Cyberspace – the lawless mirage

“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators” ~ William Gibson, Burning Chrome

Cyberspace is not a physical location; neither is “the internet”, or “the web”. It is worth bearing this in mind when listening to various people pontificating on whether or not “real world” law does or should apply to these “places”. William Gibson’s original definition when he coined the term Cyberspace is still accurate; like a corporation1, day to day we all pretend that this mental construct has an actual reality in the universe instead of being a metaphor for a complex form for human interaction2.
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Software for nothing and your clicks for free

One of the expenses of setting up and running an office is software. With a certain popular word processor/office program coming in at a couple of hundred pounds per user, the costs for even a small legal office can soon build up. You pay for it when you get it, then every couple of year you need to pay for another “upgrade”.  Of course no lawyer is going to buy one copy and “pirate” in on all their users computers are they – that would be breach of copyright! While everyone is going to need a word processor, that doesn’t go for all programs, so perhaps you can trim costs by making sure that some packages are only installed for a couple of users, who do all of that type of work for the whole office.

Or perhaps you can get your programs at a price of zero: welcome to the world of Free and Open Source software.
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