Misunderstanding of Privacy Law at Virginia Tech

I’ve talked before about how front-line health care workers withhold information because they misunderstand privacy law (or sometimes use it as an excuse). Now it appears the same problem helped bring about the horrific Virginia Tech shootings earlier this year. The state panel investigating the incident has released its final report, which blames university officials [...]

Well, Someone at Nixon Peabody Isn’t a Winner…

There has been extensive commentary and derision around the legal blogosphere about a preposterous corporate song commissioned by the law firm of Nixon Peabody, and then the firm’s subsequent efforts to threaten those who mocked it with IP saber-rattling. David Lat first posted the song, and here he summarizes the ensuing flapdoodle. A very funny [...]

Public Access to Judicial Opinions

Those of us who enjoy extensive access to the very expensive Lexis and Westlaw services may not appreciate how lucky we are compared to anyone trying to research legal issues without that luxury. There are some important sites out there, particularly the Legal Information Institute run by Cornell Law School. But their search functions have [...]

Internet Filtering Mandates on Campus

Earlier this summer I spoke at the Institute for Computer Policy and Law, a workshop for professionals responsible for IT infrastructure in higher education. They were all abuzz about a campaign this spring and summer by the RIAA to target colleges and universities and demand that they take more actions to curb illegal downloading by [...]

“Working Papers” Conferences

Mike Madison has an excellent thoughtful post at Madisonian, which in turn triggered excellent thoughtful comments, about the virtues and vices of the “working paper” conference in legal academia, specifically intellectual property law. As a very junior scholar preparing to attend my first of these, I found it all very enlightening.

When the Law Forces You to Sue

I chuckled when I saw the headline on this AP story in my local St. Paul newspaper last week: Red Cross Sued for Using Red Cross. It’s often pretty easy to make trademark law look silly. (I know because I’ve spent all summer writing an article about it — coming soon to an articles editor [...]

U.S. Government: Fair Use is Too Complex to Explain to Kids

Bill wrote here recently about his experiences teaching cyber and IP law to non-lawyers, many of whom might come to the table with erroneous preconceptions about how the law in this area works. Indeed, even lawyers and law professors sometimes find the rules on IP to be confusing and counterintuitive, in part because the underlying [...]

Maintaining Our Personal Bridges

I live in the Twin Cities, and the Law School where I teach is just a few blocks from the I-35W bridge that collapsed into the Mississippi River last week. (It’s so nearby, in fact, that some of the investigators are using the school building as a temporary headquarters). I am fine and so is [...]

Harry Potter and the Legal Scholarship Boomlet

In a comment responding to my recent observations about due process in the world of Harry Potter, Jennifer Hendricks drew my attention to a paper by her colleague, Ben Barton (see Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy, 104 Mich. L.R. 1523 (2006)). The paper is pretty good (and a great read!) although I think he [...]

Open Source and Competitive Advantage

Via Boing Boing, here’s an interesting inside look at the technology inside Sir Richard Branson‘s new airline, Virgin America. It sounds like one of the most thorough attempts yet to create a technologically immersive travel experience — there are personal entertainment systems at every seat (not so uncommon any more on long-haul flights), but in [...]