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Regulating CodeGood Governance and Better Regulation inthe Information Age (MIT Press)Ian Brown (Oxford)Chris Marsden (Sussex)@IanBrownOII#RegulatingCode
John Perry BarlowA Declaration of theIndependence of Cyberspace(1996)response to CDA 1996(partly struck down in Reno v. ACLU 1997)‘Governments of theIndustrial World, you wearygiants of flesh and steel, Icome from Cyberspace,the new home of the Mind.On behalf of the future, Iask you of the past toleave us alone. You are notwelcome among us. Youhave no sovereignty wherewe gather.’
Regulation and governance Internet use now ubiquitous◦ but governments, legislators and regulatoryagencies falling further behind rapidlychanging Internet technologies and uses Critical analysis of regulatory shaping of―code‖ or technological environment◦ ‗Code is law‘ and coders operate withinnormative framework◦ More economically efficient and socially justregulation◦ Critical socio-technical and socio-legalapproach
Literature Previous legal focus on elephant‘strunk?◦ Benkler, Wu, Lessig, Zittrain, VanSchewick◦ General US scepticism of govt action Ohm‘s Myth of the Super-User More empirical view: Mueller (2010),De Nardis (2009)◦ Institutional economics and politicalscience
Prosumers not super-users Web 2.0 and related tools make foractive users, not passive consumers United States administrative andacademic arguments for self-regulation may work for geeks, butwhat about the other 99%? European regulatory space is morefertile ground to explore prosumerismas both a market-based and citizen-oriented regulatory tool
Empirical investigation Five case studies and one ‗prior art‘(encryption, anonymity, security)◦ Multi-year empirical investigation◦ Builds on various EC/other studies including ‗Self-regulation.info‘ (2001-4), ‗Co-regulation‘ (2006-8), ‗Towards a Future Internet‘ (2008-10), ‗PrivacyValue Networks‘ (2008-11), ‗Network neutrality‘(2007-10) ‗Internet science‘ (2012-15) Reassesses prior art in view of ‗hardcases‘◦ Topics with no organised regulation/self-regulation◦ Due to lack of consensus over solutions
Five case study chapters1. Data protection◦ Enforcement failures, Privacy by Design2. Copyright◦ Capture of law by lobbyists, code solutionsoutflank3. Filtering◦ Growth of censorship, surprising degree offreedom – disappearing?4. Social Networks◦ Dominance, network effects, corporate socialirresponsibility5. Smart Pipes◦ Net neutrality argument, DPI deployment
Towards interoperability asprosumer law Solution in favour of prosumers andcompetition:◦ enhance the competitive production ofpublic goods◦ including innovation, public safety, andfundamental democratic rights Key aspect: interoperability (incl.FRAND)◦ (Note: this is detailed softwareinteroperability, not the generaldescription offered by Gasser/Paltrey2012)
50 ways to leave Facebook Not sufficient to permit data deletion◦ as that only covers the user‘s tracks. Interconnection and interoperability,◦ more than transparency and◦ theoretical possibility to switch. Ability for prosumers to interoperate topermit exit◦ Lower entry barriers tend to lead to increasedconsumer welfare
Kroes‘ promise post-Microsoft Will ―seriously exploreall options to ensurethat significant marketplayers cannot justchoose to denyinteroperability. ―The Commissionshould not need torun an epic antitrustcase every timesoftware lacksinteroperability.‖
Euro-InteroperabilityFramework Response to multi-€bn competitioncases:◦ Microsoft saga (to 2009), Intel (2009), Apple(2010), Rambus (2009)◦ Google (2013?) perhaps Facebook....◦ Coates (2011: Chapters 5-6) Announced by Information SocietyCommissioner Neelie Kroes in 2009-2010 Bias in favour of interoperability in policy Concerns are broader than competition◦ Include privacy, IPR, security, fundamental
Mandated choice Microsoft fined€561m for ‗browserchoice‘ ―error‖ –expensive line ofcode Sky EPG carriesterrestrial channelson 101-105 due to―must carry‖ and―due prominence‖AVMSD
Do Not Track ―I think it‘s right to think about shuttingdown the process and saying we justcan‘t agree. We gave it the old collegetry. But sometimes you can‘t reach anegotiated deal.‖ –DNT memberJonathan Meyer
Competitioninvestigation both sidesof Atlantic since 2010:◦ Settled with USauthorities 3 Jan 2013◦ Settlement proposal to EC1 Feb 2013 Experts have severelycriticized timing andcontent of FTCsettlement Grimmelman argued: ―Ifthe final FTC statementhad been any morefavourable to Google, I‘dbe checking the filemetadata to see whetherGoogle wrote it.‖Google FTC and EC casesSource: Google proposal leaked to SearchEngineLand, 25/4/13
