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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Constitution And The Cathedral: Prohibiting, Purchasing, And Possibly Condemning Tobacco Advertising, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1999

The Constitution And The Cathedral: Prohibiting, Purchasing, And Possibly Condemning Tobacco Advertising, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

This Article has both theoretical and practical objectives, which are closely interrelated. The theoretical objective is to develop a framework for understanding the "transaction structure" of constitutional rights. By this, I refer to the different rules that determine when the government may purchase, condemn, or otherwise extinguish constitutional rights. The practical objective is to consider different options that may be available to the government, as part of a broader effort to reduce the incidence of smoking, to curtail tobacco advertising that would otherwise be protected under the First Amendment. It is my hope that the theoretical framework will illuminate the ...


The Legal Infrastructure Of High Technology Industrial Districts: Silicon Valley, Route 128, And Covenants Not To Compete, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 1999

The Legal Infrastructure Of High Technology Industrial Districts: Silicon Valley, Route 128, And Covenants Not To Compete, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, scholars and policymakers have rediscovered the concept of industrial districts – spatial concentrations of firms in the same industry or related industries. In this Article, Professor Gilson examines te relationship between high-technology industrial districts and legal infrastructure by comparing the legal regimes of California's Silicon Valley and Massachusetts's Route 128. He contends that legal rides governing employee mobility influence the dynamics of high technology industrial districts by either encouraging rapid employee movement between employers and to startups, as in Silicon Valley, or discouraging such movement, as in Route 128. Because California does not enforce post-employment covenants ...


Secured Credit And Software Financing, Ronald J. Mann Jan 1999

Secured Credit And Software Financing, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Software is a relatively new type of business asset, but already has taken on a central role in all sectors of the economy; when any asset brings such a crucial value to businesses, the desire for lending based on that asset cannot be far behind. Unfortunately, the existing academic literature contains no sustained examination of software-related lending.

Because the software industry is in its infancy, the existing empirical evidence is inadequate to support any understanding of it. Accordingly, I undertook a series of twenty-nine informal interviews with industry participants, including lenders in both the Massachusetts Route 128 corridor and Silicon ...


The Tragedy Of The Anticommons: Property In The Transition From Marx To Markets, Michael A. Heller Jan 1998

The Tragedy Of The Anticommons: Property In The Transition From Marx To Markets, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

Why are many storefronts in Moscow empty, while street kiosks in front are full of goods? In this Article, Professor Heller develops a theory of anticommons property to help explain the puzzle of empty storefronts and full kiosks. Anticommons property can be understood as the mirror image of commons property. By definition, in a commons, multiple owners are each endowed with the privilege to use a given resource, and no one has the right to exclude another When too many owners hold such privileges of use, the resource is prone to overuse – a tragedy of the commons. Depleted fisheries and ...


Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons In Biomedical Research, Michael Heller, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 1998

Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons In Biomedical Research, Michael Heller, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Faculty Scholarship

The "tragedy of the commons" metaphor helps explain why people overuse shared resources. However, the recent proliferation of intellectual property rights in biomedical research suggests a different tragedy, an "anticommons" in which people underuse scarce resources because too many owners can block each other. Privatization of biomedical research must be more carefully deployed to sustain both upstream research and downstream product development. Otherwise, more intellectual property rights may lead paradoxically to fewer useful products for improving human health.


Authors As "Licensors" Of "Informational Rights" Under U.C.C. Article 2b, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1998

Authors As "Licensors" Of "Informational Rights" Under U.C.C. Article 2b, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

U.C.C. Articles 2B of the Uniform Commercial Code was designed primarily to regulate online and mass market transactions, particularly the licensing of computer software. Its effects, however, will extend to authors of works other than computer software. This Article considers the effects Article 2B would have on dealings between those authors and the exploiters of the authors' works. By reducing procedural barriers to the formation of licenses, Article 2B would make it all too easy for an author to assent to contract terms that may heavily favor an exploiter of the author's work. On the other hand ...


The Tragedy Of The Anticommons: Property In The Transition From Marx To Markets, Michael Heller Jan 1998

The Tragedy Of The Anticommons: Property In The Transition From Marx To Markets, Michael Heller

Faculty Scholarship

Why are many storefronts in Moscow empty while street kiosks in front are full of goods? This article develops a theory of anticommons property to help explain the puzzle of empty storefronts and full kiosks. Anticommons property can be understood as the mirror image of commons property. By definition, in a commons, multiple owners are each endowed with the privilege to use a given resource, and no one has the right to exclude another. When too many owners hold such privileges of use, the resource is prone to overuse – a tragedy of the commons. Depleted fisheries and overgrazed fields are ...


