Fostering Innovation and Trade in the Global Information Society: The Different Facets and Roles of Interoperability
NCCR working paper 2011/39 by U. Gasser and J. Palfrey; published in M. Burri and T. Cottier (ed), Trade Governance in the Digital Age (CUP 2012).
In this chapter, we explore the various facets and roles of interoperability and its relevance for innovation, competition, trade, and economic growth. More specifically, we argue that makers of public policy should craft national policies and legal frameworks in such ways that, at least by default, they encourage higher levels of interoperability among ICT-relevant systems, applications, and components. Further, we argue that policy-makers should not only aim for technical interoperability, but also for legal and, eventually, policy interoperability, which can be achieved through unilateral design of interoperable laws and policies or by global harmonisation of national standards, among other means. All of these goals require that makers of public policy gain a deeper understanding of and ultimately master the multifaceted interplay between law and interoperability – aspirations to which this chapter seeks to contribute.