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Can Dna Be Speech?, Jorge R. Roig Dec 2015

Can Dna Be Speech?, Jorge R. Roig

Jorge R Roig

DNA is generally regarded as the basic building block of life itself. In the most fundamental sense, DNA is nothing more than a chemical compound, albeit a very complex and peculiar one. DNA is an information-carrying molecule. The specific sequence of base pairs contained in a DNA molecule carries with it genetic information, and encodes for the creation of particular proteins. When taken as a whole, the DNA contained in a single human cell is a complete blueprint and instruction manual for the creation of that human being.
In this article we discuss myriad current and developing ways in which ...


The Doctrinal Toll Of "Information As Speech", Kyle Langvardt Aug 2015

The Doctrinal Toll Of "Information As Speech", Kyle Langvardt

Kyle Langvardt

The courts over the past two decades have reached a near-consensus that computer code, along with virtually every flow of data on the Internet, is “speech” for First Amendment purposes. Today, newer information technologies such as 3D printing, synthetic biology, and digital currencies promise to remake whole other spheres of non-expressive economic activity in the Internet's image. The rush to claim First Amendment protections for these non-expressive but code-dependent technologies has already begun with a lawsuit claiming First Amendment privileges for the Internet distribution of 3D-printable guns. Many similar suits will surely follow, all pursuing the common dream of ...


The Doctrine Of True Threats: Protecting Our Ever-Shrinking First Amendment Rights In The New Era Of Communication, Mary M. Roark Jan 2015

The Doctrine Of True Threats: Protecting Our Ever-Shrinking First Amendment Rights In The New Era Of Communication, Mary M. Roark

Mary M Roark

The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” Such protection has withstood the test of time and is heralded as one of our most precious rights as Americans. “The hallmark of the protection of free speech is to allow ‘free trade in ideas’—even ideas that the overwhelming majority of people might find distasteful or discomforting." However, “[t]here are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which has never been thought to raise any Constitutional problem." One such proscribable form of speech is the “true threat ...


Balancing The Scales: Adhuc Sub Judice Li Est Or Trial By Media, Casey J. Cooper Jul 2014

Balancing The Scales: Adhuc Sub Judice Li Est Or Trial By Media, Casey J. Cooper

Casey J Cooper

The right to freedom of expression and free press is recognized under almost all major human rights instruments and domestic legal systems—common and civil—in the world. However, what do you do when a fundamental right conflicts with another equally fundamental right, like the right to a fair trial? In the United States, the freedom of speech, encompassing the freedom of the press, goes nearly unfettered: the case is not the same for other common law countries. In light of cultural and historic facts, institutional factors, modern realities, and case-law, this Article contends that current American jurisprudence does not ...


Taming The "Feral Beast": Cautionary Lessons From British Press Reform, Lili Levi Mar 2014

Taming The "Feral Beast": Cautionary Lessons From British Press Reform, Lili Levi

Lili Levi

Abstract: As technology undermines the economic model supporting traditional newspapers, power shifts from the watchdog press to those it watches. Worldwide calls for increased press “responsibility” are one result. Pending British press reform provides a troubling example with far-ranging implications for freedom of the press. Under the guise of modest press self-regulation, the U.K. is currently poised to upend 300 years of press freedom via the recently-approved Royal Charter for Self-Regulation of the Press. The Royal Charter was adopted in response to the moral panic engendered by Britain’s tabloid phone-hacking scandal. An example of 20th Century regulation ...


The Evolution Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act; Changing Interpretations Of The Dmca And Future Implications For Copyright Holders, Hillary A. Henderson Jan 2014

The Evolution Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act; Changing Interpretations Of The Dmca And Future Implications For Copyright Holders, Hillary A. Henderson

Hillary A Henderson

Copyright law rewards an artificial monopoly to individual authors for their creations. This reward is based on the belief that, by granting authors the exclusive right to reproduce their works, they receive an incentive and means to create, which in turn advances the welfare of the general public by “promoting the progress of science and useful arts.” Copyright protection subsists . . . in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device . . . . In no ...


