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Category: Conferences

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Reputation Economies Symposium

yale-reputation.jpgI’m currently at the Reputation Economies Symposium at Yale Law School. The conference has been quite good.

Professor Rebecca Tushnet (Georgetown) is liveblogging the conference, and I found her account of my panel to very nicely summarize what was said. For those who are interested in the conference but unable to be here today, you should read Rebecca’s terrific account over at her 43(B)log:

Panel I: Making Your Name Online (Bawens, Ghosh, Hoffman, Masum, Noveck)

Panel II: Privacy and Reputational Protection (Acquisti, Citron, McGeveran, Solove, Zittrain)

Panel III: Reputational Quality and Information Quality (Gasser, Goel, Kirovski, Kuraishi, Prakash)

Panel IV: Ownership of Cyber-Reputation (Clippinger, Goldman, Sutor, Thompson, Tushnet)

UPDATE: Eric Goldman and Michael Zimmer also have good recaps.

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Yale Law School Conference on Online Reputation

yale-reputation.jpgOn December 8, 2007, Yale Law School’s Information Society Project will be holding a conference about online reputation called Reputation Economies in Cyberspace. I’ll be participating in the symposium and will be talking about my book, The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet. Other participants include Alessandro Acquisti, Michel Bauwens, Danielle Citron, John Clippinger, William McGeveran, Urs Gasser, Rishab A. Ghosh, Ashish Goel, Eric Goldman, Auren Hoffman, Darko Kirovski, Mari Kuraishi, Hassan Masum, Beth Noveck, Vipul Ved Prakash, Bob Sutor, Mozelle Thompson, Rebecca Tushnet, and Jonathan Zittrain.

From the symposium press release:

How do you know whom to trust when you shop online or search for information on the Internet? How do businesses, individuals, and information sources manage their online reputations?

Leading information experts, scholars, technologists, activists, social entrepreneurs, and industry representatives will consider these questions at the “Symposium on Reputation Economies in Cyberspace” taking place Saturday, December 8, at Yale Law School, 127 Wall Street, New Haven. The symposium, open to the public, is hosted by the Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School.

“A new generation of web tools based on collaborative participation and information sharing is becoming mainstream,” said ISP Executive Director and Lecturer in Law Eddan Katz. “This symposium will provide an excellent opportunity to discuss publicly, for the first time, the legal implications of these tools.”

“Reputation economies in cyberspace have a broad effect on the ways in which we study, conduct business, shop, communicate, create, or even procreate,” said Shay David, Microsoft Visiting Fellow at the ISP. “By bringing together leading scholars from industry and academia, this interdisciplinary landmark event will further our understanding of reputation economies’ impact on technology and society.”

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An Example of a Well-Planned and Run Single Topic Conference

TM-Brochure_FINAL-1.jpgEric Goldman and Santa Clara University School of Law just conducted Trademark Dilution: Theoretical and Empirical Inquiries. Rebecca Tushnet has posted summaries of the proceedings at her blog and one can see the substance of the talks there. What impressed me was that the conference brought in a range of views and had little redundancy despite the single topic approach. Indeed, with academics (from law and other disciplines) and practitioners offering views and counterviews the picture of the impact of new legislation, the history of the doctrine, the theoretical foundations of the doctrine, and the way that business views the area of the law was rather full. In addition, the panel topic selection and the strict adherence to time (enough to present but still have questions) allowed for a good exploration of ideas. None of this post suggests that other conferences with simultaneous panels are bad. Rather, the well-executed, single topic conference offers the possibility of reflection on a topic for a whole day. The danger in either format is dead panels. In a single topic format that danger seems higher. Still, Prof. Goldman and the staff of Santa Clara’s High Tech Law Institute did a great job avoiding that possibility and put on an informative, great conference.

Cross-posted at Madisonian.

