Just happened to bump into this bit of news at news.com http://news.com.com/Even+in+Net+litigation%2C+its+all+about+location/2010-1028_3-6180169.html?tag=nefd.top
The gist is that to establish the appropriateness of legal jurisdiction, an internet company must have a significant presence in the jurisdiction in question. The sound bite is that this means that there's a precedent for protecting internet operations from legal proceedings in all localities where they have some presence... that's not good enough, it has to be significant.
And wow, am I not an attorney. But this struck me as interesting in a couple of additional ways. First, I really like this notion of appropriate jurisdiction as it might be applied to virtual worlds. In some sense, to me, it seems like this might be a very reasonable and useful perspective on some of the amazingly complex questions of the law as applied to online communities.
And secondly, it seems to offer some tacit recognition of these entities as distinct cultures and/or legal domains... ie. that within the greater context of a national legal format, it might make sense to recognize the unique characteristics of online worlds as meaningful, and to address legal questions from that perspective.
Actually too, I think it's interesting as an example of how our culture works out responses to new permutations or occurrances... faced with these new circumstances, we're, collectively, working out how we think it's best to regard them, and behave around them, from a variety of perspectives... not the least of which is that codified set of community organizational principles that we call the law.
I find this perspective, too, sort of encouraging.