Do Androids Dream of Electric Free Speech? Visions of the Future of Copyright, Privacy, and the First Amendment in Science Fiction
19 Communication Law and Policy 433-461
44 Pages Posted: 23 May 2014 Last revised: 8 Aug 2015
Date Written: May 20, 2014
Science fiction authors have long projected the future of technology, including communication devices and the way in which future societies may use them. In this essay, these visions of future technology, and their implications on the future of media law and policy, are explored in three areas in particular – copyright, privacy, and the First Amendment. Themes examined include moving toward massively open copyright systems, problems of perpetual surveillance by the state, addressing rights of obscurity in public places threatened by wearable and implantable computing devices, and considering free speech rights of autonomous machines created by humans. In conclusion, the author offers a rebuttal to recent critics of legal scholarship by suggesting the value in exploratory, forward-looking research that examines the problems judges and policymakers may be addressing in the near and distant future.
Keywords: Science fiction, law, technology, First Amendment, copyright, privacy, robotics, artificial intelligence, singularity
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