Napster's Second Life: The regulatory challenges of virtual worlds

Imagine a world with millions of people communicating and transacting, a world just like ours except that it is made entirely of bits, not atoms.

Ten years ago, Internet pioneer and Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow imagined such a radical world—cyberspace. He saw people interacting without the constraints of national rules. They would be independent from regulatory fiat and unbound by the mandates of Washington, Paris, London, Berlin or Beijing. His vision relied on information traveling over a global network at lightning speed, with content living off server farms in nations with little regulation, weak enforcement, or both. In this world of global regulatory arbitrage, organisations could relocate their servers to jurisdictional safe havens overnight. (...)
Northwestern University Law Review

Complete introduction of the article as a PDF to be found here.

Available on the website since October 30, 2007