A Behavioral Perspective on Technology Evolution and Domain Name Regulation

Pacific McGeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 1-25, 2008

34 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2013

See all articles by Todd Davies

Todd Davies

Stanford University - Symbolic Systems Program; Center for the Study of Language and Information

Date Written: July 25, 2008

Abstract

This paper argues that private property and rights assignment, especially as applied to communication infrastructure and information, should be informed by advances in both technology and our understanding of psychology. Current law in this area in the United States and many other jurisdictions is founded on assumptions about human behavior that have been shown not to hold empirically. A joint recognition of this fact, together with an understanding of what new technologies make possible, leads one to question basic assumptions about how law is made and what laws we should have in a given area, if any. I begin by analyzing different aspects of U.S. law, from a high-level critique of law making to a critique of rights assignment for what I call 'simple nonrival goods.' I describe my understanding, as a non-lawyer with a background in psychology and computing, of the current conventions in U.S. law, consider the foundational assumptions that justify current conventions, describe advances in psychology and technology that call these conventions into question, and briefly note how the law might normatively change in this light. I then apply this general analysis to the question of domain name assignment by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Keywords: behavioral law and economics, domain names, ICANN, public goods, intellectual property, psychology and law

JEL Classification: K23, K11, K10, K00, H41, H87

Suggested Citation

Davies, Todd R., A Behavioral Perspective on Technology Evolution and Domain Name Regulation (July 25, 2008). Pacific McGeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 1-25, 2008 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2213083

Todd R. Davies (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Symbolic Systems Program ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-2150
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~davies

Center for the Study of Language and Information ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-4115
United States

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