300 episodes

"Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, rules, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law) of Northville, Michigan.

Rick has practiced for more than a decade at some of the country's largest law firms, representing IT, software, video game, and other technology companies, as well as the individuals and institutions which fund them.

DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.

Any and all feedback is appreciated. Let us know what you think!

Virtual Legality Hoeg Law

    • Leisure

"Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, rules, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law) of Northville, Michigan.

Rick has practiced for more than a decade at some of the country's largest law firms, representing IT, software, video game, and other technology companies, as well as the individuals and institutions which fund them.

DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.

Any and all feedback is appreciated. Let us know what you think!

    Is That Stadia Director Actually Right? Why Streamers Should Worry (VL345)

    Is That Stadia Director Actually Right? Why Streamers Should Worry (VL345)

    "Streamers worried about getting their content pulled because they used music they didn't pay for should be more worried by the fact that they're streaming games they didn't pay for as well. It's all gone as soon as publishers decide to enforce it."

    Alex Hutchinson, Stadia Creative Director - October 22, 2020
    ***

    With Twitch causing thousands of streamers to purge their videos and clips at the behest of the music industry (and under threat of DMCA takedown), Stadia creative director Alex Hutchinson decided to throw in his own two cents, castigating those streamers complaining about the process and suggesting that what they should really be worried about is that they were not currently getting the licenses they needed to even stream the games themselves.

    The problem? He's right.

    But not in the way that he thinks.

    Let's dive in.

    Just being right doesn't always make you right...in Virtual Legality.

    CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AT: https://youtu.be/brfG76V2DEo

    #Streamers #Licenses #Twitch

    ***
    Discussed in this episode:

    "Streamers worried about getting their content pulled..."
    Tweet - October 22, 2020 - Alex Hutchinson (@BangBangClick)
    https://twitter.com/BangBangClick/status/1319305552560836609

    "Understanding DMCA Takedowns (amidst Twitch's Recent...Troubles) (VL344)"
    YouTube Video - October 22, 2020 - Hoeg Law
    https://youtu.be/t2GU5oaAL1A

    "Google distances itself from Stadia creative director's comments"
    Gamasutra - October 22, 2020 - Kris Graft
    https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/372420/Google_distances_itself_from_Stadia_creative_directors_comments.php

    "Is Streaming Among Us...Illegal? (VL332)"
    YouTube Video - October 6, 2020 - Hoeg Law
    https://youtu.be/sNRk_BV5rFg

    Steam Subscriber Agreement
    Updated August 28, 2020
    https://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/

    "Streaming, Copyright Infringement, and Fair Use (Virtual Legality #177)"
    YouTube Video - February 19, 2020 - Hoeg Law
    https://youtu.be/vTjsKrC3tOE

    "Legal Jibber Jabber"
    Riot Games Website - Last Updated: August 2018
    https://www.riotgames.com/en/legal

    "Folks, the real discussion today should be about just how poorly content creators are treated in EULAs...."
    Tweet - October 22, 2020 - Richard Hoeg (@HoegLaw)
    https://twitter.com/HoegLaw/status/1319357564627406851

    Jackbox Website
    https://www.jackboxgames.com/

    Jackbox "Streamers"
    https://www.jackboxgames.com/streamers/

    Jackbox "Terms of Service"
    Updated - January 26, 2018
    https://www.jackboxgames.com/terms-of-service/

    "What is the average streamer supposed to do?"
    Tweet - October 22, 2020 - Richard Hoeg (@HoegLaw)
    https://twitter.com/HoegLaw/status/1319359891107205127

    "It is INSANE that [Twitch] informs partners they deleted their content..."
    Tweet - October 20, 2020 - Devin (@DevinNash)
    https://twitter.com/DevinNash/status/1318621892933087234

    "My primary position is that the publishers/developers have (rightly) seen the value in streaming..."
    Tweet - October 22, 2020 - Richard Hoeg (@HoegLaw)
    https://twitter.com/HoegLaw/status/1319342399286628352

    "We believe that Publishers and Creators have a wonderful symbiotic relationship..."
    Tweet - October 22, 2020 - Ryan Wyatt (@Fwiz)
    https://twitter.com/Fwiz/status/1319378835125628928


    ***
    "Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

    CHECK OUT THE REST OF VIRTUAL LEGALITY HERE:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy9YAU61GoW-00K0TJOGnPCo

    DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.

