Reforming Intellectual Property Law?

Lots of people say IP law in the U.S. needs to be reformed. The usual complaint is that IP is skewed towards the interests of mass media at the expense of creators and users. There exist various proposals to reduce the period of IP protection and otherwise cut back on rights. These proposals are unlikely to succeed: Congress tends to expand not reduce IP rights.\n\nI propose a different fix: stopping overreaching. Overreaching is when somebody uses IP to claim rights beyond those the law confers. E.g. reprints of public domain materials (Shakespeare’s plays, The Federalist, old paintings) carry false copyright notices. Fair use is wrongly denied. Trademark is claimed where it doesn’t exist. \n\nRather than cut back on the scope of rights, let’s work on keeping rights within the confines the law sets.\n\nHow to do it? Will it work? \n\nI am writing a book on this topic. Some initial thoughts here:\nhttp://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=787244#PaperDownload

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
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Afghanistan is the most depressed country on earth

No, depression is not just a type of 'affluenza' – poor people in conflict zones are more likely candidates

Image: Our World in Data / CC BY
Strange Maps
  • Often seen as typical of rich societies, depression is actually more prevalent in poor, conflict-ridden countries
  • More than one in five Afghans is clinically depressed – a sad world record
  • But are North Koreans really the world's 'fourth least depressed' people?
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Banned books: 10 of the most-challenged books in America

America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.

Nazis burn books on a huge bonfire of 'anti-German' literature in the Opernplatz, Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
  • Every year, the American Library Association puts on Banned Books Week to draw attention to this fact.
  • Some of the books they include on their list of most frequently challenged are some of the greatest, most beloved, and entertaining books there are.
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Videos
  • Oumuamua, a quarter-mile long asteroid tumbling through space, is Hawaiian for "scout", or "the first of many".
  • It was given this name because it came from another solar system.
  • Some claimed 'Oumuamua was an alien technology, but there's no actual evidence for that.