June 20, 2013

If You're Happy and You Know It....

Estelle Derclaye, University of Nottingham School of Law, is publishing What Can Intellectual Property Law Learn from Happiness Research? in Methods and Perspectives in Intellectual Property (G. Dinwoodie ed.; Elgar Publishing, forthcoming). Here is the abstract.

As the description of the 2012 ATRIP congress’s theme highlights, traditionally, scholars have used historical, doctrinal or comparative analyses, law and economics, political economy or philosophy, to discuss intellectual property law. Other methods such as empirical analysis, international relations, and human development are more recent. This paper looks at intellectual property law in a new way namely through the angle of happiness or well-being research.
The field of happiness research is not that recent but strangely, so far, happiness researchers have hardly discussed the relationship between well-being and technology despite the pervasive role of the latter in contemporary society. Likewise, the discussion of happiness is also rare in the legal field (except of course in (mental) health law) and it is absent from intellectual property law , except indirectly through the discussion of the capability approach in the discourse on intellectual property and development. I consciously leave the capability approach for another article but it needs to be noted that there are parallels to be drawn between the application of happiness research on the one hand and the capability approach on the other hand, to intellectual property law. In effect, the two approaches converge or are complementary in many respects.
There is a debate to be had about the value of happiness research for the field of intellectual property law. The discussion is worth having especially to check whether the current basis of intellectual property rights (IPR), and the norms that derive from it, are still up-to-date or else should be revised. This article focuses on the application of happiness research to patents and related rights, by and large designs, utility models and plant variety rights. However, a broader reflection of the relationship between happiness or well-being and other IPR such as copyright and trademarks, is worth pursuing as well. This article is obviously concerned only with one way to increase happiness, namely through the fostering of technology using the intellectual property system. There are many other ways to increase happiness, for instance to promote positive traits in a person, and this often does not need any technology. As Frey says, “[i]n current happiness research, [...] the integration among disciplines often go so far that it is not possible to identify whether a particular contribution is due to an economist, a psychologist, a sociologist or a political scientist.” In addition, many of their findings and recommendations coincide. Therefore, the paper will amalgamate the recommendations of the researchers in each branch (law, economics, political sciences, psychology, sociology and philosophy), only highlighting differences of opinion between the branches if and when they exist.
The article first traces the origin and history of happiness research, it then defines happiness (section 2) and summarises the findings (section 3) and the recommendations (section 5) of happiness research, after having determined that policy-makers should take happiness research into account (section 4). Finally, section 6 explains the relevance of happiness research to intellectual property law and draws from happiness research findings to propose a recalibration of patents and related rights’ goals and substantive law.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link. 

A Blog To Check Out

Mark Weiner of Rutgers Law School (Newark) sent me a link to a thread on his fascinating blog, Worlds of Law. The thread discusses connections between writer E.B. White and international law, and ranges from Webster's Dictionary, to Charlotte the spider, to Stuart Little. Professor Weiner discusses even more of interest to law and humanities folks at Worlds of Law. There's consideration of a Deanna Durbin film here  (she just passed on, by the way), and what we can make of the admiration a judge in the movie has for her, and a look at Bedouin law via a video Prof. Weiner made. It's a blog that provides provocative and light-hearted posts. Recommended.

June 19, 2013

Law and Dance

Miriam Aziz, Visiting Scholar at Cardozo Law School, has published Lost For Words: Embodying Law Through Tanztheater, 7 Law and Humanities 91 (2013). Here is a link to the abstract.

Professor Aziz also tells me that the project has its own blog at Lost For Words by Miriam Aziz and Artist(s) at Large. Lots of things to explore, including a soundtrack.

More Bloomsday!

A lovely Bloomsday post from our friend Jose Calvo Gonzalez of the University of Malaga at his blog, Iurisdictio-Lex Malacitana. Lots of excellent Joyce and the law citations to peruse here!

June 16, 2013


It's Bloomsday! More here from the James Joyce Centre, here from the Rosenbach Museum and Library.
Selected Joyce and the Law Bibliography here.

