Children today have a special relationship to technology, one that the law is unprepared to address. Four conflicting legal paradigms of childhood are visible among the four bodies of law that control digital spaces-those of contract, copyright, free speech, and data privacy/information security-and the tension among these paradigms is becoming increasingly unsustainable. As online business models become progressively more data intensive, the "breathing room" that childhood has been afforded traditionally is eroding. Using the work of Erving Goffman and creativity theorists, this Article argues that particularly in digital commercial contexts, a legal paradigm of childhood is needed that simultaneously focuses on childhood privacy and creating a space for creative tinkering leading to entrepreneurship in adulthood. In this vein, this Article advocates a twofronged approach to digital childhood: first, that a strong version of the minority capacity doctrine be adopted for contracts in digital spaces, and, second, that a childhood exception be crafted in copyright law.
|Number of pages
|Notre Dame Law Review
|Published - Jun 2012
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