Perhaps the most interesting quality of Internet and other data transmission networks is their potential to alter power relationships with respect to personal privacy and intellectual property.
The idea that government should regulate intellectual property ... is relatively recent in human history, and the details may vary and change. Consider music.
Extensive economic research has not conclusively answered the question of whether the patent system really promotes innovation.
What is the optimal design for such a multitiered confidentiality system?
This essay appears in the December 5 issue of Science Magazine. The author is a division director at the National Science Foundation.
Privacy and Property on the Net: Research Questions