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Entries Tagged as 'Law'

Good Defensive Patents Are Bad Patents

July 28th, 2011 · 35 Comments

Ron Bailey writes about last weekend’s excellent Planet Money story “When Patents Attack,” which focuses on the enormous market in “defensive” patents, purchased as a kind of retaliatory hedge against lawsuits from other technology companies: In early July, the bankrupt tech company Nortel put its 6,000 patents up for auction as part of a liquidation. […]

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Tags: Economics · Law · Tech and Tech Policy

The Teleporter Library: A Copyright Thought Experiment

July 11th, 2011 · 20 Comments

Suppose that, back in the 70s, DARPA had developed two revolutionary networks. In addition to the precursor to the Internet we all know and love, they had also developed a teleportation network enabling small, inorganic objects to be instantly transmitted via miniature wormholes from any point on the network to any other point. The effect […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Economics · Law

The Real Problem With Judicial Elections

April 8th, 2011 · 6 Comments

Jamelle Bouie lays out several reasons why popular election of judges is a terrible idea: The need to fund-raise (especially in smaller districts) creates conflicts with the requirement of impartiality; judges start handing down longer sentences to appear “tough on crime” during election season; because judicial elections are usually low-priority, they create the illusion of […]

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Tags: Law

Google Books, Fair Uses, and “Copyright” as Misnomer

March 24th, 2011 · 19 Comments

Tim Lee has a great analysis at Ars Technica of this week’s ruling invalidating the controversial Google Books settlement. Tim, like the court, focuses on aspects of the agreement that seem to give Google a unique advantage in the online book market—and hopes that instead Google will now simply defend its copying of books for […]

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Tags: Law · Tech and Tech Policy

Yeah It’s Strange, but What’s So Strange About That

December 14th, 2010 · 34 Comments

Here’s how far down the rabbit hole we are. Josh Marshall writes: A year ago, no one took seriously the idea that a federal health care mandate was unconstitutional. And the idea that buying health care coverage does not amount to “economic activity” seems preposterous on its face. But the decision that just came down […]

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Tags: Law

Is the Fourth Amendment Really About “Privacy”?

September 13th, 2010 · 8 Comments

For those of you who aren’t reading Cato at Liberty (and why not??), I’ve got a longish post over there that looks at a couple of recent law review articles questioning whether it really makes sense to think about the Fourth Amendment primarily in terms of “privacy.” I find myself pretty sympathetic to the argument […]

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Tags: Law · Privacy and Surveillance

The Anti-EULA

June 7th, 2010 · 4 Comments

I just noticed this in Cory Doctorow’s sig; sorely tempted to add it to mine: READ CAREFULLY. By reading this email, you agree, on behalf of your employer, to release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all NON-NEGOTIATED  agreements, licenses, terms-of-service, shrinkwrap, clickwrap, browsewrap, confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete and acceptable use policies […]

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Tags: Law · Tech and Tech Policy

Why, Some of My Best Friends

April 27th, 2010 · 12 Comments

Scan the last paragraph of George Will’s column on Arizona’s round-up-the-darkies law while I take a deep breath: Non-Hispanic Arizonans of all sorts live congenially with all sorts of persons of Hispanic descent. These include some whose ancestors got to Arizona before statehood — some even before it was a territory. They were in America […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Law

The Kagan Kerfuffle

April 20th, 2010 · 25 Comments

James Joyner captures my thoughts on the recent silliness pretty well. Basically, nobody comes out of this looking good. First, CBS.  Frankly, the journalist in me finds it sort of offensive that they were willing to publish serial plagiarist Ben Domenech on any topic—some things really ought to earn you a lifetime ban from respectable […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Journalism & the Media · Law

Framing and the New Paternalism

April 5th, 2010 · 16 Comments

My friend Glen Whitman has an excellent essay over at Cato Unbound that takes aim at what’s been variously called “new” or “soft” or even “libertarian” paternalism. I’ve been relatively open to at least some of the ideas circulating under those banners—at least as libertarians go—but Glen’s arguments certainly provide ample reason for severe skepticism.  […]

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Tags: Economics · General Philosophy · Law · Libertarian Theory · Nannyism