The Electronic Silk Road
How the Web Binds the World Together in Commerce
Imprint: Yale University Press
On the ancient Silk Road, treasure-laden caravans made their arduous way through deserts and mountain passes, establishing trade between Asia and the civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean. Today’s electronic Silk Roads ferry information across continents, enabling individuals and corporations anywhere to provide or receive services without obtaining a visa. But the legal infrastructure for such trade is yet rudimentary and uncertain. If an event in cyberspace occurs at once everywhere and nowhere, what law applies? How can consumers be protected when engaging with companies across the world?
From China to Facebookistan, the Internet has transformed global commerce. A cyber-law expert argues that we must free Internet trade while simultaneously protecting consumers.
In this accessible book, cyber-law expert Anupam Chander provides the first thorough discussion of the law that relates to global Internet commerce. Addressing up-to-the-minute examples, such as Google’s struggles with China, the Pirate Bay’s skirmishes with Hollywood, and the outsourcing of services to India, the author insightfully analyzes the difficulties of regulating Internet trade. Chander then lays out a framework for future policies, showing how countries can dismantle barriers while still protecting consumer interests.
“Chander accentuates what is often forgotten--the importance of law underlying the digital evolution. Highly readable and enjoyable, The Electronic Silk Road is a piece of sound intellectual work, which is handsomely written.”—Mira Burri, University of Bern~Mira Burri
“Anupam Chander takes us on a fascinating journey, raising provocative questions on how to balance competing global and local interests when managing new trade dynamics. Anyone interested in the digital transformation of commerce should consider carefully Chander’s insights.”—Mark Wu, Harvard Law School~Mark Wu
"An extraordinarily lucid and colorful description of the way cybertrade is changing global commerce -- and global society. Chander proposes realistic legal arrangements that can secure the Web’s benefits and avert its perils. This is an important book."—Michael Reisman, Yale Law School~Michael Reisman
~Jagdish Bhagwati"The world of commerce has changed for services. A masterly analysis of the implications of this development, this book is a tour de force."— Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Columbia University
~Chris Coons“A must read for those interested in globalization in the information age and the public policy challenges, opportunities, and pitfalls that will result. Anupam Chander offers an insightful primer on international cyberlaw and a thoughtful set of proposals for adapting to a changed world.” —Chris Coons, United States Senator
~Ricardo Ramírez-Hernández“This engaging book makes a powerful argument for embracing trade, without displacing law, along the new digital trade routes. Indeed, it recognizes law as crucial to promoting both trade and consumer protection. This is an important contribution to thinking about the international legal order.”—Ricardo Ramírez-Hernández, Chair of the Appellate Body, World Trade Organization
~Deji Olukotun“Chander examines how international trade is ordering human rights and free expression in the digital age. Virtual borders and transnational corporations are here to stay, and Chander’s notion of ‘net-work’ offers us a sobering analysis of the dangers, and the possibilities.”—Deji Olukotun, PEN American Center
“A compelling case . . . fascinating.”—Glenn C. Altschuler, Huffington Post ~Glenn C. Altschuler, Huffington Post
“Chander's work should be required reading on the linkage of freedom of speech, commercial data gathering, and government access, and his prose style renders seemingly mundane details as both consequential and easy to understand.”—Publishers Weekly~Publisher's Weekly
"A visionary read . . . I commend this book to all those who think about a future that is to be faced and not feared."—Mike Moore, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Former Director General of the World Trade Organization, New Zealand Ambassador to the United States~Mike Moore
“Clear and direct . . . extremely accessible . . . a supremely balanced treatment of the issues.”—Adam Thierer, Technology Liberation Front (blog)~Adam Thierer, Technology Liberation Front
"Much more than just another evocatively titled discussion of the Internet . . . For those considering the online world and the rules that govern it, this is an important primer.”—Shawn Donnan, Financial Times ~Shawn Donnan, Financial Times
“Chander beautifully weaves together theory and practice, trade, culture and politics, into a complex yet clear argument, sophisticated yet down to earth, and a beautifully written text.”—Michael Birnhack, Opinio Juris~Michael Birnhack, Opinio Juris