18 November 2010

Slouching Toward the Weekend

  • At least according to some observers, my laments about the poor writing skills in the legal profession don't stop with practitioners, but include the Supreme Court. (As an aside, it's a good thing that study didn't attempt to deal with European courts... regardless of language barriers!) The study's focus on "faux unanimity" as a cause, though, masks a much more disturbing, underlying problem: The excessive reach of the "advisory opinion" doctrine caused by a too-narrow reading of the "case or controversy" basis for judicial review. Even when the next step is a logically necessary one, US courts simply will not take it if there is a tenable way to write around it and claim that next step is not part of the case or controversy before it. That's similar to refusing to solve a math problem because, for some particular set of data, there's a divide-by-zero error... when it's easy to add a limit to the data set to avoid the problem.
  • Given that the business side of music runs about a decade or so ahead of the business side of publishing, this piece in the San Francisco Classical Voice advocating that to make a living, "classical" musicians must diversify their output should create some interesting resonances for authors.
  • Congratulations to the finalists for, and winners of, the 2010 National Book Awards.
  • From the department of "rewards paying attention to high-falutin' theorizin'," the IPKat has summaries of four panels on Copying Without Infringing: 1 2 3 4. Although these are almost exclusively from a European perspective, the diminishing importance of borders on the 'net (at least for commercial transactions) indicates that traditional American IP isolationism is no longer a tenable position.