Blawg Review

It's not just a blog carnival; it's the law! ~ a fool in the forest

Carnival of the Capitalists #211

The editor of Blawg Review, who toils in anonymity with the help of tireless sherpa guides to the blogosphere, is proud to be hosting this week's edition of the longest-running blog carnival, the Carnival of the Capitalists. Blawg Review hosted the CotC #107 and CotC #159 this same week in previous years.

We'e honored to be invited back for our third time hosting the Carnival of the Capitalists, now at the beginning of its fifth year, which is at least eighty in human years. In our view, this granddaddy of blog carnivals is showing its age--and it's not pretty. Those who knew the CotC when it was young and vibrant know what I mean. Loyal followers of the Carnival of the Capitalists, many of whom have hosted once or twice themselves, will appreciate that we have spent several hours reviewing and passing over self-serving submissions of worthless drivel, offers of various products to increase sexual performance, and far too many blog posts of imperceptible relevance.

We trust that our regular readers, and those new to Blawg Review arriving here in search of another excellent Carnival of the Capitalists, will find the following selections from some of the best business blogs and law blogs well worth their valuable time and attention.

Rob May at Businesspundit says, "successful entrepreneurs aren't born or made - they are just good at raising money."

The Green Umbrella: Green Business Opportunities, by Nellie Lide, is recommended by Anita Campbell, who hosted Blawg Review #126 at Small Business Trends, recently.

Gordon Smith, at the Conglomerate blog, has the "inside baseball" analyisis of Joe Torre and Contract Incentives.

Luis Cassiano Neves, at the Sports Law Blog, has an informative post about Sports Agency on the other side of the Pond.

Eric Turkewitz, at the New York Personal Injury Law Blog, describes how Progressive Insurance Blunders Again.

Charles Green at Trust Matters says, "Software programming, oddly, teaches us that treating transactions as one-offs which aren't can cost us a great deal more money than approaching them as part of a series of transactions. This is the same lesson we need to understand about relationships -- that making them into single transactions reduces long term value or increases our costs."

"What is the significance of the fact that the most recently issued subprime mortgages are the ones that are running into the biggest problems?" asks James Hamilton at Econbrowser.

Nate Oman at Concurring Opinions has found a new study guide on YouTube he says is just like "Cops" for Commercial Law Profs.

Christine Hurt, at Conglomerate, make a point about corporate social responsibility: Think Before You Pink.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich features a guest post on gender and the financial voice used in general interest magazines.

Ian Welsh discusses the function of a financial sector and reminds us that there ain't no such thing as a free lunch, writing: The "growth" of the last decade, indeed of the last generation, has been bought by borrowing - borrowing from other countries and borrowing against the future - or to put it more crudely, against American's children's and grandchildren's credit. They are the ones, along with those of us who are young enough. And unless you're at least 60, preferably 70, you're young enough, the real victors in this game are mostly already dead, having won the "death bet" of "I'll be dead before this bill comes due. You suckers get to pay."

The Stock Market Crash of 1987 is discussed, 20 years later, at the Fundmastery Blog. Frank Pasquale, at Concurring Opinions, sees it in terms of Boom and Doom.

Brett Trout, at Blawg-IT, tells the story about how a disgruntled Kiwi blogger eviscerated the Amazon 1-Click Patent.

Peter Lattman, at the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, features the lawsuit of the week, about a lawyer-bride in New York, who got married this summer but wasn’t happy with the floral arrangements. So she sued. In a breach-of-contract lawsuit, she alleged that the florist substituted pastel pink and green hydrangeas for the dark rust and green hydrangeas that she had specified for the centerpieces. They paid in advance for the flowers, which cost $27,435.14. After the wedding, they asked for a $4,000 refund. Now, they’re asking for $400,000 in damages. Fair and balanced, Lattman's got her side of the story here.

David Lat, at Above the Law, has a YouTube video that shows the potential downside of disputing a claim in The People's Court. Ouch!

A column in the New York Times concerning keyword advertising by attorneys garnered a lot of blogospheric attention. Walter Olson and Ted Frank of Overlawyered were both quoted in the column, with Frank suggesting that rather than competing with one another on price, search keywords are where the interfirm struggle for clients is fought for certain types of claims. William Childs of the TortsProf Blog also was quoted; he noted that mesothelioma in particular is an area of torts where the grapple for keyword supremacy is especially acute. At the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Peter Lattman provided some of the underlying numbers, including those for two mesothelioma-related keyword phrases, which came in at $51.68 and $65.21 per click-through. As the Times columnist noted somewhat sheepishly, "In working on this column, I looked at a bunch of lawyers' Web sites, at a cumulative cost to them of, oh, $1,000. Sorry."

Kevin O'Keefe suggests that "[t]he days of a lawyer directory portal site where Internet users go to look up lawyers are coming to an end" and that Google is the only lawyer directory which matters anymore. Other tools may have their place for niche aspects of lawyer searching, but by and large, Google is the main game in town for firms of all sizes.

William Patry, Senior Copyright Counsel, Google Inc., discussed the somewhat counterintuitive situation wherein copyright laws are invoked to attempt to curb not unauthorized viewings but failures to view. That body of cases concerns the use of technologies to assist viewers in skipping the ads interspersed within a broadcast work. While the outcomes of these cases are of interest to those businesses which are advertising-driven, to the developers and vendors of ad-avoidance technologies, and to the advertisers and viewers playing their games of hide-and-seek, Patry, one of the foremost authorities on copyright is somewhat dubious: "Certainly it doesn't change the actual performance of plaintiffs' works, which are viewed just as before -- it is only the third part [sic] ads that aren't performed, and not performing someone else's work can hardly constitute infringement of the works not performed. Where then is the violation?"

Frank Pasquale, at Concurring Opinions, rounded-up an number of posts concerning Radiohead's novel "pay what you want" online release of its latest album. As Pasquale and the quoted commenters noted, Radiohead's efforts were neither gratuitous nor wholly novel. The band reaped a tremendous data dividend of names, email addresses, street or mailing addresses, mobile phone numbers, and so on which would be immensely valuable to direct marketers or to the band themselves for future tour sales or merchandising efforts. Moreover, the concept of asking fans to pay something when they aren't required to is hardly a new concept, one observer noted, it's called tipping. As to the broader implications for the music or legal industries, Pasquale suggests that "The question of copyright and music industry "business models" may ultimately need to be folded into a larger discussion of cultural policy. What should be the balance of for-profit and non-profit cultural production?"

Colin Samuels, the selfless blawg sherpa who helped research this Carnival of the Capitalists and didn't even suggest his own blog for inclusion, follows up on the Radiohead story with a post headlined: Who says you can't update a post about stealing?

David Maister, who's hosting this week's Blawg Review at his business blog, Passion, People and Principles, has an excellent post about managing client relations that examines the perennial question about customer loyalty to personal service firms -- Loyalty to Whom? -- that attracted a number of thoughtful comments from his readers.

That's it for this week, but there will be more great business blogs featured in next Monday's Carnival of the Capitalists.

Find the next Carnival of the Capitalists here.

Before you go, we'd like to thank you for stopping by our little corner of the blogosphere for the Carnival of the Capitalists and invite you to click on over to Passion, People and Principles to enjoy this week's carnival of law bloggers--Blawg Review #131.