Cyberspace is often a battlefield with a wide array of armies posed to challenge one another across the increasing array of rhetoric and technology that has made it such a potent arena for global digital commerce. Perry Barlow's infamous demand that cyberspace be left to its own devices because of its unique unregulated nature may have been answered by Larry Lessig's reply that code may in fact be used to regulate cyberspace, but the reality is that social norming demands, the evanescence of technological controls, and the perceived utility of illicit conduct utilizing the internet make any regulation problematic at best. Similarities between critical issues in the two areas suggest that some of the lessons learned in the hard-fought battles over legal protection for intellectual property in the digital world may provide guidance for the critical issues currently under discussion in the on-going efforts to establish international protection norms in the e-commerce domain. Compressed into ten lessons, involving such critical issues as the distinction between protected information in the hard goods world versus cyberspace, the role of technology, and the international needs of electronic communication, these lessons lead to the ultimate conclusion that in crafting rules, policy must be created with a firm view toward the special nature of the internet and in maintaining its potential to level the commercial playing field to allow all countries to participate in their own economic and commercial development.
Doris E. Long, Messages from the Front: Hard Earned Lessons on Information Security from the IP Wars, 16 Mich. St. J. Int'l L. 71 (2007).