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Basic Books
Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0 / Edition 2

Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0 / Edition 2

by Lawrence Lessig
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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465039142
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 12/28/2006
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Stanford Law School and founder of the school's 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 American's Top 50 Visionaries. He lives in Palo Alto, California.

Table of Contents

Part 1Regulability
Chapter 1Code Is Law3
Chapter 2Four Puzzles from Cyberspace9
Chapter 3Is-Ism24
Chapter 4Architectures of Control30
Chapter 5Regulating Code43
Part 2Code and Other Regulators
Chapter 6Cyberspaces63
Chapter 7What Things Regulate85
Chapter 8The Limits in Open Code100
Part 3Applications
Chapter 9Translation111
Chapter 10Intellectual Property122
Chapter 11Privacy142
Chapter 12Free Speech164
Chapter 13Interlude186
Chapter 14Sovereignty188
Part 4Responses
Chapter 15The Problems We Face213
Chapter 16Responses222
Chapter 17What Declan Doesn't Get231

What People are Saying About This

Jack M. Balkin

Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Director, the Information Society Project at Yale Law School

In Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Larry Lessig compellingly demonstrates the central idea of cyberlaw: Software architecture can regulate our lives as much as any legal rule. This is, quite simply, the best book that has been written on the law of cyberspace.

Julie E. Cohen

Lawrence Lessig exposes the limits of prevailing views about how cyberspace is (and is not) regulated, and makes a compelling case for the urgency of learning to transcend those limits. Code is essential reading for those who care about the future of cyberspace, and of the human society within which "cyberspace" plays an increasingly central role.

Mark A. Lemley

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.

Julian Dibbell

From the Author of My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World

Larry Lessig has taken an acute insight into the nature of law in and around cyberspace and turned it into a sweeping, powerful, and brilliantly lucid argument. For anyone passionate about securing the freedoms of thought and expression the Internet seems to promise, Code is a book full of challenging and galvanizing heresiesónot the least of them being Lessig's central insistence that computer code can be just as much a threat to those freedoms as legislative code. This is not just an interesting point; it demands a rethinking of the social contract as radical as any since the days of Locke. And with wit, rigor, and a graceful accessibility, Lessig here proves himself Locke's worthy heir.

Stewart Brand

From the Author of The Media Lab and The Clock of the Long Now

Lawrence Lessig is a James Madison of our time, crafting the lineaments of a well-tempered cyberspace. This book is a primer of "running code" for digital civilization. Like Madison, Lessig is a model of balance, judgement, ingenuity, and persuasive argument.

Charles Fried

This fascinating and provocative book is a fine introduction to the brave new world of the Internet, to the novel issues it raises, and to the old issues it poses in a new light.

Andrew L. Shapiro

From the Author of The Control Revolution

Graceful, provocative, witty, and unpredictable, Code is a masterpiece that neither lawyers nor Internet mavens can keep for themselves. It is indispensable for anyone who wants to understand the digital age.

Jeffrey Rosen

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. This dark, exhilarating work is the most important book of its generation about the relationship between law, cyberspace, and social organization.

Daniel Bell

From the Author of The Coming of Post-Industrial Society

Lessig's exposition reads like a Stanley Kubrick film, with the menace made palpable by new technologies....It is a troubling book, and one that needs to be taken seriously.

Bruce Ackerman

Code penetrates the cyberfluff to reveal the deep structure of our brave new world.

William. J. Mitchell

Lawrence Lessig takes seriously the proposition that, in cyberspace, code is the law, and he traces out the consequences in a lucid and insightful way. If you want to know what daily life will be like in the computer-mediated twenty-first century, this is essential reading.

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Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
RicDay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You may agree or disagree with Lessig's POV (I mostly agree), but this update on his original "Code" remains a must-read for anyone interested in the legal and ethical dilemmas presented by the anarchic Internet on one side and the attempts by large corporate interests to control it for their own benefit on the other side. A book that should make you think long and hard about the changes the Internet is wreaking and what we should do, or not do, about them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.