Economic and Legal
Projects in
the Stanford
Digital Library

Creating, maintaining and distributing information costs money; Finding and acquiring it also consumes scarce network resources. Only when the appropriate economic and legal incentives are in place can we expect to see the full value of networked information emerge. Therefore, our project considers ways to pay for information and resources over the network. We also have collected a wealth of information on legal concerns, especially the fair use of intellectual property. In some cases, technological means (such as copy detection and access control) will support the legal structure.

Designed to permit interoperation between different payment services, InterPay provides levels of abstraction which allow applications to be independent of payment mechanism-specific details.

"InterPay: Managing Multiple Payment Mechanisms in Digital Libraries"

SCAM: The Stanford Copy Analysis Mechanism
Making a perfect digital copy of a copyrighted work is easy in a networked world. How can the intellectual property rightsholders be protected? By detecting attempted distribution of illegal copies. Duplicate detection has other uses in information finding as well. An earlier, related project was known as COPS: The Copyright Protection Scheme.

"Building a Scalable and Accurate Copy Detection Mechansim"

Interoperable rights management is one of the service layers that the current Internet is still lacking. FIRM defines a platform for "smart contracts" that is based on a computational reification of contract law; it is realized as part of a novel, network-centric architecture for managing control information that generalizes previous models centered around clients or servers.

"A Network-Centric Design for Relationship-based Rights Management"

Find Law
A vast collection of pointers to legal resources on the web, FindLaw also includes "LawCrawler", an interface to multiple legal databases, including the WWW, law review, case law and code databasesa spider targeted at collecting legal information.

Fair Use
A collection of materials concerning copyright law, especially as it relates to the networked environment and libraries in the digital era.

Distributed Commerce Transactions
Gathering information from multiple, self-interested sources that distrust each other requires certain types of structuring to ensure that a multi-stage exchange has the atomicity property.

"A Sound and Complete Distributed Algorithm for Distributed Commerce Transactions"

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