Category Archives: Technology & Cyberlaw

Design Principles for Consumer Protection Legislation (Guest Blog Post)

by guest blogger Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand [Eric’s note: I’m pleased to share this guest blog post from Prof. Samuel Becher, whose work has been mentioned on this blog before. This post is based on Prof. Becher’s new article, Unintended Consequences and the Design of Consumer Protection Legislation.] It is a common belief that progress is often achieved by transformative policies that significantly advance society in meaningful ways. But big bangs and overnight solutions are rare. Often, the devil is in the details, and the mundane merits more consideration. This may explain why consumer protection legislation – even when well-intended – frequently fails to provide the desired results and sometimes may be counterproductive. Consider, for instance, tax increases on beer, which are likely to reduce demand and consumption. However, while taxing beer reduced….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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The Fatalism of the Multitude

I recently read James Bryce’s The American Commonwealth for the first time. Bryce was British and, in the style of Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote a book in the late 19th century about his visits to America. One of Bryce’s fascinating ideas was “The Fatalism of the Multitude,” by which he meant that a danger in a democracy was that the minority would submit quietly to the will of the majority. In essence, the minority may conclude at some point that it will never be a majority and could not influence the majority. This acquiescence, Bryce thought, was a problem partly because it would allow the majority’s errors to go on uncorrected. This phrase strikes me as an excellent description of excessive political polarization. The risk posed by polarized public opinion is that one side (or maybe both) will conclude that their efforts at persuasion are futile because the other side will not listen to what they have to say. I’m not saying that we….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Giving New Meaning To The "I'd Rather Be Fishing" Bumper Sticker

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Where Is Jason Robards When We Need Him?

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* Don’t Redesign Your Website – Unless You Want To Nuke Your Trademark Portfolio

17 Seconds #45 When I was in USAF pilot training, we had to memorize “notes, caution, and warnings” from our T-37 flight instruction manual. The manual got updated (nationwide) every time something bad happened before, during, or after a flight. So I just updated a handful of our trademark templates in The Sausage Factory (TM). Something bad happened recently to one of our clients. But it is fixable. Consider this a caution. Here is the new blurb I added to the templates: TRADEMARK PLANNING – DON’T REDESIGN YOUR WEBSITE. Trademark applications and registrations frequently rely on a specimen (proof of use) from your website. If you are considering redesigning your website, then please contact us so that we can advise you how to do so without jeopardizing your trademark portfolio. If you redesign your website without considering trademarks, then you may not be able to register pending trademark applications, and you might not be able to renew….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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