March 04, 2013

Preorder my new book: The Electronic Silk Road

CoverMy new book, The Electronic Silk Road: How the Web Binds the World Together in Commerce, will appear in little more than a month from Yale University Press.  Amazon is offering the cloth edition for an amazing $18.48!  

Here are some of the early reviews:

  • "The world of commerce has changed for services. A masterly analysis of the implications of this development, this book is a tour de force."— Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Columbia University
  • “This engaging book makes a powerful argument for embracing trade, without displacing law, along the new digital trade routes. Indeed, it recognizes law as crucial to promoting both trade and consumer protection. This is an important contribution to thinking about the international legal order.”—Ricardo Ramírez-Hernández,Chair of the Appellate Body, World Trade Organization 
  • “A must read for those interested in globalization in the information age and the public policy challenges, opportunities, and pitfalls that will result.  Anupam Chander offers an insightful primer on international cyberlaw and a thoughtful set of proposals for adapting to a changed world.” —Chris Coons, United States Senator
  • “Anupam Chander takes us on a fascinating journey, raising provocative questions on how to balance competing global and local interests when managing new trade dynamics. Anyone interested in the digital transformation of commerce should consider carefully Chander’s insights.”—Mark Wu, Harvard Law School
  • "An extraordinarily lucid and colorful description of the way cybertrade is changing global commerce -- and global society. Chander proposes realistic legal arrangements that can secure the Web’s benefits and avert its perils. This is an important book."—Michael Reisman, Yale Law School
  • “Chander examines how international trade is ordering human rights and free expression in the digital age. Virtual borders and transnational corporations are here to stay, and Chander’s notion of ‘net-work’ offers us a sobering analysis of the dangers, and the possibilities.”—Deji Olukotun, PEN American Center
  • “Chander accentuates what is often forgotten--the importance of law underlying the digital evolution. Highly readable and enjoyable,The Electronic Silk Road is a piece of sound intellectual work, which is handsomely written.”—Mira Burri, University of Bern


Posted by Anupam Chander on March 4, 2013 at 09:11 PM in Books, Digitization, Globalization | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 30, 2012

The next generation, smarter than ours

USA Today reports on the winning words in the National Spelling Bee over the last 8 decades.  It's clear that the last decade's students would have found many of the earlier winning words to be child's play.

Here is the list, as compiled by USA Today:

1925 gladiolus

1926 cerise

1927 luxuriance

1928 albumen

1929 asceticism

1930 fracas

1931 foulard

1932 knack

1933 torsion

1934 deteriorating

1935 intelligible

1936 interning

1937 promiscuous

1938 sanitarium

1939 canonical

1940 therapy

1941 initials

1942 sacrilegious

1946 semaphore

1947 chlorophyll

1948 psychiatry

1949 dulcimer

1950 meticulosity

1951 insouciant

1952 vignette

1953 soubrette

1954 transept

1955 crustaceology

1956 condominium

1957 schappe

1958 syllepsis

1959 catamaran

1960 eudaemonic

1961 smaragdine

1962 esquamulose

1963 equipage

1964 sycophant

1965 eczema

1966 ratoon

1967 Chihuahua

1968 abalone

1969 interlocutory

1970 croissant

1971 shalloon

1972 macerate

1973 vouchsafe

1974 hydrophyte

1975 incisor

1976 narcolepsy

1977 cambist

1978 deification

1979 maculature

1980 elucubrate

1981 sarcophagus

1982 psoriasis

1983 Purim

1984 luge

1985 milieu

1986 odontalgia

1987 staphylococci

1988 elegiacal

1989 spoliator

1990 fibranne

1991 antipyretic

1992 lyceum

1993 kamikaze

1994 antediluvian

1995 xanthosis

1996 vivisepulture

1997 euonym

1998 chiaroscurist

1999 logorrhea

2000 demarche

2001 succedaneum

2002 prospicience

2003 pococurante

2004 autochthonous

2005 appoggiatura

2006 Ursprache

2007 serrefine

2008 guerdon

2009 Laodicean

2010 stromuhr

2011 cymotrichous


Posted by Anupam Chander on May 30, 2012 at 11:46 AM in Globalization, Life | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

May 17, 2012

My New Paper, Just in Time for IPO: Facebookistan

Most of Facebook's users lie outside the United States, its home jurisdiction. In a new paper published this week, I examine how Facebook has been regulated across the world. Download here.  

Here is the abstract:

Who rules Facebookistan? Who makes the rules that govern the way a tenth of humanity connects on the Internet? The United States, France, China, or Mark Zuckerberg? Facebook represents a type of multinational corporation new to the world stage—one that raises issues different than those raised by earlier generations of multinational corporations. A review of international controversies involving Facebook reveals that Facebook has changed some of its policies as a result of pressures from governments around the world, while resisting other pressures. At the same time, Facebook has itself helped spur changes in the law, most evidently in helping undermine repressive governments. Ultimately, this Article finds that regulatory power is, de facto, dispersed across a wide array of international actors.


Posted by Anupam Chander on May 17, 2012 at 07:04 AM in Digitization | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

May 08, 2012

White House Issues Major Statement on Internet Policy

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has issued an important statement on Internet policy:

Members of the business community have expressed concern that some national governments seek to balkanize the Internet by establishing barriers to the free flow of information under the pretext of protecting cybersecurity, social stability, or local economies.  This is contrary to President Obama's vision of an Internet that is interoperable the world over, and the United States will vigorously oppose such barriers.  Further, these regulatory actions would create a confusing array of “local Internets,” establishing different rules for different places.  Firms may cease to offer services outside the country in which they are based if a variety of domestic regulations makes it too complicated or too costly.

