The Laws of Disruption

The Laws of Disruption cover

Larry Downes’ new book explores the accident-prone intersection of innovation and the law.

What is the Law of Disruption? Introduced in the 1998 classic, “Unleashing the Killer App,” the Law of Disruption is a simple but devastating principle explaining the resistance to change:

Social, political, and economic systems change incrementally, but technology changes exponentially.

Where Killer App looked at ways business could use faster adoption as a means to competitive advantage, The Laws of Disruption explores, ten years into the Internet revolution, what has happened to social, political, and legal systems that now lag dangerously far behind.

In particular, the book describes nine emerging principles for a new legal foundation, built on the unique economic properties of information. These nine principles, representing the most contentious areas of transformation today, form the laws of disruption.

The Laws of Disruption

Private Life
1. Convergence When Worlds Collide
2. Personal Information From Privacy to Propriety
3. Human Rights Social Contracts in Digital Life
Public Life
4. Infrastructure Rules of the Road on the Information Highway
5. Business All Regulation is Local
6. Crime Public Wrongs, Private Remedies
Information Life
7. Copyright Reset the Balance
8. Patent Virtual Machines Need Virtual Lubricants
9. Software Open Always Wins … Eventually