The Law and Economics of Internet Norms
Mark A. Lemley
Stanford Law School
January 27, 2011
Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 73, pp. 1257-1294, 1998
A number of scholars have suggested that the law should defer to social norms on the Internet, either by abdicating its role entirely to cyberspace self-governance, or by carving out particular roles for nonlegal rulemaking. I challenge these assertions. I argue that Internet norms are elusive and rapidly changing, and that in most cases there is nothing like the consensus required for norm creation. I contend that Internet norms are likely to be inefficient, particularly when they are enforced by the underlying threat of exclusion from the network itself. Finally, I suggest that neither Net "vigilantes," judges, nor code itself can be relied upon to identify and enforce Internet norms with an appropriate sensitivity to efficiency and policy concerns.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 7, 2000 ; Last revised: January 29, 2011
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.344 seconds