[This is a post from the Cybernorms.net blog, which is the English equivalent to Cybernormer.se. You can follow this link to read this post at it
s original URL.]
A recent article by Jacqueline D Lipton, Professor of Law; Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research; Co-Director, Center for Law, Technology, and the Arts, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, brings attention to the concept of cybernorms. The article is titled What Blogging Might Teach About CyberNorms and is published in The Akron Intellectual Property Journal, a scholarly legal publication of The University of Akron School of Law that produces an annual volume of two issues for use by scholars, practitioners, and judges. In a SSRN pre-publication there is an abstract of the article that give us the following information:
Since the dawn of the information age, scholars have debated the viability of regulating cyberspace. Early on, Professor Lawrence Lessig suggested that “code is law” online. Lessig and others also examined the respective regulatory functions of laws, code, market forces, and social norms. In recent years, with the rise of Web 2.0 interactive technologies, norms have taken center-stage as a regulatory modality online. The advantages of norms are that they can develop quickly by the communities that seek to enforce them, and they are not bound by geography. However, to date there has been scant literature dealing in any detail with specific online norms, and comparing them with other forms of regulation. This article reverses that trend by presenting a detailed case study of one developing norm in the blogosphere – the norm against “hijacking” a comment thread in a blog by hyperlinking, and thereby redirecting readers, to another blog. Using this case study, the article draws some conclusions about the relative advantages and disadvantages of norms as regulators. In particular, the author concludes that too much weight is often placed on vague and opaque norms in online interactions. It advocates future emphasis on more well developed and clearly expressed norms.
The article constitutes one important contribution to the ongoing scholarly discussion about interactions and coexistence of legal rules and social norms online. It both lays out some fundamental theoretical considerations and illustrates the complexity through an interesting example. Liptons production regarding cyberlaw and cybernorms in this article and elsewhere is well worth studying.