Law in the Internet Society

View   r3  >  r2  ...
TWikiGuestSecondEssay 3 - 08 Dec 2016 - Main.MerveKirmaci
Line: 1 to 1
 
META TOPICPARENT name="WebPreferences"
Changed:
<
<
*Everything That Can Be Shared for Free, Should be Shared For Free*
Center text
>
>
Intro
 
Changed:
<
<
Technology is blurring the line of property laws. A teenager can easily send a copy of the song of her favorite artist to her friends; college students can download copies of textbooks for free; anyone can distribute the newest Hollywood movies on the internet. Publishers and movie distributors do not seem to be able defend their property rights in books, music and movies, despite their efforts in lobbying the authorities in China, Korea and United States to enforce the laws.
>
>
It was not a long time ago when we thought of the internet as a place to remain anonymous. Our social media accounts offered ways of masking our identities with weird nicknames. We could fill the gaps with false information and yet nobody could say anything, because we thought nobody could find out who we were, where we lived, which school we were going to or what was the next thing we would more likely to buy online. Today net is the place where anonymity is dead. In contrast, people work on finding ways to hide their profiles, preferences, likes an dislikes while browsing in the internet. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter paved the way for this "de-anonymization" and it seems like there is no turning back.
 
Changed:
<
<
As the technology makes book, music and movies extremely accessible, copyright and the patent laws turn into hurdles on the road to the democratization of access to knowledge. Knowledge sharing on the internet, for the first time in the human history, reduces the costs of learning to zero.
>
>
When the net knows your pregnancy before you do
 
Changed:
<
<
Before the Sui Dynasty in ancient China, the selection of officers were done through Chaju (recommendations for offices). A prerequisite of office appointments is to be knowledgeable of the Confucius Classics (Liujing). Even though there were only six books to be mastered, the books were written on bamboos, which makes books expensive to maintain and to reproduce. Only a handful of prestigious families had the resources to teach their children about the classics, which, in return, ensure all important positions were taken by these families. These families arranged marriages among themselves, established the monopoly of power for over a thousand years. To give an example of how powerful these families were, Emperor Tangwenzong once asked his chancellor to marry his granddaughter to the crown prince. The chancellor rejected and married his granddaughter to a man of the Cui family. The Emperor sighed “my family has possessed the crown for 200 years, and still cannot not match the families of Cui and Lu.”
>
>
In 2014, Princeton sociologist, Janet Vertesi run a test to see whether it was possible to hide her pregnancy from the internet. She told every family member not to contact her about it through any technological means. Maybe shutting down her social media accounts would have made it easier, but she wanted to see the possibility to remain anonymous while she was actually online. Despite the warnings, one of her relatives sent her a private Facebook message, assuming it could not be traced down by the data-mining technology. She immediately deleted the message and "unfriended" that relative as she was aware that Facebook could also collect data through private messages.
 
Changed:
<
<
What came to destroy the monopoly was the invention of paper. Full rooms of bamboo books were replaced by paper copies that could be easily transported and transferred. Papers were also cheap to produce. Any landowners who were able to feed their families, could afford to educate their children. Offices started to be filled by people of poor upbringing. The few families that had dictated the politics for over a thousand years were forgotten.
>
>
She made her purchases with cash and also did not buy anything with her credit card online. Instead, she created an alternative mail account, did the shopping with pre-paid gift cards and sent it to a shared locker of Amazon. She even bought prenatal vitamins in cash, so as to make sure that no one could even relate the idea of her getting pregnant sooner or later. However, her efforts to remain anonymous made her look like a criminal. When she wanted to continue shopping with a pre-paid card she was warned by Rite Aid that if the transaction excessed a certain amount, they would report it to the authorities.
 
Changed:
<
<
Now comes the age that knowledge costs zero. So close we are to free sharing of knowledge through digital copies and online lectures, yet we let copyrights stand in the way. Property is the sole and despotic dominion over a thing. Personal property rules were developed over a long period of time for legitimate reasons. Land was the most important form of property. Property rights solve the problem of common property. When a community owns a forest, individuals have incentives to take as must as he can from the land. By doing so, he externalize most of the costs, and obtain all the benefits. If everyone does that in the community, the resources will be depleted quickly, and the future generations’ interest will be harm. This concern does not apply to knowledge. Sharing knowledge does not diminish the knowledge or deprive the future generations’ ability to access knowledge. Sharing knowledge actually creates more knowledge and makes knowledge more accessible to future generations.
>
>
Vertesi's ultimate aim in this project is to show that our personal lives are monetized and monitored, yet we often take it for granted. On to that account, in an age of constant surveillance, how is privacy structured? Is it possible to hide from big data or is it possible to fool it? These questions are too broad to answer and concerns a wide range of disciplines, but proposing the idea of living in a digital panopticon where anonymity is disappeared, would be one way to start thinking about them. Given the broad analysis on surveillance regimes by scholars like Foucault and recent findings on "de-anonymization"; I will try to show that opting-out is not possible.
 
