Mercatus’s Unhelpful Business Advice to the Creative Industries

Washington, D.C. is full of smart people with great ideas about how other people should run their lives and businesses. The more innocent of first hand knowledge and practice they are, the more generous and enthusiastic they seem to be with their advice. While free market advocates are particularly fond of criticizing progressives for this … Continue reading “Mercatus’s Unhelpful Business Advice to the Creative Industries”

A Brief History of Software Patents (and Why They’re Valid)

Today, there is significant public debate over patents on the digital processes and machines that comprise computer software programs. These are often referred to as “software patents,” but this is an odd moniker. Aside from the similarly mislabeled debate over “DNA patents,” nowhere else in the patent system do we refer to patents on machines … Continue reading “A Brief History of Software Patents (and Why They’re Valid)”

How Copyright Drives Innovation in Scholarly Publishing

[Cross posted at Truth on the Market] Today’s public policy debates frame copyright policy solely in terms of a “trade off” between the benefits of incentivizing new works and the social deadweight losses imposed by the access restrictions imposed by these (temporary) “monopolies.” I recently posted to SSRN a new research paper, called How Copyright … Continue reading “How Copyright Drives Innovation in Scholarly Publishing”

Summary of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons by Professor Chris Newman

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, U.S. Supreme Court, decided March 19, 2013 Chris Newman Assistant Professor of Law George Mason University School of Law This is best described as a decision in which the Court felt compelled to choose between two readings of the Copyright Act, either of which led to unpalatable results.   One reading … Continue reading “Summary of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons by Professor Chris Newman”

Where Are the Creators? Consider Creators in Copyright Reform

Note:  This post was cross-posted at the CATO Unbound on 2/1/2013.  The January 2013 issue of CATO Unbound feature a debate on copyright reform, Opportunities for Copyright Reform This post responds to the discussion in that issue, but it also stands alone as a critique of copyright reform proposals that favor to consider the importance of creators. … Continue reading “Where Are the Creators? Consider Creators in Copyright Reform”

The “Common Law Property” Myth in the Libertarian Critique of IP Rights (Part 2)

[Cross Posted to Truth on the Market on December 12, 2012] In Part One, I addressed the argument by some libertarians that so-called “traditional property rights in land” are based in inductive, ground-up “common law court decisions,” but that intellectual property (IP) rights are top-down, artificial statutory entitlements.  Thus, for instance, libertarian law professor, Tom … Continue reading “The “Common Law Property” Myth in the Libertarian Critique of IP Rights (Part 2)”

The “Common Law Property” Myth in the Libertarian Critique of IP Rights (Part 1)

[Cross Posted to Truth on the Market on December 7, 2012] In libertarian critiques of intellectual property (IP) rights, such as copyrights and patents, it’s common to the hear the claim that “traditional property rights in land” is based in inductive, ground-up “common law court decisions,” but that IP rights are top-down, artificial statutory entitlements.  … Continue reading “The “Common Law Property” Myth in the Libertarian Critique of IP Rights (Part 1)”

Copyright Reform Through Private Ordering

Note:  This post was cross-posted at the CATO Unbound on 1/14/2013.  The January 2013 issue of CATO Unbound feature a debate on copyright reform, Opportunities for Copyright Reform This post responds to the discussion in that issue, but it also stands alone as a critique of copyright reform proposals that fail to understand how copyright’s nature as … Continue reading “Copyright Reform Through Private Ordering”

Copyright, Economic Freedom and the RSC Policy Brief

Cross-posted to the Copyright Alliance Blog A few days ago, the Republican Study Committee signaled, and then retreated from, a vast change in the GOP’s attitude toward copyright. It released and then retracted a now infamous policy brief entitled “Three Myths about Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix It.” This RSC Policy Brief … Continue reading “Copyright, Economic Freedom and the RSC Policy Brief”