Tag: Law

Apple and Google Announce a Ceasefire in the Patent Wars »

Time has a good story on the decision of Apple and Google to dismiss all the current IP lawsuits between the two companies. They have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform. No doubt patent trolls were sorry to see the two giants redirect resources. The millions that went into...
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Patent Litigation Is No Laughing Matter... Or Is It? »

As pointed out in my forthcoming Independent Institute book, Patent Trolls: Predatory Litigation and the Smothering of Innovation, the American patent system is in need of an overhaul. This is no laughing matter, but Stephen Colbert, in the following, recent segment from “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central takes Amazon to task for claiming...
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Gary S. Becker, R.I.P. »

I first met Professor Gary Becker (1930-2014) about 15 years ago, when he came to Oxford, Miss., to present a public lecture at the University of Mississippi sponsored by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. My coauthor and then-colleague Bob Tollison and I breakfasted with him early on the morning of Dr. Becker’s visit, after...
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Some Basics of State Domination and Public Submission »

Familiarity may indeed, as the saying goes, breed contempt, but it also breeds a sort of somnolence. People who have never known anything other than a certain state of affairs—even an extraordinarily problematic state of affairs—have a tendency not to notice it at all, to relate it, so to speak, as if they were...
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Lessons from a German Homeschooling Family about the Nanny State »

The saga of a German homeschooling family represents a needed refresher course about the true origins of our fundamental rights. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, along with their seven children, were on track to be deported from the United States. What was their high crime and misdemeanor? Drug trafficking? Gun running? Cybercrime? No—it was homeschooling....
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NSA Chief Recommends Severely Curtailing Spying. Obama Won’t. »

  A few weeks ago, Obama triumphantly announced NSA spying “reforms” that got lots of front page coverage, but amounted to: Absolutely No Change. Further, his speech carried his full endorsement of the sweeping collection and storage in bulk of private phone calls, emails, email address books, online transaction information, location data, and more,...
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Governor Stevens and I »

When Governor Isaac Stevens went around Puget Sound in the mid-1850s making treaties with the Indian tribes to clear the way for an anticipated influx of whites, he found again and again that asking for the tribal chief got him nowhere. The Indians would look around and shrug their shoulders. They had no chiefs....
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Extortion, Part II »

I recently discussed Peter Schweizer’s book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets. I want to mention one example from Schweizer’s book, to give a better idea of how this extortion occurs. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), passed in 1977, prohibits US companies from bribing foreign government...
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Entitlements »

Here is a story about a recent court case in which a federal judge blocked the State of Georgia from charging $5 per month charge to low-income recipients for federally-subsidized cell phone service. One reason I find this interesting is that as recently as 1999 only 32% of Americans had cell phones, according to...
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Police Claim Teen Shot Himself In Head—While Handcuffed Behind Back »

If the police found a dead body in the back of your car, hands tied behind the back, with a hole in the head, and your defense was that the person shot himself, how do you think they would react? And yet this has happened in police cars at least three times. This time,...
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