Internet Architecture and Innovation

by Barbara van Schewick

12/1/10 Stanford Law School:
Barbara van Schewick discusses her new book Internet Architecture and Innovation

December 1, 2010 | Stanford, CA – Stanford Law School

When: December 1, 2010 – 6pm-8pm
Where: Stanford Law School, Room 290, 559 Nathan Abbott Way,
Stanford, CA 94305

Google Map | Parking & Driving Directions

On Wednesday, December 1, 2010, Barbara van Schewick will give a talk on her recently released and widely praised book, Internet Architecture and Innovation.

Professor Marvin Ammori has described the book as “essential reading for anyone interested in Internet policy-and probably for anyone interested in the law, economics, technology, or start-ups.” The book analyzes how the Internet’s internal structure, or architecture, has fostered innovation in the past; why this engine of innovation is under threat; why the “market” alone won’t protect Internet innovation; and which features of the Internet’s architecture we need to preserve so that the Internet continues to serve as an engine of innovation in the future. Whether you are tired of or confused by the network neutrality debate, or simply wondering what is at stake, van Schewick’s talk will be refreshing and illuminating. More information on the book, including an overview and excerpts, is available at

The event is free and open to the public. Reception to follow Professor van Schewick’s talk.

Click here to RSVP

About Barbara van Schewick:

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. Van Schewick’s research focuses on the economic, regulatory, and strategic implications of communication networks. In particular, she explores how changes in the architecture of computer networks affect the economic environment for innovation and competition on the Internet, and how the law should react to these changes. This work has made her a leading expert on the issue of network neutrality. 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. A more complete bio can be found here:

Selected Reviews:

Lawrence Lessig, Another Deregulation Debacle, New York Times Room for Debate, August 10, 2010: “As much as anything else, the economic success of the Internet comes from its architecture. The architecture, and the competitive forces it assures, is the only interesting thing at stake in this battle over “network neutrality.” And yet, the most senior economic advisers in the White House don’t seem to know what that means. They could, if they took the time. Barbara van Schewick’s extraordinary new book, “Internet Architecture and Innovation,” is perhaps the best explication of this point so far for those who should be studying these hard, new policy questions.”

Brad Burnham, Internet Architecture and Innovation, Union Square Ventures Blog, August 10, 2010: “Barbara van Schewick’s book, Internet Architecture and Innovation, is out and everyone who cares about the future of the Internet should click here and buy a copy. It is not an easy read, but the architecture of the Internet and the ways in which that architecture is directly responsible for the explosion of innovation over the last 15 years is not an easy topic. … Barbara makes a compelling case. I hope everyone involved in this noisy debate reads this book.”

Marvin Ammori, Internet Policy: Most Important Book in Years is Now Out, Marvin Ammori Blog, August 11, 2010: “There’s a new book out on Internet policy that is essential reading for anyone interested in Internet policy—and probably for anyone interested in the law, economics, technology, or start-ups. … Barbara van Schewick’s new book, “Internet Architecture and Innovation,” is one of the very few books in my field in the same league as Larry Lessig’s Code, in 2000, and Yochai Benkler’s Wealth of Networks, 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.

Susan Crawford, The FCC Needs to Do the Right (& the Hard) Thing, Salon – The GigaOM Network, August 12, 2010: “Net neutrality is actually a very old idea. The idea is that when you’re making point-to-point basic transportation (of information or people) available to the public, you’re not supposed to discriminate against uses of your network. (Barbara van Schewick has a marvelous new book out about this …)”

David P. Reed, MIT Media Laboratory, Book Jacket: “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.”