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The economic analysis of the digital economy has been a rapidly developing research area for more than a decade. Through authoritative examination by leading scholars, this Handbook takes a closer look at particular industries, business practices, and policy issues associated with the digital industry. The volume offers an up-to-date account of key topics, discusses open questions, and provides guidance for future research. It offers a blend of theoretical and empirical works that are central to understanding the digital economy. The chapters are presented in four sections, corresponding with four broad themes: 1) infrastructure, standards, and platforms; 2) the transformation of selling, encompassing both the transformation of traditional selling and new, widespread application of tools such as auctions; 3) user-generated content; and 4) threats in the new digital environment. The first section covers infrastructure, standards, and various platform industries that rely heavily on recent developments in electronic data storage and transmission, including software, video games, payment systems, mobile telecommunications, and B2B commerce. The second section takes account of the reduced costs of online retailing that threatens offline retailers, widespread availability of information as it affects pricing and advertising, digital technology as it allows the widespread employment of novel price and non-price strategies (bundling, price discrimination), and auctions, as well as better tar. The third section addresses the emergent phenomenon of user-generated content on the Internet, including the functioning of social networks and open source. Finally, the fourth section discusses threats arising from digitization and the Internet, namely digital piracy, privacy and internet security concerns.
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In this compelling examination of the intersection of smart technology and the law, Joshua A. T. Fairfield explains the crisis of digital ownership - how and why we no longer control our smartphones or software-enable devices, which are effectively owned by software and content companies. In two years we will not own our 'smart' televisions which will also be used by advertisers to listen in to our living rooms. In the coming decade, if we do not take back our ownership rights, the same will be said of our self-driving cars and software-enabled homes. We risk becoming digital peasants, owned by software and advertising companies, not to mention overreaching governments. Owned should be read by anyone wanting to know more about the loss of our property rights, the implications for our privacy rights and how we can regain control of both.
Challenging the Assumptions of Intellectual Property
Author: Kate Darling,Aaron Perzanowski
Publisher: NYU Press
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Intellectual property law, or IP law, is based on certain assumptions about creative behavior. The case for regulation assumes that creators have a fundamental legal right to prevent copying, and without this right they will under-invest in new work. But this premise fails to fully capture the reality of creative production. It ignores the range of powerful non-economic motivations that compel creativity, and it overlooks the capacity of creative industries for self-governance and innovative social and market responses to appropriation. This book reveals the on-the-ground practices of a range of creators and innovators. In doing so, it challenges intellectual property orthodoxy by showing that incentives for creative production often exist in the absence of, or in disregard for, formal legal protections. Instead, these communities rely on evolving social norms and market responses—sensitive to their particular cultural, competitive, and technological circumstances—to ensure creative incentives. From tattoo artists to medical researchers, Nigerian filmmakers to roller derby players, the communities illustrated in this book demonstrate that creativity can thrive without legal incentives, and perhaps more strikingly, that some creative communities prefer, and thrive, in environments defined by self-regulation rather than legal rules. Beyond their value as descriptions of specific industries and communities, the accounts collected here help to ground debates over IP policy in the empirical realities of the creative process. Their parallels and divergences also highlight the value of rules that are sensitive to the unique mix of conditions and motivations of particular industries and communities, rather than the monoculture of uniform regulation of the current IP system.
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Accountability protects public health and safety, facilitates law enforcement, and enhances national security, but it is much more than a bureaucratic concern for corporations, public administrators, and the criminal justice system. In Why Privacy Isn't Everything, Anita L. Allen provides a highly original treatment of neglected issues affecting the intimacies of everyday life, and freshly examines how a preeminent liberal society accommodates the competing demands of vital privacy and vital accountability for personal matters. Thus, 'None of your business ' is at times the wrong thing to say, as much of what appears to be self-regarding conduct has implications for others that should have some bearing on how a person chooses to act. The book addresses such questions as, What does it mean to be accountable for conduct? For what personal matters am I accountable, and to whom? Allen concludes that the sticky webs of accountability that encase ordinary life are flexible enough to accommodate egalitarian moral, legal and social practices that are highly consistent with contemporary feminist reconstructions of liberalism.
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In a sophisticated defense of intellectual property, Merges draws on Kant, Locke, and Rawls to explain how IP rights are based on a solid ethical foundation and make sense for a just society. He also calls for appropriate boundaries: IP rights are real, but they come with real limits.
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At the end of World War II, the United States had all the money—and all the power. Now, America finds itself cash poor, and to a great extent power follows money. In The End of Influence, renowned economic analysts Stephen S. Cohen and J. Bradford DeLong explore the grave consequences this loss will have for America’s place in the world. America, Cohen and DeLong argue, will no longer be the world’s hyperpower. It will no longer wield soft cultural power or dictate a monolithic foreign policy. More damaging, though, is the blow to the world’s ability to innovate economically, financially, and politically. Cohen and DeLong also explore American’s complicated relationship with China, the misunderstood role of sovereign wealth funds, and the return of state-led capitalism. An essential read for anyone interested in how global economics and finance interact with national policy, The End of Influence explains the far-reaching and potentially long-lasting but little-noted consequences of our great fiscal crisis.
Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World
Author: Jill Jonnes
Publisher: Random House
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In the final decades of the nineteenth century, three brilliant and visionary titans of America’s Gilded Age—Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse—battled bitterly as each vied to create a vast and powerful electrical empire. In Empires of Light, historian Jill Jonnes portrays this extraordinary trio and their riveting and ruthless world of cutting-edge science, invention, intrigue, money, death, and hard-eyed Wall Street millionaires. At the heart of the story are Thomas Alva Edison, the nation’s most famous and folksy inventor, creator of the incandescent light bulb and mastermind of the world’s first direct current electrical light networks; the Serbian wizard of invention Nikola Tesla, elegant, highly eccentric, a dreamer who revolutionized the generation and delivery of electricity; and the charismatic George Westinghouse, Pittsburgh inventor and tough corporate entrepreneur, an industrial idealist who in the era of gaslight imagined a world powered by cheap and plentiful electricity and worked heart and soul to create it. Edison struggled to introduce his radical new direct current (DC) technology into the hurly-burly of New York City as Tesla and Westinghouse challenged his dominance with their alternating current (AC), thus setting the stage for one of the eeriest feuds in American corporate history, the War of the Electric Currents. The battlegrounds: Wall Street, the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Niagara Falls, and, finally, the death chamber—Jonnes takes us on the tense walk down a prison hallway and into the sunlit room where William Kemmler, convicted ax murderer, became the first man to die in the electric chair. Empires of Light is the gripping history of electricity, the “mysterious fluid,” and how the fateful collision of Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse left the world utterly transformed. From the Hardcover edition.
Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere
Author: Kevin Carey
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From a renowned education writer comes a paradigm-shifting examination of the rapidly changing world of college that every parent, student, educator, and investor needs to understand. Over the span of just nine months in 2011 and 2012, the world’s most famous universities and high-powered technology entrepreneurs began a race to revolutionize higher education. College courses that had been kept for centuries from all but an elite few were released to millions of students throughout the world—for free. Exploding college prices and a flagging global economy, combined with the derring-do of a few intrepid innovators, have created a dynamic climate for a total rethinking of an industry that has remained virtually unchanged for a hundred years. In The End of College, Kevin Carey, an education researcher and writer, draws on years of in-depth reporting and cutting-edge research to paint a vivid and surprising portrait of the future of education. Carey explains how two trends—the skyrocketing cost of college and the revolution in information technology—are converging in ways that will radically alter the college experience, upend the traditional meritocracy, and emancipate hundreds of millions of people around the world. Insightful, innovative, and accessible, The End of College is a must-read, and an important contribution to the developing conversation about education in this country.
The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism
Author: Jeremy Rifkin
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Category: Political Science
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In The Zero Marginal Cost Society, New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism. Rifkin uncovers a paradox at the heart of capitalism that has propelled it to greatness but is now taking it to its death—the inherent entrepreneurial dynamism of competitive markets that drives productivity up and marginal costs down, enabling businesses to reduce the price of their goods and services in order to win over consumers and market share. (Marginal cost is the cost of producing additional units of a good or service, if fixed costs are not counted.) While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring marginal costs to near zero, making goods and services priceless, nearly free, and abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. Now, a formidable new technology infrastructure—the Internet of things (IoT)—is emerging with the potential of pushing large segments of economic life to near zero marginal cost in the years ahead. Rifkin describes how the Communication Internet is converging with a nascent Energy Internet and Logistics Internet to create a new technology platform that connects everything and everyone. Billions of sensors are being attached to natural resources, production lines, the electricity grid, logistics networks, recycling flows, and implanted in homes, offices, stores, vehicles, and even human beings, feeding Big Data into an IoT global neural network. Prosumers can connect to the network and use Big Data, analytics, and algorithms to accelerate efficiency, dramatically increase productivity, and lower the marginal cost of producing and sharing a wide range of products and services to near zero, just like they now do with information goods. The plummeting of marginal costs is spawning a hybrid economy—part capitalist market and part Collaborative Commons—with far reaching implications for society, according to Rifkin. Hundreds of millions of people are already transferring parts of their economic lives to the global Collaborative Commons. Prosumers are plugging into the fledgling IoT and making and sharing their own information, entertainment, green energy, and 3D-printed products at near zero marginal cost. They are also sharing cars, homes, clothes and other items via social media sites, rentals, redistribution clubs, and cooperatives at low or near zero marginal cost. Students are enrolling in free massive open online courses (MOOCs) that operate at near zero marginal cost. Social entrepreneurs are even bypassing the banking establishment and using crowdfunding to finance startup businesses as well as creating alternative currencies in the fledgling sharing economy. In this new world, social capital is as important as financial capital, access trumps ownership, sustainability supersedes consumerism, cooperation ousts competition, and "exchange value" in the capitalist marketplace is increasingly replaced by "sharable value" on the Collaborative Commons. Rifkin concludes that capitalism will remain with us, albeit in an increasingly streamlined role, primarily as an aggregator of network services and solutions, allowing it to flourish as a powerful niche player in the coming era. We are, however, says Rifkin, entering a world beyond markets where we are learning how to live together in an increasingly interdependent global Collaborative Commons.
