Wealth is a value

Legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin once asked, “Is wealth a value?” Isn’t the answer obvious?

Hat tip (via Twitter): @pickover

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The division of labor is limited by the extent of the market (Boeing 787 Dreamliner edition)

Hat tip (via twitter): @FrankLuntz

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There are six different “European Unions”

As the map below shows, the E.U. is not a single transnational entity but rather is composed of six separate European alliances.

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Infinite 3D printer regress

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Class No. 6 (The Law of Ideas)

During the previous two weeks, we have surveyed two major areas of business law: contracts and torts. In summary, the law of contracts tells us when our promises are legally enforceable, while the law of torts tells us when we are legally liable for someone’s else injuries. In our next class, by contrast, we will survey a third major area of the common law — the law of property — and we will focus in particular on intellectual property or “the law of ideas.” Although Anglo-American law does not create property rights in ideas per se, intellectual property law does allow you to protect the expression of your ideas, if certain legal requirements are met. By way of example, Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg may have created several valuable forms of intellectual property when he registered the domain name for “www.thefacebook.com” in January of 2004 and began building the prototype of his Facebook website (pictured below), which he launched from his dorm room on February 4, 2004. But what type of intellectual property did Zuckerberg create? In addition, we will also debate in class whether Zuck “stole” any intellectual property from the Winklevoss twins, who gave Zuckerberg access to the computer code for a similar website they were developing at the time, or from Aaron Greenspan, who claims that he founded Facebook a few months before Zuckerberg did.

Image result for original facebook homepage

Credit: Mark Zuckerberg

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I have another reason for hating Microsoft

We have been using Google’s gmail service since 2006, so we have always hated the hideous Microsoft Outlook (see here, for example) by comparison. Last week, my home institution switched over to “Microsoft Surface,” an even more complicated and cumbersome operating system than the previous versions of Microsoft. By way of example, it used to take me one simple step to access my university email account. Now, it takes four separate steps (see below) to log in. Seriously?

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

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Social network playlist (part 1)

If you have been following this blog, then you know that we have been using the movie “The Social Network” (and the book “Accidental Billionaires” on which the film is based) to teach our business law course. What you may not be aware of, however, is our “Social Network” music playlist: the songs we play at the beginning of each lecture (while we are setting up our slides and surveys) to set the tone for that class. So, as we approach the halfway point of this spring semester, here is our playlist thus far:

Class #1: Atticus Ross & Trent Reznor, “Hand covers bruise” (social network theme song)

Class #2: 50 Cent, “In da club” (instrumental) (#1 song of 2003, i.e. the year the opening of the movie is set)

Class #3: Beyoncé featuring Sean Paul, “Baby boy” (#1 song of November 2003, i.e. during the Facemash fiasco)

Class #4: Drake, “Back to back” (instrumental) (because in this class we consider the legal consequences of Mark’s back-to-back promises, first with the Winklevoss twins, then with Eduardo)

Class #5: Drake, “Fake love” (instrumental) (because we discuss the law of fraud in this class)

Class #6: Usher, “Yeah!” (instrumental) (#1 song of February 2004, the month Zuckerberg launched “thefacebook”)

Happy Valentine’s Day, Sydjia!

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