As part of my continuing, and increasingly desperate, effort to reach out and attempt to get the law professor blogs to take notice of practicing lawyer bloggers (especially me), I again highlight one of the law professor blogs I read on a regular basis.
Larry Ribstein’s Ideoblog is a regular read in FeedDemon for me. Some people believe that I am having fun with this series of posts on law professor blogs (and perhaps I am), but the truth is that I am mentioning blogs that I regularly read the feeds of and find quite valuable.
Today, Professor Ribstein made an excellent point that I probably would have never otherwise considered in his post called “The law and economics of blogging.”
Here, at least for me, is the money quote:
“[T]his sort of blogging (I’m still deciding what to call it) involves at least two characteristics: (1) a Hayekian system for creating knowledge; and (2) an alternative incentive system for spurring this creation. . . . By a Hayekian system, I mean that the web is a decentralized information market, where nearly infinite inputs, each perhaps inconsequential, create valuable knowledge.”
While some other practicing lawyer bloggers might use words like “impenetrable” to describe this passage, I, on the other hand, after an initial bout of dizziness, am quite intrigued by Professor Ribstein’s approach and his conclusions, which I like:
“This leads to some specific applications.
+ We should be wary about creating broad vicarious liability for co-bloggers. This is not the sort of business in the conventional sense that generally gives rise to partnership-type liability, even if the blogger does take ads.
+ “Loss-leader” posters should not face the sort of professional liability that is triggered by conventional professional advice.
+ Bloggers should get journalist-type (though possibly at a lower level) first amendment protection, e.g., as from testifying in the Plame case.”
Here’s my interpretation: Look, bloggers just want to have fun and we are having fun (even the lawyer bloggers are having fun!), so, for God’s sake can we go slow on having the non-blogging lawyers and legislators move in and ruin the fun for everyone.
If it takes a Hayekian analysis to keep the fun in blogging, then, by all means, bring on the Hayek. Can I get Hayek’s works on iTunes?
Professor Ribstein’s post sets out his thoughts for an upcoming presentation next month. Illinois is close enough to St. Louis that I might actually attend this presentation.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]