71,299 research outputs found

    The Apple E-Book Agreement and Ruinous Competition: Are E-Goods Different for Antitrust Purposes?

    Get PDF
    Publishers have spent the last decade and a half struggling against falling prices for digital goods. The recent antitrust case against Apple and the major publishers highlights collusive price fixing as a potential method for resisting depreciation. This Article examines the myriad ways in which digital distribution puts downward pressure on prices, and seeks to determine whether or not collusive price fixing would serve as an appropriate response to such pressure given the goals of the copyright grant. Considering retailer bargaining power, increased access to substitutes, the loss of traditional price discrimination methods, the effects of vertical integration in digital publishing, and the increasing competitiveness of the public domain, I conclude that the resultant downward price pressure might in fact significantly hamper the commodity distribution of digital goods. I remain unconvinced, however, that price fixing is an appropriate solution. The copyright grant affords rights holders commercial opportunities beyond simple commodity distribution. These other methods for commercializing e-goods suggest to me that current pricing trends are not indicative of market failure, but rather of a changing marketplace

    Is World Trade Organization Information Good Enough? How a Systematic Reflection by Members on Transparency Could Promote Institutional learning. Bertelsmann Stiftung GED Focus Paper

    Get PDF
    The World Trade Organization (WTO) has three primary tasks: to negotiate new rules, monitor implementation, and settle any disputes that arise. It is not fulfilling any of these tasks very well at the moment. Should Members just muddle along, hoping for the best, or seek external advice on how to change the WTO operating system? I suggest a third possibility: should Members encourage institutional learning? It helps that at least some Members know that they have a problem. In July 2017, a communication to the Gen-eral Council from a group of 47 developing and developed Members said, first, that the political will to find compromises and to forge consensus is lacking (WTO, 2017c). WTO Members have failed for years to agree that the Doha Round is dead so a new negotiation framework cannot be created. The second observation from the group informally known as the Friends of the System is that compliance with notification obligations is often unsatisfactory, thereby undermining the WTO’s monitoring function because information is late, incomplete or of low quality. These two self-criticisms, about political will to find consensus, and insufficient provision of infor-mation, are related: both are a symptom, not a cause; both signify the lack of a shared understanding of what WTO is for. Some of the explanations for the WTO’s difficulties lie outside the organization in a general malaise of multilater-alism (Wolfe, 2015b; Wolfe, 2017b), now exacerbated by an Administration in Washington that in putting America First sees a competitor, not a partner, in China, but continuing as before and hoping for a better outcome would be foolish. Muddling through is no solution, and outsiders cannot help. Could a systematic discussion of transpar-ency help Members to recover a shared sense of collective purpose

    Core Competencies for Undergraduate Community-Engaged Researchers

    Get PDF
    Undergraduate community-engaged research (UCEnR) is a growing trend which VCU has proactively pursued by providing grants for UCEnR projects and assimilating UCEnR into interdisciplinary curricula. However, a definitive sense of core competencies for undergraduate community-engaged researchers has not yet been established. To that end, this literature review answers the question, What skills should UCEnR students have

    Movements, Moments, and the Eroding Antitrust Consensus

    Get PDF
    Timothy Wu, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age (Columbia Global Reports, 2018). $14.99. Timothy Wu’s book, The Curse of Bigness, offers a brief history on and critical perspective of antitrust law’s development over the last century, calling for a return to a Brandeisian approach to the law. In this review-essay, I use Wu’s text as a starting point to explore antitrust law’s current political moment. Tracing the dynamics at play in this debate and Wu’s role in it, I note areas underexplored in Wu’s text regarding the interplay of antitrust law with other forms of industrial regulation, highlighting in particular current difficulties in copyright law as one of the underlying tensions driving popular discontent with the major technology firms or “tech trusts.” I consider the continuing influence of Robert Bork’s The Antitrust Paradox, now more than forty years old, and how the current reform movement might execute a shift as lasting and substantial as the one Bork spearheaded with his book

    Reforming WTO Conflict Management Why and How to Improve the Use of “Specific Trade Concerns”. Bertelsmann Working Paper 24/02/2020

