Tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 2, the Information Economy Project at the George Mason University School of Law will hold a conference on Michael Heller’s new book The Gridlock Economy. Surprisingly Free will be streaming live video of the the conference kick-off debate between Heller and Richard Epstein at 8:30 a.m. (It will also be available for download later for folks allergic to early mornings.)
Called “Tragedies of the Gridlock Economy: How Mis-Configuring Property Rights Stymies Social Efficiency,” the conference will
explore a paradox that broadly affects the Information Economy. Property rights are essential to avoid a tragedy of the commons; defined properly, such institutions yield productive incentives for creation, conservation, discovery and cooperation. Applied improperly, however, such rights can produce confusion, wasteful rent-seeking, and a tragedy of the anti-commons. This conference, building on Columbia University law professor Michael Heller’s book, The Gridlock Economy, tackles these themes through the lens of three distinct subjects: “patent thickets,” reallocation of the TV band, and the Google Books copyright litigation.
In the meantime, check out this video of Michael Heller at Google giving his elevator pitch.