What does it mean for code to be law? Is there an inherent characteristic in software that renders it a modality of regulation? How should technology-as-regulation be studied and what is the role of the developer as a regulator? These are some of the research questions we are trying to address in our study concerning the mode of development of peer-to-peer technologies and the evolution of their regulatory facets over time. The study considers whether peer-to-peer technologies have regulatory characteristics that accumulate over time as a result of the effort to deal with the complexity and uncertainty of the tasks they support. The process of development of these technologies reflects the involvement of different stakeholders, both humans and nonhumans, in the refinement and proliferation of the regulatory characteristics. In our study we follow the path of development of code-as-law and seek alternative methods, drawn from both the fields of regulatory theory and systems development, in order to study these emergent phenomena.
Tsiavos, Prodromos; Whitley, Edgar; and Hosein, Ian, "An Exploration of the Emergence, Development, and Evolution of Regulatory Characteristics of Information Systems" (2002). ICIS 2002 Proceedings. Paper 83.