Extraterritoriality And Multiterritorality In Copyright Infringement, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1997

Extraterritoriality And Multiterritorality In Copyright Infringement, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Extraterritorial application of U.S. law, as Professor Curtis Bradley demonstrates, is highly suspect, if not illegitimate, unless clearly authorized by Congress. The apparently “extraterritorial” character of much recent copyright litigation has led some U.S. courts to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction or on grounds of forum non conveniens when the cases present offshore points of attachment. As copyright commerce becomes increasingly international, some of these dismissals may be unwarranted. They also may be incorrect in their refusal to apply U.S. law or retain U.S. jurisdiction over the parties: the decisions may be too quick ...


Deregulatory Takings, Breach Of The Regulatory Contract, And The Telecommunications Act Of 1996, William J. Baumol, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1997

Deregulatory Takings, Breach Of The Regulatory Contract, And The Telecommunications Act Of 1996, William J. Baumol, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Professors Baumol and Merrill reply to Deregulatory Takings and Breach of the Regulatory Contract, published last year in this Review, which argued that the price incumbents may charge potential competitors for bottleneck facilities under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 should be based not on forward-looking costs but on historical costs. Professors Baumol and Merrill contend that pricing with reference to historical costs would depart from the principles called for by economic analysis for efficient pricing and they further argue that neither the Takings Clause nor the regulatory contract precludes the use of forward-looking costs in setting prices. If a taking ...


Putting Cars On The "Information Superhighway": Authors, Exploiters, And Copyright In Cyberspace, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1995

Putting Cars On The "Information Superhighway": Authors, Exploiters, And Copyright In Cyberspace, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The advent of the "Information Superhighway" has sparked much speculation about the roles of authorship, of readership, and of literary property in the vast system of interlinked computer networks that has come to be known as "cyberspace." Through computers linked to a digital network, users can access and add to vast quantities of material. At least in theory, every computer user can become his, or her own publisher, and every terminal can become a library, bookstore, or audio and video jukebox.

The prospect of pervasive audience access to and ability to copy and further disseminate works of authorship challenges the ...


Distinguishing Between Consensual And Nonconsensual Advantages Of Liability Rules, Ian Ayres, Eric Talley Jan 1995

Distinguishing Between Consensual And Nonconsensual Advantages Of Liability Rules, Ian Ayres, Eric Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell's thoughtful reply to our recent article contains powerful insights about the relative efficiency of liability and property rules. While we are in agreement that liability rules can be more efficient than property rules when transaction costs are low, we disagree about the cause of this liability-rule advantage. Kaplow and Shaveli believe that liability rules hold only a nonconsensual advantage over property rules (i.e., liability rules tend to induce efficient nonconsensual takings). While granting this oftrecognized nonconsensual advantage, we contend that liability rules may also have a consensual advantage in low-transaction-cost settings (i.e ...


Four Reasons And A Paradox: The Manifest Superiority Of Copyright Over Sui Generis Protection Of Computer Software, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1994

Four Reasons And A Paradox: The Manifest Superiority Of Copyright Over Sui Generis Protection Of Computer Software, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The "Manifesto Concerning the Legal Protection of Computer Programs" offers an extensive and challenging critique of current intellectual property protection of software. The authors argue strongly that the law should focus on the value of the know-how embodied in programs and the importance of protecting it, rather than on the particular means which might be used to appropriate it. The authors seek to compel reconceptualization of the place of computer programs, and of software authors' creativity, within the domain of intellectual property. However, their brief for change manifests several flaws. Paradoxically, it comes at once both too soon and too ...


Textualism And The Future Of The Chevron Doctrine, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1994

Textualism And The Future Of The Chevron Doctrine, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

The last decade has been a remarkable one for statutory interpretation. For most of our history, American judges have been pragmatists when it comes to interpreting statutes. They have drawn on various conventions – the plain meaning rule, legislative history, considerations of statutory purpose, canons of construction – "much as a golfer selects the proper club when he gauges the distance to the pin and the contours of the course." The arrival of Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court has changed this. Justice Scalia is a foundationalist, insisting that certain interpretational tools should be permanently banned from judicial use. What is more ...


Copyright Without Walls?: Speculations On Literary Property In The Library Of The Future, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1993

Copyright Without Walls?: Speculations On Literary Property In The Library Of The Future, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This essay considers the application and adaptation of copyright law to the library of the future. In this "library without walls," works will be accessible by computer to users near and far. While a printed book usually is read by only one person at a time, that same book in digital format may be simultaneously consulted by as many users as have PCs linked by modem to the library. Where collecting quotations from printed sources today requires transcription or photocopying, in the library of the future it may be possible to download and print out excerpts, or even the entire ...


A Commentary On The Harmonization Of European Private Law, George A. Bermann Jan 1993

A Commentary On The Harmonization Of European Private Law, George A. Bermann

Faculty Scholarship

The idea behind bringing together these papers on harmonization in three such distinct fields as contract, copyright and telecommunications, and securities law must be that they may have something to tell us generally about the processes of harmonization in European private law. Each paper tells a story fascinating in its own right, but whether they in fact add up to something more, with implications for private law harmonization as a whole, is the question I naturally want to take up in this commentary.