    Get PDF
    The World Trade Organization (WTO) needs reform to strengthen its vital role in mitigating commercial conflict, notably its procedures for discussing trade concerns. As Committees do not need permission to improve their own procedures this might be a logical starting point, but General Council guidance and a central decision on ad-ditional funding can help Officials need to keep each other informed about implementation of WTO rules, and they do in thousands of so-called notifications through the WTO every year. Knowing what is going on is the first step in managing conflict. Officials also need to be able to talk to each other about implementation, which they do in dozens of committee meetings every year. In those meetings they often raise “specific trade concerns” (STCs) on behalf of their firms. Most often those concerns about laws, regulations, or practices are addressed by their trading partners. A relative handful cannot be resolved this way and are raised as formal disputes. The Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) committees are a bench-mark showing the place of STCs in the great pyramid of the WTO legal order. I draw three implications from the pyramid in SPS and TBT: 1. Only a small fraction of the huge number of SPS and TBT notifications ever become a source of con-flict leading to a dispute. From 1995 until early 2019, there were 34,000 TBT notifications, 580 STCs and only 6 disputes with Appellate Body reports. 2. One reason is that discussion of STCs can mitigate some sources of friction, sometimes by modifica-tion or withdrawal of a measure. 3. Dispute settlement is at the tip of the pyramid. There are probably many more enquiry point com-ments than STCs, and there are certainly many more STCs than disputes. The committees do not settle formal disputes, but they have demonstrably served to diffuse trade conflict in their respective areas

    Informal Learning and WTO Renewal Using Thematic Sessions to Create More Opportunities for Dialogue. Bertelsmann Working Paper 24/02/2020

    Get PDF
    WTO has held over 100 “thematic sessions” in the past three years. Thematic sessions are a broad class of meetings that are sponsored by or associated with a WTO body in some way, but that are not part of its formal meetings. The appendix contains a database of all thematic sessions from the beginning of 2017 until the end of 2019. Thematic sessions bring dynamism to WTO by allowing committees to consider what works well under an agree-ment, including sharing experiences with implementation, what is not working, and what is next on the agenda. We found variation in how meetings are organized, which is related to the type of session, and we found variation in how themes are chosen, participation (who speaks), the degree of transparency, and funding. Comprehensive improvement is needed: some committees never hold thematic sessions, participation by capital-based officials from developing countries is uneven, and too few sessions have a forward-looking agenda. En-hanced use of thematic sessions can contribute to strengthening the pipeline between Geneva and capitals, and to better understanding in Geneva of what is happening on the ground. Recommendations for the WTO General Council to generalize best practices as part of the WTO reform process include: Addressing substantive gaps in the themes addressed, notably with respect to subsidies, the systemic impact of RTAs, and implications of dispute settlement reports for a committee’s work Creating a central budget to fund increased capital-based participation More support for technology to allow virtual meetings Forward planning on topics and dates as an element of the Annual Report submitted by every WTO body

    Personality Testing in the Church of Scientology: \ud Implications for Outcome Research\ud

    Get PDF
    Many fields of modern society require scientific proof of effectiveness before new methods can be widely accepted, as in clinical trials for new drugs, educational evaluation for teaching approaches, and outcome studies for psychological interventions. Previous outcome studies on the results from Scientology services are reviewed and found to be inconclusive. The paper is devoted to the question of whether the existing data base of several thousand case histories could be used for outcome studies. The existing data contain personality test scores on the Oxford Capacity Analysis (OCA) administered before and after scientology services. A detailed analysis of the OCA demonstrates that it was derived from the Johnson Temperament Analysis (JTA), a psychological test of poorly documented validity, by paraphrasing its items, copying its scoring weights and transforming its test norms, with some alterations. It was concluded that the OCA is presently unsuitable for outcome studies, but that this situation could change if additional research could demonstrate that the OCA had validities comparable to other personality tests. For future use, it is recommended that an entirely new version of the OCA be constructed with completely original items, simplified scoring weights, and empirically derived norms, and that its validity and reliability be demonstrated prior to implementation.Scientology, outcomes, OCA, Oxford Capacity Analysis, validatio

    Functional Biodiversity

    Get PDF
    Modern conventional agriculture is characterized by monocultures. These are less productive in terms of biomass than natural plant communities, which are usually complex mixtures of species and varieties, and they also require more inputs. A central question for organic agriculture is therefore how far we can move from monocultural to polycultural systems in order to benefit from this biodiversity without loss of yield. Rotations are one way of increasing biodiversity, but other components of the EFRC research programme are relevant: breeding programmes for wheat and kale aimed at producing crop populations rather than pure lines; variety and species mixtures, especially for cereals; intercropping legumes with a vegetable rotation (companion cropping) or cereals (bi-cropping), in order to bring the fertility-building and cropping phases of the rotation into the same part of the sequence; a biodiversity project looking at the farmed and non-farmed areas of organic and conventional farms; N, P and K budgeting as a means of designing rotations and intercropping systems; semiochemicals: the natural signalling processes between crops, pests and predators. The best illustration of functional biodiversity is perhaps in the agroforestry demonstration plots, where trees, cropping and livestock are combined
    corecore