As we head toward the Summer—only one more week of 2L and 3L
classes—I am returning to a longer project that I have been pursuing. The first
post in the series is here.
But this change in technology has brought with it a more
fundamental alteration of the landscape of content. With prior technologies, non-professionals—call
them amateurs—couldn’t afford the standard tools for making content and lacked
access to broad channels of distribution. The declining cost of the tools of
production and distribution—the personal computer and the network—have changed
that, with dramatic results. We have millions of bloggers. Content that might
have been read by no one ten years ago—a diary—is available to the world
through blogging. Small-group discussions that might have been done via email
before now take place in public, on blogs and across blogs. Bands that would
otherwise just be making noise in someone’s garage—preferably one a few blocks
away—can now find a following on mySpace; and amateur videos are now competing
with television on sites such as YouTube and iFilm. An uploaded video on
YouTube may be seen by more viewers than a movie distributed by a major movie
studio. This is the era of spontaneous scale.
Continue reading "Spontaneous Scale" »
On the airplane on the way back from a conference Friday at
George Mason on innovation and competition policy, I reread the Second Circuit’s
opinion in Corley and I also read
Henry David Thoreau’s 1849 speech on civil disobedience (available here and here and originally given under
the title Resistance to Civil Government).
There has been continuing discussion about the Digg revolt, the role of free
speech and the First Amendment and appropriate scope of civil disobedience (see
in particular posts by Ed
Felten and Tim
Lee). I would like to return to this subject and address some of the
comments on my post on this last week.
Continue reading "More Digging: Speech-Speech Tradeoffs" »
The last 24 hours have been particularly interesting on the website digg.com. If you don’t digg—and I don’t—digg is a social aggregation website for content. Put differently—that is in English—Digg effectively lets users continuously vote on cool content. Content that gets sufficiently digged works it way to the front page of the website and Digg then links to the original website posting the content. Yesterday, content that Digg believed that it had a legal obligation to not link to made it to the site’s front page. Digg initially removed the links, and then backed away when its users continuously digged sites with the impermissible content. This case raises questions about civil disobedience in an electronic age and what laws are worthy of our obedience.
Continue reading "Digg This?: What Laws Must We Obey?" »
On Wednesday, April 25, 2007, Professor Anup Malani delievered a Chicago's Best Ideas talk on "Valuing Laws as Local Amenities." Professor Malani thinks we go wrong in trying to determine the value of a law only by its direct effects - he argues that by looking at the effect that any given law has on wages and property values, we can determine the relative value of all laws. This allows us to treat laws just like any other community amenities, such as the fixing of potholes or the building of a swimming pool. Listen to the talk here, and read the full blurb after the jump.
Continue reading "Malani CBI: Valuing Laws as Local Amenities" »