Law, Information and Information Technology
E. Lederman (Editor)
Kluwer Law, 2001
ISBN 904111675 3
Dr Charles Oppenheim
Unlike similar titled books, such as (Lloyd, 2000), this 430 page hardback book is not a coherent text on its topic. Rather, it is a selection of papers presented at the Buchmann International Conference on Law, Information and IT that was held presumably some time in early 2001.
2. Topics from the Buchmann International Conference on Law, Information and IT
The book comprises 12 papers, virtually all heavily researched, in six broad areas: conceptualising information law, privacy, IPR, regulating the Internet, regulating the Stock Market, and authentication.
The authors sometimes take an international viewpoint, but frequently their contributions were focussed at a national level, e.g., UK, US, German or Israeli law.
As with all collections, the value of the contributions varies greatly. Some, such as Sieber's 'The Emergence of Information Law'and Weinstock's over-long chapter on cyberspace self-government, provide wide-ranging philosophical discussions; others, such as those on fraud on the stock market, are very specialised.
3. Eben Moglen's 'Anarchism Triumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright
The most interesting contribution for me was Eben Moglen's 'Anarchism Ttriumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright', which was curiously placed in the 'Regulating the Internet'section rather than that on IPR. Moglen is a well-known advocate of the impending death of copyright, and whether one agrees with him or not (and some of his facts are inaccurate), the forcefulness of his arguments are impressive.
4. Layout of the Book
As so often with such texts, the book is beautifully typeset, but lacks an index and the referencing standards are atrocious.
The habit of having footnotes on each page that occupy more than half the page is also an annoyance. If that many words are worth putting into print, they ought to be in the main text.
In some places, the texts show their age, for example on the discussion on US Government attitudes to data protection law, which refer to the Clinton administration's approach only. Similarly, the discussion of the legal protection of anti-circumvention measures in Elkin-Koren's interesting and thoughtful chapter (unfortunately mis-titled 'Copyright in Cyberspace: The Rule of Law and the Rule of Code', when it was much more focussed than that) fails to consider the EU Directive on copyright and what it has to say on the topic - presumably because it had not yet been published at the time the chapter was written. This particular chapter complements another recent Kluwer book (Guibault, 2002).
I noted one major typographical error - mis-spelling of 'Providers'throughout Sieber's second chapter, on the responsibilities of ISPs.
Overall, the book covers such an eclectic mix of topics that it can only be recommended if one has a specific interest in one of the topics, or if one wishes to build up a general collection of texts in information law issues.
1. Guibault, L M C R (2002) Copyright Limitations and Contracts, The Hague: Kluwer Law International
2. Lloyd, I (2000) Information Technology Law, London: Butterworths.
This is a Book Review published on 4 July 2003.
Citation: Oppenheim, C, 'Law, Information and Information Technology', E. Lederman (Editor), Book Review, The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT) 2003 (1)
<http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/03-1/oppenheim2.html>. New Citation as at 1/1/04 <http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/elj/jilt/2003_1/oppenheim2/>.