develop the game, copyright, patents, potentially design and trademarks, using original license engine, music licensing, architecture, and real life.

Just to say that these are not exhaustive lists and this is just some of the issues that we would want to touch upon as example, the launch, the level 3 is the launch of the final destination of the question mark and here is IP and marketing brands across the world and IP monitoring and enforcement.  Level 4 is company of players so focusing on how an IP audit looks like and IP issues during acquisition or investment.  Level 5, the ones mostly speaking about actually today, it's about the new frontiers, not new necessarily technologies, but new wish in a way, so e‑sports, NFTs, Metaverse virtuals, although in this case we're more specifically focusing on e‑sports itself.  We're also planning side events, Siad and one of them is a training on IP and marketing for women and gaming.

At the end of the season kind of event, we're thinking of is going to be IP in your pitch and IP and financing.  So, when do we start with the whole project?  When is the launch?  We want to have everything launched February 7, 2023 region with level 1.  Following two‑week cycles of each level.  Illustrative of how a level will look like.  It will follow a two‑week cycle where on Tuesday we launch the podcast, on Wednesday to Friday we're opening up the sign‑ups for the IP clinics, and on Monday the neck week we have the level power up, this one‑page check it is list made available for each level.  Then Tuesday through Thursday, we have the IP clinics.  Then at the very end to cover still a reply to any questions the game developers may have, we will have the informal networking event.

Summarizing, we look forward to welcoming game developers from across the world to join the project, to better understand the basics of IP and expand their global video game network.  I end here and thank you very much for your attention.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  Thank you so much, Ryszard for that quick view of this WIPO initiative, and now we have a little bit of time now, not as much as we would like, but there have been some interesting discussions coming up in the chat, so I do want to bring out some of those points and maybe get some reactions and bring others into the conversation.  I think we started with Pedro who talked about in a question, and Pedro, if you're available, if you want to pose your question and explain a little bit about your conversation you've been having with Micaela in the chat, that would be great.  I'm really going back to where you basically said is Metaverse really a thing, isn't this a commercially oriented buzz lumping together different immersive technologies.  What was your point there and what was your question to Micaela?

   >> AUDIENCE MEMBER:  To be very brief, I was just kind of working on a text that Micaela wrote a few months ago that is about avoiding the Metaverse is actually just ‑‑ has the same problems that the Internet has to do about the lack of interoperability, lack of openness, and how to make it really useful and new, considering that every time we see a company announcing something about a Metaverse, there is just nothing really radically new and nothing really transformative in a sense that they are just new ‑‑ they are just old technologies being reused in a new way or some technologies that already exist having some new futures.  So how can we get this Metaverse idea to have something really new and useful to deserve to being autonomous concepts.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  Great.  Thank you.  Micaela, I know you responded a little in the chat.  Would you like to comment on that?

   >> MICAELA MANTEGNA:  Yeah.  I would love to invite Andres and Gaetano because I know we're very much on the same page about this.  The thing is people ‑‑ I'm going to invoke the woman of the Cloud at this point because most of the people having working in video games for a long time, we are kind of tired of saying there is not yet a Metaverse, this is virtual worlds when everyone be is like bumping up, we created this Metaverse and that one, and in reality, and at least one of the problems is we don't have a definition and that this is kind of an a fluid state and kind of like the Internet from the 90s, that it's like a mix and match of different aspects.  I like to say a bit of Frankenstein because you're piecing things together.

If we are thinking method logically and academically about what could make potentially a Metaverse different from existing virtual worlds for me at least it gives, it's interoperability, and this circles back to the fantastic analogies and points that Andres made with the different versions that we are going to get, are we going to get the multiverse of Madison that everything is clashing together or are we going to get a unified Metaverse by this is centralization yet again.  This is a much broader discussion that is interesting to have in the Internet Governance Forum because part of my background is in Internet governance, and the thing is that this circles back to the revenue models, and for this also, video games can provide really interesting blueprint about this because with we talk about video games, we are not talking about surveilling capitalism and data extractism because video games has healthier, not perfect, but healthier business model, and that could also bring another layer of interesting things to the conversation about Web 3 and models and I like to call this sustainability.  How are we going to create and sustain the Metaverse?  And it has to be like an evolution, and this is something that Pedro was referring to in the article that I say that the Metaverse is in other aspects and evolution of capitalism, because it ties to what Gaetano was saying about everything is going to be IP.  And one of my, how do you say, my forecast about this is like one of the missing pieces of the conversation is how consumer law is going to interact.  Because we have seen these clashes between IP and consumer law and data protection law, and I think that we need to have like a conversation where all of these moving pieces are talking to each other to create a state where we can talk about ownership in a different way, and it I say connect with the part what have Andres was saying about how are we going to reimagine ownership when everything is digital.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  Great.  Gaetano, anything on this one?  I see you mouthing things.

