13 Hastings Business Law Journal, Issue 2
The first article discusses recent decisions concerning regulations drawn by the Treasury and suggests their high value to taxpayers challenging the validity of tax regulations. The next article focuses on the legal issues associated with various licenses for open government data and suggests governments should look to their policy goals when adopting one license over the other. Our first student note discusses regulatory and liability frameworks concerning autonomous vehicles, while our second takes a look into energy policy and procedures in Japan in the wake of the Fukushima daiichi nuclear disaster.
Back to Volume 13.
LIGHT ON THE MAYO: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS MAY DIMINISH THE IMPACT OF MAYO FOUNDATION ON JUDICIAL DEFERENCE TO TAX REGULATIONS
Matthew Melone, 13 Hastings Bus. L. J. 149 (2017)
It therefore is necessary to consider the possibility that administrative law was an instrument of a class that took a dim view of popularly elected legislatures and a high view of its own rationality and specialized knowledge. This class drew upon popular political power, but primarily to establish another sort of power, which would be exercised by members of its own class, in a manner that reflected the alleged authority that came with their specialized knowledge. Although it did not thereby become the only ruling class, it at least made itself the rulemaking class.
LICENSING OPEN GOVERNMENT DATA
Jyh-An Lee , 13 Hastings Bus. L. J. 207 (2017)
Governments around the world create and collect an enormous and wide-ranging amount of data. For various social, political, and economic reasons, open data has become a popular government practice and international movement in recent years. It is estimated that more than 250 national or local governments from around 50 developed and developing countries have launched open government data (OGD) initiatives. Open data policies are widely recognized as a tool to foster government transparency and economic growth. Businesses have also developed innovative applications, products, and services based on OGD. Although OGD is a global movement, it faces a number of unsolved legal hurdles. Among others, it is critically important for participating governments to devise the most appropriate legal means of releasing data, and intellectual property (IP) licensing has been viewed as one of the main obstacles for governments in this regard. Consequently, entrepreneurs may hesitate to use or reuse government data if there is no reliable licensing or clear legal arrangement governing it.
This Article focuses on the legal issues associated with OGD licenses. Different government agencies have chosen different licensing terms to manage the release of their data. This study compares current open data licenses and argues that licensing terms reflect policy considerations, which are quite different from those contemplated in business transactions or shared in typical commons communities. This Article investigates the ambiguous legal status of data together with the new wave of OGD, which concerns some fundamental IP questions not covered by, or analyzed in depth in, the current literature. Moreover, this study suggests that governments should choose or adapt OGD licenses according to their own IP regimes. For example, whether a database right is protected as a sui generis right and whether moral rights are waivable in the subject jurisdiction both lead to licensing terms being designed differently. In the end, this Article argues that the design or choice of OGD license forms an important element of information policy; governments, therefore, should make this decision in accordance with their policy goals and in compliance with their own jurisdictions’ IP laws.
AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES WILL DRIVE THEMSELVES – BUT THEY WON'T REGULATE THEMSELVES
Student Note, David Goldstein, 13 Hastings Bus. L. J. 241 (2017)
The dawn of a new era of transportation is upon us. Cars that drive themselves are no longer relegated to our imaginations and science-fiction movies. Automobile companies like Tesla and Volvo, as well as search-engine giant Google, are rolling out new features that take over the duties previously charged to the driver of a vehicle. Given the uncertain nature of future legal liability and regulation of vehicles that can drive autonomously, it is imperative that we establish a liability and regulatory framework so that automakers can continue to make advances in the field and consumers can know what to expect when operating their intelligent vehicles.
THE JAPANESE BUSINESS FEDERATION’S INFLUENCE ON ENERGY POLICY REFORM: FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI NUCLEAR DISASTER
Student Note, Bridget Cho, 13 Hastings Bus. L. J. 257 (2017)
This note focuses on the series of events that were pertinent to the Fukushima Daichii Nuclear Disaster and recommends stringent nuclear power plant license procedures, stronger reform in accident mitigation policies, and heightened transparency between the government and its people. Japan embraces the peaceful use of nuclear technology to provide a substantial portion of its electricity despite being the only country to have suffered the devastating effects of nuclear weapons in wartime.
This note will also discuss how the evolving structure of the Japanese economy has led to a change in the pattern of the business sector’s engagement with energy policy-making and the specific roles of energy-intensive users after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster.