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Analyzing the Production of the Law of Cyberspace
Unformatted Document Text:  9 The second economic influence is the result of legislation in the 1980s allowing universities to acquire intellectual property protection for the inventions of its researchers. 28 As result, universities can profit handsomely by licensing the rights to code to the private sector. 29 This legislation does not appear to directly influence the development of code within universities. However, it plays a significant role in the transfer of code to the private sector. In fields outside computing, the potential for an economic windfall has led universities to support certain research topics over others. 30 For example, universities are supporting research in profitable biotechnological pest control over less profitable but still effective methods of pest control. 31 The speed of a development process within universities is usually slow. The norms favor a slower, more thorough approach over a rapid development process, according to Bruce Maggs, a former vice-president for research and development at Akamai Technologies, who has recently returned to academia. 32 The additional time allows researchers to ensure the accuracy of their results, to ponder interesting results, and consider new research trajectories. 33 The code created by universities is disseminated widely for two reasons. First, dissemination occurs for reputational benefits. To enhance reputation it is necessary to publish 28 See Rebecca Eisenberg, Public Research and Private Development: Patents and Technology Transfer in Government-Sponsored Research, 82 V A . L. R EV . 1663, 1663 (1996) (providing an historical overview of the government’s technology transfer policy). 29 Licensing NCSA Mosaic to the private sector earned the University of Illinois several million dollars. 30 Eyal Press & Jennifer Washburn, The Kept University, A TLANTIC M ONTHLY , March 2000, available at http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2000/03/press.htm (noting how universities are acting like businesses in conducting research). 31 Greg Kline, Corporate Funded Research Negative at Universities, N EWS -G AZETTE , Champaign, Ill., Feb. 03, 2001 (charging that university research is being influenced by potential profits and universities are ignoring other methods of reducing pests which have no long term profitability). 32 Mihai Budiu, An Interview with Bruce Maggs, available at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mihaib/maggs-interview (March 2001). Another factor that slows down the development process is publishing. In response, some academic fields are using electronic publication to speed up the dissemination of knowledge. 33 See Committee on Science Views and Estimates, U.S. House of Representatives, Basic Research, available at http://www.house.gov/science/viewsfy2000.htm (discussing why the government should focus on long term research) (last visited Feb. 19, 2002).

Authors: Shah, Rajiv. and Kesan, Jay.
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9
The second economic influence is the result of legislation in the 1980s allowing
universities to acquire intellectual property protection for the inventions of its researchers.
28
As
result, universities can profit handsomely by licensing the rights to code to the private sector.
29
This legislation does not appear to directly influence the development of code within
universities. However, it plays a significant role in the transfer of code to the private sector. In
fields outside computing, the potential for an economic windfall has led universities to support
certain research topics over others.
30
For example, universities are supporting research in
profitable biotechnological pest control over less profitable but still effective methods of pest
control.
31
The speed of a development process within universities is usually slow. The norms favor
a slower, more thorough approach over a rapid development process, according to Bruce Maggs,
a former vice-president for research and development at Akamai Technologies, who has recently
returned to academia.
32
The additional time allows researchers to ensure the accuracy of their
results, to ponder interesting results, and consider new research trajectories.
33
The code created by universities is disseminated widely for two reasons. First,
dissemination occurs for reputational benefits. To enhance reputation it is necessary to publish
28
See Rebecca Eisenberg, Public Research and Private Development: Patents and Technology Transfer in
Government-Sponsored Research, 82 V
A
. L. R
EV
. 1663, 1663 (1996) (providing an historical overview of the
government’s technology transfer policy).
29
Licensing NCSA Mosaic to the private sector earned the University of Illinois several million dollars.
30
Eyal Press & Jennifer Washburn, The Kept University, A
TLANTIC
M
ONTHLY
, March 2000, available at
http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2000/03/press.htm (noting how universities are acting like businesses in
conducting research).
31
Greg Kline, Corporate Funded Research Negative at Universities, N
EWS
-G
AZETTE
, Champaign, Ill., Feb. 03,
2001 (charging that university research is being influenced by potential profits and universities are ignoring other
methods of reducing pests which have no long term profitability).
32
Mihai Budiu, An Interview with Bruce Maggs, available at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mihaib/maggs-interview
(March 2001). Another factor that slows down the development process is publishing. In response, some academic
fields are using electronic publication to speed up the dissemination of knowledge.
33
See Committee on Science Views and Estimates, U.S. House of Representatives, Basic Research, available at
http://www.house.gov/science/viewsfy2000.htm (discussing why the government should focus on long term
research) (last visited Feb. 19, 2002).


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