    ***
    Twitter: @hoeglaw
    Web: hoeglaw.com
    Blog: hoeglaw.wordpress.com
    STORE: https://teespring.com/stores/hoeg-law-store

    • 19 min
    Understanding DMCA Takedowns (amidst Twitch's Recent...Troubles) (VL344)

    Understanding DMCA Takedowns (amidst Twitch's Recent...Troubles) (VL344)

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a cornerstone of the modern Internet, especially those particular corners of it that allow (or encourage!) the creation, uploading, and sharing of user generated content outside the platform owner's direct control.

    But there are a great many misunderstandings and misconceptions about how the DMCA works with respect to these platforms; misconceptions that the platforms themselves are all too willing to exploit.

    The most recent example being a set of "tonally challenged" messages which streaming service Twitch has delivered to its content creators, deleting their materials unilaterally and implying that such creators need to "educate themselves"...all while the platform itself obfuscated the requirements and operation of the very DMCA it was continuously referencing.

    Safe Harbors are nice, but they aren't obligatory...in Virtual Legality.

    CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AT: https://youtu.be/t2GU5oaAL1A

    #DMCA #Takedowns #Twitch

    ***
    Discussed in this episode:

    "Twitch streamers were issued tons of DMCA takedown notices today"
    Polygon - October 20, 2020 - Nicole Carpenter
    https://www.polygon.com/2020/10/20/21525587/twitch-dmca-takedown-notice-content

    "It is INSANE that [Twitch] informs partners they deleted their content..."
    Tweet - October 20, 2020 - Devin (@DevinNash)
    https://twitter.com/DevinNash/status/1318621892933087234

    "Last of Us Leak Legalities"
    YouTube Playlist - Hoeg Law
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy-ULKii2yP9AY-Emo1_G8xN

    "This content was identified and deleted for you..."
    Tweet - October 20, 2020 - Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport)
    https://twitter.com/TwitchSupport/status/1318624376649113600

    "Is Streaming Among Us...Illegal? (VL332)"
    YouTube Video - October 6, 2020 - Hoeg Law
    https://youtu.be/sNRk_BV5rFg

    "Nope. It’s just a safe harbor."
    Tweet - October 20, 2020 - Richard Hoeg (@HoegLaw)
    https://twitter.com/HoegLaw/status/1318695756082143232

    "No option to counter-notice?"
    Tweet - October 20, 2020 - LegalEagle (@LegalEagleDJ)
    https://twitter.com/LegalEagleDJ/status/1318686242079461378

    "Limitations on liability relating to material online"
    17 USC 512 (the DMCA)
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/512

    "Contributory Infringement"
    Cornell Law School Web Entry
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/contributory_infringement

    Twitch "Terms of Service"
    Updated October 14, 2020
    https://www.twitch.tv/p/legal/terms-of-service/

    "The worst kept secret in digital copyright..."
    Tweet - October 20, 2020 - Richard Hoeg (@HoegLaw)
    https://twitter.com/HoegLaw/status/1318675036056727554

    ***
    "Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

    CHECK OUT THE REST OF VIRTUAL LEGALITY HERE:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy9YAU61GoW-00K0TJOGnPCo

    DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.

    ***
    Twitter: @hoeglaw
    Web: hoeglaw.com
    Blog: hoeglaw.wordpress.com
    STORE: https://teespring.com/stores/hoeg-law-store

    • 22 min
    The Google/DoJ Antitrust Lawsuit: A Virtual Legality Deep Dive (VL343)

    The Google/DoJ Antitrust Lawsuit: A Virtual Legality Deep Dive (VL343)

    On October 20, 2020, the US Department of Justice together with 11 Republican State Attorneys General, filed a momentous lawsuit against Google for the illegal monopolization of search engines and search advertising services.

    Clearly following the outline laid out for them some two decades before in the contentious case of United States vs Microsoft, today's DoJ brings a stronger claims than some we have reviewed here in Virtual Legality, but with deficiencies all its own.

    Won't you dive in with us? There's a lot to cover, but we do note...

    You can always change your defaults...in Virtual Legality.

    CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AT: https://youtu.be/0oe_R-64bGE

    #Google #Antitrust #DoJ

    ***
    CHAPTERS
    00:00 Introduction
    10:59 A Background on Antitrust
    15:50 An Overview of the DoJ's Case
    27:55 United States vs Microsoft (Overview)
    35:39 Exclusionary Contracts and Default Settings
    57:05 Market Definitions
    1:01:54 Allegations of Anticompetitive Conduct
    1:15:42 Legal Claims/Request for Relief
    1:19:30 Google Response and Conclusion

    ***
    Discussed in this episode:

    "Justice Department Sues Monopolist Google For Violating Antitrust Laws"
    US Department of Justice - October 20, 2020
    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-sues-monopolist-google-violating-antitrust-laws

    "Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets"
    Majority Staff Report - Subcommittee on Antitrust, US House of Representatives
    https://judiciary.house.gov/uploadedfiles/competition_in_digital_markets.pdf

    "United States v Google"
    Initial Complaint - Filed October 20, 2020
    https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1328941/download

    "An Antitrust Epic"
    YouTube Playlist - Hoeg Law
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy-lb7ReoUqL5_dTcM8ngmfV

    "Monopolizing trade a felony; penalty"
    15 USC Section 2
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/2

    "The Antitrust Laws"
    FTC Website
    https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/antitrust-laws

    "Single Firm Conduct"
    FTC Website
    https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/single-firm-conduct

    "Monopolization Defined"
    FTC Website
    https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/single-firm-conduct/monopolization-defined

    "United States vs Microsoft"
    Conclusions of Law - US District Court
    https://www.justice.gov/atr/microsoft-conclusions-law-us-v-microsoft-corporation-state-new-york-et-al-v-microsoft

    "United States v. Microsoft Corp."
    97 F Supp 2d 59
    https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp2/97/59/2339529/

    "United States v. Microsoft Corp."
    Court of Appeals Ruling - June 28, 2001
    https://cyber.harvard.edu/msdoj/msft_ruling.html

    "A deeply flawed lawsuit that would do nothing to help consumers"
    Google Blog Post - October 20, 2020
    https://blog.google/outreach-initiatives/public-policy/response-doj

    ***
    "Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

    CHECK OUT THE REST OF VIRTUAL LEGALITY HERE:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy9YAU61GoW-00K0TJOGnPCo

    DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.

    ***
    Twitter: @hoeglaw
    Web: hoeglaw.com
    Blog: hoeglaw.wordpress.com
    STORE: https://teespring.com/stores/hoeg-law-store

    • 1 hr 24 min
    A Lawyer's Deep Dive Into The Dragonlance/WoTC Lawsuit (VL342)

    A Lawyer's Deep Dive Into The Dragonlance/WoTC Lawsuit (VL342)

    The Dragonlance series of books, themselves an offshoot of the Dungeons and Dragons brand, has been around for decades, but now finds itself at the center of a thorny legal dispute.

    Fan favorite authors Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis, responsible for the core of the series, have sued the holder of the Dragonlance and D&D intellectual property, Wizards of the Coast (itself owned by Hasbro) for breach of contract and "bad faith" dealings.

    What is the basis for the claim? What is Wizards of the Coast doing (or not doing) that gave rise to this action? And what, if anything, do outrage mobs, misogyny, claims of racism (and more) have to do with anything?

    Sometimes the thumbnails don't get updated...in Virtual Legality.

    CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AT: https://youtu.be/x18niWAQiBk

    #Dragonlance #WoTC #Lawsuit

    ***
    CHAPTERS
    00:00 Introduction/Dragonlance IP
    09:02 Lawsuit Overview
    21:40 The Alleged Facts
    40:00 The Authors' Legal Claims (Breach, Good Faith, Interference)
    53:43 Conclusion (Request to Finish the Trilogy)

    ***
    Discussed in this episode:

    "Dragonlance authors sue Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of The Coast"
    Polygon - October 19, 2020 - Charlie Hall
    https://www.polygon.com/2020/10/19/21523673/dragonlance-authors-weis-hickman-sue-wizards-of-the-coast-dungeons-and-dragons

    "Hey Hoeg! Here's something you may be interested in..."
    Tweet - October 19, 2020 - Joseph La Russa (@Joseph_La_Russa)
    https://twitter.com/Joseph_La_Russa/status/1318209741785616384

    "Dragonlance"
    Wikipedia Entry
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonlance

    "Q&A: Who Owns Dragonlance?"
    Tracy Hickman Blog - January 4, 2014
    https://trhickman.com/qa-owns-dragonlance/

    "Definitions"
    17 USC 101
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/101

    "Ownership of copyright"
    17 USC 201
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/201

    "Termination of transfers and licenses granted by the author"
    17 USC 203
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/203

    Weis and Hickman vs Wizards of the Coast
    Filed October 16, 2020
    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/7245020-Weis.html?fbclid=IwAR0NcCP9dunPpO8CGRGS9RGVYo8yfm1bCWomEe6d6wnVM3Z0md1DmIK8XsA

    "List of Wizards of the Coast products"
    Wikipedia Entry
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wizards_of_the_Coast_products

    "What You Should Know about the Implied Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing"
    ABA Blog Post - July 26, 2016
    https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/committees/business-torts-unfair-competition/practice/2016/duty-of-good-faith-fair-dealing/

    ***
    "Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

    CHECK OUT THE REST OF VIRTUAL LEGALITY HERE:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy9YAU61GoW-00K0TJOGnPCo

    DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.

