Gene Patents, Oil-Eating Bacteria, and the Common Law

The Supreme Court issued its decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics today. A unanimous Court (with a short, quirky concurrence from Justice Scalia) held that the patent claims directed to isolated, purified DNA sequences did not recite patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 101; by contrast, those directed to complementary DNA (DNA [...]

Maps As Commons

Slashdot pointed me to a debate over the relative accuracy and comprehensiveness of TomTom‘s map data, versus that of OpenStreetMap. TomTom is a proprietary system; OpenStreetMap is licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0, and permits users to add data in wiki fashion. TomTom claims its maps are more comprehensive and reliable. An OSM supporter claims that [...]

Support Open Access to Government-Funded Science

I encourage everyone to sign a petition that asks the administration of President Obama to mandate that publicly-funded scientific research results be available to the public, over the Internet. Here are details: Text: WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: REQUIRE FREE ACCESS OVER THE INTERNET TO SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL ARTICLES ARISING FROM TAXPAYER-FUNDED RESEARCH We believe [...]

The Obama Administration and Chutzpah

I’ve posted a new essay, titled Chutzpah, to SSRN. It’s forthcoming in the peer-reviewed Journal of National Security Law and Policy. Here’s the abstract: President Barack Obama campaigned on a platform of governmental transparency. This Essay examines how his administration has implemented this commitment in two policy areas: Internet communication, and intellectual property. It finds [...]

Pangloss’s Copyright

Further proof that, from an IP perspective, we do not live in the best of all possible worlds… My Essay “Pangloss’s Copyright” in the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, in response to Peter Yu’s excellent “Region Codes and the Territorial Mess,” is now available. Feedback welcomed!

(Im)Perfection

I have a short article coming out in the Wake Forest Law Review Online, about the pursuit of perfection in cyberlaw. Here’s the introduction: Cyberlaw is plagued by the myth of perfection. Consider three examples: censorship, privacy, and intellectual property. In each, the rhetoric and pursuit of perfection has proved harmful, in ways this Essay [...]

Wired, and Threatened

I have a short op-ed on how technology provides both power and peril for journalists over at JURIST. Here’s the lede: Journalists have never been more empowered, or more threatened. Information technology offers journalists potent tools to gather, report and disseminate information — from satellite phones to pocket video cameras to social networks. Technological advances have [...]

Stealing the Throne

Ever-brilliant Web comic The Oatmeal has a great piece about piracy and its alternatives. (The language at the end is a bit much, but it is the character’s evil Jiminy Cricket talking.) It mirrors my opinion about Major League Baseball’s unwillingness to offer any Internet access to the postseason, which is hard on those of [...]

The Memory Hole

On RocketLawyer’s Legally Easy podcast, I talk with Charley Moore and Eva Arevuo about the EU’s proposed “right to be forgotten” and privacy as censorship. I was inspired by Jeff Rosen and Jane Yakowitz‘s critiques of the approach, which actually appears to be a “right to lie effectively.” If you can disappear unflattering – and [...]

Threading the Needle

Imagine that Ron Wyden fails: either PROTECT IP or SoPA / E-PARASITE passes and is signed into law by President Obama. Advocacy groups such as the EFF would launch an immediate constitutional challenge to the bill’s censorship mandates. I believe the outcome of such litigation is far less certain than either side believes. American censorship [...]