Ask anyone in the recording industry or the news business about the consequences of ignoring the Laws of Disruption.
Downes (Ctr. for Internet & Society, Stanford Univ. Law Sch.; Unleashing the Killer App) is a gifted observer of the laws of digital disruption, a phenomenon in which the technological advances and new digital modes of commerce and communication outpace the ability of social, economic, and legal frameworks to keep pace. With a lens on businesses and legal aspects of technologies, Downes takes the reader chapter by chapter through important issues regarding personal information and human rights. We see how new crimes are possible with the ever-increasing data produced by users of digital content. The laws governing new commerce and new digital identity would seem inadequate to the current reality of digital environments. Downes asserts that the market will balance these unequal paradigms and that new laws should not be foisted upon misunderstood problems. The author includes a concise and easy-to-follow survey of patents, copyrights, and trademarks and the requirements that these legal codes place on the digital consumer. VERDICT For business collections especially.—Jim Hahn, Univ. of Illinois Lib., Urbana