Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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Basic Books, 1999 - Computers - 297 pages
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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

Contents

Four Puzzles from Cyberspace
9
IsIsm
24
Regulating Code
43
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Stanford Law School and the founder of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. The author of "The Future of Ideas and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace," he is the chair of the Creative Commons project (www.creativecommons.org). A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Cambridge University, and Yale Law School, he has clerked for Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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