MOST RECENT PRINT ISSUE


DISTINGUISHED LECTURE ON THE STATE OF INTERNET LAW

How the Internet Unmakes Law

by Dr. Mary Anne Franks, University of Miami School of Law

Instead of encouraging the noblest goals of the law, the Law of Cyberspace fundamentally unmakes the law. There is no obvious stopping point to the Internet’s erosion, and in some cases eradication, of settled principles of immunity, complicity, free speech, criminal law, and tort. In 1996, Judge Easterbrook warned that the “Law of Cyberspace” lacked the capacity to illuminate the entire law. More than two decades later, we must reckon with its capacity to destroy it.

DISTINGUISHED LECTURE ON THE STATE OF INTERNET LAW

Spyware vs. Spyware

by Prof. James Grimmelman, Cornell Law School & Cornell Tech

Part II of this essay describes three seemingly appealing heuristics for resolving software conflicts—banning bad software, promoting user freedom, and enforcing contracts—each of which fails badly when confronted with common fact patterns. Part III argues that the missing element is user autonomy: only by connecting software’s effects for users with their choices of what software to run and what contracts to agree to is it possible to make sense of software conflicts.

SYMPOSIUM ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & THE FUTURE OF TAX LAW

Legal Calculators and the Tax System

by Prof. Joshua D. Blank, UC Irvine School of Law & Prof. Leigh Osofsky, North Carolina Law School

Simplexity occurs when the government presents clear and simple explanations of the law without highlighting its underlying complexity or reducing this complexity. Part II reviews the concept of simplexity and describes its occurrence in IRS publications. Part III explores the potential for simplexity in legal calculators provided by the IRS, focusing specifically on the Interactive Tax Assistant. Part IV describes questions for future research. Part V concludes.

SYMPOSIUM ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & THE FUTURE OF TAX LAW

Taxation in the Age of Smart Contracts: the CryptoKitty Conundrum

by Prof. Allison Christians, McGill University Faculty of Law

The discussion begins by providing a very brief explanation of the technical background, defining smart contracts, exploring some of their currently envisioned uses, and introducing the Ethereum-based CryptoKitties application as a base case to interrogate some of the challenges involved. The essay then explores why and how tax authorities might choose to fight the encroachment of smart contracts via rule adaptation.

SYMPOSIUM ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & THE FUTURE OF TAX LAW

Form as Formalization

by Dr. Sarah Lawsky, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

This paper examines tax forms to learn more about how coding law can be beneficial. Part II investigates the relationship among forms, tax preparation software, and the law. Part III uses the casualty loss rules for individuals, and the recent change in those rules, as an example of the implementation of law through tax forms, and provides an example of a form’s structure resolving an ambiguity in a statute. Part IV suggests some possible next steps.

SYMPOSIUM ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & THE FUTURE OF TAX LAW

Tax Theory & Feral AI

by Prof. Stephanie Hoffer, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

This essay is a sci-fi thought experiment about the significance of personhood in income taxation, meant to explore the validity of currently prevailing justifications for the tax.