Law on Auto-Pilot: Regulators Need to Adapt to the Advent of Self-Driving Vehicles

Once a fanciful staple of science-fiction movies, autonomous vehicles may soon be a common sight on American streets. Self-driving cars are being tested today by companies like Google—whose cars have driven more than 1.5 million miles over the past six years; Tesla, Volvo, and other brands already have semi-autonomous features in some of their cars.  The development of autonomous cars will have a tremendous impact on areas such as road safety and the labor market, but in order for Americans […] (More →)

The Uncertainty of Worker Misclassification in the Sharing Economy

The “sharing economy” is based on “an economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else.”  The number of companies employing the sharing economy platform, like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb, has grown significantly over the past decade.  Despite the popularity and success of companies employing this platform, the sharing economy presents unique legal challenges.  Perhaps the most hotly contested challenge posed by the sharing economy is the issue of “worker misclassification.”  The issue […] (More →)

The SEC’s Title III Regulations on Equity Crowdfunding: Too Much, Too Late

Disruptive technologies can change our lives for the better, but they can also pose a threat to the institutions that profited on the old ways of doing things. When those same institutions can wield political influence to resist change, the result is bad policy and stymied progress. Nowhere is this tension more clear than in the SEC’s regulations on equity crowdfunding for Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (“JOBS”) Act, which are finally set to become operative on […] (More →)

Protecting Derivatives Clearinghouses: SIFMA Calls for More Regulation

Dodd-Frank’s requirement that many derivatives be centrally cleared was an integral part of reforming derivatives trading. Currently, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) requires that certain classes of credit default swaps and interest rate swaps be cleared by a type of clearinghouse called a derivatives clearing organization (“DCO”). Unlike securities exchanges, where the relationship between trading firms and the exchange ends once the security is transferred to the purchaser, DCOs have ongoing relationships with clearing firms because clearing firms post […] (More →)

Feist v. Rural in the Digital Age

Web scraping, or spidering as it is more colorfully known, involves the automated gathering of data from a website. This data can then be used for analytic purposes, to direct web traffic (as Google does), to amalgamate information from different websites for easier access, or to provide many other, sometimes controversial, web-based services. With this highly efficient method for gathering information, there is naturally a pushback from website owners to restrict mass collection and use of their published work. To […] (More →)

Apple, the FBI, and an Act from 1789: The FBI’s Impermissible Use of the All Writs Act

Background The FBI and Apple are locked in a struggle over the reach of a law passed in 1789 termed the All Writs Act. Essentially the FBI is attempting to use the All Writs Act to compel Apple to create new software permitting access to encrypted information on the phone of Syed Farook, one of the deceased terrorists from the San Bernardino, California attacks. Apple, in designing iOS 8, heightened the security of its iPhones. Effectively, Apple removed even its […] (More →)

EU Launches Online Dispute Resolution Platform as “Single Point of Entry” for Consumer Complaints

On February 15, 2016, the European Commission implemented an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform for disputes arising from online transactions. The website, which features a user-friendly design and is available in 23 languages, allows consumers living in the EU to resolve their complaints regarding any good or service bought online from an EU-based trader in a few simple steps. Once the consumer submits a complaint through the platform, the consumer and the trader must consult a list of over 100 […] (More →)

Eliminating the Consumer Debt Trap? The Future of the Payday Loan Industry

Last March, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced a proposal to end payday debt traps that have plagued low-income consumers across the country since the late 1980s. The proposal under consideration provides two different approaches to eliminating predatory payday lending—one focusing on prevention, and the other on protection. Payday loan operations would have the discretion to choose one of the two plans. The prevention requirements would oblige lenders to determine whether the consumer has the ability to repay before […] (More →)

The New York Yankees vs. Stubhub: Are Consumers the Big Losers?

On February 17, 2016, the New York Yankees announced that they were “no longer accepting print-at-home tickets” at Yankee Stadium. While the team claimed that the change would help consumers, other sources detected an ulterior motive­—making it more difficult for fans to purchase tickets via secondary market players such as StubHub, and redirecting the fees generated by such sites to the Yankees and their official ticket resale partners.[1] In fact, just a few weeks earlier the New York State Attorney General […] (More →)

It May No Longer Pay to (Internationally) Blow the Whistle

The SEC fiscal year ended on September 30, 2015, and the Commission released its 2015 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program shortly thereafter, boasting in detail about the program’s success. The new rules went into effect in August 2011, a little more than a year after President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Commission has since paid more than $54 million to 22 whistleblowers as compensation for the successful […] (More →)

About CBLR

Columbia Business Law Review is the first legal periodical at a national law school to be devoted solely to the publication of articles focusing on the interaction of the legal profession and the business community. The review publishes three issues yearly, which involve students in the editing of leading articles in business law, as well as the production of student-written notes.