In the New York Times, a long article about the career and opinions of James "The Amazing" Randi. Adam Higginbotham discusses not just Randi's work but lawsuits brought against him by Uri Geller, and recent problems his longtime companion has had with U.S. Immigration.
During the town council's meeting to discuss repeal of the ordinance, protestors complained that such practices were anti-Christian. Like one local resident, they thought that these practices would cause an increase in crime. Nevertheless, the council voted 4-2 to do away with the ban. More here from the Northern Virginia Daily, here from change.org.
As disciplines, magic and the law are usually considered to have little in common. One is mystical, otherworldly, associated with phenomena that reason can’t comprehend; the other is anchored in the affairs of this world and at least aspires to be governed by logic and principle. And yet, as literature shows us, if you want to dabble in magic safely and successfully, it helps to have the advice of a good attorney.
Hmmm. When I read passages like this one, they remind me that there are lots of people out there who still aren't convinced that law and magic are disciplines one can fruitfully compare. Maybe I should send Ms. Barker a copy of the law and magic book. Or at least a citation.
In early 2012, a Dutch magician did something unthinkable within the secretive and tight-knit magic community: he posted a YouTube video of himself performing a fellow magician’s illusion, and offered to reveal the secret to his viewers for a $3,050 fee. The illusion, however, was not just any old trick; it was the signature move of Raymond Teller, one half of the famous magic duo “Penn & Teller.” In April 2012, Teller took the unusual step of filing a lawsuit in federal court, alleging copyright infringement and unfair competition, to protect the secret behind his illusion. It is not clear, however, that magic is a copyright-protectable category of work. Neither the United States 1976 Copyright Act nor the United States’ Copyright Office’s working compendium addresses magic. No federal court has held magic protectable since the Copyright Act was amended in 1976. Still, magic meets the constitutional and statutory requirements for copyrightprotectable work. The Teller court should hold that magic illusions are eligible for copyright protection, regardless of whether it finds there was infringement in this particular case.
Ms. Brancolini wrote the piece under the supervision of F. Jay Dougherty, who contributed to Law and Magic (Carolina Academic Press, 2010).
The Committee on the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure seeks to abrogate Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 84 and its attendant Official Forms. Poof — after seventy-six years of service, the Committee will make Rule 84 and its forms disappear. This Essay argues, however, that like a magic trick, the abrogation sleight of hand is only a distraction from the truly problematic change the Committee is proposing. Abrogation of Rule 84 and the Official Forms violates the Rules Enabling Act of 1934. The Forms are inextricably linked to the Rules; they cannot be eliminated or amended without making a change to the Rules to which they correspond. Yet, the proposal to abrogate Rule 84 and the Forms has received little attention, with commenters instead focused on proposed discovery amendments. This Essay argues that inattention to the proposed abrogation of Rule 84 and the Forms is a mistake, and that the Forms should not just disappear.
Ah, a woman after my own heart. Well, not literally.Victoria Sutton is a professor at Texas Tech School of Law, and she writes about law and popular culture. Great! She writes about Halloween! Greater! She writes about Halloween and law. Greatest! Her book, Halloween Law: A Spirited Look at the First Year Curriculum, is available from Vargas Publishing, and on Amazon.
Here's a description of the contents from the publisher's website:
Halloween Law is a spirited guide through law school study starting with that first scary year. Looking at the law through the lens of Halloween proves the old rule that truth is stranger than fiction. Halloween cases that conjure up issues in constitutional law, criminal law, tort law, property law and contract law introduce you to the first year curriculum. If you survive the first year, you can move on to several upper level courses for those who dare --- employment law, oil and gas law and lots of local government law creep into the Halloween Law experience. Halloween Law will leave you ready to deal with any case from the crypt.
Will brain science be used by the government to access the most private of spaces — our minds — against our wills? Such scientific tools would have tremendous privacy implications if the government suddenly used brain science to more effectively read minds during police interrogations, criminal trials, and even routine traffic stops. Pundits and scholars alike have thus explored the constitutional protections that citizens, defendants, and witnesses would require to be safe from such mind searching.
Future-oriented thinking about where brain science may lead us can make for great entertainment and can also be useful for forward-thinking policy development. But only to a point. In this Article, I reconsider these concerns about the use of brain science to infer mental functioning. The primary message of this Article is straightforward: “Don’t panic!” Current constitutional protections are sufficiently nimble to allow for protection against involuntary government machine-aided neuroimaging mind reading. The chief challenge emerging from advances in brain science is not the insidious collection of brain data, but how brain data is (mis)used and (mis)interpreted in legal and policy settings by the government and private actors alike.
The Article proceeds in five parts. Part I reviews the use of neuroscientific information in legal settings generally, discussing both the recent rise of neurolaw as well as an often overlooked history of brain science and law that stretches back decades. Part II evaluates concerns about mental privacy and argues for distinguishing between the inferences to be drawn from the data and the methods by which the data is collected. Part III assesses current neuroscience techniques for lie detection and mind reading. Part IV then evaluates the relevant legal protections available in the criminal justice system. I argue that the weight of scholarly opinion is correct: The Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendment likely both provide protections against involuntary use of machine-aided neuroimaging mind reading evidence. Part V explores other possible machine-aided neuroimaging mind reading contexts where these protections might not apply in the same way. The Article then briefly concludes.