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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, first published in 2000, 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 oppressive control. Under the influence of commerce, cyberspace is becoming a highly regulable space, where 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. Since its original publication, this seminal book has earned the status of a minor classic. This second edition, or Version 2.0, has been prepared through the author’s wiki, a web site that allows readers to edit the text, making this the first reader-edited revision of a popular book.
"This may be the most important book ever published about the Internet, as well as one of the most readable. Lessig's ideas are deep and insightful, and they will shape the way the future develops. He is a master at seeing the important ideas lurking behind things we all take for granted."
--Mark A. Lemley, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkley
"Lessig's book is an astonishing achievement. The nation's leading scholar of cyberspace has produced a paradigm-shifting work that will transform the debate about the architecture of cyberspace. Lessig challenges us to make choices about freedom, privacy, intellectual property, and technology that most of us didn't recognize as choices in the first place."
--Jeffrey Rosen, Legal Affairs Editor, The New Republic
|Chapter 1||Code Is Law||3|
|Chapter 2||Four Puzzles from Cyberspace||9|
|Chapter 4||Architectures of Control||30|
|Chapter 5||Regulating Code||43|
|Part 2||Code and Other Regulators|
|Chapter 7||What Things Regulate||85|
|Chapter 8||The Limits in Open Code||100|
|Chapter 10||Intellectual Property||122|
|Chapter 12||Free Speech||164|
|Chapter 15||The Problems We Face||213|
|Chapter 17||What Declan Doesn't Get||231|
Posted January 18, 2008
Before Larry Lessig began teaching a course on ¿cyberlaw¿ in the 1990s, few people knew this awkward term for ¿regulation of the Internet.¿ But Lessig, now a professor at Stanford Law School, has always kept close to the bleeding edge of technology. He started programming in high school and later helped the U.S. Supreme Court go digital. Even this book¿s development shows the author¿s geek //bona fides:// He revised it using a ¿wiki,¿ a software platform that allows multiple users to edit the text simultaneously via the Web. While the book¿s details have changed a bit since the first edition, Lessig¿s main point is the same. Because of its design, the Internet is perhaps the most ¿regulable¿ entity imaginable and, unless its users are careful, it will morph into something that diminishes, rather than enhances, liberty. Moreover, trying to keep the Internet ¿unregulated¿ is folly. While this book is sometimes bloated and repetitive, we find that it is still required reading for anyone who cares about the social impact of the most important technology since electrification.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2011
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