Said@Duke: Mark Lemley on the State of the Internet

Part of the Said@Duke: 2019-2020 Series
I think we’re losing the internet. We’re replacing it with the ‘splinternet’ – a balkanized set of computer protocols that increasingly differs by company and by country. That’s not a good thing.

Mark Lemley, William H. Neukom Professor of Law at Stanford University and the director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology, this week gave the annual David L. Lange Lecture on Intellectual Property at Duke Law.

"Balkanization means it’s harder for people to share experiences across countries," he said. "It takes away the ability to see what the rest of the world has, and how the rest of the world thinks, and that’s a loss. I think it’s a loss for us, but it’s a real loss for people in oppressive regimes who can look to the outside world for hope, for inspiration to demand change, for the means of facilitating that change. If we take that away, we take away freedom for a substantial number of people.”

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