Fair Use Economics: How Fair Use Makes Innovation Possible and Profitable

By Corynne Mcsherry
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Just over 30 years ago, the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Sony v. Universal City Studios (usually referred to as the Sony/Betamax case), clearing the way for a technology company to sells its products (Betamaxes, and by extension, VCRs) even though they could potentially be used for infringing purposes. After all, the court reasoned, customers also deployed their VCRs to engage in non-infringing fair uses, such as recording soap operas to watch after work. If a product was capable of “substantial noninfringing uses,” the fact that it could also be used for unlawful purposes shouldn’t be enough to force it off the market (and/or require its maker to pay millions in damages).

Continue reading

Oregon Standoff: Isolated Event or Sign of Things to Come?

By Ron Paul
Campaignforliberty.org

The nation’s attention turned to Oregon this week when a group calling itself Citizens for Constitutional Freedom seized control of part of a federal wildlife refuge. The citizens were protesting the harsh sentences given to members of the Hammond ranching family. The Hammonds were accused of allowing fires set on their property to spread onto federal land.

The Hammonds were prosecuted under a federal terrorism statute. This may seem odd, but many prosecutors are stretching the definition of terrorism in order to, as was the case here, apply the mandatory minimum sentences or otherwise violate defendants’ constitutional rights. The first judge to hear the case refused to grant the government’s sentencing request, saying his conscience was shocked by the thought of applying the mandatory minimums to the Hammonds. Fortunately for the government, it was able to appeal the decision to judges whose consciences were not shocked by draconian sentences.

Continue reading

Concealed Carry Permits Skyrocket, While Crime Plummets – Study Shows More Guns = Less Crime

By Eva Decesare
July 17, 2015
www.thefreethoughtproject.com

According to a recent study by the Crime Prevention Research Center, the election of Barrack Obama may have played a significant part in reducing crime in the U.S. – but not in a way he is likely to brag about. In short, the election of Obama, a very vocal advocate of “gun control, has persuaded more and more Americans that they should keep and bear arms themselves. And that has, in turn, led to significantly lower crime rates.

Continue reading

Texas Launches Gold-backed Bank, Challenging Federal Reserve

By Alex Newman
The New American
July 15, 2015

The State of Texas is setting up a gold-backed bank that will allow depositors to bypass the controversial Federal Reserve System and its fiat currency in banking and commerce, according to the state representative who authored the recently enacted law. Under the measure, passed overwhelmingly by lawmakers and signed in mid-June by Republican Governor Greg Abbott, Lone Star State officials will establish and operate the Texas Bullion Depository for anyone who would like to deposit and trade in precious metals. The implications are as big as Texas.

Continue reading

The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association

John F. Kennedy
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City
April 27, 1961
JFK Presidential Library and Museum

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:

I appreciate very much your generous invitation to be here tonight.

You bear heavy responsibilities these days and an article I read some time ago reminded me of how particularly heavily the burdens of present day events bear upon your profession.

Continue reading

Patrick Henry: Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!

As posted at www.Historyplace.com

Following the Boston Tea Party, Dec. 16, 1773, in which American colonists dumped 342 containers of tea into the Boston harbor, the British Parliament enacted a series of Acts in response to the rebellion in Massachusetts.

In May of 1774, General Thomas Gage, commander of all British military forces in the colonies, arrived in Boston, followed by the arrival of four regiments of British troops.

The First Continental Congress met in the fall of 1774 in Philadelphia with 56 American delegates, representing every colony, except Georgia. On September 17th, the Congress declared its opposition to the repressive Acts of Parliament, saying they are “not to be obeyed,” and also promoted the formation of local militia units.

Thus economic and military tensions between the colonists and the British escalated. In February of 1775, a Provincial Congress was held in Massachusetts during which John Hancock and Joseph Warren began defensive preparations for a state of war. The British Parliament then declared Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion.

On March 23rd, in Virginia, the largest colony in America, a meeting of the colony’s delegates was held in St. John’s church in Richmond. Resolutions were presented by Patrick Henry putting the colony of Virginia “into a posture of defense…embodying, arming, and disciplining such a number of men as may be sufficient for that purpose.” Before the vote was taken on his resolutions, Henry delivered the speech below, imploring the delegates to vote in favor.

He spoke without any notes in a voice that became louder and louder, climaxing with the now famous ending. Following his speech, the vote was taken in which his resolutions passed by a narrow margin, and thus Virginia joined in the American Revolution.

Continue reading

Washington’s Farewell Address 1796

George Washington
1796
Yale Law School

Friends and Citizens:

The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

Continue reading

Nullification in a Nutshell

From The New American
Written by Patrick Krey

The “Principles of 98,” as they came to be known, are rarely discussed in modern history lectures even though these are integral to understanding how our federal Constitution was intended to function. These are the principles of state interposition or nullification that assert that if the federal government fails to check itself through one of its three branches, then it would be up to the states to rein in the feds.

Continue reading

Can Congress Write Any Laws It wants?

by Andrew P. Napolitano
As posted at Lew Rockwell

“Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat… But, if it is flat, will the King’s command make it round? And if it is round, will the King’s command flatten it? … NO.”

When Robert Bolt wrote that truism in his play A Man For All Seasons, his protagonist, Thomas More, was attempting to persuade the jury at his trial for high treason that all governments have limitations, and that the statute he was accused of violating was beyond Parliament’s lawful authority to enact. Sir Thomas was there appealing to the natural law as well as to the common sense of his jurors: The government can’t change the laws of nature. As we know, he fared no better than those who today argue that Congress is not omnipotent, has natural, moral, and constitutional limitations on its power, and every day fails to abide them.

Continue reading