Patrick Murck

I try to ask interesting questions

Code as law?

I came across this article and was reminded of a common misunderstanding that I’ve been hearing with increasing frequency it seems. The author states “Code as law” as if Code (i.e. software) will someday replace Law.

Certainly one can believe in a vision of the future where computers, software, the internet, artificial intelligence, etc. someday displaces our traditional legal system. Fair enough. But the term Code is Law refers specifically to the Lawrence Lessig article of the same name and the book Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, which states something quite different and frankly much more interesting.

Lessig’s argument isn’t that Code (software) will replace Law (our legal framework and institutions) but that cyberspace is an environment that is in and of itself heavily regulated by the rules of Code (the protocols and software that breath life into the internet and internet...

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