The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.
It is now received wisdom that a properly functioning democracy requires transparency and accountability — information shared with the public that allows the public to know what its government is doing. It is equally uncontroversial to say that social media allows for an unprecedented amount of informal but structured dissemination and analysis of information. Despite these two basic points, U.S. freedom of information law has failed to harness the power of these new social media networks and, more importantly, formats in a way that amplifies public knowledge of government information.
This is the third in a series of articles focusing on the experimental economics of intellectual property. In earlier work, we have experimentally studied the ways in which creators assign monetary value to the things that they create. That research has suggested that creators are subject to a systematic bias that leads them to overvalue their work.
The Supreme Court certified two questions in Golan v. Holder: (1) Does section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (“URAA”) violate the Progress Clause of the Constitution? (2) Does the URAA violate the First Amendment? This Essay argues that section 514 violates the Progress Clause’s requirement that copyright laws “promote the Progress of Science.” This is because the statute bequeaths copyright status without in return achieving any net increase in the creation or dissemination of creative works.