Multinationals in the Digital Economy

The Brookings Institution‘s Global Goliaths: Multinational Corporations in the 21st Century Economy includes my chapter Multinationals in the Digital Economy. The lead paragraph:

Modern digital services largely come from multinational corporations (MNCs) whose size and scope are unprecedented.  It has not always been this way.  Just a few decades ago, users typically turned to local firms for most kinds of information technology (IT).  And, historically, software was known for its low barriers to entry and the quick rise of startups and small firms.  This chapter examines the forces contributing to the rise of digital MNCs, as well as the challenges they face. 

Benjamin Edelman v. N2H2, Inc.

I sought to research and document sites categorized and restricted by Internet blocking program N2H2. N2H2’s block site list is protected by technical measures including an encryption system, but I sought to write software that would nonetheless allow me to access, analyze, and report its contents. However, I feared that conducting this work might expose me to liability for violation of the N2H2 License, of the Copyright Act of 1976, and of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as well as for misappropriation of N2H2’s trade secrets. With representation by the ACLU, I therefore sought from federal court a declaratory judgement that I could conduct this research and publication without fear of liability.

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