What contracts should I have in place for my VR/AR experience? Part 1

The world of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is pretty new, but fortunately, the legal standards for these experiences are still very similar to the legal standards for video games and experiences in other more common media types.

The primary contracts you want to have in place for a VR or AR experience are an end-user license agreement (a EULA) and depending on the circumstances, you may also want a more specific liability waiver. This might seem obvious – especially to more experienced developers and business people –  but it meant as an introduction. We will be doing more on this topic in the future – including specific posts on best practices, specific EULA terms for different types of experience, user-generated content, harassment and data policies.

What is a waiver? A waiver is typically an expressed or implied relinquishment of a legal advantage, claim, requirement or right that’s written into a document. Put simply: a waiver is a way to have a user say “we won’t enforce ____ right against you.” Typically, that right is the right to sue for injury.

A waiver may be included in a EULA, but it needs to be reasonably specific so that the end user knows what rights they are giving up. In some states, there are actually statutory requirements for different kinds of waivers.

A waiver could also be separate from the EULA. For example, consider an event booth or VR arcade. A waiver in this situation may be a separate document that the end-user signs stating that the risk of going through the VR/AR experience is understood. Vision is limited when wearing a VR headset and the end-user may need to sign an agreement saying that they will not sue the vendor (or maybe the experience creator if required of the vendor by a commercial license) if they lose touch with actual reality and walk outside of the VR grid and straight into a wall.