Balsamo, Gian, Legitimate Filiation and Gender Segregation: Law and Fiction in Texts By Derrida, Hegel, Joyce, Pirandello, Vico (Dissertation, Vanderbilt University, 1994).
Bauerle, Ruth, Date Rape, Mate Rape: A Liturgical Interpretation of The Dead,, in New Alliances in Joyce Studies 113 (Bonnie K. Scott, ed., 1988).
Denvir, John "Deep Dialogue"--James Joyce's Contribution to American Constitutional Theory, 3 Cardozo Studies in Law and Literature 1 (1991).
In the Name of the Law: Marital Freedom and Justice in Exiles, 834/839 La Revue des Lettres Modernes 39 (1988).
Lowe-Evans, Mary, "The Commonest of all Cases: Birth Control on Trial In the Wake, 27 James Joyce Quarterly 803 (Summer 1990).
Lowe-Evans, Mary, The Mime Against Fecondité: Joyce Encodes the Code de la Famille, 37 (3/4) James Joyce Quarterly 509 (Spring/Summer 2000).
McMichael, James, Ulysses and Justice (1991).
Valente, Joseph, James Joyce and the Problem of Justice: Negotiating Sexual and Colonial Difference (1995).

June 15, 2013

The Other Big Brother

According to the "Tuned In" column in the June 24, 2013 issue of Time, U.S. popular culture has been predicting government surveillance of U.S. citizens for a while now.Think shows like Chuck and Person of Interest, and next season's new series Intelligence.  The essay, by James Poniewozik, discussses the attractions that such issues have for writers. After all, a good secret makes for good drama. Time's content is available to subscribers online, but the issue is available for purchase on newsstands now.

June 13, 2013

Sally Draper On the Couch

Courtesy of Gwynne Watkins, who explains the Mad Men's teen's possible problems after catching her dad with a neighbor.  From New York Magazine's Vulture blog). Not to mention the adultery, the alienation of affections...

Legal Reform and Political Economy

Evgeny Finkel, George Washington University Department of Political Science, Scott Gehlbach, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Center for the Study of Institutions and Development, and Tricia D. Olsen, have published  Business Ethics & Legal Studies, University of Wisconsin, have published Does Reform Prevent Rebellion? Evidence from Russia's Emancipation of the Serfs. Here is the abstract.

Contemporary models of political economy suggest that unrest and revolution can be prevented by reforms that target excluded groups, but little is known about the actual effect of such reforms on social stability. We explore the impact of reform on rebellion with a new dataset on peasant disturbances in nineteenth-century Russia. Using a difference-in-differences design that exploits the timing of various peasant reforms, we document a large increase in disturbances among former serfs following the Emancipation Reform of 1861, a development completely counter to reformers' intent. Drawing on a simple global game that illustrates the various mechanisms by which reform might affect rebellion, we trace this outcome to elite divisions and limited state capacity, two political constraints that together contributed to a reform that favored the gentry in its design and was captured the nobility in its implementation.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link. 

June 12, 2013

Learned Hand, Recording Artist

Ross E. Davies, George Mason University School of Law; The Green Bag, has published Learned Hand Sings, Part One: Liner Notes for 'Songs of His Youth'. Here is the abstract.

This is part one of a two-part set of liner notes for Songs of His Youth – a complete edition of Learned Hand’s 1942 folk music recording session at the Library of Congress. This part deals with the immediate business of how Hand ended up singing and talking into a microphone at the Library, and with what he sang and said, including a lightly annotated transcript of the recordings, which can be difficult to follow in places. The second part (in the next issue of the Green Bag) will deal mostly with the background and aftermath of the recording session.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

June 10, 2013

Blasphemy Laws: A Examination of Six Legal Regimes

Jeremy Patrick, University of Southern Queensland School of Law, has published The Curious Persistence of Blasphemy: Canada and Beyond. It is his PhD dissertation from Osgood Hall Law School (April, 2013).

