Hearsay

Excerpts from faculty op-eds

William Fisher"If the pattern holds, then the record industry's response to file sharing--trying to block the technology altogether--would generate the worst of all possible results. To its credit, the industry has started to participate in paid music download services like iTunes, but a better solution would be to institute a monthly licensing fee paid by Internet users. History suggests that the record industry, and society at large, would be better off in the long run if it approached this new challenge with more open minds."

Professor William Fisher III '82, in a June 25 op-ed in The New York Times, on how the recording industry should approach dealing with music downloading on the Internet.

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William Stuntz"Nowhere in Blakely does the Court suggest that there is anything unconstitutional in a system of advisory sentencing guidelines. ... It would be far better to use the sentencing guidelines to give judges non-binding direction and to let appeals courts ensure a reasonable degree of uniformity. Congress should let guidelines guide--and judges judge."

Professor William Stuntz, in a June 29 op-ed--co-written with Kate Stith '77--in The New York Times, on how Congress can improve the federal sentencing guidelines in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Blakely v. Washington questioning the constitutionality of mandatory sentencing guidelines.

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Laurence Tribe"Much will turn on what others around the world infer about the American character from our conduct of that war--an inference likely to be strongly shaped by the searing pictures of Abu Ghraib and by Justice Department memoranda cynically dissecting the laws banning torture with a sensibility better suited to the parsing of tax-code loopholes than to the treatment of human beings.

"With luck, the world's understanding of America will be shaped as well by what our Supreme Court, in three landmark decisions ..., declared about the rights of those whom U.S. military authorities detain--whether at Abu Ghraib, in Guantanamo or in a naval brig in South Carolina. The Court affirmed our Constitution's checks on the president's power unilaterally to designate anyone he chooses an unlawful enemy combatant and to imprison all who are so designated, incommunicado and indefinitely."

Professor Laurence Tribe '66, in a July 1 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, in support of three separate U.S. Supreme Court decisions affirming the legal rights of detainees.

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Lani Guinier"Gone is the larger role of higher education in correcting for historical injustice, reaching out to those who are materially disadvantaged, encouraging publicly spirited innovators, or training a representative group of future leaders of all races. Those whose parents are not already educated are hyper-disadvantaged, from American blacks who are concentrated in distressed inner-city schools to poor and working class Latinos as well as whites isolated in rural pockets of poverty."

Professor Lani Guinier, in a July 9 op-ed in The Boston Globe, on admissions policies among colleges and universities, which, she writes, favor wealthier applicants, of all races.

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Jonathan Zittrain"Google gave the public a chance to buy shares directly, on an equal footing with banks and big traders. The response from the financial establishment was understandably sour. The result was that, during Google's so-called 'quiet period' preceding the IPO, the information vacuum was filled by the establishment, which gravely identified the company's 'missteps' and 'blunders.'

"This actually worked to everyone's benefit. ... The auction worked as a pricing mechanism precisely because the valuable expertise of the investment banks and institutions was naturally folded into the bidding process, lowering the cheekily high price Google was initially seeking and leaving sentimental investors for once with the chance to sell brand new shares side-by-side with the big players when the opening bell rang."

Assistant Professor Jonathan Zittrain '95, in an Aug. 21 op-ed in The Boston Globe, on the initial public offering of the Internet search engine company Google.


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