Why a Loss for Aereo Wouldn’t Threaten Cloud Services — Todd Spangler at Variety has a great post responding to the doomsday scenarios Aereo supporters have been employing as The Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in the case. “A Supreme Court finding that Aereo violates provisions of the Copyright Act narrowly tailored to this case won’t kill Dropbox, Apple iCloud, Google Drive, Box, Microsoft OneDrive or Amazon Cloud Drive. Those services aren’t jury-rigged to pull in content from third-party sources without permission. And they’re already protected from liability for copyrighted material illegally uploaded to their services under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Cablevision, as noted, already has content rights.”
Alexander on Property’s Ends — A thought-provoking scholarly article that argues property’s ultimate end is human flourishing. This is contrary to the views of many copyright skeptics, who suggest that the fact that copyright has a purpose beyond private gain somehow distinguishes intellectual property from property in general.
USTR Froman: ‘We Have Had Over 1,200 Meetings With Congress On TPP’ — At a House Ways and Means Committee hearing this week US Trade Representative Froman discussed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, currently being negotiated between a dozen countries. As with all US Free Trade Agreements, the TPP sets standards for IP protection, of which Froman said, “The United States is an innovative economy, and the Obama Administration is committed to protecting intellectual property (IP), which is vital to promoting and encouraging innovation and creativity… Millions of American jobs rely on IP, and we will continue to use our trade agenda in 2014 to defend the IP rights of our creators and innovators while supporting the freedom of the Internet, encouraging the free flow of information across the digital world, and ensuring access to medicines, particularly by the poor in less developed economies.”
Baude on Federalism — The
best only good April Fool’s joke this week. “The most natural question to ask about zombies and constitutional law is whether zombies are persons within the meaning of the Constitution. But that question turns out to be remarkably difficult. The word “person” appears repeatedly throughout the Constitution, but without any clues about whether it extends to zombies. What’s the best constitutional solution to this problem? Zombie Federalism. The Constitution does not resolve the question of zombie personhood, so we should understand it to leave that question to state law.”