While professional licensing can have an important role to play in protecting consumers, the proliferation of state occupational licensing regulations over the past fifty years raises important competition policy concerns. Unnecessary licensing restrictions can hamper free market competition and workforce mobility. Innovation and entry from new business models can suffer.
Since NTIA announced its acceptance of ICANN's transition plan (see the FedSoc teleforum on the issue) there has been an increase in the predictable volume from those who breathlessly characterize the conclusion of this transition as "the US giving up control of the Internet," or on the other hand, a "bold decision by the Obama administration to preserve Internet freedoms and openness." [Read More]
The Internet and the Digital Revolution gave us an abundance of riches—powerful computers, tablets, and smartphones; faster broadband and wireless connections; countless online websites and social networking platforms; and much more. But there’s another equally important benefit of the Internet Revolution that is often ignored: It is ushering in a momentous change in the legal and regulatory treatment of modern technological innovations. [Read More]
The Constitution’s Article I, Section 8 Intellectual Property Clause grants to Congress the power “To Promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” A background assumption of the American Founders was that copyrights and patent rights secured by the Constitution were property rights ultimately rooted in the natural rights of authors and inventors to the fruits of their labors. This proposition, which remains as relevant in today's Digital Age as it was at the time of the Constitution’s adoption, was at the core of our book, The Constitutional Foundations of Intellectual Property: A Natural Rights Perspective (2015).
The binding nature of public contracts is also part of the conceptual background of the copyrights and patent rights secured by the Constitution. In our April 19, 2016 Perspectives from FSF Scholars paper “The Public Contract Basis of Intellectual Property Rights,” Randolph May and Seth Cooper explore the conceptual and historical understanding of how copyrights and patent rights and are secured by contract between the federal government, on the one hand, and inventors and creative artists, on the other. [Read More]
In a Federalist Society white paper, David Rivkin and Andrew Grossman explore new bitcoin innovations and discuss the ways in which regulatory policy can hinder that innovation or spur growth:
Bitcoin is dead. Long live Bitcoin. A counterintuitive feature of the groundbreaking cryptocurrency—and there are many—is that both statements may simultaneously be true. The Bitcoin economy is robust and growing, with access to Bitcoin-denominated services expanding and more and more startups and established businesses seeking to capitalize on its popularity. At the same time, the Bitcoin network—literally, the interconnected web of computers that records transactions in Bitcoin’s distributed ledger known as the “blockchain”—is showing the strain of the currency’s success, while disagreements threaten to stymie efforts to scale Bitcoin usage further. Bitcoin-the-network may soon become too overloaded to fulfill the Bitcoin-the-currency’s promise of fast, secure, and low-cost transactions.