Blog Ipsa Loquitur

As you will recall, Judge Kimba Wood ordered LimeWire to shutdown last October after finding the file-sharing service liable for copyright infringement and inducement to commit copyright infringement.  An estimated three billion songs per month were downloaded through LimeWire and the music industry wants the now defunct company to pay upwards of $75 trillion in damages.

Music industry analysts thought that they could breath a sigh of relief in the post-LimeWire world—that music piracy would slowly decline—however, new studies show that file-sharing is still on the rise. So, did LimeWire really kill the CD (sale)? Have former P2P users finally monetize their music habits?

Read the rest at For the Rechord: Did LimeWire Really Kill The Music Industry?.

Filed on under The News

Paul Krugman on Representative Paul Ryan:

The Tax Policy Center finds that the Ryan plan would cut taxes on the richest 1 percent of the population in half, giving them 117 percent of the plan’s total tax cuts. That’s not a misprint. Even as it slashed taxes at the top, the plan would raise taxes for 95 percent of the population.

I don’t attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by ignorance. I think it’s possible that Representative Ryan’s belief in the economic stimulation provided by tax cuts for the richest 1% of Americans is influenced by his net worth, estimated to be from $590,000 up to $2.4 million.

Trickle-down economics is wonderful for the folks at the top.

Filed on under The News

From Wired Science, Insomniac Cavefish May Hold Clues to Human Sleep Disorders:

To verify that the fish were indeed sleeping, the researchers also explored what happened when they deprived the fish of sleep. They put the fish on top of a Vortex mixer set to its gentlest setting and had it vibrate for 10 seconds out of every minute, all night long. The next day, fish of all four species were far less active.

Scientists fuck with fish; film at 11.

Filed on under Irreverently Irrelevant

Movie Studios Sue Streaming Movie Site Zediva via Wired.com’s Epicenter:

Zediva.com, which officially launched in mid-March, rents new release movies without permission from the studios, by letting its customers rent a DVD player and disk from afar. Only one person can rent a given disk at a time. That, the company argues, puts it in the same legal bucket as a traditional video rental store.

Zediva’s wrong, of course. Renting a movie and taking it home with you to watch on TV is a private performance that is protected by something called the First Sale Doctrine. Renting a movie and watching it in the video store is a public performance, which is one of the exclusive rights the copyright holders (movie studios) retains.

The First Sale Doctrine gives the purchaser of a copyrighted work some rights to enjoy the work, based on good old common sense. For instance, think of the difference between Starbucks selling you a movie on DVD, and Starbucks installing a flatscreen in the bathroom and charging admission to watch a movie.

Even if the movie studio didn’t intend to give me the right to watch the DVD, they sold Starbucks a DVD, and when Starbucks sells me that DVD, I’ve acquired that right under the First Sale Doctrine.

Filed on under Legal Theory

I’m happy to hear that the spirit of compromise is alive and well in Congress, but NPR brings up a good point.

Photo credit: NPR Money

Filed on under The News

Harvard Law School has published more than a century’s worth of its exams for anyone who’d like to prove to themselves that taking law school exams for 127 straight years would suck. The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog observes that property exams have become undeniably easier in the last century-plus. I wondered the same for Criminal Law. Presented for your evaluation, from 1872’s Criminal Law exam:

  • What is necessary to constitute the crime of treason?
  • What is necessary to constitute the plea of not guilty?
  • What is the difference between larceny from the person and robbery?
  • What is a felony? What a misdemeanor?

Meanwhile, the first question to 1995’s Criminal Law exam (presented after a two-page hypothetical situation that you can read in riveting detail here):

  • Should D be prosecuted for rape? If he is prosecuted for rape, to what extent and in what respects is his mental capacity relevant to his guilt or innocence?
  • With respect to B’s death, is D plausibly liable for any form of homicide?
  • For what crimes, if any, is the waiter in the bar or the owner of the bar plausibly liable?
  • With respect to the events that took place in July, of what crimes, if any, is D liable?

I’m going with the WSJ Law Blog on this one. I’m going back to 1872 and getting my fancy Ivy League J.D. — heck, tuition was less than $150 a year back then!

Filed on under The News