New, recent, and forthcoming books

I can’t claim to have read (nor pretend that I am able to afford) the following books, so list them here (with publishers’ blurb and reviews from Amazon and elsewhere) merely as a mnemonic for myself as much as information for vortiCISM readers.

Duranske, B.T.  (2008). Virtual Law: Navigating the Legal Landscape of Virtual Worlds.  Chicago: American Bar Association.  ISBN: 978-1-60442-009-8

“This book is an introduction to the emerging and fascinating world of virtual law. It examines current cases and legislation impacting virtual world providers and users, and makes predictions about the future application of current law. It addresses the application of intellectual property law (copyright, trademark, and patent), criminal law, property law, contract law, securities law, tax law, and civil procedure. The author provides clear and practical advice on how to create a virtual world presence for your practice or for your clients with virtual world connections. The book also includes extensive appendices listing in-world and web-based resources for practitioners and legal scholars.
If you are one of the many who have read about and heard about virtual worlds but do not really understand what a virtual world is, or even how to use appropriate terminology when discussing them, then this is the book for you.”

Sparrow, A.  (2010).  The Law of Virtual Worlds and Internet Social Networks.  Farnham: Gower.  ISBN-13: 978-0566088506

“Virtual worlds are the latest manifestation of the internet’s inexorable appetite for development. Organisations of all kinds are enthusiastically pursuing the commercial opportunities offered by the growth of this phenomenon. But if you believe that there are no laws which govern internet social networks and virtual worlds, this book will persuade you otherwise. There is law, and a good deal of it. Why would there not be? As with many other aspects of the world wide web, this new medium is unregulated and offers many opportunities for companies to damage their reputation, run into a whole host of problems relating to intellectual property, trade marks and copyrights, and compromise the rights of individuals participating within the virtual environment. By reading “The Law of Virtual Worlds and Internet Social Networks”, you will gain a good understanding of the legal issues which govern this expanding and fascinating world – are you ready for the leap from internet plaything to meaningful social and business tool? “The Law of Virtual Worlds and Internet Social Networks” is an essential reference for advertising and media agencies; television broadcast producers; and, academic institutions including university law, knowledge and information departments. In fact, it has been written for anyone interested in virtual worlds and social networks whether commercially because you want to explore the possibilities such environments present, or for academic curiosity.” (Amazon)

Wankel, C. & Malleck, S. (eds.) (2010). Emerging Ethical Issues of Life in Virtual Worlds.  Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.  ISBN-13: 978-1607523772

“Virtual Worlds are being increasingly used in business and education. With each day more people are venturing into computer generated online persistent worlds such as Second Life for increasingly diverse reasons such as commerce, education, research, and entertainment. This book explores the emerging ethical issues associated with these novel environments for human interaction and cutting-edge approaches to these new ethical problems. This volume’s goal is to put forward a number of these virtual world ethical issues of which research is only commencing. The developing literature specifically regarding virtual world ethics is a recent phenomenon. Research based on the phenomenon of virtual world life has only been developing in the past four years. This volume introduces pathbreaking work in a field which is only just beginning to take shape. It is ideal as both as a library reference and a supplementary text in upper-division courses focused on the issues of applied ethics and new media. It is unique in being one of the first volumes specifically addressed to ethical problems of the “metaverse”. This volume includes articles from authors from around the world exploring topics such as: employing rationalist and casuistic approaches to the controversial topic of “virtual rape” yield an increased understanding of how virtual worlds ought to be designed, the relationship between the ethical and legal dimensions of virtual world users’ participation in ‘paratexts’, utilitarian consideration of harm and freedom in the case of virtual pedophilia, norms of research ethics in virtual worlds, the ethical implications of employing virtual worlds as tools for medical education and experimenting with healthcare services, the ethics of the collective action of virtual world communities, consideration of the virtue and potential of cosmopolitanism in virtual worlds, Deleuzian ethical approaches to the experience of the disabled in virtual worlds, the ethics of virtual world design, and the ethical implications of the ‘illusion of reality’ presented by virtual worlds.” (Amazon)

Adrian, A.  (2010). Law and Order in Virtual Worlds. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.  ISBN-13: 978-1615207954.

“Law and Order in Virtual Worlds: Exploring Avatars, Their Ownership and Rights provides an understanding of the interface between the laws of the real world and the laws of the virtual worlds. Written for anyone who has ventured into a virtual reality and wondered what, if any, real world consequences would follow their actions, this book raises and answers compelling legal questions about such issues as owning virtual assets, intellectual property right infringements and virtual liabilities in the real world.” (Flipkart)

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About Christopher Hutchison

Museologist, cognitive dissident, political grouch, curmudgeonly bibliophage, and all round jolly nice chap.
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