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Correctly Valuing the Writing Process

There are no good writing days or bad writing days. There are only days where there is writing and days where there is no writing. Recently, my main professional ambition is to minimize the latter, preferably limiting them to weekends and the occasional holiday. The imperative originated in a concern to pick up the pace on my research and to meet a submission deadline on a promising call for papers. I'm glad to say that I made the deadline and decided to use the momentum to send out some projects that have been lying fallow for a couple of months. I went from having nothing significant in submission to having three articles in submission in the course of four days. Three submissions, four days.

Beyond those submissions, I started on another three projects, some now in draft, some still in extended abstract. Now that I have the back-burner projects out of the way, I can start some revision and further research on the current projects, and hopefully get those off sometime soon as well. The best part is that I can feel my arguments changing, heading into deeper theoretical concerns that shape debates rather than the debates themselves. I don't how all of that will come out, but the articles can't get rejected if they're not submitted. At this point, I have enough encouragement to keep going, which is the the most important part of any routine. With that, I should go read one more article before I collapse for the night.


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Justifications for Intellectual Property Part 1: Utilitarianism

There is no way this tutorial series would be complete without some discussion of justifications for intellectual property. While not necessarily a matter of law, some knowledge of the philosophical foundations will provide a better sense of the values at stake in intellectual property debates. Notice, for instance, that the tutorials on fair use were punctuated with appeals to values, social goods, and individual rights. Without an understanding of the moral and political framework against which the law stands, one can very easily find oneself in a stalemate, with one value pitted against another and no way of deciding which should prevail. To understand the jurisprudence around intellectual property rights, one has to have some idea of the justifying theories to which attorneys and judges appeal in their arguments and decisions. So, without further ado, let's get to the tutorial.
There are three main ways of justifying intellectual property rights: the Utilitarian theory, the Lab…

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Justifications for Intellectual Property Part 2: Labor-Desert Theories

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At any rate, let's pick up where we left off and talk about justifications for intellectual property rights. While the utilitarian justification discussed in the last post enjoys the status of having been enshrined in law, scholars and jurists have often brought in other property-justifying theories. Perhaps the most popular of these are Labor-Desert justifications, best exemplified by John Locke (the philosopher, not the character on Lost).
In his Second Treatise on Civil Government, Locke const…