Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2013

The Parallel Import and the “First Sale” Doctrine Survive, For Now

American libraries celebrated a legal victory last week in the Supreme Court’s disposition of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons.The Court ruled that the appellant’s legal purchase of inexpensive books in Thailand and resale of the same books in the United States at a higher price, a form of arbitrage known as a parallel import, is protectedunder the “first sale” doctrine: the principle that someone who purchases a single copy of a copyrighted work owns that one copy and may resell it or give it away without needing permission from the copyright holder. The libraries’ celebration may be premature. Since 2010, the United States has been engaged in multilateral negotiations to form the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed free trade zone for Pacific Rim nations.Among other things, the TPP proposes a new intellectual property regime that would effectively nullify the Kirtsaeng ruling by banning parallel imports and severely restricting the “first sale” doctrine.Of further concern …

Equal Rights Amendment Anniversary

On this day, in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment was approved by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. The National Constitution Center has a very interesting blog post that talks about this proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as three other proposed amendments that came (relatively) close to being ratified:The Titles of Nobility Amendment: Sometimes referred to as "the missing 13th Amendment", this proposed amendment, originally approved by Congress in 1810 and technically still open for ratification (ala the 27th Amendment), came the closest of any to being ratified without succeeding, at one point needing just one more state for ratification!
The Child Labor Amendment: This proposed amendment, approved by Congress in 1924, would have explicitly given Congress the "power to limit, regulate, and prohibit the labor of persons under eighteen years of age." The amendment was proposed in response to U.S. Supreme Court decisions that found u…

Why Do Some States Even Have Governors?

Recently, the state of Arkansas made headlines across the nation when they overrode a governor's veto to enact the tightest abortion restrictions in the country (at that time). Most of the news, deservedly so, focused on the content of the new act. What caught my eye, however, was how easy it was for the Arkansas legislature to override a veto: a mere simple majority of both houses is required!If that's all it takes, why even involve a governor in the process?!But Arkansas isn't alone. Five other states do not require at least three-fifths of each house to override a veto: Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. All of these require simply a majority of those elected in each house to override a veto. To be fair, although most states require at least three-fifths of legislators elected to override a veto, several states require two-thirds or three-fifths of the members present to do so, which, when coupled with a quorum requirement of a majority of those e…

Changes to the Bar Exam Coming in 2015

Current 1L students, or anyone planning to take the Texas (or another state's) Bar Exam in 2015 or after ought to pay close attention in their Federal Civil Procedure courses. Beginning with the February 2105 exam, the Multistate Bar Exam will add Federal civil procedure to the list of subjects tested. Every jurisdiction, with the exception of Louisiana, uses the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) as part of their examination of attorney hopefuls. Currently, the MBE covers constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, evidence, real property, and torts. For the current 200 question test, 190 of the questions are scored, with 31 to 33 questions devoted to each subject. Test takers have three hours to complete the first 100 questions, and after a break, another three hours to answer the remaining one hundred questions. In Texas, the MBE is administered on the second day of the bar exam, with the first day devoted to the Multistate Performance Test, as well as the Texas Procedure and Evidence…