The Legal and Tax Dimension of MetaverseCeyda Kükrer
Human life changes as technology advances. The virtual universe, also known as the metaverse, is the final transition point. Unlike previous work on the Metaverse based on Second Life, the current Metaverse is based on the social values of Generation Z, with no distinction between the online and offline self. Despite the fact that Second Life is a virtual world, it has attracted significant investment and has emerged as an important venue for the marketing and branding of real-world products and services. In contrast to the previous Metaverse, integrating advanced social activities and neural network methods has necessitated a new definition for Metaverse, which is appropriate for today. In this context, the current study focuses on the Metaverse field’s expectations and concerns and its legal and tax implications. At the same time, the study will highlight the concept of the Metaverse and its relationship to the concept of the virtual world. The article also examines the legal dimensions of virtual items, primarily by looking at global practices and examples in Türkiye. The metaverse taxation process will be explained in light of the US virtual world tax decisions by considering the experiences with Second Life.
Hukuksal ve Vergisel Boyutlarıyla MetaverseCeyda Kükrer
Teknoloji geliştikçe insan hayatı değişime uğramaktadır. Metaverse olarak tanımlanan sanal evren ise, değişimin ulaştığı en son noktadır. Second Life’a dayanan Metaverse üzerine önceki çalışmaların aksine, mevcut Metaverse, çevrimiçi ve çevrimdışı benliklerin farklı olmadığı Z Kuşağı’nın sosyal değerine dayanmaktadır. Second life sanal bir dünya olmasına karşılık önemli yatırımları da çekmiştir ve gerçek hayattaki ürün ve hizmetlerin pazarlanması ve marka tanıtımı için önemli bir yer haline gelmiştir. Gelişmiş sosyal aktivitelerin ve sinir ağı yöntemlerinin entegrasyonu, önceki Metaverse’den farklı olarak, günümüze uygun yeni bir Metaverse tanımı gerektirir. Bu bağlamda mevcut çalışma, Metaverse alanına dair beklentileri ve endişeleri hukuksal ve vergisel boyutlarıyla ele almaktadır. Aynı zamanda Metaverse kavramı ve bu kavramın sanal dünya kavramı ile olan bağıntısı üzerinde durulmaktadır. Makale ayrıca sanal ögelerin hukuksal boyutunu çoğunlukla dünya uygulamaları yer yer Türkiye örnekleri dikkate alarak analiz etmektedir. Metaverse vergilendirme süreci Second life tecrübeleri de dikkate alınarak ABD sanal dünya vergi kararları ışığında açıklanacaktır.
Whereas space was once considered the final frontier, the newest worlds these days are in the space of digital devices and take place in cyberspace. Users in virtual worlds interact with their environment through characters known as avatars. Despite the fact that Second Life is a virtual world, it has managed to attract significant investments and emerged as an important venue for the marketing and brand promotion of real-world products and services. As a result, virtual worlds have emerged as a new frontier for conducting online business, with the commodification of virtual worlds being a new concept for virtual worlds (Bartle,2004, p. 19). People (characters) grow up, get married, buy homes, fight, even earn Money, and trade in these virtual worlds, some of which are a sort of imitation or simulation of real life and some of which are fantasy worlds. In other words, it does almost everything that is done in real life. Some participants are willing to accept real money in exchange for transferring such items to the real world. Even video game characters are available for real-world purchase. Many items have their own discernible market value as a result of such real market transactions (Hagerty, 2012, pp. 97–99), with some of these numbers being extremely high. The term metaverse was coined in 1992 by sciencefiction writer Neal Stephenson. Its most basic definition refers to “the concept of a fully immersive virtual world where people gather to socialize, play, and work.” The commercial importance of virtual worlds has grown as a result of these developments, and as the economic values of areas in the virtual world arise, questions about how to apply tax laws to transactions in these areas will inevitably arise as well. This article contends the taxation of global sales to only be appropriate for the sale of real products or areas. Should capital gains from virtual-world property be taxed? Furthermore, things such as the right to play; extra game time; access to in-game features, materials, and items; in-game character creation or development; in-game virtual currency; and game-related applications and packages are sold in online games to the player in the real-world setting for a fee. Should this revenue be considered income and taxed accordingly? Should someone whose avatar discovers or acquires a valuable item be taxed based on the item’s value? Should any increase in the value of a forgone item be taxed when a player trades a virtual item with another player in-game (e.g., for another item or virtual currency)? When considering tax revenues, these are critical questions to consider. No country has made a clear attempt to tax these virtual incomes. However, it has become an issue that piques the interest of many countries, with taxation regulations currently being researched. Each virtual game platform has its own set of coins. The vast majority of game coins are exchanged on either centralized or decentralized platforms. Unless converted into cash, coins earned from games accumulate for the player’s security. This article is of the opinion that such coinage should not be taxed unless it is converted into cash. This is supported by research on virtual world taxation. Despite popular belief, transactions in virtual worlds should still be taxed in terms of income taxation with regard to virtual games in many countries. Prizes from competitions (including games) and lottery winnings are taxable. This article examines how these virtual-world transactions should be taxed. World of Warcraft, similar to Second Life, will be defined as a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMO(RP)G). The second section will assess the legal and tax implications of virtual items in Türkiye and around the world.