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Full-Text Articles in Law

Clearing Opacity Through Machine Learning, W. Nicholson Price Ii, Arti K. Rai Jan 2021

Clearing Opacity Through Machine Learning, W. Nicholson Price Ii, Arti K. Rai

Articles

Artificial intelligence and machine learning represent powerful tools in many fields, ranging from criminal justice to human biology to climate change. Part of the power of these tools arises from their ability to make predictions and glean useful information about complex real-world systems without the need to understand the workings of those systems.


The Cost Of Novelty, Will Nicholson Price Ii Mar 2020

The Cost Of Novelty, Will Nicholson Price Ii

Articles

Patent law tries to spur the development of new and better innova­tive technology. But it focuses much more on “new” than “better”—and it turns out that “new” carries real social costs. I argue that patent law promotes innovation that diverges from existing technology, either a little (what I call “differentiating innovation”) or a lot (“exploring innova­tion”), at the expense of innovation that tells us more about existing technology (“deepening innovation”). Patent law’s focus on newness is unsurprising, and fits within a well-told narrative of innovative diversity accompanied by market selection of the best technologies. Unfortunately, innovative ...


Silent Similarity, Jessica D. Litman Apr 2015

Silent Similarity, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

From 1909 to 1930, U.S. courts grappled with claims by authors of prose works claiming that works in a new art form—silent movies—had infringed their copyrights. These cases laid the groundwork for much of modern copyright law, from their broad expansion of the reproduction right, to their puzzled grappling with the question how to compare works in dissimilar media, to their confusion over what sort of evidence should be relevant to show copyrightability, copying and infringement. Some of those cases—in particular, Nichols v. Universal Pictures—are canonical today. They are not, however, well-understood. In particular, the ...


Campbell At 21/Sony At 31, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2015

Campbell At 21/Sony At 31, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

When copyright lawyers gather to discuss fair use, the most common refrain is its alarming expansion. Their distress about fair use’s enlarged footprint seems completely untethered from any appreciation of the remarkable increase in exclusive copyright rights. In the nearly forty years since Congress enacted the 1976 copyright act, the rights of copyright owners have expanded markedly. Copyright owners’ demands for further expansion continue unabated. Meanwhile, they raise strident objections to proposals to add new privileges and exceptions to the statute to shelter non-infringing uses that might be implicated by their expanded rights. Copyright owners have used the resulting ...


Technological Cost As Law In Intellectual Property, Harry Surden Jan 2013

Technological Cost As Law In Intellectual Property, Harry Surden

Articles

Changes in the scope of IP legal rights are generally thought to be linked to changes in positive law. This Article argues that shifts in the scope of IP laws are often driven by changes in technological feasibility and not by changes in positive law. Diminishing technological constraint is an under-acknowledged factor driving changes in substantive IP law.

More specifically, there are certain activities that are core to IP law. Such activities include, for example, the copying of creative works in copyright (e.g. duplicating books or music), or the manufacturing of products in patent law. Traditionally, IP legal theory ...


The Copyright Principles Project: Directions For Reform, Jessica D. Litman, Pamela Samuelson, The Copyright Principles Project Jan 2010

The Copyright Principles Project: Directions For Reform, Jessica D. Litman, Pamela Samuelson, The Copyright Principles Project

Articles

Copyright law performs a number of important functions. It facilitates public access to knowledge and a wide range of uses of creative works of authorship, and, in so doing, it helps educate our populace, enrich our culture, and promote free speech, free expression, and democratic values. It provides opportunities for rights holders to recoup investments in creating and disseminating their works and to enjoy the fruits of whatever success arises from the public's uses of their works. In the process, copyright also plays a role in regulating new technologies and services through which creative works may be accessed. A ...


Billowing White Goo, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2008

Billowing White Goo, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

The title of this symposium is the question: "Fair Use: "Incredibly Shrinking" or Extraordinarily Expanding?" I'd argue that the answer to the question is "no." Fair use isn't doing either. The size of the fair use footprint has stayed remarkably constant over the past 30 or even 50 years. What has expanded, extraordinarily, is the size of rights granted by the copyright law. It may seem as if fair use is either expanding or shrinking, because the greater reach of copyright has made a bunch of uses potentially fair that weren't even potentially infringing 50 years ago ...


Structural Rights In Privacy, Harry Surden Jan 2007

Structural Rights In Privacy, Harry Surden

Articles

This Essay challenges the view that privacy interests are protected primarily by law. Based upon the understanding that society relies upon nonlegal devices such as markets, norms, and structure to regulate human behavior, this Essay calls attention to a class of regulatory devices known as latent structural constraints and provides a positive account of their role in regulating privacy. Structural constraints are physical or technological barriers which regulate conduct; they can be either explicit or latent. An example of an explicit structural constraint is a fence which is designed to prevent entry onto real property, thereby effectively enforcing property rights ...


Public Vs. Proprietary Science: A Fruitful Tension?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Richard R. Nelson Jan 2002

Public Vs. Proprietary Science: A Fruitful Tension?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Richard R. Nelson

Articles

What should be public and what should be private in scientific research? The competitive sprint of public and private laboratories to complete the sequence of the human genome has brought this question to the fore. The same question frames the developing struggle over terms of access to human embryonic stem cell lines and the conflict between Microsoft and the open source movement over how best to promote software development. We expect such conflicts to become more widespread as the role of for-profit research expands in a broader range of scientific fields. Will science progress more swiftly and fruitfully if its ...


Copyright Legislation And Technological Change, Jessica D. Litman Jan 1989

Copyright Legislation And Technological Change, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

Throughout its history, copyright law has had difficulty accommodating technological change. Although the substance of copyright legislation in this century has evolved from meetings among industry representatives whose avowed purpose was to draft legislation that provided for the future,6 the resulting statutes have done so poorly. The language of copyright statutes has been phrased in fact-specific language that has grown obsolete as new modes and mediums of copyrightable expression have developed. Whatever copyright statute has been on the books has been routinely, and justifiably, criticized as outmoded.7 In this Article, I suggest that the nature of the legislative ...


Performer's Rights And Digital Sampling Under U.S. And Japanese Law, Jessica D. Litman Jan 1988

Performer's Rights And Digital Sampling Under U.S. And Japanese Law, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

A year or two ago, one of my copyright students called to my attention a problem that seemed to him to pose unique difficulties for the copyright statute. The problem arises because of a technology called digital sampling.' Digital sampling is a new threat to performers' rights that has grown out of the combination of digital recording technology with music synthesizer technology. This threat is a very recent one. Indeed, the digital sampling problem is so new that copyright lawyers haven't yet figured out how to think about it.