Research Handbook on Governance of the Internet
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Research Handbook on Governance of the Internet

Edited by Ian Brown

The internet is now a key part of everyday life across the developed world, and growing rapidly across developing countries. This Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of the latest research on internet governance, written by the leading scholars in the field.
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Chapter 4: Information governance in transition: lessons to be learned from Google Books

Jeanette Hofmann


In its early days, governance of the internet focused on the logical infrastructure, particularly the domain name system and the numerical address space. With the growth of information services and digital content online, a range of regulatory policies are now seeking to shape the evolution of the internet. Terms such as the “networked information society” indicate the expanding overlap between internet governance and information governance. The regulation of the network infrastructure and that of digital content are becoming increasingly intertwined. Information governance in this context should be understood in a broad sense encompassing statutory rules such as copyright law but also private contracts, technical standards or social norms and practices, all of which aim to govern the creation and circulation of information. This chapter addresses the regulation of information goods, assuming that information governance has a growing impact on the development of the internet. The information economy is undergoing a period of fundamental change. These changes concern the ways information goods are owned and traded, and how they are regulated through public and private rules. Thus, they pertain to core institutions of the digital information landscape.

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