This Week in the News…

Posted: February 16, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Friday, Feb. 9, Washington Times

Lawmakers revive bankruptcy bill

“A bill that would toughen the nation’s bankruptcy laws is expected to pass Congress this year as analysts predict financial failure rates will rise to their highest levels in history.

The legislation makes it more difficult for debtors to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, which offers more protection from creditors then Chapter 13. President Bush has said he supports some version of the bill. Todd Zywicki, an assistant law professor at George Mason University, told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that Americans view the bankruptcy system as a joke. ‘It is increasingly viewed as a system prone to cynicism and manipulation, and a free ride for debtors lacking in conscience and personal responsibility,’ he said.”

Friday, Feb. 9, Associated Press Newswires

New heads of Democratic, Republican parties have very different styles

“Republicans face obstacles in their outreach to the black community, such as a deep suspicion of the party and considerable anger after the disputed results of the presidential election in Florida. ‘The Republicans have a very high mountain to climb,’ said historian Roger Wilkins of George Mason University. ‘Right now, most black people in America are convinced that Al Gore won the election and that Republicans stole the election in large part by suppressing the black vote by foul means.'”

Monday, Feb. 12, Associated Press Newswires

GMU signs on to support United Nations project

“George Mason University will provide student volunteers and other assistance to a United Nations initiative to help developing nations utilize computer technology.

The university is the first higher-education institution in the world to sign on as a partner in the United Nations’ UNITeS program, which is designed to help developing nations bridge the digital divide. UN representatives and GMU president Alan Merten signed the agreement at a ceremony Monday afternoon.”

Tuesday, Feb. 13, National Post

Music industry needs Napster

Written by Tyler Cowen: “Yesterday, the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals ruled that Napster, the Internet-based music service, was guilty of “vicarious copyright infringement.” The panel of three judges stipulated Napster must stop allowing its users to trade copyright-protected files. If this judgment stands on appeal (the now famous David Boies is the Napster lawyer), it would end Napster as we know it. If nothing else, the attempt to shut down Napster is doomed to fail. Many Napster-like services operate without relying on a central Web site, thus making them impossible to shut down. Or we could imagine a version of Napster based in another country, beyond the reach of U.S. or Canadian law. So music copyright is weakening, whether we like it or not. And any form of music that can be heard can be hacked.”

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