How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
Author: Yochai Benkler
Publisher: Yale University Press
Category: Business & Economics
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With the radical changes in information production that the Internet has introduced, we stand at an important moment of transition, says Yochai Benkler in this thought-provoking book. The phenomenon he describes as social production is reshaping markets, while at the same time offering new opportunities to enhance individual freedom, cultural diversity, political discourse, and justice. But these results are by no means inevitable: a systematic campaign to protect the entrenched industrial information economy of the last century threatens the promise of today’s emerging networked information environment. In this comprehensive social theory of the Internet and the networked information economy, Benkler describes how patterns of information, knowledge, and cultural production are changing--and shows that the way information and knowledge are made available can either limit or enlarge the ways people can create and express themselves. He describes the range of legal and policy choices that confront us and maintains that there is much to be gained--or lost--by the decisions we make today.
Author: Julie E. Cohen,Lydia Pallas Loren,Ruth L. Okediji,Maureen A. O'Rourke
Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
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Copyright in a Global Information Economy explores the full range of copyright law and its relationship to technological innovations and globalization. Written with precision and clarity, this ambitious yet manageable casebook elucidates the fundamental disputes of copyright law with incisive and balanced perspective. The book features comprehensive coverage of domestic and international copyright law, a balanced treatment of controversial issues, as well as a wide selection of concisely edited cases, engaging and practical examples and discussions, and photographs that facilitate and stimulate discussion of cases. Key Features of the New Edition Reorganization of materials on the copyright owner’s exclusive rights New section on copyright due diligence, licensing, and litigation Updated, streamlined notes and questions Practice exercises designed to engage students from a variety of perspectives including advocacy, client counseling, and legislative Drafting
How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age
Author: Adam Segal
Category: Political Science
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In this updated edition of The Hacked World Order, cybersecurity expert Adam Segal offers unmatched insight into the new, opaque global conflict that is transforming geopolitics. For more than three hundred years, the world wrestled with conflicts between nation-states, which wielded military force, financial pressure, and diplomatic persuasion to create "world order." But in 2012, the involvement of the US and Israeli governments in Operation "Olympic Games," a mission aimed at disrupting the Iranian nuclear program through cyberattacks, was revealed; Russia and China conducted massive cyber-espionage operations; and the world split over the governance of the Internet. Cyberspace became a battlefield. Cyber warfare demands that the rules of engagement be completely reworked and all the old niceties of diplomacy be recast. Many of the critical resources of statecraft are now in the hands of the private sector, giant technology companies in particular. In this new world order, Segal reveals, power has been well and truly hacked.
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The right to own and use private property is among the most essential human rights and the essential basis for economic growth. That’s why America’s Founders guaranteed it in the Constitution. Yet in today’s America, government tramples on this right in countless ways. Regulations forbid people to use their property as they wish, bureaucrats extort enormous fees from developers in exchange for building permits, and police departments snatch personal belongings on the suspicion that they were involved in crimes. In the case of Kelo v. New London, the Supreme Court even declared that government may seize homes and businesses and transfer the land to private developers to build stores, restaurants, or hotels. That decision was met with a firestorm of criticism across the nation. In this, the first book on property rights to be published since the Kelo decision, Timothy Sandefur surveys the landscape of private property in America’s third century. Beginning with the role property rights play in human nature, Sandefur describes how America’s Founders wrote a Constitution that would protect this right and details the gradual erosion that began with the Progressive Era’s abandonment of the principles of individual liberty. Sandefur tells the gripping stories of people who have found their property threatened: Frank Bugryn and his Connecticut Christmas-tree farm; Susette Kelo and the little dream house she renovated; Wilhelmina Dery and the house she was born in, 80 years before bureaucrats decided to take it; Dorothy English and the land she wanted to leave to her children; and Kenneth Healing and his 17-year legal battle for permission to build a home. Thanks to the abuse of eminent domain and asset forfeiture laws, federal, state, and local governments have now come to see property rights as mere permissions, which can be revoked at any time in the name of the “greater good.” In this book, Sandefur explains what citizens can do to restore the Constitution’s protections for this “cornerstone of liberty.”