Legal Activities Archives

Policy Paper — 2002

Through a series of essays, monographs and policy papers, the Center seeks to educate policy makers, academics and the general public on subject matters affecting individual freedom.

Free Speech in a Commercial World: The Nike Paradox

By D. Eric Schippers

"Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech..."
James Madison penned the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to provide express protection for the fundamental right to speak in a free and open society. Despite the simplicity of Madison’s words, the notion of free speech, particularly as it applies to corporate entities, has eluded easy definition and has been the subject of endless legal and political debate....[more]

Free Speech Means Not Having to Play "Mother May I?" with the Government

By Erik S. Jaffe, Esq.

On Monday, the Supreme Court confirmed what most people not working for the government intuitively understand: Forcing people to get permission from the government in order to speak to their fellow citizens violates the First Amendment. In its decision in Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York v. Village of Stratton, No. 00-1737 (June 17, 2002), the Court struck down a village ordinance that required persons wishing to engage in door-to-door advocacy first to register with the Village and obtain a permit...[more]

Center urges West Virginia Mayor to Stop Infringing on Residents' Constitutional Right to Free Speech

In response to several calls from concerned citizens in Westover, West Virginia, the Center for Individual Freedom faxed a letter on April 18, 2002, to Westover Mayor Suzanne Riffon Kenney, urging her to reconsider her crusade to remove signs from the private property of residents and requesting that the local legislative body amend its sign ordinance to comport with constitutional protections...[more]

To read the letter, please click here

"Taking" Away Music Copyrights:
Does Compulsory Licensing of Music on the Internet Violate the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause?

By Laurie Messerly
Edited by Renee Giachino

In recent years, music lovers have discovered vast access to free music on the Internet. This includes not only free listening, but also free downloading of their favorite songs and free copying of choice music. Companies such as Napster gained almost instant notoriety because they provided users with the ability to trade or share copies of sound recordings through centralized file sharing. However, the Internet file sharing of often-unlicensed sound recordings has many in the music industry seeing red. According to the copyright holders of these sound recordings, file-sharing services, such as Napster, are promoting widespread "piracy."...[more]

Legislative vs. Executive Branch: The Clash Over Access to Information

By Renee L. Giachino, General Counsel, CFIF
A great deal of news coverage has been devoted to the collapse of Enron and the events surrounding its demise. Among the most controversial stories has been Vice President Dick Cheney’s refusal to turn over to the General Accounting Office (GAO) -- Congress’ investigative arm...[more]

Center Submits Comments on Proposed Microsoft Settlement

By Renee L. Giachino, General Counsel, CFIF
"Assessing the benefits and costs of this settlement is difficult, but clearly the public interest is better served by an expeditious settlement than continued litigation…" [more]

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The Archives

Policy Papers: 2001
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