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Friday, October 12 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Properties of Regulation and Governance

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SOFTWARE PRESERVATION AND THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL MEMORY: FACING COPYRIGHT CHALLENGES
Patricia A Aufderheide, Brandon Butler, Krista Cox, Peter Jaszi
Software preservation is essential for social memory in a digital age, but presents a daunting challenge for a host of reasons, including legal ones. Much software is proprietary, protected among other ways by copyright and often walled with encryption that requires an exemption to break, for copyright exemption reasons. This paper, grounded in a literature review and long-form interviews with 41 veteran software preservation professionals, maps the copyright challenges that U.S. software preservation professionals face in accomplishing their mission of preservation, how they currently face them, and how they might face them if there were consensus around use of copyright exemptions. It focuses on the challenges of preserving software on installation media that can be forensically imaged, not on the emerging algorithmic challenge. The study documents constraint on creative problem-solving because of internalized copyright expectations. It finds that preservationists today pay a high price for unnecessary copyright conservatism, including failure to properly identify and catalog and to provide suitable access to researchers, the loss of funding, and inability to build capacity to handle the algorithmic challenge. U.S. exemptions provide solutions that may be relevant and helpful in other copyright regimes as well. But preservationists will need to build field consensus about their proper use.

BEYOND ‘ZERO SUM’: BALANCING NETWORK NEUTRALITY AND DIGITAL INCLUSION IN THE REGULATION OF ZERO RATING IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH
Guy Thurston Hoskins
Network neutrality in the global North was the epicentre of Internet policy debates over the last decade (Bauer and Obar, 2014). Recently, however, the locus of attention has shifted to the global South where ‘zero rating’ mobile apps – exempting content and services from data charges – has proved contentious. There are shrill arguments on either side. Those who oppose the practice contend that zero rating constitutes a “pernicious” threat to network neutrality (Crawford, 2015), while proponents defend zero rating (ZR) as an Internet on-ramp for billions (Katz and Callorda, 2015 p41). Prevailing voices have thus reduced zero rating to a zero sum game.

To address this reductive binary, this paper will examine the interplay of competing concerns around ZR and identify the circumstances in which they might be reconciled. I contend that through a contextual and pragmatic approach, we can move beyond absolutist judgements and better realize the social goods sought both by advocates of net neutrality and digital inclusion.

This article analyses the forms of zero rating offered in four wireless markets – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and South Africa - across three dimensions: political-economic; developmental and legislative. I then identify the factors that exacerbate or mitigate ZR’s impacts on net neutrality and access. I contend that we can then identify particular sets of circumstances in which ZR services could be sanctioned as a limited and short-term means to foment digital inclusion, and others when ZR services constitute an intolerable infringement upon network neutrality, local innovation and freedom of expression.

BLOCKCHAIN, RECORDS, AND EVIDENCE: AN EXPLORATION OF SMART CONTRACTS AND THE APPLICABILITY OF THIRD PARTY OVERSIGHT IN US, UK, AND EU REGULATORY SYSTEMS
Kristin Cornelius Way
Smart contracts are computer programs that self-execute the simple instructions necessary to carry out a transaction. Currently, this technology is most often used to manipulate cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum that are implemented by means of a public blockchain. Supporters believe ideally this automation has the potential to remove the need for third party oversight entirely such as that currently provided by financial, legal, regulatory, professional practice, and enforcement. Yet, conflating all of these institutions and their current roles as a singular target of disruption is a mistake as the motivations and mechanisms of each type of institution varies. This project considers blockchain technology, and smart contracts in particular, as they relate to two types of third party functions. The first ‘third party’ function considered is how legal discourse provides (or fails to provide) the proper oversight for digitized contracts and how smart contracts, rather than replace it, might only serve to exacerbate some of its failures. The second study looks at the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity and the creation of standards and regulations by corresponding institutions that force companies to produce records that stand as evidence in these investigations. The analysis draws on previous interpretations of digitized contracts and a series of interviews with two IRS Special Agents who investigate blockchain-related crime.

INTANGIBLE MATERIALITIES: SPECTRUM POLICY AND THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
Gregory Taylor
Intangible Materialities ties to the AOIR 2018 theme of Transnational Materialities by exploring the global trends in spectrum policy that form a foundational part of contemporary internet infrastructure. This paper explores current best practices in national spectrum policy for bringing internet access to underserved regions. It uses the case studies of Canada, India and Mexico but also discusses global trends. These countries are chosen as each presents unique economic and social challenges, as well as offering unique policy initiatives.

Among the key questions:

1) What have been the overall effects of 20 years of liberalization on national wireless service for underserved regions?

2) Is there an example of a viable economic model to provide wireless broadband service in remote regions and bridge the digital divide?

3) What is the role of federal and local government in supporting the development of rural wireless access?

This paper posits that we are currently in a juncture where market-based orthodoxy of the last twenty years is being challenged by inventive new policy initiatives. In Intangible Materialities I analyze the role of creative spectrum policy in bringing internet access to regions often underserved by liberalized wireless markets.


Friday October 12, 2018 11:00am - 12:30pm
Sheraton - Drummond Centre

Attendees (35)