Friday, December 24, 2004

Code, Speech & First Amendment

Is code speech? Is or should software be protected by the First Amendment? Robert Plotkin asks and seeks to answer these questions in Fighting Keywords: Translating the First Amendment to Protect Software Speech. Available in hard copy for over a year, but put up at SSRN just recently.
Here's the abstract:
The ongoing debate over the applicability of the First Amendment to software focuses primarily on whether software is speech, a device, or a combination of both. According to the terms of this debate, if software is speech then the First Amendment fully protects it; however, if software is a device, it deserves no First Amendment protection. I argue that this debate is misplaced because the mere classification of software as "speech" or as a "device" does not end the First Amendment inquiry. I propose an alternative framework in which well-accepted principles of tort law, criminal law, and First Amendment jurisprudence are combined to provide maximum protection for "software speech," while also promoting the public interest in regulating harm. Shaping the precise contours of such a framework, however, will require the resolution of difficult public policy questions raised by the unique nature of software and the Internet.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sinterklaas zegt dat rik gek is.

25/12/04 13:48  
Blogger Rik Lambers said...

Hey Sinterklaas, de Kerstman zegt dat je maar eens snel moet komen delibreren over je gevoelens van gekte boven de damp van een Espresso!

25/12/04 14:16  

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