3 Colum. Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 1 (2001-2002)

handle is hein.journals/cstlr3 and id is 1 raw text is: THE THIRD INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION:
POLICYMAKING FOR THE INTERNET
BRADFORD L. SMITH*
Abstract: The Internet heralds the onset of a third industrial revolution, one based in
technological advances in software, hardware and telecommunications. These technological
advances are transforming commercial practices, generating substantial gains in
productivity and opening new avenues for political and social expression. But like the
industrial revolutions that preceded it, the Internet revolution raises difficult legal and social
issues, which in turn have generated a growing body of laws and regulatory proposals. This
article seeks to provide an analytic structure for addressing and resolving the legal and
policy challenges raised by the Internet. It endorses the use of self-regulatory and other
extra-legal solutions to these challenges, but argues that governments should establish a
supportive regulatory framework and should ensure that proposed solutions ultimately
represent the public interest. This approach also seeks to look beyond traditional notions of
the public and private sectors' respective roles and to articulate a model that harnesses each
sector's unique strengths and abilities in reaching viable, practical solutions to online
problems. Four themes form the cornerstones of this approach: (1) liberal use of market-
based solutions; (2) reliance on technology solutions for problems rooted in technology; (3)
recognition of government's multi-faceted role in responding to online challenges; and (4)
support for broader international harmonization of applicable rules. This article also
examines two prominent schools of legal scholarship in this area and argues that, while each
provides valuable insights into law's relationship to the Internet, neither position offers a
compelling response to key online legal and policy issues.
L      Introduction
Three times in the past 250 years the world has witnessed a major transformation
affecting virtually every aspect of society. Founded on advances in science and fueled by
innovations in technology, these industrial revolutions produced major leaps forward in human
productivity and changed the way people work and interact with each other. By the time such a
* Senior Vice President and incoming General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation. Columbia University
School of Law, J.D. (1985); Institut Universitaire De Hautes Etudes Internationales, University of Geneva,
Switzerland, Dipl6me program (1983-84); Princeton University, A.B. (1981). This article was prepared
based on ideas initially explored in Bradford L. Smith, The Third Industrial Revolution: Law and Policy
for the Internet, 282 RECUEIL DES COURS 229 (Martinus Nijhoff 2000). The views expressed herein are
solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position of Microsoft Corporation.

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