Publications

The Berkman Center has established the premier series of scholarly publications on matters related to the Internet, law, and society, known as the Berkman Publication Series, which is jointly published with the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Below is a selected list of these works, which includes scholarly papers as well as books, written by Berkman faculty and fellows. To be notified when new reports are added to this list, sign up for our reports release email list.

(For additional writings and blog posts from Berkman community members and projects, which are not included in this series, see our aggregated community blog feed.)

International Personal Data Protection and Digital Identity Management Tools

International guidelines establish principles for the treatment of personal data. Might digital identity management tools simultaneously allow the interests of government, the private sector, and the citizen to be met - namely, legitimate government access to and sharing of personal data, efficiency in web-services exchanges, and effective protections for personal data?

Authored by
  • Mary Rundle

19 Jun 2006

From Shakespeare to DJ Danger Mouse: A Quick Look at Copyright and User Creativity in the Digital Age

In this short essay, we first provide several examples to demonstrate that the law - especially copyright law - has not kept pace with the unfolding creative revolution of cyberspace. We then argue that the law should strike a new balance between the divergent interests of various stakeholders in order to foster participatory culture. Finally, we outline some approaches and proposals that might contribute to such an endeavor.

Authored by
  • Urs Gasser
  • Silke Ernst

31 May 2006

A History of Online Gatekeeping

The bulk of this Article puts together the pieces of that history most relevant to an understanding of the law's historical forbearance, describing a trajectory of gatekeeping beginning with defamation and continuing to copyright infringement, including shifts in technology toward peer-to-peer networks, that has so far failed to provoke a significant regulatory intrusion.

Authored by
  • Jonathan Zittrain

31 May 2006

Legal Frameworks and Technological Protection of Digital Content: Moving Forward Towards a Best Practice Model

This paper takes it as its baseline that many countries have already enacted legislation or will soon legislate on TPM in order to comply either with international obligations under WIPO, or with international free trade agreements involving a party that has powerful content industries such as the U.S.

Authored by
  • Urs Gasser

31 May 2006

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The Wealth of Networks

How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom

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.

Authored by
  • Yochai Benkler

15 May 2006

The Generative Internet

This Article explores ways - some of them bound to be unpopular among advocates of an open Internet represented by uncompromising end-to-end neutrality - in which the Internet can be made to satisfy genuine and pressing security concerns while retaining the most important generative aspects of today's networked technology.

Authored by
  • Jonathan Zittrain

30 Apr 2006

SpyAxe

This application report reviews the SpyAxe application.

Authored by
  • StopBadware.org

22 Mar 2006

Kazaa

This application report reviews the Kazaa application, produced by Sharman Networks.

Authored by
  • StopBadware.org

22 Mar 2006

MediaPipe

This application report reviews the MediaPipe application, produced by Net Publican, Ltd.

Authored by
  • StopBadware.org

22 Mar 2006

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We the Media

Grassroots Journalism By the People, For the People

In We the Media, nationally acclaimed newspaper columnist and blogger Dan Gillmor tells the story of this emerging phenomenon and sheds light on this deep shift in how we make--and consume--the news.

Authored by
  • Dan Gillmor

24 Jan 2006

Rapid ICT Change and Workplace Knowledge Obsolescence: Causes and Proposed Solutions

ICT changes are visible in many aspects of our lives. It is changing how we communicate, learn and seek entertainment. Our work environments are no exception....Corporate knowledge management initiatives are an essential way to overcome these problems, sometimes as a complement to training, other times even as a substitute. But corporate knowledge management has a great deal to learn from the experiences of online communities, which increasingly organize knowledge in wiki and blog environments, and utilize tags, feeds, aggregators and links to better connect the pieces.

Authored by
  • Henrik Schneider

14 Dec 2005

Frames from the Framers: How America's Revolutionaries Imagined Intellectual Property

The dominant metaphor in England for many years had compared creative work to the harvest of a landed estate. The estate metaphor was bounded by two others, however: commonwealth and monopoly. For some, the fruits of creativity should be “common stock,” as free and general as air or water, and therefore the estate in question should not be a private holding but more like the old agricultural commons. For others, private estates were fine, but no one should monopolize their fruits. Copyright and patent were understood to be monopolies, and unchecked monopolies were understood as social evils.

Authored by
  • Lewis Hyde

13 Dec 2005

The Broadcast Flag: It's Not Just TV

It's not about the television. Or rather, it's not about television as broadcast to the passive consumer, to be received on single-purpose boxes. It's about television as it could be, with innovative companies and tinkerers making television broadcasts a core part of the converged home media network. The crippling of this kind of television is an early warning against a pervasive technology regulation.

Authored by
  • Wendy Seltzer

30 Sep 2005

Catch-As-Catch-Can: A Case Note On Grokster

In summer 2005, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision which is surely destined to play a significant role in the interrelation between law and technology in the coming years. The case, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., et al. v. Grokster, Ltd., et al., pitted copyright holders against the operators of certain peer-to-peer online file-sharing services. In this article, we provide an extensive exposition of the Court's decision.

Authored by
  • John Palfrey
  • Urs Gasser

30 Sep 2005

The Internet and Democracy: Global Catalyst or Democratic Dud?

In this study we explore the global effect of the Internet on democracy over the period of 1992 to 2002 by observing the relationships between measures related to democracy and Internet prevalence. Our results show a significant correlation between Internet penetration (measured as the estimated number of Internet users per 1,000 people) and a common indicator of a nation’s level of democratization provided by the Freedom House...We employ Lessig’s framework of regulation to examine the cause of this Internet-democracy correlation.

Authored by
  • Michael Best
  • Keegan W. Wade

30 Sep 2005

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