22 October 2009

Hold the Mustard

Just a little afternoon link sausage snack:
  • Bigger isn't always better, as Professor Johnson notes. Now apply this lesson to "big media" — not just NewsCorp, but Pearson, and Bertelsmann, and Hachette, and Viacom, and... while remembering that it's not just the economy that's at issue when Big Media gets too big: It's the First Amendment (historians may recall the Hearst situation of a century ago).
  • In contrast, in some respects one can have too much competition. One of the frustrating aspects of both legal doctrine and actually practicing law in this country resembles Europe's too-often-forgotten stepchild: the Balkans. One judge in New York recently remarked on a particularly obvious aspect of the problem — the "geographic lodestar" that ignores the reality of communities. The problem reaches far more substantive issues, too, such as the law that applies to seemingly simple business disputes in many metropolitan areas and even to parties' choice of counsel. The less said about the idiocy of state-level regulation of the bar, the better.
  • An interesting contrast: Ten major plagiarism scandals v. Professor Tim Wu's exegesis of fair use (which seems pretty theoretically/laboratory sound, even if it doesn't match the litigation data all that well... which is hardly Professor Wu's fault).
  • Last, and all too amusingly timed, the Chancellor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign finally resigned... very close to Halloween. I have too much respect for the late Chancellor Cribbet's family, or I'd go to the graveyard and try to resurrect him for the job. Even if it was unsuccessful — even if all I ended up doing was putting his gravestone into the chair in the Chancellor's office — it would be a considerable improvement. Had Chancellor Cribbet been around, there wouldn't have been even a hint of "Category I."

    And, meanwhile, there need to be search committees going for the top three jobs at UIUC: President of the U of I system, campus Chancellor, and campus Provost. Faculty members beware!