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New Summer Program

This is an exceptional new summer law study program open to both law students and interested law professors. Summer Study in Italy, will take place from June 6- July 21 2008. Three weeks in Rome follow by three weeks in Florence. Students will be lectured by Professor Chadsworth Osborne, Jr., and Hugo Valencia, and several esteemed representatives of the Italian legal system — such that it is. Six hours of credit available from a choice of 4 courses. Groups outings will be arranged to important and historic sites. All inclusive tuition is $3000. This includes housing but not airfare and meals. However, the airfare should be highly discounted as you do not actually have to travel to Italy to participate. Video transmissions will include classes, meals, and all outings so you will be able to absorb the beauties of Italy while at home. Why eat at Italian McDonalds when the program permits you to stay at home and eat at your local McDonalds or any other restaurant of your choice. The program fillled quickly last year and was a huge success. Applications are found at Privilegelaw. See you in Roma!!

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The ACLU’s “Declaration of First Amendment Rights and Grievances”

ACLU.jpgLast week, at a symposium held at American University, the ACLU unveiled a new report, entitled “Reclaiming Our Rights: Declaration of First Amendment Rights and Grievances.” I’m proud to be able to note that one of my First Amendment students, Wash. U. 3L Sophie Alcorn, was one of the two principal authors of the report. The report lists a series of First Amendment grievances against the current government, and argue that we need to pay particular attention to First Amendment liberties, especially those related to the processes of self-government. The specific grievances, taken from the declaration, are as follows:

To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world that the United States

government:

• Ignores its representative mandate by governing in the shadows.

• Maintains a surveillance society through warrantless wiretapping, opening mail, and spying.

• Secretly uses private parties to spy and seeks immunity to cover their illegalities.

• Silences dissent.

• Prevents citizens from petitioning their elected offi cials.

• Profiles individuals and denies freedom of movement based on association.

• Falsifies information to deny liberty.

• Overclassifies, reclassifi es, and impedes the lawful declassifi cation of documents.

• Prevents soldiers from communicating with their families and prosecutes their lawful speech.

• Silences whistle blowers.

• Censors the press, broadcast media, and Internet based on content.

• Prosecutes the press for revealing illegal programs.

• Obstructs oversight by elected officials.

• To preserve secrecy, places secret holds on bipartisan open government legislation.

• Funds religious programs.

• Furthers its ideological agenda by censoring the scientific community.

These are serious and wide-ranging allegations, and I have not studied all of them in detail. Moreover, the report is intended as a political advocacy document rather than a work of scholarship. But as I have argued elsewhere, I think the second and third allegations, that current law permits the government to “[m]aintain a surveillance society through warrantless wiretapping, opening mail, and spying” and “[s]ecretly use private parties to spy” are correct. Surveillance of our intellectual activities, either directly by the government or with the assistance of private sector intermediaries like ISPs and search engine companies is deeply corrosive to the intellectual liberty upon which a free and self-governing society must rest.

More generally, this is a very important document that is worth reading even if one disagrees with its allegations or conclusions. (If you do agree with the allegations, it might make for very depressing reading). In a time when the mantra of security is raised as a justification for surveillance and other inroads into intellectual and political liberties, it’s essential that we talk about what those liberties are, why they are important, and to what extent (if at all) the needs of security justify their abridgement or restriction.

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The Best Times of the Day to Fly

airplane4.jpgWhen is the best time of day to fly if you want the best chance for an on-time flight?

The answer is in today’s Washington Post, which has an interesting set of charts in the metro section about airline on-time percentages by time of day. I looked for the article online and couldn’t find it, so I’ll just discuss it briefly here since the data is very interesting.

At the three DC-area airports (National, Dulles, and BWI), the trend is basically the same. Flights departing before noon have considerably higher on-time departure percentages (typically 85% or so) than flights departing in the afternoon and evening. After 4 PM, the on-time departure percentages get really dicey (between 40-50%). With only a few exceptions, the trend is a steady drop in on-time percentage throughout the day. One notable exception involves flights departing after 11 PM, where the on-time departure percentage suddenly shoots back up. Oddly, however, flights departing in the evening earlier than 11 PM have very low on-time percentages (39% from 10:00-10:59 PM at National, less than 50% at the same time at Dulles).