Computer Programs In Europe: A Comparative Analysis Of The 1991 Ec Software Directive, Jerome Huet, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1992

Computer Programs In Europe: A Comparative Analysis Of The 1991 Ec Software Directive, Jerome Huet, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Long awaited – if not feared – in the computer industry, where its elaboration had evoked heated debate, the European Council Directive of May 14, 1991 on the Legal Protection of Computer Programs (the "Directive" or "Software Directive")has imposed common principles of copyright protection on the twelve Member States of the European Community (the "EC", the "Community"). As it declares in its preamble, the Directive responds to the need to ensure the proper functioning of a single marketand, to that end, to eliminate man), of the current differences among the Member States' legal systems.

In the domain of European copyright law ...


Hungarian Legal Reform For The Private Sector, Cheryl W. Gray, Rebecca J. Hanson, Michael A. Heller Jan 1992

Hungarian Legal Reform For The Private Sector, Cheryl W. Gray, Rebecca J. Hanson, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

Hungary is in the midst of a fundamental transformation toward a market economy. Although Hungary has long been in the forefront of efforts to reform socialism itself, after 1989 the goals of reform moved from market socialism toward capitalism, as the old Communist regime lost power and the idea of widespread private ownership gained acceptance. The legal framework – the "rules of the game – is now being geared toward encouraging, protecting, and rewarding entrepreneurs in the private sector.

This Article describes the evolving legal framework in Hungary in several areas: constitutional, real property, intellectual property, company, foreign investment, contract, bankruptcy, and ...


No "Sweat"? Copyright And Other Protection Of Works Of Information After Feist V. Rural Telephone, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1992

No "Sweat"? Copyright And Other Protection Of Works Of Information After Feist V. Rural Telephone, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court's unanimous decision last Term in Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co. proscribed copyright protection for works of information that fail to manifest a modicum of creative originality in selection or arrangement. Discarding a long – if lately uneasy – tradition of U.S. copyright coverage of informational works that display far greater industriousness than imagination, the Court ruled that copyright does not secure the "sweat of the brow" or the investment of resources in the compilation of a work of information. The Court thus stripped away or sharply reduced the copyright protection afforded a variety of ...


Creation And Commercial Value: Copyright Protection Of Works Of Information, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1990

Creation And Commercial Value: Copyright Protection Of Works Of Information, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

In 1899, Augustine Birrell, a Victorian barrister, lamented: "The question of copyright has, in these latter days, with so many other things, descended into the market-place, and joined the wrangle of contending interests and rival greedinesses." Birrell's remark conveys distaste for those authors who would "realise the commercial value of their wares." But the question of copyright has always been joined with that of commercial value. Indeed, by affording authors limited monopoly protection for their writings, our Constitution relies on wrangling greed to promote the advancement of both creativity and profit. Nonetheless, the distinction Birrell implies between copyrightworthy works ...


A Tale Of Two Copyrights: Literary Property In Revolutionary France And America, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1990

A Tale Of Two Copyrights: Literary Property In Revolutionary France And America, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The French and U.S. copyright systems are well known as opposites. The product of the French Revolution, French copyright law is said to enshrine the author: exclusive rights flow from one's (preferred) status as a creator. For example, a leading French copyright scholar states that one of the "fundamental ideas" of the revolutionary copyright laws is the principle that "an exclusive right is conferred on authors because their property is the most justified since it flows from their intellectual creation." By contrast, the U.S. Constitution's copyright clause, echoing the English Statute of Anne, makes the public ...


Copyright Law, David Goldberg, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1984

Copyright Law, David Goldberg, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

In 1983 and 1984 the federal courts continued to interpret the changes in copyright law effectuated by the 1976 Copyright Act. During this period the United States Supreme Court decided its first copyright case since adoption of the 1976 Act. In general, the year's decisions tend to accord expanded copyright protection to authors. Several decisions, however, have provoked or exacerbated uncertainties in a number of areas, including the protection accorded nonfiction works, the "fair use" excuse to copyright infringement, and compliance with the U.S. copyright formality of affixing notice to published copies of a work.


First Amendment Protection For Commercial Advertising: The New Constitutional Doctrine, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1976

First Amendment Protection For Commercial Advertising: The New Constitutional Doctrine, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Governmental regulation of commercial advertising has become a major focus of challenges to established first amendment doctrine. An increasing number of suits have raised constitutional objections to regulations of false or deceptive advertising, regulations of offensive advertising, prohibitions of commercial advertising in certain forums, prohibitions of price advertising for particular products or services, and prohibitions of all advertising for particular products or services.' Until recently, the majority of courts upheld such regulations under the Supreme Court's ruling in Valentine v. Chrestensen that "purely commercial advertising" is unprotected by the first amendment.

In the last two years the Court has ...