drvN yl txtN: Susan Savage and Schenectady’s Text Messaging Ban

Robert Magee, Staff Writer, RMagee@albanylaw.edu

      Schenectady County Chairwoman, Susan E. Savage, recently announced her intent to align three other New York counties to ban the practice of text messaging while driving.1  Ms. Savage’s compatriots aren’t confined to New York; California recently enacted a similar state-wide ban.2

     Through a certain lens, this might appear as the beginning of the slippery slope anti-cell-phone-ban advocates warned about.3  This slide might seem all the more precipitous when taking into account a ban on the use of iPods or Blackberry’s proposed by State Senator Carl Kreuger, representing the 27th District in Brooklyn.4

     These sorts of bans, especially as they are enacted by lawmakers in different New York counties and even districts, highlight two considerations that must come into play when governing any defined geographic area with different people leading different lives in different environments.   Perhaps nowhere on Earth is this more important to account for than in New York State, where a half hour drive up route 684 will take you from places like White Plains5 to North Castle.6  The first consideration is the risk of unnecessary overlap in lawmaking posed by high profile, headline-grabbing legislation, and the second is the striking disparity in efficacy between laws from different kinds of political environments. Continue reading “drvN yl txtN: Susan Savage and Schenectady’s Text Messaging Ban”

The Pro-IP Act of 2008

Daniel Wood, Staff Writer, DWood@albanylaw.edu     

     Earlier this month, President Bush signed into law a bill with incredibly broad implications for intellectual property.  The law, Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act of 2008, has been confused with a very similar bill by the same name, which began in the House.  To clarify the history of this new law, consider the following timeline of events:

  •  12/05/07 – H.R.4279, Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act of 2008 introduced in House by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI).1
  •  05/06/08 – H.R.4279 discussed on the floor of the House.2
  •  05/08/08 – H.R.4279 passed the House by a vote of 408-11.  (Roll no. 300)
  •  05/12/08 – H.R.4279 received in Senate, referred to Committee on the Judiciary.
  •  07/24/08 – S.3325, Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act (EIPRA) of 2008 introduced in Senate by Senator Leahy (D-VT).3
  •  09/11/08 – S.3325 approved by Senate Judiciary Committee by vote of 14-4.  Committee reported out the bill.4
  •  09/26/08 – S.3325 passed Senate by Unanimous Consent.5
  •  09/28/08 – S.3325 passed House by vote of 381 to 41.  (Roll no. 664)
  •  10/13/08 – S.3325 signed by President Bush.6 

     Sometime during its passage from the Senate, through the House, to the President, the bill’s short name changed from “Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act” to the short name of House bill H.R.4279, “Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act.”  As shown above, H.R.4279 passed the House more than two months before Senator Leahy introduced S.3325 to the Senate, as a different bill with a different name.  As S.3325 has now stolen both its name and its thunder, and as it has stagnated in the Senate Judiciary Committee since mid-May, we can safely presume that H.R.4279, the original PRO-IP Act, has died in committee. Continue reading “The Pro-IP Act of 2008”