Essential new book on 'Net Policy (blessed by Lessig!): "Internet Architecture and Innovation"

Marvin Ammori has an extensive review up on Barbara van Schewick's "Internet Architecture and Innovation," a new book on Internet policy that Ammori describes as "essential reading for anyone interested in Internet policy--and probably for anyone interested in the law, economics, technology, or start-ups."

The title (and the topic) are the sort of thing that tend to make readers' eyes glaze over, but Ammori's pithy post explains "why the book is important and eye-opening for everyone (...) not only for those who (like me) have spent their careers in Internet policy."

Snip from his review:

I'll tell you about my very favorite part. In the eighth chapter, beginning with "The Value of Many Innovators," van Schewick presents the stories of how several major technologies were born: Google, Flickr, EBay, 37Signals, Twitter, and even the World Wide Web, email, and web-based email. I had always suspected that the "accidental" beginnings and unexpected successes of these technologies were a series of flukes, one fluke after another. Rather, van Schewick explains, it's a pattern. Her models actually predict the pattern accurately-unlike other academic models like the efficient market hypothesis and theories on valuing derivatives. These entrepreneurial stories (or case studies, to academics) are eye-opening; they're also counter-intuitive unless you consider the management science and evolutionary economics van Schewick applies to analyze them. So if you wondered what the invention of Flickr, Google, Twitter, and the World Wide Web had in common, van Schewick answers the question.
Website for the book is here, and Amazon link here.

[Thanks, Lessig!]


    1. The book is an edited (and expanded) version of her 2004 PhD thesis, not available online either. I have been told the core arguments have largely carried over to the book, so you may want to go for an interlibrary loan copy of her thesis from Technische Universität Berlin library before actually going for the book.

      1. Anon # 6, why should someone try to get an old thesis through interlibrary loan if the person can get the book itself through interlibrary loan (or recommend that his or her library buy a copy)?

  1. Good question about digital version. In the post notice the last note: the digital version won’t be out freely online for three years. Maybe you should email MIT Press with reasons why a digital version would increase sales :)

  2. Barbara van Schewick, whose salary is funded by Google, is in this book engaging in revisionist history that suits her patron’s political agenda. Take it with a pound of salt.

  3. It’s not true that her salary is funded by Google. Stanford Law School pays her salary. Maybe Google stock is in the endowment, through a managed fund, but I assume a lot of stock fits in that category.

    And, if Google were funding her research, Google would be unhappy. Google just came out against real net neutrality (as anyone with pound of sense would know). So your accusation is factually wrong and just incoherent.

  4. Hey Anon #3, can you provide links or other info supporting your statement? Could be true, I don’t know. But she contributed to this OpEd that that calls Verizon and Google “giant galoots” who have struck a deal that would, “destroy the promise of a neutral network.”

    But I could be missing something. Thanks,

    Jim Feeley

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