Lawyers and code

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The Devil’s Advocate

In which the curmudgeonly old sod puts the world to rights.

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Cyberspace demands a new understanding of how regulation works. It compels us to look beyond the traditional lawyer’s scope—beyond laws, or even norms. It requires a broader account of “regulation,” and most importantly, the recognition of a newly salient regulator.

That regulator is the obscurity in this book’s title—Code. In real space, we recognise how laws regulate—through constitutions, statutes, and other legal codes. In cyberspace we must understand how a different “code” regulates—how the software and hardware (i.e., the “code” of cyberspace) that make cyberspace what it is also regulate cyberspace as it is.”

Lawrence Lessig, Code: Version 2.0

It is a common refrain amongst the divers visionaries, green sky™ thinkers and thought-leaders of LinkedIn that, to make themselves fit for the twenty-first century, legal eagles must learn at once to code.