    ***
    Twitter: @hoeglaw
    Web: hoeglaw.com
    Blog: hoeglaw.wordpress.com
    STORE: https://teespring.com/stores/hoeg-law-store

    • 56 min
    How Sony's Terms Permit PS5 Voice Recordings (and How To Change It) (VL341)

    How Sony's Terms Permit PS5 Voice Recordings (and How To Change It) (VL341)

    When users of Sony's PlayStation 4 (PS4) were greeted this past week with a warning that their party chats may be recorded, a number of publications sounded the alarm. Why was such functionality necessary? Was Sony spying on its users? To what end?

    As Sony took note of the controversy, the corporation proceeded to make blog posts and tweets assuring folks that "it wasn't that bad", and that Sony only had its users best interests in mind.

    But while the messaging was appreciated, the question remains: what rights does Sony reserve in its own terms of service. And how might those be changed to better reflect what the company is telling the world?

    Maybe play should have *some* limits...in Virtual Legality.

    CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AT: https://youtu.be/y6sEHOUkgPo

    #Sony #Recording #PS5

    ***
    Discussed in this episode:

    "Sony will let PS5 owners record their voice chats and snitch on fellow players"
    The Verge - October 14, 2020 - Jay Peters
    https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/14/21516928/sony-ps5-playstation-5-owners-record-listen-voice-chats-moderation-4-8-0-software-update

    "What's Actually IN those New PlayStation Network (PSN) Terms? (VL334)"
    YouTube Video - October 8, 2020 - Hoeg Law
    https://youtu.be/e9J9dhI4qKA

    PlayStation Network Terms of Service
    Updated October 2020
    https://www.playstation.com/en-us/legal/psn-terms-of-service/

    California Code, Penal Code - PEN § 632
    https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/penal-code/pen-sect-632.html

    "Details on new voice chat functionality coming to PS5"
    PlayStation Blog - October 16, 2020
    https://blog.playstation.com/2020/10/16/details-on-new-voice-chat-functionality-coming-to-ps5/

    "Hey folks - just wanted to let you know that we’re looking into your feedback on the recent changes to Parties on PS4."
    Tweet - October 17, 2020 - PlayStation (@PlayStation)
    https://twitter.com/PlayStation/status/1317616221580218368

    ***
    "Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

    CHECK OUT THE REST OF VIRTUAL LEGALITY HERE:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy9YAU61GoW-00K0TJOGnPCo

    DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.

    ***
    Twitter: @hoeglaw
    Web: hoeglaw.com
    Blog: hoeglaw.wordpress.com
    STORE: https://teespring.com/stores/hoeg-law-store

    • 22 min
    Who Censors The Censors? On Facebook, Twitter, Biden, and The NY Post (VL340)

    Who Censors The Censors? On Facebook, Twitter, Biden, and The NY Post (VL340)

    Facebook and Twitter have acted, almost simultaneously, to restrict or ban dissemination of a New York Post article implicating Hunter Biden and his father, presidential candidate Joe Biden, in Ukrainian malfeasance, all on the back of an apparently abandoned laptop.

    Is it real? Is it fake?

    Big Tech doesn't want you to judge for yourself, and that's a problem...in Virtual Legality.

    CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AND THE SOURCES: https://youtu.be/ul9nsTu6NvQ

    #Gamestop #Microsoft #Xbox

    ***
    "Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

    CHECK OUT THE REST OF VIRTUAL LEGALITY HERE:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy9YAU61GoW-00K0TJOGnPCo

    DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.

    ***
    Twitter: @hoeglaw
    Web: hoeglaw.com
    Blog: hoeglaw.wordpress.com
    STORE: https://teespring.com/stores/hoeg-law-store

    ***
    DESIGN WORK
    Joe Ellis (Logo Design)
    Chris Leroux (Motion Graphics)
    For more information: contact Chris at @Chrisleroux on Twitter.

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    • 41 min

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