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Internet Architecture and Innovation Hardcover – June 18, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is an important piece of policy work and anyone who cares about the Internet ought to give it a read.

(Fred Wilson A VC blog)

... Internet Architecture and Innovation is an important work: it supplies a key piece of the broadband puzzle in its consideration of broadband transport as a necessary input for other businesses…van Schewick's fundamental premise rings true: only neutral networks promote competition and innovation.

(ars technica)

This is a tour de force on the topic of the end-to-end principle in the design of the Internet.

(Daniel E. Atkins, W.K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information, Professor of Information and EECS, and Associate Vice-President for Research Cyberinfrastructure, University of Michigan)

This is an important book, one which for the first time ties together the many emerging threads that link the economic, technical, architectural, legal, and social frameworks of the birth and evolution of the Internet.

(David P. Reed, MIT Media Laboratory)

This isn't a flash in the pan piece. This book will be an evergreen in a wide range of academic and policy contexts more than an introduction to how technology and policy should be analyzed, it is, in my view, the very best example of that analysis.

(Lawrence Lessig, author of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace)

About the Author

Barbara van Schewick is Associate Professor of Law and Helen L. Crocker Faculty Schoar at Stanford Law School, Director of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, and Associate Professor (by courtesy) of Electrical Engineering in Stanford University's Department of Electrical Engineering.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; New edition (June 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262013975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262013970
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,824,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara van Schewick is an Associate Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, an Associate Professor (by courtesy) of Electrical Engineering at Stanford's Department of Electrical Engineering, and the Director of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society. Her book Internet Architecture and Innovation was published by MIT Press in July 2010.

van Schewick's research on the economic, regulatory, and strategic implications of communication networks has made her a leading expert on the issue of network neutrality, perhaps the Internet's most debated policy issue, which concerns Internet users' ability to access the content and software of their choice without interference from network providers. Her papers on network neutrality have influenced regulatory debates in the United States, Canada and Europe.

In 2007, van Schewick was one of three academics who, together with public interest groups, filed the petition that started the Federal Communications Commission's network neutrality inquiry into Comcast's blocking of BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer protocols. She has testified before the FCC in en banc hearings and official workshops. She co-authored an amicus brief - along with Professors Jack Balkin, Lawrence Lessig, and Tim Wu, among others - defending the FCC order that ordered Comcast to stop interfering with BitTorrent.

For a longer bio, see http://www.netarchitecture.org/author/.

van Schewick's blog can be found at http://www.netarchitecture.org/blog.
You can follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/vanschewick.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Marvin Ammori on August 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an important and brilliant book, which I consider required reading for anyone interested in or serious about the Internet or innovation.

I have written a review of this book on my blog ([...]) and on the Huffington Post.

As I say there, this book is one of the very few books in the field of Internet policy that is in the same league as Larry Lessig's Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0, in 2000, and Yochai Benkler's The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, in 2006, in terms of its originality, depth, and importance to Internet policy and other disciplines. I expect the book to affect how people think about the Internet; about the interactions between law and technical architectures in all areas of law; about entrepreneurship in general. I also think her insights on innovation economics, which strike me as far more persuasive than lawyers' usual assumptions, should influence "law and economics" thinking for the better.

Books this good don't come along every day--or even every year-and I'm already late to the praise-party. Harvard Law professor Larry Lessig (the trail-blazing cyberlaw champion) recommended it in the New York Times this week; Susan Crawford (a law professor who served as a top White House advisor) recommended it in an op-ed in Salon/GigaOm yesterday; Brad Burnham, the venture capitalist who was featured earlier this week in the NYT's Room for Debate, also posted an endorsing review on his blog.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Parsons on April 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I want to very highly recommend this book. Various authors, advocates, scholars, and businesses have spoken about the economic impacts of the Internet, but to date there hasn't been a detailed economic accounting of what may happen if/when ISPs monitor and control the flow of data across their networks. van Schewick has filled this gap.

Her book traces economic impacts associated with changing the Internet's structure from one enabling any innovator to design an application or share content online to a structure where ISPs must first authorize access to content and design key applications (e.g. P2P, email, etc) in house. Barbara draws heavily from Internet history literatures and economic theory to buttress her position that a closed or highly controlled Internet not only constitutes a massive change in the architecture of the 'net, but that this change would be damaging to society's economic, cultural, and political interests. She argues that an increasingly controlled Internet is the future that many ISPs prefer, and supports this conclusion with economic theory and the historical actions of American telecommunications corporations.

van Schewick begins by outlining two notions of the end-to-end principle undergirding the 'net, a narrow and broad conception, and argues (successfully, in my mind) that ISPs and their interrogators often rely on different end-to-end understandings in making their respective arguments to the public, regulators, and each other. This reliance on differing notions of end-to-end have led the defenders of these differing shades of the end-to-end principle to speak past one another.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric Morrow on September 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book on Fred Wilson's recommendation. I found it academic and confusing. Which doesn't mean that it isn't a good or important book. But it was inaccessible to me. I work in the internet space as a digital marketer and I was hoping to learn more about the technical underpinnings of the net and how that relates to innovation (the title of the book after all).
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tim Wu on May 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is the most comprehensive study of the issues surrounding Internet Innovation, Net Neutrality, and related issues. It lays the intellectual foundation for Internet policy over the next decade. In particular, this book offers powerful non-market power based reasons to favor non-discrimination policies for internet traffic. Highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Goetsch on January 4, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a remarkable book combining a deep understanding of economics with the impact on technical implementation. It follows the principles developed by Carlyss Baldwin and Kim Clark on modularity (inspired by Ronald Coase) as a starting point to define architecture beyond technical implementation ( architecture is not engineering as one reviewer failed to notice). She then cast it as a model to tie this into the Internet bringing legal strength to the arguments of Net neutrality. If there is anything missing she could have referenced Coase directly since he founded the area of economics and law. This however would have made for a more compelling academic treatment, but would have lost the more general audience she was reaching.
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