Preface to the second edition

AuthorGeorge Takach
ProfessionAdjunct Professor
to the Second Edition
It has been only five years since the publication of the first edition of
Computer Law, but in the world of technology that is a very long time.
In terms of the Internet alone, one calendar year generally equals about
four or five “Internet years.” So, much has happened in the past half-
decade. In this preface, I mention the highlights, organized along the
lines of the book itself; for the details, see the corresponding chapter.
Although many questions have been usefully answered by courts and
legislatures, a number of open issues remain, and of course new ones
will arise. The objective of this book is to explain succinctly the issues
that have been settled, and to give sensible guidance as to the way
ahead on the open and new matters.
Technology and Business Trends
The first dynamic of computer law — namely, the rapid pace of techno-
logical change — is as alive and as well as ever. Moore’s Law (which states
that computer processing power doubles every eighteen months) is not
going to be proven wrong anytime soon. IBM, for example, has
announced a super computer capable of processing 12.3 trillion calcula-
tions per second (which is about as powerful as 30,000 personal com-
puters put together). And if you’re wondering where all the data
crunched by this behemoth will reside, IBM has also conveniently
announced a data storage device that holds one terabite per square inch
— in effect storing 25 million textbook pages on a surface the size of a
postage stamp. It is these sorts of technical developments that lead some
to argue that the computer revolution is only now starting to hit its stride.
In the past five years a number of new technology applications
have come to the fore. E-mail continues to embed itself into the rou-
tine of everyday life. Currently, about 10 billion — that’s right, billion
— e-mail messages are sent a day. This number is poised to rise as wire-

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