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October, 2011







Plea Bargaining, Discovery, and the Intractable Problem of Impeachment Disclosures

Oct. 26, 2011—In a criminal justice system where guilty pleas are the norm and trials the rare exception, the issue of how much discovery a defendant is entitled to before allocution has immense significance. This Article examines the scope of a prosecutor’s obligation to disclose impeachment information before a guilty plea. This question has polarized the criminal...

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Patently Impossible

Oct. 26, 2011—The quest to achieve the impossible fuels creativity, spawns new fields of inquiry, illuminates old ones, and extends the frontiers of knowledge. It is difficult, however, to obtain a patent for an invention which seems impossible, incredible, or conflicts with well-established scientific principles. The principal patentability hurdle is operability, which an inventor cannot overcome if...

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Breaching the Mortgage Contract: The Behavioral Economics of Strategic Default

Oct. 26, 2011—Underwater homeowners face a quandary: Should they make their monthly payments as promised or walk away and save money? Traditional economic analysis predicts that homeowners will strategically default (voluntarily enter foreclosure) when it is cheaper to do so than to keep paying down the mortgage debt. But this prediction ignores the moral calculus of default,...

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Is the Copyright Public Domain Irrevocable? An Introduction to Golan v. Holder

Oct. 3, 2011—Traditionally, the copyright public domain has been considered irrevocable. When a work enters the public domain, even if it failed to obtain any copyright protection in the first place, it remains in the public domain. However, Congress breached this traditional limitation when it enacted section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act in 1994. Section...

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Golan v. Holder: A Look at the Constraints Imposed by the Berne Convention

Oct. 3, 2011—One of the central issues in the Golan v. Holder litigation is the extent to which the United States had flexibility to tailor the protection of existing works that had fallen in the public domain when it joined the Berne Convention. This Essay argues that the Berne Convention obligates the United States as a Berne...

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Golan Restoration: Small Burden, Big Gains

Oct. 3, 2011—This Essay presents a focused factual look at exactly which works are restored by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (“URAA”) and an overview of the myriad of interests served by the URAA. This examination will illustrate that the class of works affected is small relative to the public domain in general and relative to the...

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A Legitimate Interest in Promoting the Progress of Science: Constitutional Constraints on Copyright Laws

Oct. 3, 2011—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.”...

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