Thursday, April 11, 2013
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Ned Snow, University of South Carolina School of Law, has published The Meaning of Science in the Copyright Clause in the Brigham Young University Law Review (2013). Here is the abstract.
The Constitution premises Congress’s copyright power on promoting “the Progress of Science.” The word Science therefore seems to define the scope of copyrightable subject matter. Modern courts and commentators have subscribed to an originalist view of Science, teaching that Science meant general knowledge at the time of the Framing. Under this interpretation, all subject matter may be copyrighted because expression about any subject increases society’s store of general knowledge. Science, however, did not originally mean general knowledge. In this Article, I examine evidence surrounding the Copyright Clause and conclude that at the Framing of the Constitution, Science meant a system of knowledge that comprises distinct branches of study. This historically accurate meaning casts doubt on whether a distinct group of expression may be copyrighted — namely, expression that the First Amendment does not protect. I argue that the original meaning of Science cannot support a constitutional copyright of unprotected speech.
Download the full text of the article from SSRN at the link.
Fox News journalist Jana Winter is waiting to see if her notebook, which contains background information on a story she wrote last summer about Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes, will be introduced into evidence in his trial. If so, she also may be called to testify, and she may be asked to reveal her sources. Ms. Winter does not, of course, want to reveal her sources for the story, and is attempting to use to Colorado's shield statute to prevent such an outcome. Ms. Winter's attorney is also arguing that forcing his client to testify would have a "chilling effect" on journalists. James Holmes's lawyers claim that Ms. Winter's failure to disclose her source hamper his ability to obtain a fair trial. More here from Fox News, here from the New York Times. Opinion here from the New York Times.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Joe Brown, whose "Judge Joe Brown" court tv show is second only to "Judge Judy" in terms of popularity, comes to the end of its run next month. Judge Brown attributes the end of his syndicated show to "trick economics," the accounting methods that CBS, the network that distributes his show, uses to calculate profits. He alleges that CBS's methods results in much less profit than is actually attributable to the show. Judge Brown plans to form his own production company and launch new tv and radio shows for distribution. More here from the Hollywood Reporter.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Carissa Byrne Hessick, Arizona State University College of Law, is publishing The Limits of Child Pornography in volume 89 of the Indiana Law Journal (2014). Here is the abstract.
Although the First Amendment ordinarily protects the creation, distribution, and possession of visual images, the Supreme Court has declared that those protections do not apply to child pornography. But the Court has failed to define child pornography. Providing a clear definition of the child pornography exception to the First Amendment has become increasingly important because recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the penalties associated with the creation, distribution, and possession of child pornography.
This Article proposes a clear definition of the child pornography exception. It argues that an image ought to fall within the exception only if a child was sexually exploited or abused in the creation of the image. That the circulation of an image might inflict privacy or reputational harm on the minor depicted should be insufficient to categorize that image as child pornography for constitutional purposes. This proposed definition would place tangible limitations on child pornography prosecutions; it would prevent prosecution in many cases where the minor depicted is above the age of consent, where the image was created through computer morphing, and where the image is the result of surreptitious filming or photographing of a minor.