In addition to advising on the direction of the journal, Gordon is co-organizing a symposium at BU Law on Hon. Guido Calabresi’s new book.
As a member of the editorial board, Gordon will support the editor, Jürgen G. Backhaus, of the University of Erfurt in Germany, and co-editors Alain Marciano, of Université de Montpellier in France, and Giovanni Battista Ramello, of the Università del Piemonte Orientale in Italy.
Established in 1994, the European Journal of Law and Economics is a peer-reviewed journal published six times throughout the year. Its readership encompasses both legal and economic scholars, as well as specialized practitioners. Articles focus on how policies from legislators, courts, and regulatory agencies effect economic processes, with an emphasis on European laws and comparative analysis of the legal structures of European states.
Editorial board members advise on the direction of the journal, help identify new topics for exploration, and identify new potential authors and peer reviewers. Professor Gordon will serve in this capacity alongside judges, government officials and academics from institutions such as the European Commission, Maastricht University, Oxford University, and Yale Law School.
In addition to serving on the editorial board, Professor Gordon is organizing, with Professors Marciano and Ramello, a symposium to be held at BU Law on June 1–2, 2017. The symposium will examine The Future of Law and Economics, a new book by Hon. Guido Calabresi, Senior Judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Several scholars and judges will participate, including fellow editorial board members Senior Judge Calabresi and Judge Richard Posner of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The journal will publish many of the papers from this upcoming conference.
Professor Gordon has taught at Boston University since 1993. Her scholarship utilizes economics as well as ethics and analytic philosophy to understand copyright, trademark, restitution, and related forms of intellectual property and torts. She is probably best known for her analyses of copyright’s “fair use” doctrine and of how John Locke’s theory of property supports a broad public domain.
For fair use, she shows that the supposedly puzzling doctrine responds well to practical and normative defects in markets. As for Locke, his historic property theory is commonly understood as implicitly justifying broad intellectual property rights, but Gordon shows how Locke’s logic instead justifies broad liberties to copy, and only a narrow range of exclusive intellectual property rights.
Gordon’s current scholarly project tries to make copyright law more accessible by demonstrating the mirror-image relationship it bears to the more familiar “negligence” tort in the law of accidents. Both copyright liability and the personal-injury tort of “negligence” can be seen as modes of improving private decision-making: The threat of negligence liability decreases careless behavior by making appropriate actors know they will bear some cost of the harm they cause. Conversely, the promise of copyright liability increases creative behavior by enabling appropriate actors to capture some profit from the benefits they generate. For this project, she utilizes her philosophic background to stipulate and defend a particular conception of the harm/benefit distinction, and uses her economics to reveal the incentive structures that are shared by the common-law tort of negligence, on the one hand, and, on the other, the complex federal statute that embodies current copyright law.
A co-editor of two books on the economics of copyright, Gordon has published numerous law journal articles and book chapters on copyright issues, definitions of property, constitutional law, computer copyright, the law of design, restitution, game theory, and the ethical limits of market analysis. The US Supreme Court has three times cited her scholarship, and her work is frequently anthologized and translated. She has received a Fulbright scholarship, was elected by Oxford’s St. John’s College to a visiting senior research fellowship, and was selected for a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation retreat in Bellagio. She has twice served as the chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Intellectual Property.