This article examines some of the most relevant issues concerning P2P systems so as to take sides in today’s strongly polarized debate. The idea is to integrate a context-based perspective with an ontological representation of informational norms; thanks to a procedural outlook which is presented in terms of burden of proof. More particularly, we examine three “roads.” First, the topological approach to complex social networks allows us to comprehend the laws according to which information is distributed through P2P systems and how a “short route” has joined, and sometimes replaced, the traditional “long route” between creator, business, and the public. The second road is the context-based perspective elaborated by Helen Nissenbaum, and developed by Francis Grodzinsky and Herman Tavani: The goal is to determine the norms that govern such an informational flow as norms of appropriateness and distribution. The final road is the informational viewpoint on ethics proposed by Luciano Floridi with the idea that standard ethical theories cannot easily be adapted to deal with the new informational issues emerging with digital technology. While empirical evidence on the impact of P2P systems is still quite controversial, it is crucial to determine on whom the burden of proof falls in a given context, on censors or advocates, by singling out both the default norms and exceptions in the use and development of P2P software.

Three Roads to P2P Systems and Their Impact on Business Practices and Ethics

PAGALLO, Ugo;DURANTE, Massimo
2009

Abstract

This article examines some of the most relevant issues concerning P2P systems so as to take sides in today’s strongly polarized debate. The idea is to integrate a context-based perspective with an ontological representation of informational norms; thanks to a procedural outlook which is presented in terms of burden of proof. More particularly, we examine three “roads.” First, the topological approach to complex social networks allows us to comprehend the laws according to which information is distributed through P2P systems and how a “short route” has joined, and sometimes replaced, the traditional “long route” between creator, business, and the public. The second road is the context-based perspective elaborated by Helen Nissenbaum, and developed by Francis Grodzinsky and Herman Tavani: The goal is to determine the norms that govern such an informational flow as norms of appropriateness and distribution. The final road is the informational viewpoint on ethics proposed by Luciano Floridi with the idea that standard ethical theories cannot easily be adapted to deal with the new informational issues emerging with digital technology. While empirical evidence on the impact of P2P systems is still quite controversial, it is crucial to determine on whom the burden of proof falls in a given context, on censors or advocates, by singling out both the default norms and exceptions in the use and development of P2P software.
Journal of Business Ethics, 2009, Volume 90, Supplement 4, Springer
551
564
http://www.springerlink.com
information ethics; ontology; P2P systems; topology of complex social networks; value chain
Pagallo Ugo; Durante Massimo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/98975
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