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Bart Custers in Red Pers on Virtual Reality

The increasing Technological opportunities of Virtual Reality (VR) increasingly resemble the real world (and more). In Japan VR holidays are very popular and VR porn is emerging.

Bart Custers, head of research of eLaw, the center for Law and Digital Technologies explains in Red Pers, platform for journalist development, how VR is regulated (in Dutch).

Virtual Reality is not beyond the law. In some situations, the law also applies to VR, but in other cases it does not. For instance, in the Netherlands, threatening people is a crime regardless of whether it takes place online or offline (although it may hard to find the online perpetrators). Obviously, the victim has to be (the digital version of) a real person, not of a game character. In other situations, the law only applies to offline situations. A classic example in Dutch law is that of data theft. According to the Dutch Criminal Code, theft is defined as the ‘taking away’ of an object. However, in cases of data theft, the victim retains the original data. For this reason, a separate provision for criminalising data theft was included in the Dutch Criminal Code by the legislator.


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