This paper addresses the evolution of metaphors for the Internet and shows how they have constrained and determined the development of cyberlaw. | Within the law, metaphors mold the framework of discourse, determining the scope of appropriate questions about and answers to various social and legal problems. Courts and commentators employ metaphors as heuristics to generate hypotheses about the application of law to novel, unexplored domains. Metaphors structure the way lawyers conceptualize legal events, as they infiltrate, consciously and unconsciously, legal discourse…. Three metaphors in particular will be examined: the information superhighway, cyberspace, and the Internet as “real” space. —Cohen and Blavin —Gore, Gibson, and Goldsmith: The Evolution of Internet Metaphors in Law and Commentary (Harvard Journal of Law and Technology)
Looks like a good find, via Clancy on Kairosnews. The actual article is, unfortunately, a PDF document, so I’m blogging it until I can get to the office in a few days.
2 thoughts on “Gore, Gibson, and Goldsmith: The Evolution of Internet Metaphors in Law and Commentary”
I haven’t read “Snow Crash” but I’ll be teaching “The Diamond Age” in my “Intro to Lit” course this year. Good luck with the new blog, Matt.
I just finished reading “Neuromancer” again, and am still floored by Gibson’s vision of cyberspce. It’s worth noting that Neal Stephenson should probably be considered when talking about writers who influenced the evolution of the net. In his book “Snow Crash”, he shares Gibson’s concept of a cyberspace restrained somewhat by physcial distance. Both of them speak of cyberspace as though it were actual space that we need to navigate across. Gibson’s “cowboys” use their decks, Stephenson’s characters use mass transit or personal transportation programs disguised as motorcycles of cars. Not sure where I’m going with this, but I am intruiged by the idea of a “physcial” cyberspace.