Flawed Transparency: Shared Data Collection And Disclosure Challenges For Google Glass And Similar Technologies, Jonathan I. Ezor Oct 2013

Flawed Transparency: Shared Data Collection And Disclosure Challenges For Google Glass And Similar Technologies, Jonathan I. Ezor

Jonathan I. Ezor

Current privacy law and best practices assume that the party collecting the data is able to describe and disclose its practices to those from and about whom the data are collected. With emerging technologies such as Google Glass, the information being collected by the wearer may be automatically shared to one or more third parties whose use may be substantially different from that of the wearer. Often, the wearer may not even know what information is being uploaded, and how it may be used. This paper will analyze the current state of U.S. law and compliance regarding personal information ...


A Comprehensive Approach To Bridging The Gap Between Cyberbullying Rules And Regulations And The Protections Offered By The First Amendment For Off-Campus Student Speech, Vahagn Amirian Aug 2013

A Comprehensive Approach To Bridging The Gap Between Cyberbullying Rules And Regulations And The Protections Offered By The First Amendment For Off-Campus Student Speech, Vahagn Amirian

Vahagn Amirian

No abstract provided.


Visual Gut Punch: Persuasion, Emotion, And The Constitutional Meaning Of Graphic Disclosure, Ellen P. Goodman Aug 2013

Visual Gut Punch: Persuasion, Emotion, And The Constitutional Meaning Of Graphic Disclosure, Ellen P. Goodman

ellen p. goodman

The ability of government to “nudge” with information mandates, or merely to inform consumers of risks, is circumscribed by First Amendment interests that have been poorly articulated in the relevant law and commentary. New graphic cigarette warning labels supplied courts with the first opportunity to assess the informational interests attending novel forms of product disclosures. The D.C. Circuit enjoined them as unconstitutional, compelled by a narrative that the graphic labels converted government from objective informer to ideological persuader, shouting its warning to manipulate consumer decisions. This interpretation will leave little room for graphic disclosure and is already being used ...


Internet Control Or Internet Censorship? Comparing The Control Models Of China, Singapore, And The United States To Guide Taiwan’S Choice, Jeffrey Li May 2013

Internet Control Or Internet Censorship? Comparing The Control Models Of China, Singapore, And The United States To Guide Taiwan’S Choice, Jeffrey Li

Jeffrey Li

Internet censorship generally refers to unjustified online speech scrutiny and control by the government or government-approved measures for Internet control. The danger of Internet censorship is the chilling effect and the substantial harm on free speech, a cornerstone of democracy, in cyberspace. This paper compares China’s blocking and filtering system, the class license system of Singapore, and the government-private partnership model of the United States to identify the features, and pros and cons of each model on the international human rights. By finding lessons from each of the model, this paper suggests Taiwan should remain its current meager internet ...


Sex Is Less Offensive Than Violence: A Call To Update Obscenity Jurisprudence, Rachel Simon Mar 2013

Sex Is Less Offensive Than Violence: A Call To Update Obscenity Jurisprudence, Rachel Simon

Rachel Simon

This article addresses the gender bias presented by the disparate treatment of sex and violence under current obscenity jurisprudence. Under the controlling standard set forth by the Supreme Court in Miller v. California, sexual works may readily be regulated as obscenity, while violent works unequivocally may not. This article posits that this disparate treatment is the product of entrenched stereotypes about the way men and women “should” react to sex and violence, and notes the hypocrisy of failing to apply the same reasoning to assessments of violent versus sexual material.

First, reliance on “community standards” to define what material is ...


