ing of ESTs that substantially alleviated, even if they
did not totally resolve, this threat to science from
overbroad patent rights.
34. Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of
the Council of 11 March 1996 on the Legal Protection
of Databases, 1996 O.J (L 77) 20.
35. For a critical commentary on the EU database directive
and kindred U.S. legislation, see, e.g., J. H. Reichman, P.
Vanderbilt Law Rev.
, 51 (1997).
36. See, e.g., National Research Council,
Bits of Power:
Issues in Global Access to Scientiﬁc Data
Academy of Sciences Press, Washington, DC, 1997)
37. The role of scientiﬁc organizations in facilitating
changes in U.S. policy is recounted in (
38. P. Samuelson,
Va. J. Intl. Law
, 369 (1997).
39. These efforts are recounted by J. H. Reichman and
P. F. Uhlir [
Berkeley Technol. Law J.
, 793 (1999)].
40. I gratefully acknowledge research support from NSF
Computer Networks As Social Networks
Computer networks are inherently social networks, linking people, orga-
nizations, and knowledge. They are social institutions that should not be
studied in isolation but as integrated into everyday lives. The proliferation
of computer networks has facilitated a deemphasis on group solidarities at
work and in the community and afforded a turn to networked societies
that are loosely bounded and sparsely knit. The Internet increases people’s
social capital, increasing contact with friends and relatives who live nearby
and far away. New tools must be developed to help people navigate and
ﬁnd knowledge in complex, fragmented, networked societies.
Once upon a time, computers were not
social beings. Most stood alone, be they
mainframe, mini, or personal computer.
Each person who used a computer sat alone
in front of a keyboard and screen. To help
people deal with their computers, the field
of human-computer interaction (HCI) de-
veloped, providing such things as more
accessible interfaces and user-friendly soft-
ware. But as the HCI name says, the model
Computers have increasingly reached out
to each other. Starting in the 1960s, people
began piggybacking on machine-machine
data transfers to send each other messages.
Communication soon spilled over organiza-
tional boundaries. The proliferation of elec-
tronic mail (e-mail) in the 1980s and its
expansion into the Internet in the 1990s
(based on e-mail and the Web) have so tied
things together that to many, being at a com-
puter is synonymous with being connected to
As a result, HCI has become socialized.
Much of the discussion at current HCI con-
ferences is about how people use computers
to relate to each other (
). Some participants
build “groupware” to support such interac-
tions; others do ethnographic, laboratory, and
survey studies to ascertain how people actu-
ally relate to each other. This work has slowly