What's Yours is Mine: Open Access and the Rise of Infrastructure Socialism

Cato Institute
Free sample

n What's Yours Is Mine: Open Access and the Rise of Infrastructure Socialism, authors Adam Thierer and Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. examine the hazards of mandatory open access -- a new trend in which hyper-regulatory bureaucrats and central planners are increasingly commanding technology companies and industry sectors to share networks, facilities, or specific technologies with rivals.
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About the author

Adam Thierer is the director of telecommunications studies at the Cato Institute.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Cato Institute
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Published on
Dec 31, 2003
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Pages
131
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ISBN
9781930865426
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Free Enterprise & Capitalism
Law / General
Law / Public Utilities
Political Science / American Government / Legislative Branch
Political Science / Political Economy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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The rise of the Internet has challenged traditional concepts of jurisdiction, governance, and sovereignty. Many observers have praised the Internet for its ubiquitous and "borderless" nature and argued that this global medium is revolutionizing the nature of modern communications. Indeed, in the universe of cyberspace there are no passports and geography is often treated as a meaningless concept. But does that mean traditional concepts of jurisdiction and governance are obsolete? When legal disputes arise in cyberspace, or when governments attempt to apply their legal standards or cultural norms to the Internet, how are such matters to be adjudicated?

Cultural norms and regulatory approaches vary from country to country, as reflected in such policies as free speech and libel standards, privacy policies, intellectual property, antitrust law, domain name dispute resolution, and tax policy. In each of those areas, policymakers have for years enacted myriad laws and regulations for "realspace" that are now being directly challenged by the rise of the parallel electronic universe known as cyberspace. Who is responsible for setting the standards in cyberspace? Is a "U.N. for the Internet"or a multinational treaty appropriate? If not, who's standards should govern cross-border cyber disputes? Are different standards appropriate for cyberspace and "real" space? Those questions are being posed with increasing frequency in the emerging field of cyberspace law and constitute the guiding theme this book's collection of essays.

The Internet has often been labeled a disruptive technology, and nowhere has that been more clearly the case than in the field of intellectual property (IP) law. Although debates over IP policy have raged in academic circles and law and economics journals for decades, with the rise of the Internet, IP issues have captured the public's collective attention like never before. Suddenly, the teenage creator of file-swapping sensation Napster appeared on the cover of Time magazine as the mass media took notice of an explosion of interest in digital downloads, CD burning, and widespread peer-to-peer file sharing among the general public. But the mass movement to share songs and other digital content online was met with a firestorm of criticism from copyright and patent holders, who struck back with a vengeance, filing lawsuits and pursuing legislative and regulatory remedies for what they regarded as intellectual property piracy on a scale never before envisioned.

This debate has sparked a newfound interest in timeless questions about the nature of intellectual property and how it should be protected, including why do we protect intellectual property at all; do we really have "property rights" in our intangible creations the same way we have property rights to our homes and our land; aren't there better ways to encourage artistic creation and scientific discovery than through the use of copyright and patent laws that protect a limited monopoly? Copy Fights presents a thought-provoking exploration of these questions.

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