Document Type

Essay

Publication Date

1999

Center/Program

Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts

Abstract

There is a now-standard debate about law and the Internet. One side asserts that the Internet is so new and different that it calls for new legal approaches, even its own sovereign law. The other side argues that, although it is a new technology, the Internet nonetheless presents familiar legal problems. It is a battle of analogies: One side refers to Cyberspace as a place, while the other essentially equates the Internet and the telephone.

In my view, these two positions are both wrong and right: wrong in their characterization of the Internet as a whole, yet potentially right about particular ways of using the Internet. The real problem is that both sides (and indeed, most legal writing) rely on a singular model of the Internet. They take one way of using the Internet as a proxy for the whole thing and conclude "the Internet this" or "the Internet that."

Comments

Copyright is owned by the Virginia Law Review Association and this article is used by the permission of the Virginia Law Review Association.

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