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					Code & Other Laws of
     By Lawrence Lessig

     Reviewed by Thuy Nguyen
       November 17th 2005
•   About the author and the book
•   Main arguments of the book
•   Model of regulation
•   Regulability in cyberspace
•   Applications
•   KM perspective
•   Conclusions & Discussions
                  The Author
•   Currently professor at Stanford Law School
•   Taught at Harvard Law School and Chicago Law School
•   Bachelor in Business & Economics at UPenn
•   Bachelor in Philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge
•   J.D. from Yale Law School
•   Political view: conservative, then liberal
•   Expertise in cyberspace law
•   Works:
    – Code & Other Laws of Cyberspace (2000)
    – The Future of Ideas (2001)
    – Free Culture (2004)
   Main Arguments of the Book
• Cyberspace is not totally free & unregulable as
  commonly believed.
• E-commerce pushes certificate-rich cyberspace,
  by-product is regulability.
• Government helps this process by changing the
  ARCHITECTURE (code) of cyberspace.
• It’s our responsibility to determine how the
  cyberspace should be, as it would unavoidably
  have impacts on our life.
Model of Regulation
    Life of a Pathetic Dot


Architecture            Law

          Example - Smoking
• Legal constraint: under 18 can’t buy cigarettes
• Social norms constraint: no smoking in private
  cars or homes without asking for permission
• Market constraint: price constrains affordability
• Technology constraint (architecture): unfiltered
  vs filtered
       Examples - Cyberspace
• Law regulates behavior: copyright law,
  defamation law, obscenity law.
• Norms regulate behavior: talk too much in
  discussion lists, your emails are filtered.
• Market regulates behavior: pricing of internet
  services, or busy signals
• Architecture (code) regulates behavior: software
  and hardware constrain what you can do
               Role of Law


Architecture                 Law

       Role of Law - Examples
• Discrimination against the disabled:
  – Law barring discrimination on the basis of phisycal
    disability (regulate directly)
  – Educate children to change social norms (regulate
    through norms)
  – Subsidize companies to hire the disabled (regulate
    through market)
  – Regulate building codes to make building accessible
    to the disabled (regulate through architecture)
Regulability in Cyberspace
Cyberspace uncontrollable – Flat WRONG

• Cyberspace is uncontrollable, given its current
• Commerce will change this, no matter what
• Government to take positive role: regulate
  cyberspace through regulating its architecture
• West Coast vs East Coast regulation
   Control by Opening the Code
• NOT equal losing control
• EQUAL open control
• Requires law making be PUBLIC and
• Perfect control might not be possible, but
  effective control is
       Action Has to be Taken
• We are NOT ready for a new technological
  revolution: lesson from collapse of European
• WE need to make decisions
• Don’t let Microsoft & IBM decide what’s good
  for us
• Start with “translation process”: translate real-
  space values to be preserved in cyberspace
     Translation of Constitution
• The Trespass Law case
  – Protects persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
    unreasonable searches and seizures
  – Wiretapping: violation or not?
  – No: there’s no physical trespassing, physical properties
  – YES: although no physical trespassing, privacy violated
• Intellectual property
  – Technically possible to protect intellectual property
  – Means: trusted system, private fences not public law
  – Attention will shift to copy-duty, not copy-right
• Privacy
• Free speech
• Sovereignty
        From KM Perspective
• Understanding what regulates cyberspace helps
  us understand the framework in which
  information, knowledge, and behavior are
• We can shape what will manage us in the future
• Future of KM can be either good or bad,
  depending on our action, but there is great
  potential for better KM if regulations are
• We are entering an era of great potential for
  changing the cyberspace.
• We have to determine what change we want to
• Objects in cyberspace subject to the same
  regulators as in real-space
• Need to select what values to translate from
  real-space to cyberspace
• All these are KM and shape the future of KM

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