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Law & Disorder at Ars Technica

If you enjoy law blogs, it is well past time to check out technology webzine Ars Technica's great new blog on technology law and policy: Law & Disorder. It features elegantly written and insightful analysis on intellectual property law, privacy law, and other hot topics. Despite being only a couple of months old, Law & Disorder has already garnered a nomination for an ABA "Best Law Blawg" award (although you should, of course, vote for Overlawyered!).

To get you started, here is the Ars Washington Bureau's Julian Sanchez this morning on creative commons licensing:

Originally, the lawyers spearheading the project cooked up an elaborate smorgasbord of Fizzbinesque licenses incorporating features like time-limitations. What they realized, though, was that the legal stifling of creativity was a function of transaction costs at least as much as licensing fees--that is, the cost of navigating the bramble of overlapping rights, often held by dispersed parties, in a given set of works. High levels of customization might sound appealing to the individual creator, but in the aggregate they'd yield a self-defeating legal Babel. So the Fizzbin licenses bit the dust, and CC settled on a few simple modules that captured the core rights most people were centrally interested in.

Second, there was a surprising consensus that the deployment of the actual licenses was less important than their function as a conversation starter. That is, it wasn't so much that teachers or scientists suddenly had some legal boilerplate that could easily be slapped on their creations, but that there was a visible project they could point to and ask: "Should we be doing something like this?" Professional conferences would hold panels asking not, "Is sharing a good idea?" but "Which Creative Commons license is best suited for us?"

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.