16 May 2011

The Ghosts of 11 May Past

Finals week: It was fun for the whole family! "Fun" meaning "fouled up nonsense" or something a lot like that.

  • The correct answer, obviously, is "beatniks" — many of the Beat Poets have collections available:

    Shoe, 16 May 2011

  • Licensing. Lawyers are licensed and regulated, however ineptly and idiotically. So are architects, accountants, engineers, real estate agents, doctors, nurses, plumbers, hairdressers, and interior designers. So are talent agents in California... but only insofar as they are dealing with music, television, and film; "managers" aren't licensed, and those same "agents" are subject to no licensing or regulation for dealing with anything outside of those areas.

    If we license interior designers, we should bloody well be licensing and regulating literary agents. We don't — not in any state. Anyone who objects that this has First Amendment implications needs to overcome the same hurdles that California did regarding licensing of music, television, and film agents (and, for that matter, licensing of the very people who make First Amendment rights possible — lawyers). Transactions so rife with incomprehensible practices, rights grabs that last over a century, and the occasional multimillion-dollar deal sound more like real estate than anything else.

  • The International Criminal Court's prosecutor is seeking an arrest warrant for Q'daffy Duck, alleging crimes against humanity. That's all well and good, but I'd like to know if the nearness of Libya and its oil supplies to Europe means that it is fundamentally different from Rwanda, or Somalia, or Zimbabwe, or Iran, or North Korea, or the Congo (take your pick of them, or all of them in their various incarnations), or Burma/Myanmar, or any of a dozen other nations filled with those not of the Caucasian persuasion in an internally consistent, rational, logical way. Now, admittedly, there is the problem/issue of "prosecutorial discretion" — but even discretion must have some basis. And note, too, that I'm not suggesting, let alone expecting, any consistency in dealing with similar (or identical, or worse) problems among the elites of Western Europe and North America...
  • Professor Madison offers an interesting summary of yet another instance of bad facts inevitably leading to bizarre legal reasoning. Distribution of course reserve and classroom materials in part from bound volumes is now, and probably always will be, a difficult and problematic issue. The critical bad fact in this morass — one that would make it a morass regardless of anything else — is the soto voce participation by the Copyright Clearance Center, which is one of the clearest examples anywhere of agency capture (and bureaucratic self-interested dominance) of nongovernmental agencies... along with ASCAP and BMI.