Alex Kozinski

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But much of their livelihood - and much of the vibrancy of our culture - also depends on the existence of other intangible rights: The right to draw ideas from a rich and varied public domain, and the right to mock, for profit as well as fun, the cultural icons of our time

Alex Kozinski (born July 23, 1950) was the first Chief Judge of the Federal Claims Court, and has been a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit since 1985. He is also a popular essayist.

Sourced[edit]

  • For better or worse, we are the Court of Appeals for the Hollywood Circuit. Millions of people toil in the shadow of the law we make, and much of their livelihood is made possible by the existence of intellectual property rights. But much of their livelihood - and much of the vibrancy of our culture - also depends on the existence of other intangible rights: The right to draw ideas from a rich and varied public domain, and the right to mock, for profit as well as fun, the cultural icons of our time.
    • Discussing the right of publicity issue raised in the case White v. Samsung Elec. Am., Inc., 989 F.2d 1512 (9th Cir. 1993). [1]
  • The parties are advised to chill.
    • Concluding words of his opinion for the court in Mattel, Inc. v. MCA Records, Inc., 296 F.3d 894 (9th Cir. 2002) at 908. [2]
  • In a very real sense, the Constitution is our compact with history . . . [but] the Constitution can maintain that compact and serve as the lodestar of our political system only if its terms are binding on us. To the extent we depart from the document's language and rely instead on generalities that we see written between the lines, we rob the Constitution of its binding force and give free reign to the fashions and passions of the day.
    • A. Kozinski & J.D. Williams, It Is a Constitution We Are Expounding: A Debate, 1989 Utah L. Rev. 978, at 980. [3]
  • Overprotecting intellectual property is as harmful as underprotecting it. Culture is impossible without a rich public domain. Nothing today, likely nothing since we tamed fire, is genuinely new: Culture, like science and technology, grows by accretion, each new creator building on the works of those who came before. Overprotection stifles the very creative forces it's supposed to nurture."
    • Dissenting in the White v. Samsung Elec. Am., Inc., 989 F.2d 1512 (9th Cir. 1993) ruling. [4]
  • Just to prove that even the silliest idea can be pursued to its illogical conclusion, Legal Realism spawned Critical Legal Studies.
    • A. Kozinski, What I Ate For Breakfast and Other Mysteries of Judicial Decision Making, 26 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 993 (1993). [5]
  • This is really a pretty good system you have here. What do you call it? "Due process". We're very proud of it.
    • United States v. Juan Ramirez-Lopez, No. 01-50164 (9th Cir. January 10, 2003). [6]
  • The majority falls prey to the delusion—popular in some circles—that ordinary people are too careless and stupid to own guns, and we would be far better off leaving all weapons in the hands of professionals on the government payroll. But the simple truth—born of experience—is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people.
    • Kozinski, Alex. “An Individual’s Right to Bear Arms.” Capitalism Magazine 22 May 2003. [7]
  • Appellate review is not a magic wand and we undermine public confidence in the judicial process when we make it look like it is.

External links[edit]

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