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Lessig, L. (2001) The Future of Ideas. New York: Random House. [soft-cover reprinting (2002); New York: Vintage Books]

CodeAndOtherLawsOfCyberspace by LawrenceLessig was good. It talked about how many features of the Internet are not intrinsic to it, but to the code upon which it is built. Thus we need to be careful when suddenly code changes what is law, such as media players which refuse to play certain files. Do we want this?

His second book moves away from code towards innovation. He argues that the Internet favored innovations. Again, this favoring is not intrinsic to the Net, but to the architecture the founders chose: The end-to-end principle, for example, says that all the Net does is transport datagrams. See RFC 1958 for more. This architecture has certain features. The owners of the physical layers cannot discriminate against certain applications, for example. With new changes (Quality of Service) this is about to change. And again Lessig asks us: Do we want this?

See also: [a SlashDot review with comments]; [the book's promotional website].



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