This article by Cindy Cohn
James Grimmelmann argues for a distinction between code and law. Code can be law with no values, no interpretation, no room for the human uses of things. As so many aspects of life are coded now, I wonder to what extent designers will fight to keep code from users.
To the extent that code is acting as law in spaces and ways that are increasingly important to our increasingly technological societies, code will need to respect, as best it can, these deep legal values. Sometimes this will mean not doing everything in code: one of the reasons DRM and the broadcast flag proposal are so worrisome is that they threaten to eliminate the flexibility we associate with fair use law and technological progress. At other times, this will mean wiring these values into the code itself. The end-to-end design that has made the Internet so successful is, in some sense, just the legal value of humility, as written into code. We donâ€™t know what people will do, so we wonâ€™t try to solve their problems for them before we even know what those problems are.