Here is the abstract. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the history and future of the crime of blasphemy. In the introduction, several key questions are examined: (1) What is blasphemy? (2) Why do people blaspheme? and (3) What are the real or perceived harms of blasphemy? Subsequently, Part I examines the history of blasphemy and blasphemy-like laws in six jurisdictions around the globe: England, Ireland, Australia, Pakistan, the United Nations, and the United States. The jurisdictions chosen illuminate the fact that blasphemy is a complex concept which can be regulated in a wide variety of ways. These six provide an excellent picture of the varied and diverse ways the concept of blasphemy has operated and an understanding as to why it remains relevant today. Part II of this dissertation turns away from a global, comparative examination of blasphemy and instead provides a comprehensive, in-depth study of a single jurisdiction: Canada. This sustained history of blasphemy in Canada, the first ever published, allows for a valuable snapshot of the evolution of the crime into its modern form. Part III synthesizes the research and analysis in Parts I and II to answer the fundamental questions: what is the future of the crime of blasphemy in Canada and beyond?
Download the full text of the dissertation from SSRN at the link. 

June 6, 2013

Acculturating Copyright

Anupam Chander and Madhavi Sunder, both of the University of California, Davis, School of Law, are publishing Copyright's Cultural Turn in the Texas Law Review (2013). Here is the abstract.

How ironic that the scholarship on the area of law most directly regulating the culture industries has long resisted learning from scholarship on culture! Rather than turning to cultural studies, anthropology, geography, literary theory, science and technology studies, and media studies, over the last few decades, copyright scholars have relied largely on economics for methodology. In this review essay, we argue that Julie Cohen’s new book, Configuring the Networked Self: Law, Code, and the Play of Everyday Practice, is part of a cultural turn in intellectual property scholarship. Cohen’s book marks an important expansion of the tools available to analyze intellectual property.
In this paper, we contextualize her book through comparison with the reigning law and economics approach. We go further to highlight some aspects of a cultural analysis of copyright. We identify two central insights of the cultural turn in copyright: the relationship between cultural products and the self, and the relationship between culture and human development, which we characterize as the relationship between goods and a good life. Under Martha Nussbaum’s and Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach, which Cohen embraces, intellectual property policy would be evaluated under a new metric, not simply increased products (in the form of patents, copyrighted works, or trademarked goods), or its contribution to the gross domestic product, but rather its role in enhancing human capabilities. A cultural approach to copyright would measure law’s success by its ability to better the lives of real people.
Download the full text of the article from SSRN at the link. 

June 5, 2013

A New Biography of Gandhi

Charles Richard DiSalvo, West Virginia University College of Law, is publishing M. K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law: The Man Before the Mahatma with the University of California Press (Fall 2013). Here is the abstract.
Students of Gandhi have long recognized that there exists a significant gap in the Gandhi scholarship. None of Gandhi’s many biographers has focused on Gandhi’s extensive practice of law. Similarly, scholars have not examined Gandhi’s experience in the law as a critical factor contributing to the development of his philosophy and practice of nonviolence. This book takes up those tasks. Using previously unexamined archival materials, it brings to light for the first time Gandhi’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt to use the courts to defend Indian rights. It argues that Gandhi’s subsequent disillusionment with litigation as a tool for justice and social change led him to experiment with a new approach — nonviolent civil disobedience.
The book does not conclude that Gandhi abandoned his faith in the rule of law. Rather, it concludes that he discovered within the law the grand dynamic that converts disobedience to change — change even in the law itself.
As it makes this argument, the book does not ignore the person of Gandhi. It demonstrates that it was the practice of law that allowed Gandhi to transform himself from a shy and awkward youth into the competent and confident public person who would later lead India to freedom.
The appendix for the book is available at the following URL: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2268724.
The complete endnotes for the book are available at the following URL: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2268712.
The full text is not available from SSRN.

African-American Feminist Theory

Kristie Dotson, Michigan State University Department of Philosophy, has published Knowing in Space: Three Lessons from Black Women's Social Theory in the January/June issue of labrys, études féministes/estudos feministas.

In attempting to create a US Black feminist philosophy, I have uncovered three lessons in US Black women’s social theory. They are the following: 1) oppression is a multistable, social phenomenon; 2) many US Black women identify occupying a negative, socio-epistemic space as part of their experience of oppression; and 3) addressing oppression for many Black women will require grappling with politics of social spatiality. These insights are by no means new. However, the fact that these tropes can be identified in almost 200 years of Black women's social theory in the US is far more distinctive than many allow.
Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

Jeremy Waldron and Jus Gentium

Kevin Toh, San Francisco State University, is publiishing Legal Relativism and Jus Gentium in the APA Newsletter. Here is the abstract.

