Volume 2013— Issue 1

Articles

"Autonomous Weapons Systems: A Coming Legal “Singularity”?" by Benjamin Kastan
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Military robotics has long captured the popular imagination in movies, books, and magazines. In recent years, this technology has moved from the realm of science fiction to reality. The precursors to truly autonomous weapons, the so-called “drones,” have generated a great deal of discussion. Few authors, however, have applied current law to the developing technology of autonomous military robots, or “autonomous weapon systems.” The treatment of such subjects in the ethics, robotics, and popular literature has generally assumed that autonomous systems either fit perfectly into existing legal regimes or threaten long-standing paradigms. This Article demonstrates that neither assumption is correct. Rather, the introduction of autonomous military robots will require adapting well-established legal principles in the law of war as well as domestic accountability mechanisms to this new technology. A key adjustment that must be made is the introduction of a military-created standard of operation for autonomous systems. This standard will set how such robotic systems may be used in accordance with the law of war. The establishment of such a standard operating procedure would also address accountability concerns by helping to establish a standard of care below which liability may be imposed on the human commanders of autonomous military robots.

“Coase and Copyright” by Floris Kreiken & David Koepsell
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The call for more copyright legislation and enforcement is controversial. It requires more state regulation and potentially undermines public values, economic efficiency, and fundamental rights. This seems the way forward because creative industries and governments frame copyright as an ordinary property right. This accords with pre-digital business models: business models based generally on exclusive and rival tokens (a token is an instance of a type or idea—thus, the idea of a chair is a type, whereas each individual chair in the world is a token) of expressions. Since new technologies have made those tokens in many cases obsolete, maintaining the copyright frame troubles the discussion. If we look at copyright as just a use or access right, we might better achieve what copyright was originally intended to do: provide remuneration to artists and allow access to culture and entertainment to the public. Access rights might be a more suitable approach, as Internet trends point toward access to information and because business models concerning access seem to achieve this dual objective of copyright. The harms done by the non-exclusivity and non-rivalness of expressions are an input cost we have to take into account, instead of a signal of market failure. That input cost might very well be high, but benefits are made in other areas and this market shift does not require the same infringement of fundamental values and rights, so it at least merits our attention and research. As transaction costs for digital goods are low, barriers to entry decrease, which could allow for a free and diverse market, if balanced appropriately with regulatory regimes.

Essay

“The Cyberenemy: Using the Military Justice System To Prosecute Organized Computer Attackers” by Michael J. Lebowitz
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Notes

““Cloudy” Skies, Bright Futures? In Defense of a Private Regulatory Scheme for Policing Cloud Computing” by Carol M. Celestine
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“I’ll Gladly Trade You Two Bits On Tuesday For a Byte Today: Bitcoin, Regulating Fraud In the E-Conomy of Hacker-Cash" by Derek A. Dion
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“Folded Industry? Black Friday's Effect on the Future of Online Poker In the United States” by Andrew M. Nevill
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Recent Development

“The “Amazon Tax” Issue: Washing Away the Requirement of Physical Presence for Sales Tax Jurisdiction Over Internet Businesses” by Rob Owen
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Transcript

"The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies 2012 National Lawyers Convention; Telecommunications: Communications Law Reform"
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