Our Spring 2021 issue – Volume 10, Issue 2 – explores practical and theoretical problems in our intellectual property system. All modern and unsettled.
First, Professors William E. Kovacic, Robert C. Marshall, and Michael J. Meurer offer an impressive case study analyzing rampant price-fixing patterns observed in the chemical industry from 1980 to present. In doing so, the authors conclude – based on empirical evidence validated by our staff – that international chemical firms have used patent licensing schemes to achieve serial collusion. Based on these findings, the authors call on the antitrust community to show greater skepticism towards patent schemes and to recognize that “[l]icensing arrangements can provide attractive means for serial colluders to cloak illegal collaboration in the guise of seemingly legitimate activity in which direct interaction among competing firms might seem normal and unremarkable.”
Second, Professor Brian L. Frye publishes yet another piece challenging our preconceptions of intellectual property. Here, Frye points out an apparent contradiction in copyright policy: We label copyright as a mere quasi-form of property, yet view authors in an overly romantic fashion. Frye accuses copyright owners of using this anomaly for their benefit – at the expense of the public. Based on these observations, Frye calls for the intellectual property community to stray from these romantic inclinations and instead view copyright authors as mere “landlords.”
Third, Staff Editor Zachary Shufro and Katie Dixon provide us with a thoughtful note examining the art market’s reliance upon authentication and the rising use of artificial intelligence and blockchain as tools for achieving this objective (along with their nefarious uses). In doing so, the Shufro and Dixon conclude that “[w]hile technology can streamline, reinforce, and guarantee the authenticity of a work, it can also create the opportunity for nefarious actors to perpetrate fraud on a massive scale. Until the art market adapts ways to address these risks, the old adage of caveat emptor—buyer beware—will continue to be the hallmark of the market.”
Finally, I offer my own note: An analysis of the text and legislative history of Section 111(a)(5) of the Copyright Act. This work was prompted by the recently filed case ABC, et. al. v. Goodfriend in the Southern District of New York – to be argued later this year.
You may view and download a PDF of the complete issue here.
This issue will be the last of the Tenth Volume’s tenure. On behalf of our staff, we thank you for reading. Speaking personally . . . serving as this journal’s Editor-in-Chief has been the highest honor of my academic career. It has been a pleasure working alongside this team.
Zachary J. Bass
NYU Journal of Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law