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Full-Text Articles in Law

Understanding The Consumer Review Fairness Act Of 2016, Eric Goldman Nov 2017

Understanding The Consumer Review Fairness Act Of 2016, Eric Goldman

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Consumer reviews are vitally important to our modern economy. Markets become stronger and more efficient when consumers share their marketplace experiences and guide other consumers toward the best vendors and away from poor ones. Businesses recognize the importance of consumer reviews, and many businesses take numerous steps to manage how consumer reviews affect their public image. Unfortunately, in a misguided effort to control consumer reviews, some businesses have deployed contract provisions that ban or inhibit their consumers from reviewing them. I call those provisions “antireview clauses.”

Anti-review clauses distort the marketplace benefits society gets from consumer reviews by suppressing peer …


Do We Need Help Using Yelp? Regulating Advertising On Mediated Reputation Systems, David Adam Friedman Nov 2017

Do We Need Help Using Yelp? Regulating Advertising On Mediated Reputation Systems, David Adam Friedman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Yelp, Angie’s List, Avvo, and similar entities enable consumers to access an incredibly useful trove of information about peer experiences with businesses and their goods and services. These “mediated reputation systems,” gatherers and disseminators of consumer peer opinions, are more trusted by consumers than traditional commercial channels. They are omnipresent, carried everywhere on mobile devices, and used by consumers ready to transact.

Though this information is valuable, a troubling conflict emerges in its presentation. Most of these reputation platforms rely heavily on advertising sales to support their business models. This reliance compels these entities to display persuasive advertising right along …


Products Liability And The Internet Of (Insecure) Things: Should Manufacturers Be Liable For Damage Caused By Hacked Devices?, Alan Butler Jun 2017

Products Liability And The Internet Of (Insecure) Things: Should Manufacturers Be Liable For Damage Caused By Hacked Devices?, Alan Butler

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

While the application of products liability to insecure software is a frequently-discussed concept in academic literature, many commentators have been skeptical of the viability of such claims for several reasons. First, the economic loss doctrine bars recovery for productivity loss, business disruption, and other common damages caused by software defects. Second, the application of design defects principles to software is difficult given the complexity of the devices and recent tort reform trends that have limited liability. Third, the intervening cause of damage from insecure software is typically a criminal or tortious act by a third party, so principles of causation …


Rethinking Criminal Contempt In The Bankruptcy Courts, John A. E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin Mar 2017

Rethinking Criminal Contempt In The Bankruptcy Courts, John A. E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin

Law & Economics Working Papers

A surprising number of courts believe that bankruptcy judges lack authority to impose criminal contempt sanctions. We attempt to rectify this misunderstanding with a march through the historical treatment of contempt-like powers in bankruptcy, the painful statutory history of the 1978 Bankruptcy Code (including the exciting history of likely repealed 28 U.S.C. § 1481), and the various apposite rules of procedure. (Fans of the All Writs Act will delight in its inclusion.) But the principal service we offer to the bankruptcy community is dismantling the ubiquitous and persistent belief that there is some form of constitutional infirmity with "mere" bankruptcy …


Why Intra-Brand Dealer Competition Is Irrelevant To The Price Effects Of Tesla's Vertical Integration, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2017

Why Intra-Brand Dealer Competition Is Irrelevant To The Price Effects Of Tesla's Vertical Integration, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

"In recent years, Tesla Motors (recently renamed Tesla) has been engaged in a state-by-state ground way for the right to distribute it’s all-electric vehicles directly to consumers. The car dealers' lobby, with the political backing of General Motors, has fiercely battled back, relying on decades-old state dealer protection laws to argue that Tesla is legally bound to distribute through franchised dealers. Through a combination of favorable state legislative and judicial decisions, Tesla has won the right to distribute directly in many states, but remains categorically barred from direct distribution in important states like Michigan and Texas--and hence all direct distribution …


Fetishizing Copies, Jessica Litman Jan 2017

Fetishizing Copies, Jessica Litman

Book Chapters

Our copyright laws encourage authors to create new works and communicate them to the public, because we hope that people will read the books, listen to the music, see the art, watch the films, run the software, and build and inhabit the buildings. That is the way that copyright promotes the Progress of Science. Recently, that not-very-controversial principle has collided with copyright owners’ conviction that they should be able to control, or at least collect royalties from, all uses of their works. A particularly ill-considered manifestation of this conviction is what I have decided to call copy-fetish. This is the …


Mandatory Arbitration In Consumer Finance And Investor Contracts, Michael S. Barr Jan 2017

Mandatory Arbitration In Consumer Finance And Investor Contracts, Michael S. Barr

Book Chapters

This chapter focuses on the use of mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses in a subset of consumer contracts – those involving consumer finance and investor products and services. Arbitration clauses are pervasive in financial contracts – for credit cards, bank accounts, auto loans, broker-dealer services, and many others. In the wake of the recent financial crisis, Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank). Dodd-Frank authorises the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to prohibit or condition the use of arbitration clauses in consumer finance and investment contracts, …


Financial Reform: Making The System Safer And Fairer, Michael S. Barr Jan 2017

Financial Reform: Making The System Safer And Fairer, Michael S. Barr

Articles

In the fall of 2008, the financial crisis crushed the U.S. economy and plunged the country into the Great Recession. The crisis shuttered American businesses, cost millions of Americans their jobs, and wiped out home values and household savings. The macro effects hit hardest and were the longest lasting for those least able to bear the brunt of the crisis. It was devastating to middle-income families and perhaps even more so to low- and moderate-income households, who had little financial buffer (Barr 2012a). Financial stability, never robust for these families, dropped precipitously (Barr and Schaffa 2016). Both in the United …