The statement embraces a multistakeholder view of Internet regulation.

Posted by Anupam Chander on May 8, 2012 at 04:23 PM in Digitization, Globalization | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

ICANN rakes in $350 million in fees

ICANN's decision to open up the domain name space to any possibility under any language produced, unsurprisingly, a large number of applicants.  

At $185,000 per application, ICANN said it is now sitting on an embarrassingly large cash pile of roughly $350m in application fees, much of which will be used to pay the programme's outside evaluators.

ICANN seems to plan to pay many outside experts to evaluate these applications.  Perhaps time for many readers to become domain name experts.

Posted by Anupam Chander on May 8, 2012 at 04:12 PM in Digitization | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thinking about Internet Policy

The Guardian is running an important series on Internet policy:
This is an excellent series of highly topical articles on the current state and possible future directions of the Internet. In-depth pieces cover such subjects as social media, privacy, Big Data, intellectual property and the political use of the Net by both governments and activists.
The week of articles has the following themes:
The New Cold War
The Militarisation of Cyberspace
The New Walled Gardens
IP Wars
'Civilising' the web
The Open Resistance
The End of Privacy
In addition, some key thinkers and innovators give new interviews or talks. These include:
Other special features are an interactive map of government interference with the Internet, and Tracking the Trackers, a crowd-sourcing project using data supplied by users to get a better idea of who is behind cookies and web trackers and just how ubiquitous they are.
Hat tip: Erin Murphy.

Posted by Anupam Chander on May 8, 2012 at 01:07 PM in Digitization | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 29, 2012

The Difficulty of Taxing Digital Products: Case Study Apple

The New York Times examines Apple's tax avoidance practices. There's no suggestion that there is anything illegal in these activities.

Apple serves as a window on how technology giants have taken advantage of tax codes written for an industrial age and ill suited to today’s digital economy. Some profits at companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft derive not from physical goods but from royalties on intellectual property, like the patents on software that makes devices work. Other times, the products themselves are digital, like downloaded songs. It is much easier for businesses with royalties and digital products to move profits to low-tax countries than it is, say, for grocery stores or automakers. A downloaded application, unlike a car, can be sold from anywhere.

... Apple was a pioneer of an accounting technique known as the “Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich,” which reduces taxes by routing profits through Irish subsidiaries and the Netherlands and then to the Caribbean. Today, that tactic is used by hundreds of other corporations — some of which directly imitated Apple’s methods, say accountants at those companies.

...For instance, one of Apple’s subsidiaries in Luxembourg, named iTunes S.à r.l., has just a few dozen employees, according to corporate documents filed in that nation and a current executive. The only indication of the subsidiary’s presence outside is a letterbox with a lopsided slip of paper reading “ITUNES SARL.”

...Luxembourg has just half a million residents. But when customers across Europe, Africa or the Middle East — and potentially elsewhere — download a song, television show or app, the sale is recorded in this small country, according to current and former executives. In 2011, iTunes S.à r.l.’s revenue exceeded $1 billion, according to an Apple executive, representing roughly 20 percent of iTunes’s worldwide sales.


tax experts say that strategies like the Double Irish help explain how Apple has managed to keep its international taxes to 3.2 percent of foreign profits last year, to 2.2 percent in 2010, and in the single digits for the last half-decade, according to the company’s corporate filings.

... Apple reported in its last annual disclosures that $24 billion — or 70 percent — of its total $34.2 billion in pretax profits were earned abroad, and 30 percent were earned in the United States

Important reporting by Charles Duhigg and David Kocieniewski, which will hopefully spark a conversation about these practices.

Posted by Anupam Chander on April 29, 2012 at 07:12 AM in Digitization, Globalization | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 24, 2012

BBC Reports on Diaspora Bonds

Peter Day devotes an episode of his wonderful BBC Global Business to the study of Diaspora Bonds. For my original article on the subject, see Diaspora Bonds, NYU Law Review (2001).

He intervies the World Bank economist Dilip Ratha, who has done tremendous work advancing the concept.

Posted by Anupam Chander on April 24, 2012 at 11:07 AM in Globalization, International Finance | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 17, 2012

K'Naan and Nelly Furtado Collaborate

Posted by Anupam Chander on April 17, 2012 at 10:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 05, 2012

Why Third Party Audits Are Necessary

Nick Kristoo of the  New York Times reports on a new study:

It turns out that arsenic has routinely been fed to poultry (and sometimes hogs) because it reduces infections and makes flesh an appetizing shade of pink. There’s no evidence that such low levels of arsenic harm either chickens or the people eating them, but still...

Big Ag doesn’t advertise the chemicals it stuffs into animals, so the scientists conducting these studies figured out a clever way to detect them. Bird feathers, like human fingernails, accumulate chemicals and drugs that an animal is exposed to. So scientists from Johns Hopkins University and Arizona State University examined feather meal — a poultry byproduct made of feathers.

Consumers had little opportunity to learn that arsenic was used in the chicken we eat, and thus third party auditing proves useful once again.

Posted by Anupam Chander on April 5, 2012 at 02:59 PM in Globalization | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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