[Air-L] [selfie] New book: Digital Golems. Copyright and Lex Electronica (in French)

Melanie Dulong de Rosnay melanie.dulong at cnrs.fr
Fri Mar 4 05:22:05 PST 2016

(sorry for cross-posting and self-promotion)

Dear all,

I am pleased to announce to the French readers the release of my book 
'Les Golems du numérique. Droit d'auteur et Lex Electronica'.

The first 30 pages are online and here is a summary in English.

Kind regards,

Digital Golems. Copyright and Lex Electronica

Melanie Dulong de Rosnay
Foreword by Lawrence Lessig
Presses des Mines

Regulatory models from the analog era, based on physical medium scarcity 
and exclusivity, are called into question by digital technology 
paradigms of copying, remixing and sharing. Law and copyright in 
particular have developed and adapted in response to innovations in 
reproduction and dissemination technologies, creating access control as 
an artificial corrective. Technical standards and the extension of 
exclusive rights have been conceived independently, leading to tensions 
between cultural industries and rights of the public. But they can also 
lead to the constitution of commons.

The book offers a techno-legal model of regulation for the sharing of 
culture. Following research on “lex informatica”, it is based on the 
mutual influence between law and code. It proposes a reconception of 
copyright categories to facilitate creative usages and non-market 
sharing, and an improved technical expression of those rights built on 
the systematic analysis of licenses and ontologies. As foreword author 
Lawrence Lessig summarizes: "The law could infect code, carrying its 

The golems, artificial creatures of the mythology, designate pieces of 
computer code that prevent to copy and reuse works online. Developed by 
right holders to protect their interests, they implement decisions 
automatically and indiscriminately , without control by the society, the 
state or the law, without distinguishing legitimate uses. But the golems 
can turn against their masters and create resistance. Beyond access to 
information and culture that is the subject of this book, the metaphor 
turns powerful to denounce the logic of encoding binary rules in the 
digital devices and algorithms that govern our lives and make decisions 
based on big data and traces we leave on networks, platforms, connected 
objects and smart cities.

This book is grounded on over ten years of participation to copyright 
legal and technical regulation on the field. Co-founder and legal lead 
of Creative Commons France at CERSA CNRS University Paris 2 between 2003 
and 2013, the author participated to MPEG technical standardisation at 
ISO, to two advisory commitees on copyright at French Ministry of 
Culture, and to diplomatic conferences at WIPO (United Nations) with the 
status of observer as president of Communia, the international 
association on the digital public domain.

Melanie Dulong de Rosnay

Permanent researcher
French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Institute of Communication Sciences (CNRS - Paris Sorbonne University - 

Visiting fellow
London School of Economics
Department of Media and Communications

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