April 22, 2004

Law of the Horse?

Frank Easterbrook, in a truly annoying article entitled "Cyberspace and The Law of the Horse," (PDF file) suggests that there is no need to talk about cyberlaw because no substantive legal changes are needed to address the Internet. THe only thing new is the medium -- laws regulating content, commerce, etc., are just as applicable, and the cross-jurisdictional issues are handled by existing conflict-of-laws rules. Cyberlaw, as a field of study, is as needless as "the law of the horse."

I'm no fan of Easterbrook's reactionary article, but the theme seemed relevant when discussing the law of wireless. I'm not sure that there is anything legally new about wireless that hasn't been discussed in the context of open wired networks or networks open to Internet users. Perhaps now more people are accessing other folks' networks, but how does that change anything. Isn't this just a new medium to which the existing rules apply?

I'm happy to be wrong here, but I'd like to hear what exactly is NEW about wireless.

Posted by wdevries at April 22, 2004 06:47 PM
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