   >> GAETANO DIMITA:  No.  It is amazing.  Three people that have been working a lot on Metaverse and video games and we all agree on one side, and then we might even disagree, but we like discussing the details.  That's the important thing.  I wanted to answer Pedro because the first comment is working definition of Metaverse, a collection of commercially buzz word in order to get invest am, that could work as definition of the Metaverse, but this is a trick and I should say, and I'm cheating, I'm cheating a lot because the point that in video games we already experience mostly is problematic is true, but probably thanks to someone renaming their company to something that sounds like Metaverse, we got a lot of attention in the public ready to listen to things that have been underlined by academics and ‑‑ I was going to say freedom fighters, that's the wrong word but you know what I'm getting at.  People that are pointing out that sometimes, I entire ecosystem, IP, data protection, consume protection law, can create some environment that without a proper structure, legal structure, might be a cook's societal problem or create new ones, create digital poverty.  We really don't need that.  We're struggling to solve the problem in the real world so why impose it in that world.  When you start the conversation, when you start to look at the legislation as of today, you always run the risk of moral panics and regulation and amendment to the law that are caused by an article on a scandalistic newspaper published yesterday.  The Metaverse is an amazing opportunity to sit down and think properly about the big question and structure that of the future web without risking getting into a politicized ‑‑ and I'm looking at the transcript ‑‑ for the coordination of our argument.

For example, if you start discussing something like digital ownership as today based on streaming model, how creators get remunerated by creativity in streaming environment in which there is no more transfer of ownership of support, you get into today's business model and all the interest connected to the business model.  If you project it in the future, into something that like definition but we dream of it, I am already player 1 I want to have the player one experience one day and it's going to take a capitalization, we will probably never get there, but this helps us to clarify what the right questions are and how to better answer it without getting into the practicalities of today's business model.  I'm always being pushing, and I mean remember I've been pushing this argument since my PhD thesis on file sharing to tell you how old I am.  (Laughing).  The problem is we have to look at an IP that can inform policy business model.  Why sometimes the tendencies is you create a business model and then you kind of lobby to have is an IP that fits the business model that you wanted to have, and when you're looking at the old business model, it's very difficult for people that are basing livelihood of pre‑existing business model to just take like it and jump into a new environment and drop everything.  So that's why we like to project the discussion in the future.  It's time now, because probably we failed on the Internet, the dream of a decentralized Internet is gone.  The declaration of independence of the Cyberspace, wow, I call it the Cyberspace, I used to call it the Cyberspace.  These change but it is an amazing time and we're talking about it now before it happens.  This is the right time to have this conversation.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  Great.  I'm so sorry we basically are out of time but I do want to give Andres one chance to have a final word here and basically wrap up for us on your thoughts on some of the topics raised by our other fantastic experts.  Andres?

   >> ANDRES GUADAMUZ:  Yes, just very briefly, I think that probably what is going to happen with all of this subject is that we'll end up using Metaverse as a catch‑all term that doesn't really have a lot of meaning.  When you think about the Internet, for example, the Internet is not really a coherent and cohesive space.  It's things like file transfer protocols.  It's email.  It's all sorts of chat protocols that are used to exist.  And so, we ended up using the Internet to refer to absolutely everything.  So maybe the same thing we can do with the Metaverse for just want of a better term to be offline a root number and set of protocols and technologies that will interact with each other.  Maybe we'll end up having something like that and the Metaverse will be the best word to define all of those.  That's probably where I end.

   >> MICHELE WOODS:  Thank you so much.  I'm so sorry we don't have time to discuss other important questions in the chat.  I see a topic on gender equity that could certainly be its own topic in this field, but thank you so much to our amazing experts, Gaetano, Micaela, and Andres, and of course my colleague Ryszard for sharing all of your thoughts and experiences on this emerging topic with us, the video game sector at the time the NFTs and the Metaverse and let's all continue the conversation offline and with the great links that have been provided to us in the chat.  Looking forward to seeing everyone here in other contexts as the conversation continues.  Thank you so much.