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In May 2005, Keith Aoki invited me to participate on a panel on "The Politics of Copyright Law" at the 2006 Association of American Law Schools ("A.A.L.S. ") mid-year meeting workshop on Intellectual Property in Vancouver, British Columbia. The panel, renamed "The Politics of Intellectual Property," and moderated by Keith, included talks by Justin Hughes, Mark Lemley, Jay Thomas, and me, and it was followed by three concurrent sessions on "The Politics Concerning Moral Rights," "The Politics of Global Intellectual Property, " and "The Politics of Patent Reform." I'm not sure what the organizing committee had in mind when it put together our panel. Judging from the speakers invited to participate, it seems likely that the organizers expected us to talk about how intellectual property ("IP") law plays out in Washington. (Mark and Jay had been active in extant efforts to draft patent reform legislation, Justin has served as a policy expert in the patent office, and I've spent a large chunk of my life writing about the copyright legislative process.) Since nobody gave us explicit instructions, though, I took the opportunity to talk about something that had been on my mind. Although the A.A.L.S. had recently begun to make Annual Meeting talks available as podcasts, it did not record the 2006 mid-year meeting, and the text of the talk I gave has been sitting unread on my hard drive ever since. A few months ago, Justin Hughes wrote to ask me for a citation to the talk. When I told him it had never been published, he suggested that I agree to publish it here