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Entries Tagged as 'Law'

Oversight Theater and Secret Law

March 15th, 2010 · No Comments

It’s always hard to predict the effects of new legislation: Congress can call it a “job creation” bill, but at the end of the day, they’ve got to hope the world cooperates with their good intentions. But for the democratic process to function, legislators at least need to feel reasonably confident that they understand the […]

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Tags: Law · Privacy and Surveillance

Bad Guys Make Good Law

March 8th, 2010 · 14 Comments

Sane conservatives seem to have joined the backlash against the loathsome smear campaign recently unleashed on Justice Department lawyers who have done pro bono work representing Guantanamo detainees.  They argue, rightly, that we shouldn’t denigrate “the American tradition of zealous representation of unpopular clients.” But I think there’s an important historical point here that deserves […]

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Tags: Law

The Irreducible Complexity of Copyright

February 16th, 2010 · 10 Comments

A surprising number of the responses to my recent video on social remix complain that the various videos of kids acting out their own versions of the Lisztomania “Brat Pack” mashup video simply don’t count as a form of creativity.  To be sure, they are not  timeless works of starting originality, but this sort of […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Law

The Evolution of Remix Culture

February 6th, 2010 · 25 Comments

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Tags: Art & Culture · Law

How Much Right in a Copyright?

February 2nd, 2010 · 8 Comments

Sonny Bunch over at America’s Future Foundation gets all wound up over the idea that copyright is centrally about creating an instrumental incentive for production: Yes, copyright was created in part because there were concerns that authors wouldn’t bother creating new work if they were consistently stolen from, leading to Yglesias’s oddly solipsistic reading of […]

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Tags: Law

Last Thought on Citizens United

January 25th, 2010 · 17 Comments

At the risk of rambling on redundantly, I want to stress one thing about my attitude toward the Citizens United case: We’ve been focusing on this question of “corporate personhood” because that’s the legal frame we’ve been handed, but it’s pretty much irrelevant to my thinking about this question. The root conviction here is just […]

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Tags: Law

Paternalism and Campaign Finance Law

January 22nd, 2010 · 28 Comments

Something that’s implicit in a lot of defenses of the Citizens United ruling I’ve seen in the past day is probably worth noting explicitly: The ban on independent corporate/union expendituures for “electioneering communications” that the court struck down was actually quite narrow.  Basically it covered TV and radio advertising, and didn’t touch myriad other forms […]

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

Maybe They Can Make Him Some Pink Underwear

January 8th, 2010 · 5 Comments

Federal prosecutors have convened a grand jury in the investigation into Arizona thug Joe Arpaio. I suppose he’s unlikely to spend his last  pathetic years chained to a peg in the ground in some sweltering “tent city”—but one can dream.

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Tags: Law

Esprit d’Escalier (PATRIOT Edition)

December 6th, 2009 · 9 Comments

I had half forgotten until last week’s Cato forum how much I enjoy a good live debate, but it does invariably mean you spending the next couple days thinking of points you wish you’d made—either because they didn’t occur to you, or because there just wasn’t time to get through everything you scribbled down while […]

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Tags: Law · Privacy and Surveillance

Dear FBI: Ahmed is Not a Terrorist. Pinky Swear. Love, Al Qaeda.

November 10th, 2009 · 2 Comments

I’m going back over the transcripts from last week’s PATRIOT hearings and still a little gobsmacked by the shameless stupidity of the remarks from grown men who actually get to decide what the law will be.  Remember, this isn’t what they say to the rubes from the stump; it’s how they talk to each other […]

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Tags: Law · Privacy and Surveillance