David L. Lange

Law Professor

David L. Lange (born 1938) is a law professor based in USA.

No Law

  • Repackaged as intellectual property, the doctrines came into their own chiefly in the last three decades of the twentieth century, propelled forward in no small part by the desire for global commerce that fed the trade policies of a handful of so-called "developed nations"—foremost among them the United States. [...] The fact is that intellectual property interests lack the finite tangibility characteristics of most forms of property; things protected by copyright and patent are not "rivalrous".
    • §2, p. 62
  • Yet in the end, the assertion that exclusivity equals productivity is essentially thin or testimonial or theoretical, or some combination of the three, and "believe" is the operative word. We do not know in absolute act whether intellectual property regimes significantly encourage intellectual productivity, much less whether they are "necessary".
    • §2, p. 68
  • Let us be direct: the dark side, and indeed a principal aim, of copyright is to suppress unauthorized expression for a period of time amounting, on average, to almost a century. This may or may not be an encouragement to originality or creativity or some other form of favored productivity in some; it is unquestionably repressive as to others.
    • §3, p. 85
  • The Framers authorized Congress to enact laws with respect to writings and discoveries; they did not command Congress to do so, however, nor did they imagine, much less prescribe, the regimes we now have. Nothing obliges us to continue that experimenti f our experience teaches us what we have done to date is a mistake.
    • §4, p. 143
  • Copyright claims to offer incentives to creative productivity, but in its commitment to exclusivity copyright also offers barriers to creativity, and often enough these more than offset such incentives as there are. [...] the harsh reality is that for most creative artists these industries offer neither prospects nor incentives. There are multiple and complex reasons for this reality, but among them is the inescapable fact that no one can create freely without building upon the creativity that has gone before.
    • §6, p. 177
  • To grant a monopoly in speech to one person is to abridge that speech as to all others. That is precisely what Congress may not (and cannot) do. That power the First Amendment withdraws on the fact of the text. Read absolutely, the text does not admit of any defense or justifications in the case of abridgement. No law simply means no law.
    • §13, p. 312


  • David L. Lange and H. Jefferson Powell, No Law: Intellectual Property in the Image of an Absolute First Amendment, Stanford Law Books, 2009. ISBN 9780804745789