Internet & Society

Session Twelve Summary:
Online Property Control

The guest speaker for the seminar's final session was Professor James Boyle from the Washington College of Law at American University. JB tied together several themes of the course. He described how the architecture of the Internet could be changed in order to give commercial content producers tight control over intellectual property. Technologies known as "trusted systems" could be employed to prevent cutting, pasting, and copying of online content. Congress is considering legislation that would make it illegal to tamper with such systems. The class discussed how this technological and legal development would prevent the types of creative modifications of other people's original expression that is currently widely considered fair use.

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