Normative Avoision: Revising the Copyright Alert System to Circumvent Normative Backlash

by Timothy L. Yim   

Content rightsholders in the film and music industries previously spearheaded a legal campaign that, though highly successful in the courts, has resulted in significant normative backlash and overall has been counterproductive to their intended goal of increased copyright enforcement.  In July 2011, when these rightsholders signed an agreement with five major national internet service providers to create the Copyright Alert System (“CAS”), a new and entirely private mechanism for copyright enforcement, they seemed poised to make that same mistake again.  However, in a prime example of “normative avoision,” content rightsholders have finally taken note of the normative consequences of their enforcement methods and, through subsequent changes to CAS, have deftly sidestepped the normative backlash dilemma.

View this article in PDF format.

What Can Medicine Teach the Social Sciences?

by Lee McIntyre    

In a field as slow to change as the law, it is often helpful to inject fresh perspectives from other disciplines.  As different as legal analysis might be from that found in the medical and social sciences, they are all ultimately concerned with the pursuit of objectivity.  Furthermore, in each of these fields, the pursuit of academic and practical goals are permeated and influenced by the values of those that seek to achieve them.  Indeed, both the law and the social sciences in particular are fundamentally concerned with finding ways of distilling logic and order from the complexities of human behavior.  Thus, there is much to be learned from how medicine and the social sciences reconcile these often competing goals, a comparison artfully explored by Lee McIntyre in this editorial.

View this editorial in PDF format.

The E-Books Price Fixing Litigation: Curious Outlier or Harbinger of Change in Antitrust Enforcement Policy?

by Evan D. Brewer    

In 2012 the Department of Justice brought suit against Apple and five major US publishing houses for conspiring to fix the price of e-books.  The complaint contained many detailed factual allegations, including the sort of high-level executive collusion commonly seen in criminal price fixing cases.  The charged conduct, horizontal price fixing, is per se illegal under the Sherman Act and among the “hardcore” violations that under Antitrust Division policy merit criminal charges.  Yet instead the government brought a civil case against Apple and the publishers.  This note analyses the details of the Antitrust Division’s case, viewed in light of current antitrust law, antitrust policy, and public perception of the players and the case, and suggests a number of possible explanations for the choice of a civil action.

View this note in PDF format.

Three-Parent IVF and Its Effect on Parental Rights

by Padmini Cheruvu    

Three-parent in vitro fertilization (“IVF”) is a controversial procedure that offers the possibility of preventing the inheritance of genetically caused mitochondrial disease, sparing future generations from a range of incapacitating conditions.  Due to the use of a controversial form of cloning technology, the procedure is currently banned in both the United Kingdom and the United States.  If the procedure was to be made legal in the United States, it is unclear how the states would legally view the donor parent.  This note argues that the rights that donor parents in three-parent IVF procedures receive will most likely parallel the rights afforded to surrogate parents. It then proposes ways to change existing law or incorporate three-parent IVF into the existing law using current surrogacy law as a model.

View this note in PDF format.