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Publication Title | Law, jurisdiction and the digital nomad

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Freedom of movement: the digital nomad, the Internet and eCommerce
The single market is of the key tenets of the European community,2 with the free movement of goods, people and capital arising from the removal of borders. The Internet, and communications technology more generally, permits a business to offer services to multiple markets — European and beyond — easily and cheaply, by eliminating the need to be physically present in a country to do business. Together, these are a potent combination.
Whilst many businesses have taken advantage of the Internet by trading and providing services across borders,3 there is a growing number of individuals choosing to live and work in a “locationless” manner, engaging their clients over the Internet, whether providing legal advice,4 offering creative design services5 or making money from writing about their lifestyle.6 With their reliance of Internet connectivity, and without a fixed abode, these businesspeople have adopted the moniker of “digital nomads.” 7
Indeed, although far from the lifestyles led by some digital nomads, studying the LLM has, for me, been a manifestation of the nomadic approach — I have listened to podcasts whilst waiting in airports, read and researched in hotel rooms and hotel lobbies in far-flung corners of the world, chatted with fellow students via Skype, FaceTime, instant message and online chat, and typed up my thoughts whilst riding trains, boats and planes. It matters not at all where I have studied or written, and it is of no consequence where you should happen to be sitting reading this — the omnipresence of cyberspace breaks down notions of geographic difference and borders with remarkable ease.
John Perry Barlow, writing in 1996, declared that cyberspace is a space of independence, warning governments that:
“[y]ou have no sovereignty where we gather... I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us... Cyberspace does not lie within your
2 “The Single Market: yesterday and tomorrow” (2006), Bureau of European Policy Advisers
3 See, for example, the European Commission’s “Report on cross-border e-commerce in the EU” SEC(2009) 283
7 “Digital Nomad” (1997) Makimoto and Manners (Wiley)

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