Deere Things

This: “In a particularly spectacular display of corporate delusion, John Deere—the world’s largest agricultural machinery maker —told the Copyright Office that farmers don’t own their tractors. Because computer code snakes through the DNA of modern tractors, farmers receive ‘an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.’” reminded me of this (law review voice on; footnotes omitted): “The book is the paradigmatic thing in law and…

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Pittsburgh as New Brooklyn

Pittsburgh is again recognized as hip and trendy for a certain demographic:  People looking for hip and trendy on the cheap.  Once, the hip and trendy baseline was Portland. Today, it’s Brooklyn.  http://brooklynbased.com/blog/2015/04/24/move-pittsburgh/ The money quote: “Size, it seems, is Pittsburgh’s double-edged sword. ‘We still need more humans,’ said Matthew Ciccone [The Beauty Shoppe]. ‘There are not enough humans…The more people you have, the more vibrant a place can be.’” The…

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Leading Lawyers to Leadership

“Leading New Lawyers: Leadership and Legal Education,” a short essay that I posted to SSRN last week, describes a short course in leadership that grows out of some earlier thoughts posted to this blog, and which I teach here at Pitt Law.   Long-time readers know about my interests in leadership and in teaching leadership in the legal profession.  Comments and reactions to the essay are, as always, welcome. The link…

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Blurred Copyright Lines

The Marvin Gaye/Robin Thicke/Pharrell Williams “Blurred Lines” verdict is in; the hand-wringing has begun (see the selection of commentary below). My reactions, as a non-musical copyright teacher: 1/ If musical traditions of borrowing, building, and evoking are so important — perhaps more important in music than in other cultural practices; perhaps not — then why-oh-why does the legal system hand so much power to juries in infringement cases? For copyright…

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A SCOTUS Lesson: Yates and the Construction of Materiality

A fish is no doubt an object that is tangible,” but a fish is not a “tangible object” for purposes of Section 1519 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. That’s the Supreme Court of the United States, in Yates v. United States, decided today. What’s more, for copyright enthusiasts, “A tangible object captured by §1519, we hold, must be one used to record or preserve information.” Not that copyright law itself had…

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