Denver University Law Review, 2009/01/01, Vol: 86, p1155
civil procedure, computer internet law, constitutional law, criminal law procedure, family law, governments, and transportation law
Introduction In a September 2007 opinion that triggered a national response, a three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals absolved Kansas citizen William Schaefer of his federal convictions for receipt and possession of child pornography under 18 U.S.C. $ S 2252. 1 The court held that the government failed to prove the interstate elements of Schaefer's crimes, thereby stripping the federal government of its jurisdiction over the case. 2 The critical issue involved the question of whether Internet use alone, without any other evidence, is sufficient to prove a nexus to interstate commerce. 3 The court answered this question in the negative, refusing to assume that Schaefer's use of the Internet to view child pornography involved knowing transportation of images across state lines. 4 Lacking direct evidence of interstate transport, the court overturned Schaefer's convictions. 5 The Schaefer decision outraged Congress, which promptly responded by passing legislation to extend the reach of federal child pornography statutes to the full scope of Congress's Commerce Clause powers. 6 With President George W. Bush's signature on October 8, 2008, federal prosecutors gained jurisdiction over all production, distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography that substantially affects interstate commerce. 7 While this knee-jerk reaction may close the loophole that allowed Schaefer to walk out of federal prison, it will also limit the application of state child pornography laws by vastly extending the federal government's intrusion into these traditionally local crimes. Was Congress's sweeping reaction appropriate? Or was it ...
Denver University Law Review, 2001/01/01, Vol: 79, p279
civil procedure, communications law, computer internet law, copyright law, evidence, governments, and patent law
I. Introduction The United States Constitution vests in Congress the power to protect the creative works of authors and inventors. 1 In order to facilitate technological advancement, Congress has utilized its express constitutional authority by making necessary changes to federal copyright law. 2 The Federal Copyright Act is an example of modernization of Congressional copyright law. 3 At present, United States copyright law protects an artist's work from the moment the work is completed, regardless of whether the artist has notified the public of the work's authorship. 4 Alternatively, innovative technology has also demanded that Congress provide the general public with exceptions and defenses to an alleged violation of copyright law. 5 Consumers have the ability to reproduce copyrighted works with the aid of advanced technologies through the use of photographic cameras, video recorders, and dual cassette decks. The Audio Home Recording Act is one example of Congressional efforts to minimize consumer liability when using these products. 6 The Act insulates individuals from liability for the manufacture or distribution of devices that digitally record audio mediums, or for employing these mechanisms in a noncommercial fashion. 7 Another example is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which shields Internet service providers from liability based on use of the network by subscribers. 8 Despite Congressional efforts, legislative responses to ever-changing computer technology are often outdated upon introduction. 9 The courts' propensity to defer to Congress regarding copyright law compounds this problem. 10 Traditionally, courts have "refused to unilaterally ...
Denver University Law Review, 1999/01/01, Vol: 77, p315
criminal law procedure, education law, environmental law, family law, governments, international trade law, torts, and transportation law
PROLOGUE You operate an electrical utility in remote, treeless areas of the American Southwest. Migratory birds find your electrical distribution poles convenient surrogates for trees. Unfortunately, 38 of the birds manage to electrocute themselves over the course of two and one-half years. You are convicted of a federal crime, violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), 1 on account of the birds' deaths. 2 Over 5000 migratory birds are found dead at the base of your radio transmission towers in the middle of the Great Plains. The birds were attracted by lights on the towers. The birds died when they collided with the towers and tower guy wires which were obscured by fog and blowing snow. 3 You are not prosecuted, and some courts have expressed misgivings about any effort being made to prosecute you. I. INTRODUCTION Congress enacted the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918 in order to protect and preserve populations of migratory birds. 4 No migratory bird may be killed unless authorized by the Secretary of the Interior. 5 Violations of the MBTA are criminal offenses; 6 most are strict liability misdemeanors. 7 Pursuant to the MBTA, millions of migratory birds are lawfully killed annually by hunters 8 pursuant to regulations or permits issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). 9 However, it is estimated that hundreds of millions of additional migratory birds are killed annually, without any legal authority. 10 Some of the causes of such deaths ...