#40: Intellectual Property

Continuing our discussion about property, this week we’re focusing on intellectual property, a catch-all term covering patent, trademark, copyright and more. What are the differences between these fields of intellectual property? Alan is here to explain.


Show Notes

World Intellectual Property Organization: What is Intellectual Property?
12 Landmark Music Copyright Cases
Joshua’s Case Study Files: Dolly Parton
Duration of Copyright (US Copyright Office)
Public Domain in the United States
USPTO Trademark Search System
U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Monsanto Soy Bean Patent
Why Volvo gave away the patent for their most important invention

#39: The Origins of Property

Because exploring the way property rights and justice evolved in every culture around the world would take too much time, Alan is instead focusing on the practices in Ancient China, Ancient Greece, and Egypt.


Show Notes

Ancient Chinese Theories of Control
The Eloquent Peasant & Egyptian Justice
Ancient Egyptian Law
Draco’s code
The Athenian Constitution

#38: Guns in Space

Until rather recently, every time a Russian crew went to space – from Yuri Gagarin’s first orbit to international crews traveling to the ISS, they’ve taken a gun along with them. This is the story of the incident that inspired them to design a special gun for space missions.


Show Notes

A cosmonaut remembers the exhilaration and terror of his first space mission
Pistol-packing for the final frontier: Why were cosmonauts armed?
Soyuz Survival Kit
TOZ-81 Mars – Russian Space Revolver
Drilling Pistol Part of Russian Space Gear…Until 2007
Modern Firearms – TP-82
How I Stopped Cosmonauts From Carrying Guns

#37: The First Amendment

Just what freedoms are guaranteed by the 1st Amendment? It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that the right of freedom of speech is not absolute, but what are the exceptions? Alan breaks down the current and historical opinions on key free speech cases of the last century.


Show Notes

Text of the First Amendment
Free Speech Review: 22 Significant, Silly, or Otherwise Noteworthy First Amendment Cases From 2014
Summary of significant First Amendment cases with case studies and legal quiz
Free Speech and Forum Analysis Checklist (How a law student should analyze a Free Speech case)
Texas v Johnson (The case that established Flag Burning as Free Speech)
The Brandenburg Test (Fighting Words)
Upcoming Free Speech cases in the Supreme Court

#36: Moon News: March/April 2018

China is being misleading about what happened to Tiangong-1 and SpaceX has had a busy month, with more faring recovery news, selecting a location for the BFR factory, and more details on the Starlink constellation, and what the recent FCC approval might mean for the timeline of launching Starlink.


Show Notes

The Humanity Star
Tiangong-1 Re-entry and Orbital Tracking by Aerospace Corp
China’s Tiangong-1 space lab is not out of control: top Chinese engineer
China’s internet is divided over doomed satellite Tiangong-1
Elon Musk on Twitter: “Oh yeah, forgot to mention…”
Berth 240 Transportation Vessels Manufacturing Facility Project (600+ page PDF)
SpaceX recovered fairing appears at future Mars rocket factory in LA
FCC Authorizes SpaceX to Provide Broadband Services (PDF)
Supporting documentation from the FCC authorization (PDF)

#35: COMSAT v. Franchise Tax Board

In the 1970s, telecommunications satellites being owned and operated entirely by private companies was still a relatively new phenomenon. The Communications Satellite Company argued that since it’s satellites were never in, or above California, they should not be subject to the state’s tax laws.


Show Notes

Communications Satellite Corp v. Franchise Tax Board
Commerce Clause
The European Space Agency’s list of Notable Space Law Cases

#34: Cryptography Basics

The first part of a series looking at cryptography and how it’s used. This week Kris is focusing on cryptographic hash algorithms and public key encryption, two technologies that power virtually every aspect of digital security.


Show Notes

Is Security by Obscurity a Valid Approach?
Luhn Algorithm
Definitions, Implications, and Separations for Preimage Resistance, Second-Preimage Resistance, and Collision Resistance (pdf)
SHAttered attack on SHA1
The First Collision for Full SHA-1 (pdf)
A Stick Figure Guide to the Advanced Encryption Standard
Diffie and Hellman’s New Directions in Cryptography (1976, pdf)

#33: Rogue Satellites

If you want to launch a satellite to orbit, you need permission from the government. Not only for the launch, but also a license for the radio broadcasts to and from the satellite, and also to register an orbit. What happens if permission is denied, and you launch anyway? A U.S. based startup, Swarm Technologies, may be about to find out.


Show Notes

FCC Accuses Stealthy Startup of Launching Rogue Satellites
Why Did Swarm Launch Its Rogue Satellites?
Swarm’s Initial FCC application
FCC Rejects Swarm’s Application
FCC “sets aside” Swarm’s application future launches
Liability versus Responsibility in Space Law

#32: Moon News

A grab bag of small stories from the last month: An award winning photograph of an atom, Space X’s Starlink satellites and faring recovery attempt, and more cool discoveries about exoplanets.


Show Notes

Single Atom in an Ion Trap



#31: Listener Question: One Way Trips To Mars

We attempt to answer a listener’s question about whether a one way trip to Mars could be considered assisted suicide, and we look at the rise and fall of Mars One, the originator of the one way trip to Mars.


Show Notes

Mars One

Mars-Assisted Suicide