We continue to summarize the results of 2020 together with top managers and experts of the gaming industry (and related ones). Next up is an interview with Vladislav Arkhipov, an advisor to Dentons' Russian practice in the field of intellectual property and a professor at St. Petersburg State University.
What laws and proceedings were worth considering this year?
First, I would like to mention the Federal Law "On Personal Data". It has not changed in general, except for a couple of rules regarding the processing of personal data within the framework of the experimental legal regime in Moscow. But it still raises a lot of questions among representatives of the gaming industry. I would like to note that the attention to the protection of personal data — and from gaming companies — is growing, as is the need to understand what strategies and approaches should be chosen to reduce legal risks.
Secondly, at the very end of 2019, amendments to theThe Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation (Administrative Code of the Russian Federation). They established special responsibility for violating the requirement to localize the processing of personal data of Russian citizens [According to the legislation of the Russian Federation, data about users of the country must be stored on domestic servers. In the event that they are located locally somewhere else, the state begins to issue fines. — Editor's note]. Now liability implies a fine of up to 6 million rubles for the first violation and up to 18 million rubles for repeated violations. And in February 2020, the first such fines were already imposed.
Otherwise, well-known things regarding various regulatory obligations, as well as special content requirements (both in terms of interpreting the criteria for "prohibited information" on the Internet and in the field of child protection) are still relevant in this area of practice.
At the global level, of course, there are constantly problems with GDPR, which is also relevant for non-European jurisdictions due to the rules on extraterritorial application.
A review of the Intellectual Property Court's practice on intellectual property law in relation to computer programs and databases is currently being prepared. The progress of VKontakte and Double will be important for the IT and Internet industry [The latter, unbeknownst to the social network, collected open data from its users in order for banks to assess their creditworthiness. VKontakte requires the removal of the "Double" software. — Ed.], but any events in it are already a matter of 2021.
As for world practice, the world, perhaps, first of all followed and continue to follow the litigation between Epic Games and Apple, as well as the confrontation between Google and Oracle. The first, perhaps, is well known to everyone. In the center of the second is a rather complicated story with the question of whether the "fair use" rule applies to the API, whether the structure, organization and sequence of a computer program is protected by copyright.
What legislative initiatives do you expect from next year?
Ideally, we would like to expect such legislative initiatives that will be aimed at eliminating the formal uncertainty of individual norms, and for the gaming industry – aimed at supporting it.
From the directions in the field close to me, I think we can expect some changes in the field of personal data. As far as I understand, work is underway to create conditions for the turnover of large user data. Perhaps increased responsibility.
Normative activity in the field of legal foundations for the introduction of artificial intelligence technologies is also becoming more active.
We should also expect the development of legislation in the field of experimental legal regimes, within which it is possible to locally "weaken" certain requirements for the development of the innovation industry. Probably, something can be useful for the gaming industry as well.
What game releases are you interested in?
I usually play late. It is very rare to get to play something relevant. Of the "big" games this year, the third "Witcher" with additions took place in the summer. Of course, this is a masterpiece.
The discoveries of the year for me were Caves of Qud (I admit, I have not admired games so sincerely for a very long time) and No Man's Sky after the release of the last update (the game charmed with the degree of freedom, scale and procedural generation of everything).
The only multiplayer games I've been playing lately are Magic: The Gathering Arena. I've been playing MTG since I was a schoolboy, and this year I managed to take the Mythic rank in three seasons. If you know the mechanics and maps well, then Magic is very convenient to play in short sessions (a match can last only 5-10 minutes), which is suitable for a busy working year.
Now, in my rare free time, I study "history" – I pass Wizardry 6. We plan to complete the seventh and eighth parts in one batch, and then, probably, switch to something more modern — Assassin's Creed: Valhalla.