Amazon and Kindle ―[N]ot only booksellers…but publishers and agentstoo run the risk of being excluded due to Amazon‘swish to be a book retailer and publisher, and itsaggressive plans to vertically integrate‖ Amazon.co.uk ―responsible for 95% of [UK] e-bookpurchases…92% of the 1.3 million e-readers sold inthe UK before Christmas were Kindles‖ ―[F]rom data mining [Amazon] know[s] what itscustomers buy, when they buy it, what books theyactually read on their Kindles and even which booksare not read in full‖Tim Godfray (Chief Executive of Booksellers’Association UK & Ireland), London Book Fair, 15/4/13
Regulating Kindle ―Having such a dominant position enables Amazon toput huge pressure on individual publishers for highertrade discounts to be given, enabling it to sell books atmuch lower prices than competing booksellers.‖ ―Most Kindle customers—unless they are very techsavvy—end up buying their e-books from Amazon‘sKindle store‖ – Mandated choice of e-bookstore, andinteroperable stores ―EPUB3 has just been approved by the InternationalPublishers Association as the new standard format fore-books. We believe that steps should be taken toensure that in the future all e-book retailers—includingAmazon—should support EPUB3, so that consumerscan read any e-book on any device and are not lockedin to any proprietary system.‖
Tor and DRM ―[W]e felt a strong sense that the readingexperience for this tech-savvy, multi-deviceowning readership was being inhibited byDRM, leaving our readers unable toreasonably and legally transfer ebook filesbetween all the devices they had.‖ ―DRM-protected titles are still subject topiracy, and we believe a great majority ofreaders are just as against piracy aspublishers are... As it is, we‘ve seen nodiscernible increase in piracy on any of ourtitles, despite them being DRM-free for nearlya year.‖ –Julie Crisp, UK Editorial Director
Economics and HumanRights Interoperability linked to open data, open code,and arguably to human rights Blizzard of Internet governance principles in2011:◦ origins in law and economics,◦ or human rights, but◦ apparently do not translate one to the other This apparent dialogue of the deaf is acompetition policy (Brown and Waelde 2005),and corporate governance problem Urgent task: dialogue between previous discrete expertfields◦ ICT growth driver and transformative technology◦ Equally transformative role in human communicationand dialogue.
Developing study of coderegulation Similarities and cross-over with◦ complexity science◦ network science◦ web science/graph theory Match Internet regulation to complexity theory◦ Longstaff (2003), Cherry (2008),Schneider/Bauer (2007) Network science fusion of scientific/fundamental elements from variouscomponents Internet Science? EC Network of Excellence
Questions? Book publishedMarch 2013 ‗Prosumer law‘article (earlyversion now onSSRN) Commentswelcome!
Test the existing ‗receivedtruths‘1. Self-regulation and minimal stateinvolvement is most efficient in dynamicinnovative industries;◦ technology is never neutral in societal impact◦ network and scale effects drive massiveconcentration2. Self-regulation critically lacks constitutionalchecks and balances for the private citizen,including appeal3. Multi-stakeholder co-regulation chance toreconcile the market failures andconstitutional legitimacy failures in self-regulation◦ voters will not allow governments to ignore theInternet.
Approach embracescomplexity No easy examples that demonstrate thetruth of◦ technical, political, legal or economic solutions◦ based on self-, co- or state regulatoryapproaches.◦ Cf. Mansell (2012) Imagining the Internet Examine the deficiencies and benefits◦ Match market and social developments◦ With human rights concerns◦ E.g. In fields of privacy and freedom ofexpression Note: analysis based on Article 19 UDHR not 1stAmendment Most of world uses variants of Article 19
Government and marketfailure Industry capture of regulators andlegislators, Incumbents protect/introduce newbarriers to entry Continued exclusion of wider civil societyfrom the policy discussion – but◦ tenuous chain of accountability ofparticipants to voters, shareholders and NGOstakeholders.◦ effectiveness, accountability and legitimacyof these groups in representing the publicinterest?
What regulation teaches aboutcode Ex ante and ex post intervention Interoperability and open code/data -procurement A biased policy towards open code –◦ Data open to mash-ups (govt)◦ Systems interoperable (procurement)◦ Use of alternatives to market leader (e.g.Linux)
Prosumer law suggests a moredirected intervention Example: proposed solution to the problems ofdominant social networking sites, to prevent Facebook, Google+ or anyother network from erecting a fence around its pieceof the information commons: to ensure interoperability with openstandards.