Institutionalized Word Taboo: The Continuing Saga Of Fcc Indecency Regulation, Christopher M. Fairman Feb 2013

Institutionalized Word Taboo: The Continuing Saga Of Fcc Indecency Regulation, Christopher M. Fairman

Christopher M Fairman

Indecency regulation by the Federal Communication Commission and Supreme Court is the product of word taboo—the subconscious, emotional, involuntary avoidance of certain words out of fear that some harm will occur if they are spoken. Acting in tandem, the Court and the Commissioners create institutionalized word taboo based upon the assumption that broadcast media’s pervasive and intrusive presence into the home endangers unsupervised children. Technological innovation renders this premise invalid today, but institutionalized word taboo remains. This article (1) traces the rise of indecency regulation, (2) explains the invalidity of the assumptions used to justify it, (3) introduces ...


The Implausibility Of Secrecy, Mark Fenster Feb 2013

The Implausibility Of Secrecy, Mark Fenster

Mark Fenster

Government secrecy frequently fails. Despite the executive branch’s obsessive hoarding of certain kinds of documents and its constitutional authority to do so, recent high-profile events—among them the WikiLeaks episode, the Obama administration’s celebrated leak prosecutions, and the widespread disclosure by high-level officials of flattering confidential information to sympathetic reporters—undercut the image of a state that can classify and control its information. The effort to control government information requires human, bureaucratic, technological, and textual mechanisms that regularly founder or collapse in an administrative state, sometimes immediately and sometimes after an interval. Leaks, mistakes, open sources—each of ...


“People Who Aren’T Really Reporters At All, Who Have No Professional Qualifications”: Defining A Journalist And Deciding Who May Claim The Privileges, Jonathan Peters Jan 2013

“People Who Aren’T Really Reporters At All, Who Have No Professional Qualifications”: Defining A Journalist And Deciding Who May Claim The Privileges, Jonathan Peters

Jonathan Peters

In July, a federal appeals court ruled that a New York Times reporter must testify in the criminal trial of a former CIA officer accused of improperly disclosing classified information. In May, the DOJ confirmed it had obtained months of phone records of AP reporters and a “portfolio of information” about a Fox News correspondent. Criticism from the press and public was swift, and in response, the administration attempted to reas- sure the press that it would not be conscripted into the service of law enforcement. President Obama urged Congress to rein- troduce a federal shield bill that would allow ...


Disclosure's Effects: Wikileaks And Transparency, Mark Fenster Feb 2012

Disclosure's Effects: Wikileaks And Transparency, Mark Fenster

Mark Fenster

Constitutional, criminal, and administrative laws regulating government transparency, and the theories that support them, rest on the assumption that the disclosure of information has transformative effects: disclosure can inform, enlighten, and energize the public, or it can create great harm or stymie government operations. To resolve disputes over difficult cases, transparency laws and theories typically balance disclosure’s beneficial effects against its harmful ones. WikiLeaks and its vigilante approach to massive document leaks challenge the underlying assumption about disclosure’s effects in two ways. First, WikiLeaks’s ability to receive and distribute leaked information cheaply, quickly, and seemingly unstoppably enables ...


Concurring In Part & Concurring In The Confusion, Sonja West May 2010

Concurring In Part & Concurring In The Confusion, Sonja West

Sonja R. West

When a federal appellate court decided last year that two reporters must either reveal their confidential sources to a grand jury or face jail time, the court did not hesitate in relying on the majority opinion in the Supreme Court's sole comment on the reporter's privilege--Branzburg v. Hayes. "The Highest Court has spoken and never revisited the question. Without doubt, that is the end of the matter," Judge Sentelle wrote for the three-judge panel on the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. By this declaration, the court dismissed with a wave of its judicial hand ...


The Story Of Me: The Underprotection Of Autobiographical Speech, Sonja R. West May 2010

The Story Of Me: The Underprotection Of Autobiographical Speech, Sonja R. West

Sonja R. West

This Article begins the debate over the constitutional underprotection of autobiographical speech. While receiving significant historical, scientific, religious, and philosophical respect for centuries, the timehonored practice of talking about yourself has been ignored by legal scholars. A consequence of this oversight is that current free speech principles protect the autobiographies of the powerful but leave the stories of “ordinary” people vulnerable to challenge. Shifting attitudes about privacy combined with advanced technologies, meanwhile, have led to more people than ever before having both the desire and the means to tell their stories to a widespread audience. This Article argues that truthful ...


