CategoriesComputer & Internet Law
When Wikipedia, Google, and other online service providers staged a ―blackout protest‖ against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in January 2012, their actions inadvertently emphasized a fundamental truth that is often missed about the nature of cyberlaw. In attempts to address what is unique about the field, commentators have failed to appreciate that the field could—and should—be reconceptualized as a law of the global intermediated information exchange. Such a conception would provide a set of organizing principles that are lacking in existing scholarship. Nothing happens online that does not involve one or more intermediaries—the service providers who facilitate all digital commerce and communication by providing the hardware and software through which all interactions take place. This Article advocates a fundamental shift in the nature of cyberspace scholarship towards a law of the ―intermediated information exchange,‖ and explains the benefits of such an approach in developing a more predictable and cohesive body of legal principles to govern cyberspace interactions.