In "Partly Laws Common to All Mankind," Jeremy Waldron advocates what could be called "the doctrine of jus gentium," according to which, roughly, courts sitting in one country must give some weight in their legal deliberations to some principles that have been accepted or adopted by the legal systems of many other countries. Waldron's arguments for this doctrine raise questions and worries about exactly what the content of the doctrine is, and what justification could be offered for it. Several different versions of the doctrine come into the picture as Waldron argues for jus gentium, and while some versions are plausible, some others are not. Unfortunately, the most plausible of the versions seems to be excluded by Waldron's commitment to a Dworkinian conception of the nature of law. This paper ends up recommending that Waldron drop his commitment to that conception of the nature of law in favor of the plausible version of the doctrine of jus gentium.
This paper is a contribution to a symposium on Jeremy Waldron's work organized by the American Philosophical Association. A revised version will be published in a forthcoming issue of the APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Law, with Waldron's reply.
Download the full text of the essay from SSRN at the link. 

Comparative Popular Culture Images of Lawyers

Lorin Geitner, Claremont Graduate University, has published Social Architecture and the Law: Law, Through the Lens of Religion. Here is the abstract.
How can we account for the differing popular images of attorney in various countries? One way of doing so may be to bring a paradigm developed in religious studies to examine the most publically accessible and prototypical venue for attorneys, the courtroom. Specifically, applying the model of critical spatial studies developed by Lefebvre and Soja in order to examine religious ritual space to bear on a different kind of ritual space, the courtroom, its structure, organization, and use may illuminate both societal understandings of how the law relates to the citizen, but also inform the differing perception and status of lawyers in the United States, Britain, and China.
 Download the full text of the paper from SSRN at the link.

June 4, 2013

Law and Emotions

Jennifer Schweppe, University of Limerick, and John E. Stannard, Queen's University Belfast, School of Law, have published What is so ‘Special’ about Law and Emotions? at 64 Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 1 (2013). Here is the abstract.

We are grateful to the editors of the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly for allowing us to put together this special edition on ‘Law and Emotions’. But what is so special about it? The very existence of such a field of study may appear at first sight to be counterintuitive; as has been so often pointed out, law and emotion have traditionally been seen as polar opposites, the former being based on ‘reason’ and the latter on ‘feeling’. However, this has been shown to be a false dichotomy in a number of respects, being an accurate reflection neither of the way the law is structured and administered, nor of the way emotion works, nor indeed of the way humans live. Indeed, such is the influence of emotion on human behaviour that the relevance of emotion to law has been said to be ‘a point so obvious as to make its articulation seem almost banal’. Be that as it may, the study of law and emotions, though now reasonably well established in America, is less familiar to students and practitioners of law, or indeed academics working in the area, on this side of the Atlantic, and this collection is therefore designed to provide an insight into the subject.
Download this introduction to the issue from SSRN at the link. 

The Legal Theology of Nahmanides

Joseph E. David, Oxford University Faculty of Oriental Studies; Wolfson College, has published Dwelling within the Law: Nahmanides’ Legal Theology in 2013 Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 1.

The great medieval Jewish jurist and thinker R. Moses b. Nahman (1194-1270) developed an exceptional legal-theology unprecedented in traditional rabbinic thought. In jurisprudential terms, he reduces the Jewish traditional perception of the Halakhah (i.e. the Talmudic law) and introduces the view of the divine law as a territorial law. My article suggests reading anew his sayings about the God-law-land matrix against the background of his contemporary European Christendom. Our analysis raises new perspectives on his attentiveness to the conceptual vocabulary of the Crusades’ propaganda and the European legal reality.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link. 

June 2, 2013

Picture It

The ABA Journal highlights the work of Nathaniel Burney, author of the Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law. Mr. Burney practices criminal law in New York, and wants to make law more accessible, particularly to high school students. More here.

Amazon Announces First Choices For Its "Amazon Original" Network

Among the shows that Amazon has picked up as an "Amazon Original" to air on Amazon Instant Video is Garry Trudeau's Alpha House, starring John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy, and Mark Consuelos as four Senators sharing D.C. digs.

Customers chose Alpha House and four other shows as Amazon Studios'  first Internet series through open voting over the past few weeks.