Noncitizens And Citizens United, James Ianelli Jan 2010

Noncitizens And Citizens United, James Ianelli

James Ianelli

No abstract provided.


Race, Sex, And Rulemaking: Administrative Constitutionalism And The Workplace, 1960 To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee Jan 2010

Race, Sex, And Rulemaking: Administrative Constitutionalism And The Workplace, 1960 To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Constitutional Changes, Transitional Justice, And Legitimacy: The Life And Death Of Argentina’S “Amnesty” Laws., Jose Sebastian Elias Nov 2007

Constitutional Changes, Transitional Justice, And Legitimacy: The Life And Death Of Argentina’S “Amnesty” Laws., Jose Sebastian Elias

Student Scholarship Papers

The article analyzes in-depth the legal and political process through which Argentina came, first, to amnesty former military officers who took part in the repression during the last dictatorship (1976-1983) and, then, to nullify those “amnesties” and indict the officers again eighteen years later. The thematic core is the legitimacy (or lack of it) of constitutional changes carried out by unconventional means, which are the unavoidable spin-offs of the very difficult process of transitional justice that has taken place in Argentina.

Section I gives an overview of the most salient legal and political facts of the last twenty-five years and ...


Surfing Past The Pall Of Orthodoxy: Why The First Amendment Virtually Guarantees Online Law School Graduates Will Breach The Aba Accreditation Barrier, Nicholas C. Dranias Jan 2007

Surfing Past The Pall Of Orthodoxy: Why The First Amendment Virtually Guarantees Online Law School Graduates Will Breach The Aba Accreditation Barrier, Nicholas C. Dranias

ExpressO

The impact of the constitutional dilemma created by the ABA’s aversion to Internet schooling is widespread. Currently, 18 states and 2 U.S. territories restrict bar exam eligibility to graduates of ABA-accredited law schools. Additionally, 29 states and 1 U.S. territory restrict admission to practice on motion to graduates of ABA-accredited law schools.

Although numerous lawsuits have been filed in ultimately failed efforts to strike down bar admission rules that restrict eligibility to graduates of ABA-accredited law schools, none has challenged the ABA-accreditation requirement based on the First Amendment’s prohibition on media discrimination. This Article makes that ...


Content On The Fly: The Growing Need For Regulation Of Video Content Delivered Via Cellular Telephony, Jacob M. Chapman Jan 2007

Content On The Fly: The Growing Need For Regulation Of Video Content Delivered Via Cellular Telephony, Jacob M. Chapman

ExpressO

Technological advancements in the last twenty years have substantially altered the ways in which people work, communicate, and are entertained. Many of these advancements have occurred in areas generally thought to fall under the regulatory purview of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These advancements have included the personal computer, the internet, digital cable, direct broadcast satellites (DBS), and cellular phones. Of all these increasingly available and inexpensive technologies, perhaps the most ubiquitous is the cellular phone. Thus far, the FCC has struggled to apply its public interest mandate to the ever shifting sands of technological development with varying degrees of ...


A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp Oct 2006

A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

The trend of the eminent domain reform and "Kelo plus" initiatives is toward a comprehensive Constitutional property right incorporating the elements of level of review, nature of government action, and extent of compensation. This article contains a draft amendment which reflects these concerns.


Conversational Standing: A New Approach To An Old Privacy Problem, Christopher M. Drake Sep 2006

Conversational Standing: A New Approach To An Old Privacy Problem, Christopher M. Drake

ExpressO

American society has long considered certain conversations private amongst the participants in those conversations. In other words, when two or more people are conversing in a variety of settings and through a variety of media, there are times when all parties to the conversation can reasonably expect freedom from improper government intrusion, whether through direct participation or secret monitoring. This shared expectation of privacy has been slow to gain judicial recognition. Courts have indicated that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution only protects certain elements of the conversation, such as where and how it takes place, but that ...


Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp Jun 2006

Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

This brief comment suggests where the anti-eminent domain movement might be heading next.


Access To Audiences As A First Amendment Right: Its Relevance And Implications For Electronic Media Policy, Philip M. Napoli, Sheea T. Sybblis Jun 2006

Access To Audiences As A First Amendment Right: Its Relevance And Implications For Electronic Media Policy, Philip M. Napoli, Sheea T. Sybblis

ExpressO

When the issue of speakers’ rights of access arises in media regulation and policy contexts, the focus typically is on the concept of speakers’ rights of access “to the media,” or “to the press.” This right usually is premised on the audience’s need for access to diverse sources and content. In contrast, in many non-mediated contexts, the concept of speakers’ rights of access frequently is defined in terms of the speaker’s own First Amendment right of access to audiences. This paper explores the important distinctions between these differing interpretations of a speaker’s access rights and argues that ...


Dignity - The Enemy From Within, Guy E. Carmi Mar 2006

Dignity - The Enemy From Within, Guy E. Carmi

ExpressO

The manuscript challenges the use of human dignity as an independent free speech justification. The articulation of free speech in human dignity terms carries unwarranted potential consequences that may result in limiting free speech rather than protecting it. This possible outcome makes human dignity inadequate as a free speech justification.

The manuscript also demonstrates why articulations of the rationales behind the “argument from dignity” are either superfluous, since they are aptly covered by the “argument from autonomy,” or simply too broad and speech-restrictive to be considered a free speech justification. As a matter of principle, the nexus between freedom of ...


Fuck, Christopher M. Fairman Mar 2006

Fuck, Christopher M. Fairman

ExpressO

This Article is as simple and provocative as its title suggests: it explores the legal implications of the word fuck. The intersection of the word fuck and the law is examined in four major areas: First Amendment, broadcast regulation, sexual harassment, and education. The legal implications from the use of fuck vary greatly with the context. To fully understand the legal power of fuck, the nonlegal sources of its power are tapped. Drawing upon the research of etymologists, linguists, lexicographers, psychoanalysts, and other social scientists, the visceral reaction to fuck can be explained by cultural taboo. Fuck is a taboo ...


Against Freedom Of Commercial Expression, Tamara R. Piety Mar 2006

Against Freedom Of Commercial Expression, Tamara R. Piety

ExpressO

An article that announces itself in the title as “against freedom” has a heavy burden of persuasion to carry. At this time and in this place, it seems almost un-American to be “against freedom,” (however much our civil liberties have in fact been circumscribed in recent years). Nevertheless, the most significant word in the title is not “against” or “freedom,” but “commercial.” Conventional wisdom in the First Amendment area would have it that there is no meaningful basis on which to distinguish between commercial speech and other speech for purposes of the First Amendment. And in recent years the courts ...


Fair Use And The First Amendment: Corporate Control Of Copyright Is Stifling Documentary Making And Thwarting The Aims Of The First Amendment, Paige Gold Feb 2006

Fair Use And The First Amendment: Corporate Control Of Copyright Is Stifling Documentary Making And Thwarting The Aims Of The First Amendment, Paige Gold

ExpressO

Documentary motion pictures constitute a crucial part of contemporary public debate, because in today’s highly consolidated mass media environment, documentaries offer the kinds of independent voices that the First Amendment was designed to protect. However, current intellectual property practices are chilling speech by forcing documentary filmmakers to tailor their films to accommodate new, strict licensing practices. When filmmakers are compelled to edit their work to meet insurance requirements, it harms the interests of not just the filmmaker, but also the public. Thus, the “clearance culture,” in which anything and everything that could possibly lead to a lawsuit must be ...