Saturday, June 25, 2016


If the United Kingdom does actually Brexit the European Union, the country could be a superb candidate to Brattach itself to the rival North American Free Trade Agreement.  Commonalities in history, culture, and level of economic development raise intriguing possibilities for a "North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement".

Friday, June 24, 2016

German Headquarter

On June 23, 2016, a small majority of voters in the United Kingdom ("U.K.") expressed their preference to quit membership of the European Union.  Much has been, and will be, written elsewhere about various consequences of this decision for the U.K..  I would like to highlight an important implication for the post-Brexit European Union ("E.U.").

Using 2014 GDP figures, the U.K. economy makes up 17.6% of the total GDP of the E.U., while Germany accounts for a larger, yet comparable, 20.7%.  Removing the U.K. from the E.U., the economy of Germany would contribute more than 25% of total E.U. GDP, and be almost 40% larger than the next largest national economy, that of France.  Time will tell what effects such a large imbalance of economic power will have on the governance and stability of the E.U..  With the U.K. gone, it will be much more difficult to view the E.U. as club of equals.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Zip Zep Infringement

A jury in a Central District of California district court found on June 23, 2016, that the band Led Zeppelin, in its classic song "Stairway To Heaven", did not infringe the band Spirit's copyright on its song "Taurus".  The decision came despite similarities between the two songs, and acceptance by the jury that members of Led Zeppelin had had access to Spirit and its song.

The likelihood of an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal is high, in part because the result of this case seems discordant with the finding that the song Blurred Lines, by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, had infringed the copyright in Marvin Gaye's song "Got to Give it Up".  In the wake of these two district court decisions, the law of copyright infringement in music appears quite muddy.

The time is ripe for some guidance from a higher court.  As the Zeppelin song counsels,
And it's whispered that soon, If we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason.
Musicians now hope that the Court of Appeals will pipe up soon.