Enforcing Law Online:
I have just posted a draft of a book review, Enforcing Law Online, forthcoming in the University of Chicago Law Review. It is a short review (17 pages) of the new book by Jack Goldsmith & Tim Wu, Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World.

  Here is the introduction:
  "Who Controls the Internet" is an entertaining and engaging book. Professors Goldsmith and Wu have written a short and accessible work that makes a straightforward and persuasive argument about the enforceability of law over the Internet. The book's brevity and anecdotal approach means that it overlooks a lot of detail; the dynamics of Internet regulation are more complicated than this short volume suggests. Whether this is a blessing or a curse depends on the reader's taste. It makes the book a fun read, but it also keeps the authors from grappling fully with the dynamics of the topics they cover. Either way, "Who Controls the Internet" is an important addition to the literature that deserves to be widely read.
  This review begins with a summary of the book, and next discusses the cyberutopian vision of the Internet that it targets. It then considers what seems to be the deeper question underlying the book: When can law successfully regulate the Internet? It suggests that the effectiveness of a legal regime designed to regulate Internet transactions will depend heavily on four factors: who the law regulates, the cost and political viability of enforcement strategies, how much compliance is needed for the law to achieve its goals, and which side is winning the technological arms race at any given time.
  Comments welcome, as always. Also, I'd be interested in reader feedback on the SSRN "stamp" that SSRN is now requiring on all new papers posted to SSRN. You can see it along the left-hand side of each page. SSRN says that they intend this at least in part as a service to readers, but that they may remove it if it annoys readers instead. I'd be interested to know if readers like the stamp, or would rather have SSRN remove it.
Chris 24601 (mail):
I don't like the stamp. We can find the SSRN site just fine by Googling a title in any event.
11.9.2006 2:39pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
Yup same feeling.

The stamp is annoying. It's not like I don't know I got the paper from SSRN and since I'm reading it on my laptop it's a pain to go turn it sideways (yes I can rotate the pdf but that's even more annoying).

Like the parent said If I forget where I got the paper I'll do a search.
11.9.2006 2:41pm
The stamp is hideous. At the very least, it should be only on the first page. Even then, it will be unattractive, but I suppose it has some minimal utility. But I agree -- who is reading a paper off of SSRN, but is not aware of SSRN's existence?

They should confine this to the first page, and place it upright at the bottom margin of the page, in small font so as not to be distracting. Then, it will retain its utility without being incredibly distracting.
11.9.2006 2:48pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
I think it's fine to have the stamp on the first page of the paper, but there's no need to have it on every page. There's especially no need to put the entire URL on every single page. The same purpose would be accomplished by putting a page header or footer, demurely in a corner in a smaller font, "SSRN ID=9315341". Placement on the left calls special attention to itself during the normal reading process. We are already accustomed, however, to filtering out headers and footers and page numbers and the like as we read.
11.9.2006 3:58pm
William Baude (mail) (www):
I hate the stamp.
11.9.2006 4:32pm
Getting back to the topic of the book, it seems to me that in order to effectively regulate cyberspace, government (meaning both legislators and law enforcement) must be nimble and easily adaptable in order to keep up with rapidly changing technology and an ever-evolving Internet. Simply put, "nimble and easily adaptable" is not a phrase that can be used with a straight face to describe most democratic nations, perhaps least of all the U.S.
11.9.2006 7:52pm
Respondent (mail):
I also don't care to have to see an SSRN stamp on every page
11.9.2006 7:56pm