Joanna Madej: Presentation at ApacheCon 2016

One of the main questions of contemporary (international) law comes from the increasingly blurred line between the public and private— how do we treat private organizations taking on the responsibilities and roles previously firmly grounded in the public sphere? In an increasingly digitized world, the dichotomies between the public and private are disappearing at a rapid pace. As greater parts of individuals’ daily lives occur through interfaces and online, the norms regulating software companies become increasingly relevant beyond the world of computer scientists.
Rather than looking at government regulation of technology, in my presentation at the Apache Software Foundation’s ApacheCon, I addressed how software companies regulate themselves. Exploring the formation of open standards, I drew parallels between how software companies and states form binding agreements. Looking at software companies and states, I examined “anarchic” environments, the roles of consortia as venues for agreements and compared de jure and de facto standards with customary and treaty-based law— ultimately identifying an “international politics” of software.

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