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Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0 Paperback – 5 Dec 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 2nd Revised ed. edition (5 Dec. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465039146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465039142
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 310,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"[Lessig] is fast emerging as the nation's most original thinker in the new field of cyberspace."

"A book that's sometimes as brilliant as the best teacher you ever had, sometimes as pretentious as a deconstructionists' conference."

"In this remarkably clear and elegantly written book, [Lessig] takes apart many myths about cyberspace and analyzes its underlying architecture."

The "alarming and impassioned" book on how the Internet is redefining constitutional law, now reissued as the first popular book revised online by its readers.

"A remarkable work on the philosophy of this new medium, his latest book asks all the big questions about the role of government, commerce and the invisible hand of technology in shaping life as it is increasingly lived online."

"Lawrence Lessig is a James Madison of our time, crafting the lineaments of a well-tempered cyberspace. This book is a primer of 'running code' for digital civilization. Like Madison, Lessig is a model of balance, judgement, ingenuity and persuasive argument." -- Stewart Brand

About the Author

Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Stanford Law School and founder of the school’s Center for the Internet and Society. After clerking for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, he served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Yale Law School, and Harvard Law School before moving to Stanford. He represented the web site developer Eric Eldred before the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Eldred, a landmark case challenging the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. His other books are Free Culture and The Future of Ideas. Lessig also chairs the Creative Commons project and serves on the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In 2002 he was named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries. He lives in Palo Alto, California.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you take Web 2.0 at all seriously then, whatever your political or philosophical persuasion, Larry Lessig's Code: Version 2.0 is a compulsory read. My own political and philosophical persuasion is considerably different from Lessig's and consequently I don't entirely agree with either his conclusions or the weight he attaches to some of his concerns, but I still take my hat off to his methodological and philosophical achievement: Code: Version 2.0 presents a novel and undoubtedly striking re-evaluation of some fundamental social, legal and ethical conceptions and makes an entirely persuasive case that our traditional, deeply-held, and politically entrenched ways of looking at the world simply aren't fit for purpose any more.

Intellectually, this is therefore an extraordinary, eye-opening, paradigm shifting, challenging, exhilarating read. (I note some previous comments that this is a book for lawyers: I'm a lawyer, so perhaps that explains my enthusiasm, but this is no ordinary legal text, and should be of interest to anyone with a political, philosophical or scientific bone in their body.)

Lawrence Lessig charts, with a fair bit of technical specificity, the technical and epistemological grounds for thinking that the internet revolution (and specifically the "Web 2.0" revolution) is as significant as any societal shift in human history. Generally, this is not news for people in the IT industry - who deal with its implications day to day - but for our legal brethren, who tend of be of a conservative (f not technophobic) stripe, this ought to be as revelatory (and revolutionary) as Wat Tyler's march on London. Now we have a hyperlinked, editable digital commons, the assumptions with which we have constructed our society need to be rethunk.
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Format: Hardcover
Laurence Lessig has written a book that ought to make both lawyers and cyberspace specialists think. Contrary to expectations (from a lawyer), Lessig demonstrates excellent skills in the technicalities of cyberspace, and his analysis has interesting bearings on political philosophy and legal philosophy. To the traditional question, 'what is law?', Lessig adds a new (and admittedly controversial) dimention: architecture is part of law. Creating a specific architecture amounts to legislating. The controversial aspect here is whether law can include norms which cannot be disobeyed. Lessig applies this idea to the foundation and continuing transformation of cyberspace. Created by the academic world, the architecture of cyberspace has reflected liberal values. However, it is being conquered by commerce, and this reflects far less liberal regulation. State intervention is usually viewed as restrictive, but Lessig's description raises the question: should, and can, the state intervene to maintain the values of the founding fathers of cyberspace? The law of cyberspace is thus skillfuly analysed in the broader contexts of constitutional law and legal philosophy. If you are on the lookout for fresh vantage points on these fields of inquiry, read Lessig's book.
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Format: Paperback
Before Larry Lessig began teaching a course on "cyberlaw" in the 1990s, few people knew this awkward term for "regulation of the Internet." But Lessig, now a professor at Stanford Law School, has always kept close to the bleeding edge of technology. He started programming in high school and later helped the U.S. Supreme Court go digital. Even this book's development shows the author's geek //bona fides:// He revised it using a "wiki," a software platform that allows multiple users to edit the text simultaneously via the Web. While the book's details have changed a bit since the first edition, Lessig's main point is the same. Because of its design, the Internet is perhaps the most "regulable" entity imaginable and, unless its users are careful, it will morph into something that diminishes, rather than enhances, liberty. Moreover, trying to keep the Internet "unregulated" is folly. While this book is sometimes bloated and repetitive, we find that it is still required reading for anyone who cares about the social impact of the most important technology since electrification.
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Format: Hardcover
Lessig appears to be one of the only people to actually look at the internet in structural (as he puts it 'architectural') terms. This actually feels substantial in its analysis, and marks a welcome shift away from the 'doom & gloom' or 'brave new world' extremes. As for it being overly legalistic - well, the law courts do generally decide these issues now. "Code" is an essential, if a little spooky, read.
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