Role of Law, Regulation and Public Policy in Information Sciences & Technology John W. Bagby Professor of IST
What Theme for the “Law of the Horse?” • Generalism serves best by reducing search, transactions, switching & opportunity costs • Jump to define new fields risks ineptitude, unjustified special exceptions • Public policy set by insiders risks self-serving complexity; set by newcomers risks unintended consequences, waste, irrelevance • Optimality requires pioneering & adaptation
Is Cyberlaw just another “Law of the Horse?” • Rules for idiosyncratic transactions between amateurs? • Observation about new fields • They must illuminate the entire law - not pander to dilettantes (dabblers, connoisseurs) • Netizen’s Utopian Declaration of Independence might insulate Cyberspace from traditional social, political, legal & regulatory controls • Should not pander to Cyber Libertarians • Traditional law too often fails to encourage or accommodate technological development • Regulation will stifle eCommerce
Biggest Challenge of eCommerce & Cyberlaw • Adapt Existing Law vs. Make New Laws • Some existing law adapts well unchanged • Rush to legislate will produce some bad laws (e.g., DMCA, CDA, DigSig, what else?) • Pamela Samuelson suggests a careful approach • Review first principles underlying traditional regulation, many accommodate cyberspace effectively without much adaptation • Exercise restraint: study, deliberate then confine new law to reasonable & proportionate responses • Simple/minimal new law & technology neutral
Some Fields of Law Relevant to Information Sciences & Technology • Regulation & Litigation Processes • Intellectual Property Rights (IP) • Migrating from Traditional Contracting to eCommerce Business Models • Jurisdiction & Internet Taxation • Telecommunications • eGovernment • Privacy & Security
Regulation & Litigation in an Electronic Records Environment • Admissibility of e-Records • Best Evidence, Custody • Fallibility of e-Rasure • Discovery of e-Records • Evolving cost burden for search & production • CyberForensics • Protective Orders • e-Filings in Courts & w/ Regulators • Posting of Public Information • Key Word in Context Search
Intellectual Property Rights • Copyrights • Trade Secrets • Patents • Trademarks & Trade Dress • Unfair Competition • Sui Generis Protections: • Semiconductor chips, asexual plants, boat hull design, designs, petty patents, databases • Technology Transfer & Licensing are Contracts too!
eCommerce Business Models • Information Access & Warehousing • e-Brochures, Ads, Info Capture for Resale • Ordering On-Line • e-Payment Systems • e-Delivery • Information & Data • Software • Advice & other Services • Combinations of these 4
Existing eCommerce Successes • Banking: Wire Transfer & EFT • Securities: trading, execution, record keeping • Health Care Records & Reimbursement • Travel search, Airline Reservations, e-Ticketing • Telecommunications • Broadcast, Television, CATV • Book, CD, Video Sales: amazon.com • On-Line Auctions • Advertising, referrals, search • P2P, online music sales • Outsourcing: customer service, programming, professional services (x-ray reading)
Jurisdiction & Internet Taxation • Jurisdiction & Tax share power/authority of a government to regulate/tax activities • Due Process: state tax interstate business • Sales & Use Tax if Nexus • Internet Tax Freedom Act (access, bit) • Complexity of taxation of eCommerce • Differences: rates, base, exemptions, remitter • Int’l taxation: collect EU’s VAT?
eGovt • Diffusion of Information Technology into Government Activities • Migrating transaction processes • Compare/Contrast private sector eCom w/ eGovt • Applications: military, terrorism, control • ID Key Applications, Facilitate Further Diffusion: • IRS, PTO, DOD, FTC, SEC, SAP (PA), DMVs, Public Docs • Nine Next Neediest: utility, INS, national security, transportation, insurance, professional licensure, public safety, elections, cybercrime
Intellectual Property Patents Software & Bus. Mthd. Database Protections Trade Secrets Trademark/dns Merger Technology Transfer Employment Contracts Confidentiality Standards & Antitrust Network economics eCommerce Transaction Process ePmts eAgents eGovt mCommerce Intelligent Transport Telematics Privacy Security Some Information Sciences Related Research Experience
Doctrinal Legal Research • Combines Analytical Methods from Humanities, Empirical Social/Natural Sciences, Public Policy Analysis • Evaluates Existing/Proposed Law for Consistency, Validity, Authority & Impact (social, political, economic) • Constitutions, precedents, statutes, regs • Influences cases, legislative history, policymaking, other disciplines’ research design
Finding Interesting & Important Topics • Public Policy Research Discloses Constraints & Opportunities for Info. Sciences Research • Distinguish Interesting Issues from Significant & Researchable Issues • Develop Heuristics: insights from direct & vicarious experience improve quality of R&D investment decisions • Deductive: link general principles to new phenomena • Inductive: discover new phenomena, search for general principles