November 03, 2005
Coase Theorem and Strip Clubs
The Coase Theorem applied to strip clubs: if moralists really object to a strip club but legal tools aren't available to shut it down, they can just buy the club and then shut it down.
(I've previously blogged on trademark law as a tool to shut down one strip club).
[I post this reluctantly because I'm fretful that I will get AdSense ads keyed to "strip club"--apologies in advance]
Posted by Eric at November 3, 2005 06:47 PM | Legal Industry
It is Coasian. The only possible concern is not with that situation (a brick and mortar establishment, or at least a bundle of licenses, leases, plus zoning etc. being purchased in toto), but with an analogous one.
When the Church of Scientology meets a critical website it doesn't like, hosted by a small enough webhosting service, it can simply lay down cash and buy up the service. Poof, no more dissident website.
Similarly, the COS has used (abused?) copyright, trademark, and publicity laws to stifle speech it doesn't like. Some of the battles were won, and then the anti-Scientologists got their own webhosting service, got good enough lawyers, and fought back.
There's nothing wrong in theory with buying out the unwanted irritant. It's the extention of the practice beyond mere purchasing into aggressive (and possibly frivolous) litigation to end debate that's troublesome. Obviously not a problem in the situation linked.
No trouble with adsense yet; I wonder if having the word "Scientology" in this post will bring unwanted scrutiny down on your blog? :)
Posted by: Eh Nonymous at November 4, 2005 09:00 AM
Interesting question. Do comments, or just postings, affect the AdSense ads? Can I generate some interesting ads on this blog if I mention strip clubs, pornography, Scientology, satanists, devil-worshippers, Wal-Mart, Ross Perot, Osama Bin Laden, bear hunting, and online poker?
Does it make a difference if I twice mention I mention strip clubs, pornography, Scientology, satanists, devil-worshippers, Wal-Mart, Ross Perot, Osama Bin Laden, bear hunting, and online poker?
Posted by: Scott Moss at November 9, 2005 09:02 PM