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Entries Tagged as 'Law'

A Better Argument Against Hobby Lobby, Part II: The (Maybe?) Better Argument

July 3rd, 2014 · 10 Comments

In the previous post, I ran through some criticisms of the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling that I don’t think are very impressive—some because they’re unconvincing, others because they wouldn’t be relevant to the core logic of the opinion even if they were otherwise absolutely correct.  For the purposes of this post, then, I’m […]

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Tags: Law

A Better Argument Against Hobby Lobby, Part I: The Bad Arguments

July 3rd, 2014 · 7 Comments

One of the frustrating things about the reactions to the Hobby Lobby ruling—mostly from progressives, if only because people naturally to respond in much greater detail to decisions they disagree with—is that there’s an interesting debate to be had about the case, but we’re mostly not having it. Most of the critiques I’ve seen of […]

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Tags: Law

A First Sale Legal Hack?

July 17th, 2012 · 8 Comments

Here’s a little puzzle for the lawyers out there. It’s pretty obviously copyright infringement to buy a legitimate copy of a CD, make a copy, and then give away or sell the copy. But how about the reverse? Millions of people in their 20s and late-30s have large CD collections acquired back in Ye Olden […]

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Tags: Law

Everything Is a Bulletin Board!

April 6th, 2012 · 60 Comments

An Arizona man named William Hall is headed back to prison for violating the terms of his parole, which apparently included the following rather dated language: I will not use an electronic bulletin board system, Internet relay chat channel, DCC chat channel, instant messaging, newsgroup, user group, peer to peer (e.g.Napster, Gnutella, Freenet, etc). Hall […]

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Tags: Law · Tech and Tech Policy

Trayvon Martin and the Moral Clarity Hypothesis

March 27th, 2012 · 16 Comments

Sanford police are pushing back in the face of public criticism, saying that witnesses have corroborated George Zimmerman’s account of his fatal encounter with Trayvon Martin. Given how many salient facts about the case seem to have been missed in the initial investigation—Zimmerman’s history of arrests for violence, the failure to test the admitted shooter […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Law · Sociology

Tragic Scenarios

March 22nd, 2012 · 99 Comments

I think it’s fairly clear, at this point, that the initial police investigation into the killing of Trayvon Martin was shamefully slipshod, and that George Zimmerman’s shaky story needs to be heard and evaluated by a jury, not accepted on faith by sympathetic law enforcement. But I’ve also been mulling the facts that have been […]

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Tags: Law

Fearing for Your Life

March 21st, 2012 · 142 Comments

Most of the commentary on the Trayvon Martin case has focused on the growing mountain of evidence suggesting that shooter George Zimmerman, far from acting in “self defense,” was the instigator of the confrontation between the two late last month. But I keep coming back to a slightly different question: Are we really supposed to […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Law · Personal

On the Enforcement Fantasy

January 25th, 2012 · 14 Comments

This is probably the least interesting (because it should be so self-evident) and yet most important paragraph in a must-read Cory Doctorow essay: In short, [proponents of more aggressive copyright enforcement] made unrealistic demands on reality and reality did not oblige them. Copying only got easier following the passage of these laws—copying will only ever […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Economics · Law · Tech and Tech Policy

Real Intellectual Property Theft

December 19th, 2011 · 9 Comments

Proponents of ever stronger and longer copyrights, supported by ever more draconian enforcement mechanisms, like to toss around terms like “piracy” and “theft” for the emotional reactions they provoke. This is not, as Matt Yglesias notes, an aid to clear thinking: Copyright infringement and theft are both illegal—along with jaywalking, murder, and speeding—but they’re otherwise […]

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Tags: Law · Tech and Tech Policy

When Are Patents Obvious?

August 15th, 2011 · 19 Comments

I recently did a diavlog with my friend Tim Lee on the new BloggingHeads spinoff site TechHeads, during which I had a thought that seems like it might be worth spinning out. We’re all accustomed to seeing horror stories about ludicrously broad, bad technology patents that have given rise to a wasteful arms race between […]

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Tags: Economics · Law · Tech and Tech Policy