Changed:
<
<
Property rights give the owner the sole discretion to price his property. The presumption is that people are rational, and the market will function to ensure efficient distribution of resources. This theory only works if resources are scarce, so that resource can be possessed by the people who value it the most. Knowledge lacks the nature of scarcity. When knowledge can be distributed at cost at zero, any distribution will be efficient. The owner of intellectual property should not have the right to price knowledge however he wants.
>
>
Digital Panopticon and Anonymity
 
Changed:
<
<
Property rights are in rem rights. For example, when a property has an owner, you only need to contract with the owner in order to receive the permission to build a dam. Otherwise, you have to contract with everyone on this land to build the dam. In contrast, one’s use of knowledge does not affect another’s ability to use the knowledge. You do not need to contract with everyone in the world to use some knowledge in exclusion of other users. Hence, there should be no in rem rights in intellectual property.
>
>
Weber's iron cage proposes the idea that in modern times rationalization and bureaucratization create institutions that seek maximum efficiency. Foucault advocates a parallel theory with panopticon that dehumanization is a result of advance forms of technologies and disciplines. Rationalization, for Foucault, is the pursuit of controlling human life with constant surveillance and calculation. Therefore, as rationalization occupies every aspect of human life, technology becomes capable of producing more pervasive means of control.
 
Changed:
<
<
In order for anything to constitute property, it must be scarce. Intellectual property lacks the nature of scarcity, and property rights should not apply. The argument that absence of protection of intellectual property will discourage people from creating can be addressed in two parts. First, there is no evidence that people lacked the incentive to create when there was no intellectual property laws. Second, even if we want to encourage people to create by making such creation profitable, the court is perfectly capable of using liability rule to price any creation. If the Delaware court is capable of determining what price is fair for a stock, courts are capable of deciding what price is fair for a book.
>
>
The panopticon of today is the internet, as it constantly observes behavior, exerts its power over it and commodifies human attention. The net violates the boundaries of private sphere and through conscious or unconscious participation it collects tremendous amounts of data to ensure market efficiency. However, assuring efficacy and privacy simultaneously are at odds with each other. One of them should take over the other if one wants to survive. As in the case of Vertesi, the internet had to find out about her pregnancy, since a pregnant women is worth three times more than an ordinary individual. The reason is, a future mother is highly valuable if she needs to buy diapers, because it will affect her long-term consumption patterns. Vertesi could only hide her secret for 7 months until Target and American Baby Life managed to find out about her situation, but realized that isolation efforts were time consuming and could even be risky.
 
Deleted:
<
<
The history of China showed that the power was dispersed after the access of knowledge became dispersed. First time in human history, the powerful and the privileged are losing control of who should be educated and how. As the cost of knowledge sharing approximates zero, intellectual property laws become the only way to artificially inflate the price of education to prevent access to knowledge for free, for all, and forever. Everything that can be shared for free, should be shared for free.
 \ No newline at end of file
Added:
>
>
The Illusion of Privacy

The participant in the net continuously leaves his digital footprints behind and the net makes sure that every photo, mail, video is attributed to its source whether the source wants it or not. Even though users try to mask their information somehow, technologies often find new ways to "de-anonymize" every single data. As the law professor Ohm states; "...the re-identification science makes the claims of privacy an illusion as by mixing and matching several sources of data, it is possible to reach the private...almost all information can be personal when combined with enough numbers of relevant data...". Therefore, the net has conquered our personal sphere and it is not possible to guarantee privacy for its users as merging various data sources can destroy the barriers of privacy.

Conclusion

The internet overall repurposes the understanding of privacy and redistributes it in order to capitalize and modify behaviour for profit. Digital platforms that are connecting us electronically provide several spaces for all sorts of transactions in order to know who says what and where. It is alarming in the sense that it challenges notions of privacy, freedom and trust. We should be aware that anything we do on the net will never cease to exist. The technology of today is worrisome and regulators need to implement more efficient policies that weight harm against benefit and privacy against efficacy.

References

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/428150/what-facebook-knows

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUDwyBYbWjM

http://www.shoshanazuboff.com/books/in-the-age-of-the-smart-machine/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/04/29/you-can-hide-your-pregnancy-online-but-youll-feel-like-a-criminal/#1de3a74a36c4

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2009/09/your-secrets-live-online-in-databases-of-ruin/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/06/15/data-mining-ceo-says-he-pays-for-burgers-in-cash-to-avoid-junk-food-purchases-being-tracked/#6d7599ad36a0

http://www.nytimes.com/library/cyber/under/110597under-wayner.html


Revision 3r3 - 08 Dec 2016 - 17:21:38 - MerveKirmaci
Revision 2r2 - 16 Dec 2015 - 05:34:25 - LianchenLiu
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform.
All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
All material marked as authored by Eben Moglen is available under the license terms CC-BY-SA version 4.
Syndicate this site RSSATOM