112 W. Va. L. Rev. 1 (2009-2010)

handle is hein.journals/wvb112 and id is 1 raw text is: VIRTUAL RULE OF LAW
Michael Risch*
I.       IN TR O D U CTION  ........................................................................................1
II.      VIRTUAL WORLDS AND DIGITAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP ........................... 4
III.     THE RULE OF LAW AND VIRTUAL ECONOMIES .................................. 8
A.       The Tie between Law and Virtual Business ............................ 8
B.       Defining the Rule of Law ..................................................... 12
C.       Liberty and the Rule of Law ................................................ 16
IV.      DEFINING LAW IN RULE OF LAW ................................................... 23
V .      VIRTUAL    RULE  OF  LAW  ...................................................................... 27
A.       Market Regulation Via the User Agreement ......................... 27
1.       Contract Modification ............................................ 28
2.       V agueness ................................................................  3 1
3.       Lack of Enforceability and Enforcement ................ 32
B.       Community Norms as Law ................................................... 33
C .      Fact-F  inding  ........................................................................  36
D .      C ode  as  Law  ......................................................................... 37
1.       Code and the Rule of Law ....................................... 37
2.       The Interaction between Code and Agreements .......... 39
E.       Legislated Lawlessness and the Rules of the Game . ............ 41
F.       Legislated Rules and the Magic Circle ................................. 42
1.       In- W orld  Legislation  ...............................................  43
2.       Importation of Real-world Law .............................. 45
G.       Jurisdiction and Real-World Law ........................................ 48
V I.     C ON CLU  SION  ...................................................................................... 50
I. INTRODUCTION
The rule of law generally requires that governments announce and fol-
low the laws of the land. This allows citizens to know what to expect from their
government and to make investments accordingly.1 Business also relies on the
02009 by Michael Risch. This Article is an expanded version of the author's presentation at
the WEST VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW'S symposium on Digital Entrepreneurship. The author thanks
participants in that symposium, as well as Joshua Fairfield. Eric Goldman, James Grimmelman.
Greg Lastowka. Anne Lofaso, Brian Tamanaha. Francis Taney. and Tim Wu for their helpful
comments. Helpful research assistance was provided by Nate Griffith.
1    JOHN RAWLS, A THEORY OF JUSTICE 235 (1971) (A legal system is a coercive order of pub-
lic rules addressed to rational persons for the purpose of regulating their conduct and providing
the framework for social cooperation. When these rules are just they establish a basis for legiti-
mate expectations.).

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