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Law in an Era of “Smart” Technology$
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Susan W. Brenner

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333480.001.0001

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Law and Tool Technology

Law and Tool Technology

(p.15) CHAPTER 3 Law and Tool Technology
Law in an Era of “Smart” Technology

Susan W. Brenner

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins the process of tracing the historical evolution of the relationship between law and technology. It traces the development of early technologies — tool technologies — and the correlate development of rules that were designed to prevent their defective implementation. It defines the concept of tool technologies and notes how they will differ from the next-generation machine technologies. It explains that the phenomenon of “misuse” really did not arise for tool technologies, essentially because the misuse of such a technology fused into existing criminal behavior. A carpenter's “using” a saw or hammer to kill someone, for example, was not approached as a new phenomenon, a “misuse” of technology. Instead, it was treated as what it was: homicide.

Keywords:   machine, prescriptive law, proscriptive law, misuse, specialist, use

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