Radio Berkman: My Own Private Infrastructure

April 21st, 2009

If you’ve been following the Facebook Terms of Service flap you probably have some idea of how big a deal a company’s terms of service can be. If Facebook were a country they would be the sixth largest in the world, just by the sheer number of citizens they can claim.

But how a citizen of Facebook participates in society – at least in the microcosm of society that is Facebook – is subject to a confusing and overlapping set of legal infrastructures – not just the Terms of Service Facebook sets out.

Gillian Hadfield a law and economics professor at the University of Southern California argues that Facebook and other companies in the new economy are inhibited by current mechanisms for producing law, and need more leeway in developing their own legal infrastructures. Is Professor Hadfield looking to put the government out of a job? Not exactly. Listen to today’s episode to find out what private lawmaking really means, and how it could power innovation.

Listen:
or download

The Reference Section:
Southern California Innovation Project
If you liked this episode you may like this recent extended talk with Gillian
Gillian recently participated in a “Future of the Firm” competition, a “Dungeons & Dragons” for lawyers experimenting with the shape of a firm in the digital age. Read more at the American Lawyer blog

CC-licensed music this week:
Podington Bear- Jackie and Floyd
Arslkhan – Love Odyssey

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See a partial transcript after the jump.

Radio Berkman 118: 2009-04-21_hadfield

Should the production of laws be the domain of…lawmakers? The answer might not be so obvious, but we’ll find out nonetheless on this week’s Radio Berkman.

[MUSIC START]

When it comes to intersection between business and the law, there are those who believe the best government is that which governs least. And there are those who believe rules and regulations are crucial to making sure businesses behave properly.

Somewhere in between, or perhaps above, are those who believe the responsibility for building the legal infrastructure for businesses in the new economy could work well in the hands of those who are…well…building the businesses of the new economy.

Gillian Hadfield is the Richard L. And Antoinette S. Kirtland Professor Of Law And Professor Of Economics at the University of Southern California, and Director of the Southern California Innovation Project. We spoke to her about how legal infrastructures could be built to help promote more innovation in the new economy while also protecting the public interest.

[LEAD IN TO – INTERVIEW EXCERPTS]

Gillian Hadfield is the Richard L. And Antoinette S. Kirtland Professor Of Law And Professor Of Economics at the University of Southern California, and Director of the Southern California Innovation Project. You can find links to some of her work on our website.

This episode of Radio Berkman was produced by me, Daniel Dennis Jones, at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

[MUSIC END]

Metadata
 http://scip.usc.edu/about.cfm

 http://works.bepress.com/ghadfield/

JZ’s article on Facebook terms of service
 http://futureoftheinternet.org/e-pluribu…

 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/mediaberkma…

MUSIC:
arslkhan_-_love_odyssey
Podington Bear- Jackie and Floyd

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