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Is the Highway Builder Liable for the Highway Robbery?

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From the Wall St. Journal (subscription required), an interesting piece on students' claim that they wouldn't have stolen music had a server not made the theft possible. Is this like arguing that highway robbery would not have occured had the highway not been built, or is some other analogy appropriate (such as, this highway was only meant for robbery and for no other purpose)? I think cases like this one raise the most important questions about individual responsibility and about created temptations. The latter are everywhere -- but is it tortious to create them?

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Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute
igorodetski@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.