Archive for May 10th, 2005

I&S — Live from Last Class


Last class of our course Internet & Society: Technologies and Politics of Control. John Palfrey currently wraps up the themes of the course. Here’s the list John is walking us through:

  • Expansion of what law is
  • Expansion of what law might apply to you
  • Responses to changes in tech
  • Linkages among the core themes
  • Internet exceptionalism
  • Business decision-making: mitigation of risk
  • Role of the lawyer in this tech / law / policy story

John also summarizes the three key frameworks we’ve been working with in this course: four modes of regulation (markets, law, norms, code), the three layers of the Internet (physical, logical, content), and the three functionalities of law (law as constraint, enabler, leveler).

In the second half of the first hour, John will look ahead and discuss future trends, emerging issues as well as core values. Among the issues covered are comparative filtering, innovation (incl. P2P production, generativity), and creativity (free culture, semiotic democracy).

In the second hour, I will present my take on the course, approaching it from a slightly different angle. In essence, I’m suggesting a possible future shift from a (regulatory) paradigm of exponential growth to a paradigm of quality in digitally networked environments.

iTunes Switzerland launched


Swiss music fans can now also download music from Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Earlier today, I was interviewed (in German) by the Swiss national radio network. Journalist Rainer Borer asked a serie of excellent questions and, among other things, wanted to know whether online music stores are the silver-bullet-solution to the digital media crisis. Given our research here at the Berkman Center (see, e.g., this report), it might not come as a surprise to you that I expressed doubts that business models such as iTMS are the final answer to the much broader phenomenon of fundamental shifts in the way we create, distribute, access and use music in particular and entertainment in general. As always, there would be much more to say… I haven’t had the chance, for instance, to mention the question of iTMS biz model’s sustainability, or to explore important interoperability issues. Interested listeners may get more information from our 2004 case study.

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