Yes, You can get a Commercial Lease in the Metaverse

You may have heard that Facebook recently changed its corporate name to Meta. Part of the change involves creating virtual realities with virtual “land,” “buildings,” and burgeoning virtual “cities.” As reported here by Time media, already, there are many websites dedicated to building the most popular and populated virtual worlds. Meta may “win,” but time will tell. As described in the linked article, the virtual worlds include internet domains like The Sandbox, Decentraland, Roblox, Cryptovoxels, MetaCollective, Earth2, Nifty Island, Superworld, Wilder World, and others. According to Time, each domain offers “… different things to users: hyper-realistic graphics, gaming options, communities of specific types of early adopters.” Famous people have already built homes and spaces in the metaverse like Snoop Dogg who has a virtual home in The Sandbox and Paris Hilton who has an island in Roblox. Can signing a commercial lease in the metaverse be far behind?

The metaverse may sound strange, but remember, the internet sounded strange three decades ago. If you want a good science fiction book about how the metaverse might work, try Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel “Snow Crash.” See CNBC article here.

In the short term, if successful at all, the metaverse is likely to be an interesting and alternative way of shopping online. Instead of scrolling though often bland text-and-photo sales listings, you might go to a website and see a graphical representation of a marvelous store or spectacular house “containing” items you might like for your real-world house or virtual people wearing clothes that might look good on you. And maybe the metaverse will develop new and interesting ways to enjoy entertainment like a music concert.

Can I Buy “Land” in the Metaverse?

This is a legal website and, of course, we are interested in legal matters. So, can you legally “buy” property in the metaverse? The answer is “Yes, of course. “Land” in the metaverse is intangible, but that does not prevent the buying and selling of it. For hundreds of years, with the help of their experienced and trusted lawyers, people and businesses have been buying, selling, renting, and licensing intellectual property like trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, websites, and the like. Virtual properties in virtual worlds are just another variation on an old theme. Of course, buying virtual “land” is different from buying physical land. For example, with virtual land you can’t record a deed with the county clerk or buy title insurance. Naturally, YOU will have to determine if the virtual land you are buying is worth the price you are paying.

Can I rent space by signing a Commercial Lease in the Metaverse?

Again, the answer is “yes,” at least in theory. You would need to find a commercial landlord seeking to rent “space” in the metaverse. As one example, imagine a metaverse shopping mall of sorts. Legally, it would be a different sort of lease than one might negotiate and sign in real-world New York City. But it could be done and might be remarkably interesting indeed.

Contact the NYC Commercial Lease Negotiators at Wright Law Firm NYC Today

For more information, call the experienced New York commercial lease and real estate attorneys at Wright Law Firm NYC. We provide commercial real estate legal services and legal services for the NYC business community. To schedule a consultation, contact our office by e-mail or call us at (212) 619-1500.