Law and Machine Technology

Susan W. Brenner

in Law in an Era of “Smart” Technology

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780195333480
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199855353 | DOI:
 Law and Machine Technology

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This chapter traces the evolution of machine technologies. They replace human effort with artificial, machine effort and let humans accomplish things that were not possible before. It traces the utilization of “use” rules to control the defective implementation of these technologies; it uses bicycle technology to illustrate how societies simply relied on an ad hoc extrapolation of the approach they utilized for specialist technologies to control the defective implementation of a non-specialist technology. The chapter demonstrates how societies and lawmakers came to focus primarily on technology in devising rules that were intended to prevent harms that might ensue from the introduction of new technologies.

Keywords: machines; industrialization; railroad; bicycle; electricity; telegraph; printing; typewriter; photography

Chapter.  23623 words. 

Subjects: Intellectual Property Law

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