As for arrivals, the trend is basically the same, with arrivals in the AM being far more on-time (70-80%) than in the afternoon and evening (often 50% or below). Arrivals very early in the morning (before 7 AM), however, have lower on-time percentages, but flights arriving between 7 AM and noon are typically 80% on-time or higher.

I would assume that these trends are not unique to the DC area, but that’s just my uninformed guess. I find the data interesting because it suggests that you’re much better off flying in the morning.

There are more interesting stats in the article, but they mainly pertain to specific flights to-from DC that one should avoid. For example, avoid the US Airways 7PM flight from National to LaGuardia. It is late 88% of the time with an average delay of 65 minutes. Yikes! All of the chronically delayed flights are in the afternoon and evening, and most are flights by Comair and US Airways.

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An Angel (Investor) in Devil’s Clothing

angeldevil.jpgToday, the Conglomerate’s Junior Scholars Workshop is discussing Darian Ibrahim’s The (Not So) Puzzling Behavior of Angel Investors. I’ve offered some comments to the paper here; Larry Ribstein’s comments are here; Barbara Black’s here; and George Dent’s here.

The gist of my comment notes that Darian does a terrific job of showing that so-called angel investors’ seemingly philanthropic behavior can be explained using traditional wealth-maximizing incentive theory. For example, angels may not seek to control start-ups with formal contract mechanisms because to do so would reduce those start-ups’ abilities to find later VC investments and thus repay the angel investment. If this is a good model of angel behavior, the question I had was whether the law (or society more generally) ought to treat angels differently from other investors. I look forward to Darian’s response to this comment, and the other really thoughtful critiques. If you at all interested in the law of entrepreneurs, this is a can’t miss paper and workshop. Indeed, it has already inspired a really thoughtful comment by Jeff Lipshaw. Come on by!

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Two Interesting AALS Paper Calls

First, my apologies for the two-week hiatus, something bad enough for a regular blogger, but perhaps inexcusable from a guest (as Stephanie would say on Full House, “how rude!”). As I noted over at Prawfs, I blame a combination of packing, grading, and moving (three of my least favorite activities), but, c’est la vie.

Anyway, while I was away, two of the AALS sections to which I belong — the Section on National Security Law and the Section on New Law Professors — issued interesting paper calls for the 2008 AALS Annual Meeting. By way of disclosure, I’m on the reviewing committee for the New Law Professors. The National Security Law section call is available here; the New Law Professors’ call is reprinted beneath the fold. Of course, I’m happy to answer questions about the topics.

It separately begs the question, though, of the role of paper calls in the annual meting… to me, it’s a great way to add fresh (or at least unpredictable) insights to an issue where the temptation may be to go with the “experts,” but I wonder if others have a different view.

More below the fold…

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Scholar-ly Symposium

An announcement for our readers, from the University of Pennsylvania Law Review:

The University of Pennsylvania Law Review is pleased to announce its second annual Symposium Scholar Essay Competition. We are seeking essay submissions advancing a legal argument related to the 2007 symposium topic on “The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.” The winning author will be published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review’s Symposium Issue in Spring 2008, and the author will be invited to Philadelphia in late November 2007 to present the paper at the symposium.

The competition is limited to junior scholars — law students and those who have graduated within the past five years. For more information, see this announcement file, or the Pennumbra website.

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Whither the Humanities?

sphere1.jpgHaving just returned from the ASLCH conference this past weekend, the role of humanities in the world of the law has been greatly on my mind.

It was a great conference–I presented on a double panel entitled “Reconfiguring the Language of Rights,” with Rose Cuison Villazor, Olati Johnson, Serena Mayeri, Melissa Murray, Frank Ravitch, Patricia Seith and Aric Short–and it was fascinating to be immersed in the world of the humanities again, something I have not much focused on since graduate school.

But the conference did make me wonder: will the role of humanities in the law ever be more than its current “Law and __” ghetto? In other words, will Law and Humanities ever be mainstreamed like Law and Economics? Should it be? I ponder this below….

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