Vol. 1 (2005)

Technology, Law, Freedom And Development

Yochai Benkler

Technology interacts with social, economic and legal frameworks to set the basic ‘affordances’ and constraints of human action over time. While biotechnology and nanotechnology may portend significant upheavals in the future, the most significant present transformation revolves around computers and the emergence of the networked information economy. These new technological and economic conditions are creating new forms of production and new forms of social behaviour that are fundamentally altering the way we know the world, how we learn about how the world is and how we can make it become. It is important that we study this transformation and understand it in political as well as economic terms. How we manage the transition - in particular how we construct the basic institutions governing it, such as intellectual property and communications law - will go to the very structure of freedom and the possibility of human development in the coming decades

Author

Professor of Law, Yale Law School; LL.B. ’91, Faculty of Law, Tel-Aviv University; J.D. ’94, Harvard Law School. © 2005 Yochai Benkler.