By Lawrence Lessig
Due to the fact that its unique booklet in 1999, this foundational publication has develop into a vintage in its box. This moment version, Code model 2.0, updates the paintings and was once ready partially via a wiki, a website permitting readers to edit the textual content, making this the 1st reader-edited revision of a favored publication. Code counters the typical trust that our on-line world can't be managed or censored. on the contrary, less than the effect of trade, our on-line world is turning into a hugely regulable global the place habit can be even more tightly managed than in genuine area. we will - we needs to - decide on what sort of our on-line world we need and what freedoms it is going to warrantly. those offerings are all approximately structure: what sort of code will govern our on-line world, and who will keep watch over it. during this realm, code is the main major type of legislations and it truly is as much as legal professionals, policymakers, and particularly usual electorate to make your mind up what values that code embodies.
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That understanding is the aim of Part II. Cyberspace demands a new understanding of how regulation works. It compels us to look beyond the traditional lawyer’s scope—beyond laws, or even norms. It requires a broader account of “regulation,” and most importantly, the recognition of a newly salient regulator. That regulator is the obscurity in this book’s title—Code. In real space, we recognize how laws regulate—through constitutions, statutes, and other legal codes. , the “code” of cyberspace) that make cyberspace what it is also regulate cyberspace as it is.
But the state is the boss; the people have voted; the law is as it is. Gambling in the state of Boral is illegal. Then along comes the Internet. ” A citizen of Boral sets up a “server” (a computer that is accessible on the Internet) that provides access to online gambling. The state doesn’t like it. ” Wise, if evasive, the gambling Boralian agrees to shut his server down—at least in the state of Boral. But he doesn’t choose to leave the gambling business. ” This offshore web server hums away, once again making gambling available on the Net and accessible to the people of Boral via the Internet.
All it required was a change of code. “Theft” entails (at minimum) a change in possession. But in MMOG space “possession” is just a relation defined by the software that defines the space. That same code must also define the properties that possession yields. It might, like real space, distinguish between having a cake and eating it. Or it might erase that distinction, meaning you can “eat” your cake, but once it’s “eaten,” it magically reappears. 9 So why not craft the same solution to Martha and Dank’s problem?
Code by Lawrence Lessig