As I’ve been writing about networked information technologies as “tools,” it’s worth reiterating that metaphors of space are not entirely without value, including in areas of the law that derive from laws relating to real property. Having noted in multiple prior posts the weaknesses of spatial metaphors, here I discuss some of their common applications in ways that are productive. There are two particular applications of the physical space metaphor to online platforms and services that are interesting:
1) Content moderation questions - including vetting of advertisers and user-submitted content;
2) Data Rights questions - if content is posted is it free to copy? To commercialize?