Launched in 2007, Peer-to-Patent connects patent examiners to volunteer scientists and technologists via the web. These dedicated but overtaxed officials decide which of the million-plus patent applications currently in the pipeline to approve. Their decisions help determine which start-up pioneers a new industry and which disappears without a trace. Patent examiners have traditionally worked in secret, cut off from essential information and racing against the clock to rule on lengthy, technical claims. Peer-to-Patent broke this mold by creating online networks of self-selecting citizen experts and channeling their knowledge and enthusiasm into forms that patent examiners can easily use.
Peer-to-Patent shows how policymakers can improve decisionmaking by harnessing networks to public institutions. By encouraging, coordinating, and structuring citizen participation, technology can make government both more open and more effective at solving today's complex social and economic problems. Wiki Government describes how this model can be applied in a wide variety of settings and offers a fundamental rethinking of effective governance and democratic legitimacy for the twenty-first century.
Beth Simone Noveck is professor of law and director of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School and a visiting professor at Stanford University. She advised the Obama-Biden campaign and transition project on innovation and government.
Contributions and topics include:Beth Simone Noveck, U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for open government, "The Single Point of Failure"Jerry Brito, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, "All Your Data Are Belong to Us: Liberating Government Data"Aaron Swartz, cofounder of reddit.com, OpenLibrary.org, and BoldProgressives.org, "When Is Transparency Useful?"Ellen S. Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, "Disrupting Washington's Golden Rule"Carl Malamud, founder of Public.Resource.Org, "By the People"Douglas Schuler, president of the Public Sphere Project, "Online Deliberation and Civic Intelligence"Howard Dierking, program manager on Microsoft's MSDN and TechNet Web platform team, "Engineering Good Government"Matthew Burton, Web entrepreneur and former intelligence analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency, "A Peace Corps for Programmers"Gary D. Bass and Sean Moulton, OMB Watch, "Bringing the Web 2.0 Revolution to Government"Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, "Defining Government 2.0: Lessons Learned from the Success of Computer Platforms"
Open Government editors:
Daniel Lathrop is a former investigative projects reporter with the Seattle Post Intelligencer who's covered politics in Washington state, Iowa, Florida, and Washington D.C. He's a specialist in campaign finance and "computer-assisted reporting" -- the practice of using data analysis to report the news.
Laurel Ruma is the Gov 2.0 Evangelist at O'Reilly Media. She is also co-chair for the Gov 2.0 Expo.
As digital worlds become increasingly powerful and lifelike, people will employ them for countless real-world purposes, including commerce, education, medicine, law enforcement, and military training. Inevitably, real-world law will regulate them. But should virtual worlds be fully integrated into our real-world legal system or should they be treated as separate jurisdictions with their own forms of dispute resolution? What rules should govern virtual communities? Should the law step in to protect property rights when virtual items are destroyed or stolen?
These questions, and many more, are considered in The State of Play, where legal experts, game designers, and policymakers explore the boundaries of free speech, intellectual property, and creativity in virtual worlds. The essays explore both the emergence of law in multiplayer online games and how we can use virtual worlds to study real-world social interactions and test real-world laws.
Contributors include: Jack M. Balkin, Richard A. Bartle, Yochai Benkler, Caroline Bradley, Edward Castronova, Susan P. Crawford, Julian Dibbell, A. Michael Froomkin, James Grimmelmann, David R. Johnson, Dan Hunter, Raph Koster, F. Gregory Lastowka, Beth Simone Noveck, Cory Ondrejka, Tracy Spaight, and Tal Zarsky.