Why Have a Theory of Law and Technological Change?
While at law school, I often found that the most interesting hypotheticals and research topics were based on some new (or once new) technology. Examples might be taken from a range of technologies and doctrinal fields: e-commerce and contract law, electronic documents and litigation, organ transplantation and property law, the rise of industry and tort law, computer hacking and criminal law, and so forth. My interest in these types of questions is not unique. Over forty law journals claim to deal with issues of law and technology.1 While some of these are limited to specific technologies or to particular areas of law (such as intellectual property), there are many that are interested in the same spectrum of issues as myself. Given this scholarly focus, one might expect to find a group of scholars commenting on “law and technology,” in the same way as one finds groups of scholars looking at “law and economics” or “law and literature.” The study of technology as such is certainly an important topic within other 304disciplines, including philosophy, history, and sociology. 2 Among legal scholars, however, interest in a general theory of law and technology is relatively recent. 3