In the News

Exit, voice, and the privacy paradox

Christopher Hoofnagle writes for Medium, August 4, 2014

Privacy surveys find that individuals care about privacy, but any observer of social networks can find a great deal of profligate, ill-advised information sharing. 

American exceptionism

Jonathan Simon interviewed on This is Hell, August 2, 2014

“2014 is to mass incarceration what 1964 was to segregation – the year that it became totally discredited, but also ended up becoming the norm for American society.”

Botox maker Allergan’s takeover defense speed bump

Steven Davidoff Solomon and Peter J. Henning write for The New York Times, August 1, 2014

Allergan has taken a well-worn route to fight off a takeover bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals and William A. Ackman’s hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management: Sue them.

In real estate listings deal with Zillow, Trulia bears most of the risk

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, July 31, 2014

The bargain the two competitors struck is completely in Zillow’s favor. It permits the company to walk away from the transaction if regulators take any step to limit the combined company on antitrust grounds. Not only that, the parties agreed to severely limit what Trulia can do in the operation of its business until the deal closes or is terminated.

Think the Supreme Court protected your cellphone from warrantless searches? Think again.

Catherine Crump quoted in The Washington Post, July 30, 2014

“It truly is a suspicion-less search policy,” said Catherine Crump, an assistant law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union. “When you cross the border, the U.S. government asserts the right to search for no reason at all.”

Ticket me Elmo? NYC mulls law for impersonators

Jesse Choper quoted in Associated Press, July 30, 2014

“If you can prove that they are there to seek money, not simply conveying a message … they are subject to greater regulation,” said Jesse Choper.

A key move to protect courts in China

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2014

Local protectionism is a systemic defect in China’s governance that has been difficult to control because it exists from the provincial level on down. It is so pervasive that it is not possible to know how provincial officials will respond to the reform, or whether they will encourage, or impede, lower-level reforms.

What makes someone a refugee?

Kate Jastram quoted in The Altantic, July 29, 2014

For most people, the colloquial sense “refugee” carries a greater moral weight than “immigrant.” “Particularly because refugee law grew out of the Second World War and what happened—and didn’t happen—for people who were trying to flee for their lives, there is a tremendous moral connotation to the word ‘refugee,’” Jastram said.

Secrecy around lethal injection faces challenges

Megan McCracken quoted in The Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2014

“Fights over secrecy are here to stay,” Megan McCracken … told WSJ. “Courts have yet to resolve some very serious issues concerning the rights of condemned prisoners.”

Could FERC put a price on carbon?

Steven Weissman quoted in Utility Dive, July 28, 2014

“It is not a huge step for FERC to take more direct climate change action,” Weismann says. “It is likely in time there will be a price on carbon. Including a carbon adder in wholesale electricity rates now would help ensure that electricity demand is met using the generating resources with the lowest environmental cost and help guide utilities in directions that would not leave them vulnerable to sudden cost increases later.”

Kappos legacy and PTO-academia relations

Robert Merges writes for IP Watchdog, July 28, 2014

Director Kappos actively sought out academic researchers. He brought them into formal roles in the PTO. In the process he gave them not only offices and titles, but something much more elusive, much more valuable. He gave them (us, to be honest) respect. That’s a legacy that has been overlooked by other constituents in the patent world, but it will certainly not be overlooked by academics.

Bay Area district wants to use tax dollars for private clubhouse

David Gamage interviewed by NBC Bay Area, July 25, 2014

“They aren’t supposed to be autonomous, but they are supposed to be accountable to their voters…. These districts don’t answer to the governor or to anybody else in the state directly. They’re only regulated indirectly the same way that any private organization or a nonprofit organization or other public organization is answerable to the state in terms of the state’s regulatory powers.”

UCPD enforces illegal-lodging, curfew rules on campus

Osha Neumann quoted in The Daily Californian, July 25, 2014

Neumann believes that, at the heart of the matter, the rules themselves are unclear….“Let’s say you’re homeless,” Neumann said. “When are you not lodging? Are you lodging if you’re sleeping? Lying down? If you have stuff with you? How much stuff? There’s no way of knowing.”

US man ‘in no pain’ during two-hour execution

Megan McCracken quoted in Aljazeera America, July 25, 2014

“These procedures are unreliable and the consequences are horrific,”’ said Megan McCracken.

Botched 2-hour Arizona execution “shrouded in secrecy” fuels outrage

Megan McCracken interviewed by Democracy Now, July 24, 2014

“The execution, as you said, took an extraordinarily long time, almost two hours. Mr. Wood was breathing and gasping for air and struggling for an hour and 40 minutes. It was an extremely disturbing, prolonged execution, which really is the predictable consequence of Arizona’s experimental drug procedure and the fact that Arizona shrouded its procedure in secrecy.”

Aereo’s next opponent: The US Copyright Office

James Tuthill writes for Corporate Counsel, July 24, 2014

Aereo’s attorneys have likely concluded that if the Supreme Court has said that it is like a cable system under the act for purposes of infringement, and it meets the definition of a “cable system” in the act, then it is entitled to the compulsory license. But first, it has to overcome the Copyright Office’s prejudicial position. Its request to that office, and the expected denial, were the logical next steps.

Supreme Court’s handling of visa case may be harbinger for EPA rule

Daniel Farber quoted in Greenwire, July 24, 2014

Dan Farber … said an argument seeking to undermine the regulations because of the two versions of Section 111(d) has a “gotcha quality” that he expects will fail. “Recent cases,” he said, “show that the court is willing to abandon that kind of formalism when it leads to outcomes that don’t seem sensible in terms of congressional purpose.”

Georgetown Law Center aims to bridge the gap between technologists and privacy lawyers

Deirdre Mulligan and Kenneth Bamberger cited in The Privacy Advisor, July 23, 2014

“There’s an enormous interest … to really learn not just privacy law on the books but, as Deirdre Mulligan and Kenneth Bamberger would say, ‘privacy on the ground.’”

As juvenile arrests plummet, California still investing in incarceration facilities

Barry Krisberg quoted in The Chronicle for Social Change, July 23, 2014

“The traditional view toward at-risk youth is to lock them up and give them treatment,” said Barry Krisberg…. “Quality treatment behind a razor wire doesn’t ring true.”

Changing old antitrust thinking for a new gilded age

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, July 22, 2014

This test of competition is rooted in notions of how companies competed more than 100 years ago. Even after a merger of Time Warner and 21st Century Fox, there would still be three or four big competitors. Indeed, it may even be that the competition among them for consumers is fierce. This calculus, however, excludes the political and other power that a concentrated industry can wield with government and regulators.