Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=297154
 
 

References (23)



 
 

Citations (2)



 


 



Code as Governance, The Governance of Code


L. Jean Camp


Indiana University Bloomington - School of Informatics and Computing

Serena Syme


Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

April 2001

John F. Kennedy School of Government Faculty Research Working Paper Series 01-014

Abstract:     
The governance of a network society is tightly bound to the nature of property rights created for information. The establishment of a market involves the development of a bundle of rights that both create property and define the rules under which property-based transactions might occur. The fundamental thesis of this work is that the creation of property through licensing offers different views of the governance of the network society.

Thus this article offers distinct views of the network society drawn from examinations of the various forms of governance currently applied to code, namely: open code licensing, public domain code, proprietary licenses, and the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA). The open code licenses addressed here are the GNU Public License, the BSD license, the artistic license, and the Mozilla license.

We posit that the licenses are alternative viewpoints (or even conflicting forces) with respect to the nature of the network society, and that each has its own hazards. We describe the concepts of openness: free redistribution, source availability, derivations, integrity, non-discrimination, non-specificity, and non-contamination. We examine how each license meets or conflicts with these conditions.

We conclude that each of these dimensions has a parallel in the dimension of governance. Within our conclusions we identify how the concept of code as law, first described by Stallman and popularized by Lessig, fails when the particulars of open code are examined. However, we explore the ways that licenses together with code provide a governance framework, and how different licenses combined with code provide a range of visions for governance of the information society. We go on to consider the fundamentally different governance model outlined by UCITA, and comment on the philosophical implications and hazards of such a framework for the world of code.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: Business and Government Policy, Information Technology


Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: February 25, 2002  

Suggested Citation

Camp, L. Jean and Syme, Serena, Code as Governance, The Governance of Code (April 2001). John F. Kennedy School of Government Faculty Research Working Paper Series 01-014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=297154 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.297154

Contact Information

L. Jean Camp (Contact Author)
Indiana University Bloomington - School of Informatics and Computing ( email )
901 E 10th St
Bloomington, IN 47401
United States
Serena Syme
Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 4,221
Downloads: 478
Download Rank: 45,375
References:  23
Citations:  2
People who downloaded this paper also downloaded:
1. Code as Speech
By L. Camp and Kenneth Lewis