Around the Web

A bit of self-promotion, and some other stuff that’s worth reading:

  • Justice Stevens announced his retirement a couple of weeks ago. I did a post for Cato looking at his high-tech legacy.
  • Last week, Reihan Salam did a nice article for Forbes comparing Stevens’s rulings on copyright and patent law to his 2005 Kelo decision on eminent domain abuse. (and linking to me)
  • On Friday, the Free Software Foundation released a movie by Luca Lucarini about software patents. I’d say it’s the best movie on software patents I’ve ever seen, but in fact it’s the only movie about software patents I’ve ever seen. It’s an incredibly dry subject, and Luca did a great job of making it interesting. He weaves together a compelling case for software patent abolition without putting the audience to sleep. The movie also features virtually all of my favorite scholars in this area. I was honored to be among the experts Luca interviewed, and a few seconds of our interview made it into the final version. So I encourage you to check it out. You’ll need software (like Firefox 3.6) capable of playing Ogg Theora files.
  • The David Boaz article I linked to last week sparked a ton of discussion around the blogosphere. I remain puzzled about what Arnold Kling means by a “group status issue” and how it differs from a regular political issue. Bryan Caplan emerged as the most extreme advocate of the state-worshiping school of libertarianism, arguing that women were freer in the 1880s because the era featured lower taxes and fewer regulations. I think Will’s responses to Caplan are spot-on: the right to own property, to pursue the profession of their choice, and to decide when to have sex with their husbands seem to vastly outweigh the benefits of a lower capital gains tax rate.
  • Julian Sanchez argues that the latest warnings about an “intelligence gap” are probably just as bogus this time as they were the last several times.
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