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News Posted on February 16, 2017

Professor Chander Cited in The Economist

Research by Professor Anupam Chander is cited in an article in The Economist exploring the potential for increased government regulation of online companies.  According to the article, internet enterprises have faced a legal environment in which they “are not legally responsible ... for what their users do,” but that may be changing as “governments and courts chip away at the sovereignty of internet firms.” 

The special treatment afforded internet firms “can be seen as an implicit subsidy for a nascent industry,” The Economist writes, referencing Chander’s paper, "How Law Made Silicon Valley," which argues that the U.S. made early moves that allowed the Internet to flourish, while the E.U., Japan, and South Korea took steps in the opposite direction. The paper invokes as a historical comparison, 19th century tort law's response to the coming of railroads and industry, which was elaborated by Morton Horwitz in his classic volumes, The Transformation of American Law.

In another paper, Chander, writing with California International Law Center Associate Director Uyen Le, explains that legal protections for internet enterprises encouraged them to provide platforms for the speech of ordinary citizens. That paper, "Free Speech," argues that it was the United States' strong commitment to free expression that proved crucial to legal protections for internet speech platforms. 

Professor Chander, Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law, is a leading scholar of international economic law and cyberlaw. He is the author of The Electronic Silk Road: How the Web Binds the World in Commerce, published in 2013 by Yale University Press. His scholarly papers can be accessed via his Social Science Research Network author page.