Now that the DaVinci trial is over, what’s the next Court TV-style case to watch for those heavily invested in the markeplace of ideas?
How about the defamation lawsuit against the author of Freakonomics. John Lott, whose research examines the relationship of gun carry laws to crime rates, has attracted his share of controversy. But suing someone for criticizing his research?
The DaVinci suit was odd enough – you can’t copyright ideas, and the plaintifs made millions off the publicity they got from Dan Brown (and probably more from the lawsuit coverage) – but imagine if lawyers had to go over every literature review before publication to avoid landing in court. Nope, sorry – can’t say this. Or this. You certainly can’t use “hogwash” in this paragraph; let’s say “possibly incorrect, though there are many alternative approaches to consider.” The chilling effect of having to worry about being sued because you find fault with another scholar’s work is a scary prospect.