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The idea of the future as equal parts wonder and nightmare is an old one. It’s all over our science-fiction, in particular the notion that the same advances that push us forward could serve as the seeds of our own destruction. Robots built to serve humanity ultimately enslave us, and technology binds us and restricts us in the name of transparency and security, civic-minded ideas masking an authoritarian agenda at its heart. Grim stuff, I…
Names ultimately matter. That’s more or less the basis of trademarks as a concept: the right and the necessity to protect the name we’ve built for something that’s ours. something we’ve created. Our lives are ordered in some part by names, both the ones we’ve coined in the recent history of modern innovation and those whose origins are lost to time. We drive to work on a series of named roads, to an office building…
Modern-day science seems to dance along the fine line between awe-inspiring breakthrough and terrifying overreach. In the parlance of fiction, we seem to exist in the inflection point in the story wherein the scientist is making a decision that will ultimately lead them to go too far with their innovative work, dare too greatly and ultimately pays a personal cost — take your pick from Dr. Frankenstein to Dr. Octavius. Those are dramatic examples, certainly,…
You’ll never know until you try. That’s what “they” say, “they” usually being your parents or others who want to encourage you to stretch beyond your comfort zone to make an effort beyond what we think we can do. It;s a phrase that we associate with timidity, but in a certain context it applies to the more brazen among us, those who might dare something so bold that they think they might get away with…
Finding a balance between accused and accuser in cases of intellectual property law has been one trick the U. S. legal system has yet to get quite right, although lawmakers and administrators continue the endeavor to find that elusive point that serves all involved equally. Too far one way, and you’re stifling the ability of rightsholders to take action to protect their IP; too far the other and you’re opening the floodgates for cases brought…
The questions of good faith and intent can be hard to divine, and the line between earnest zeal and cynical gaming is a fine one. Lawyers are tasked with the vigorous defense of their clients’ interests, and no one would begrudge an attorney for taking on as many as they feel they can responsibly handle. But does that ambition, if it can be termed that, cross at a certain point into a ploy to extract…
For those closely following the news, one reality show star continues to dominate headlines. The star’s behavior invokes questions of ego and avarice, and decisions made demonstrate a lack of sensitivity, both cultural and interpersonal. Despite these personal failings, the star counts nearly as many ardent fans as avowed detractors, with a family that casts itself as American royalty, despite a discernible lack of skills or scruples. The star in question is of course Kim…
The question of how much the government remains a body comprised of and belonging to the people it governs, or to what extent it exists as an entity now wholly separate, is a pressing matter, but one too big for the purview of this particular blog. That broader question does beg itself in the copyright case that is heading to the Supreme Court, however, in addition to the more immediate concerns that will be addressed…
The problem of copyright online has long been a vexing issue for all parties involved in trying to tackle it to the ground. Social media companies can seem to lurch from indifference to hamfisted attempts to solve problems that inevitably create different problems, with seemingly no middle ground. Such has been the case for YouTube in its effort to manage copyright infringement on its platform. The tools provided to the average user were blunt instruments…
One thing about technological change is that it forces many of our old, dated institutions to update and adapt or risk becoming irrelevant. The internet and the attendant changes it has brought has been particularly effective in highlighting the cracks in the facade, the holes in the boat, or any other metaphor you might choose to illustrate the shortcomings in many of the laws and bodies that govern us when it comes to an era…