Four useful analytic categories from science and technology studies
Science and technology studies (STS) is an interdisciplinary collection of analytic approaches. In his analysis of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Philip Doty pulls out four concepts from STS that he believes are particularly useful April 2012
Problems with treating privacy as a property right
An alternative approach to creating an entirely new right to privacy would be to extend property rights to cover information or personal data, rather as intellectual property extended physical rules into the realm of the intangible.
Privacy and the First Amendment: privacy as property?
In Copyright and the First Amendment: The Unexplored, Unbroken Historical Practice, Terry Hart does an excellent job of exploring why the First Amendment has never been held to interfere with the enforcement of copyright, including pre-publication injunctive relief. February 2012
Revisiting copyright claims against Westlaw and LexisNexis: Does selling access to court-filed attorney briefs violate copyright law?
Edward L. White, a Oklahoma City, Okla., lawyer, and Kenneth Elan, claim WestLaw and LexisNexis have engaged in “unabashed wholesale copying of thousands of copyright-protected works created by, and owned by, the attorneys and law firms who authored them” — namely publicly filed briefs, motions and other legal documents. December 2011
“The Right to Privacy” by Warren and Brandeis
The modern “right to privacy” is frequently attributed to Warren and Brandeis’ groundbreaking 1890 law review essay of that same name. Its initial purpose, according to Steven Childress, was to recognize, within the traditional common law, “a civil and non-contractual right of protection against invasions of privacy.”
Privacy as secrecy and privacy as autonomy
The concept of “privacy”–as in “the right to privacy”–can be understood in a number of ways. This multitude of potential meanings and uses is partly why the concept is controversial, confusing, and perhaps even contradictory. Previously I have discussed the difference in perceptions of privacy in the 19th century, where the legal focus seemed to be more on “confidentiality” than what we have come to understand as “privacy” today. That is, the 19th century concern was with maintaining trust relationships between people rather than with protecting either secrecy or autonomy (although that is not to say that these were not valued).
Freedom of speech in the “Second Gilded Age”
In “Digital Speech and Democratic Culture: A Theory of Freedom of Expression for the Information Society,” Jack Balkin (of the blog Balkinization) writes about what he sees as the appropriation of free speech ideals by media corporations in an effort to maximize their capital investments. November 2011
Copyright and authorship: reading Thomas Streeter’s Selling the Air
Copyright law is often approached in terms of debates over competing interpretations of the law: should copyright be used to protect the author’s freedom, or to encourage the public distribution of culture and information, or to turn intellectual products into marketplace commodities, or to serve the interests of corporate publishers and distributors? October 2011
Thinking about privacy and the First Amendment
This post is about Eugene Volokh’s article on free speech and privacy in relation to Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis’s 1890 law review article, “The Right to Privacy.” This highly influential piece advocated for “the fundamental right to be let alone.” But is it impossible to reconcile such a right with an equally compelling right to free speech?