Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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Basic Books, 1999 - Law - 297 pages
3 Reviews
There's a common belief that cyberspace cannot be regulated--that it is, in its very essence, immune from the government's (or anyone else's) control."Code" argues that this belief is wrong. It is not in the nature of cyberspace to be unregulable; cyberspace has no "nature." It only has code--the software and hardware that make cyberspace what it is. That code can create a place of freedom--as the original architecture of the Net did--or a place of exquisitely oppressive control.If we miss this point, then we will miss how cyberspace is changing. Under the influence of commerce, cyberpsace is becoming a highly regulable space, where our behavior is much more tightly controlled than in real space.But that's not inevitable either. We can--we must--choose what kind of cyberspace we want and what freedoms we will guarantee. These choices are all about architecture: about what kind of code will govern cyberspace, and who will control it. In this realm, code is the most significant form of law, and it is up to lawyers, policymakers, and especially citizens to decide what values that code embodies.

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Code and other laws of cyberspace

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Lessig (law, Harvard) tackles the tricky and troubling question of Internet regulation. Cyberspace has no intrinsic structure to protect its libertarian nature, and we are now well into an era where ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Stanford Law School and founder of the schoolís Center for the Internet and Society. After clerking for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, he served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Yale Law School, and Harvard Law School before moving to Stanford. He represented the web site developer Eric Eldred before the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Eldred, a landmark case challenging the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. His other books are Free Culture and The Future of Ideas. Lessig also chairs the Creative Commons project and serves on the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In 2002 he was named one of Scientific Americanís Top 50 Visionaries. He lives in Palo Alto, California.

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